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Watermelon Mills in Mount Vernon is the winner of the 2016 County Line Magazine Best Coffee award.

Photos by Jim Willis

Really good coffee houses offer a wide selection of great coffee in a place that encourages relaxation and conversation. They have attentive wait staff and baristas that are excited to please guests with their creations. They can be a refuge, a meeting place for friends or a place to meet for business or study or work or just a place to sit and enjoy a book and a cup. The ones included here do all those things.

Watermelon Mills
Mount Vernon. Located on the  southeast corner of the downtown square, Watermelon Mills is the winner of the 2016 County Line Magazine Best Coffee award. This is a relatively new business that is an integral part of the downtown renovation taking place in Mount Vernon. There’s seating around a cozy fireplace or enjoy the outdoors on their sidewalk tables or deck. The furniture is a thoughtful selection reflecting period styling. 100 Houston Street, 903.270.2551, watermelonmills.com.


The Foundry
Tyler. The Foundry is a block south of the downtown square and has a different energy than many other coffee houses. It is well designed and decorated, making good use of the building’s industrial interior. In addition to the main space there is a sitting area to the left of the front door, a “study room” towards the back and even an entertainment space separated by a roll up warehouse door. Each latte is an artful creation lovingly poured into white ceramic cups. The Foundry is a part of Bethel Church which meets on the upper floor. Everything about the space and the operation says “class.” 202 South Broadway, 903.944.7805, foundry-coffee.com.


Coffee Off the Square
Sulphur Springs. Located just a short half block north of the courthouse, the downtown location makes this a popular place for lunch. The ceramic fountain just inside the front door is reminiscent of a Mexican patio and is an appealing place to gather around and enjoy the wide selection of coffees. 204 Church Street, 903.335.8896.


Jo’s Downtown
Mount Pleasant.This lovely old two story 1894 building was purchased by Ark Ministries who founded Center Church on its upper floor and Jo’s Coffee House as a non-profit on the first floor. The name Jo’s is from the building’s previous tenant, Jo’s Antiques. It’s on the corner of the square in Mount  Pleasant and it’s spacious. The very tall ceiling room stretches from the front of the building to the back where it opens onto a shady deck. There’s upstairs seating as well. The main room is a collection of smaller eclectic spaces with a long table in front, a couch and chairs by the fireplace, and several other sitting areas. 102 N. Jefferson Avenue, 903.577.0567, josdowntown.com.


Speakeasy Coffeehouse
Quitman. Speakeasy is in an (almost) 100-year-old building that really was once a speakeasy, located across the street from the courthouse. The theme is readily seen in the menu items, like the Greta Garbo or The Babe specialty lattes, and heard in the house music. It’s a large comfortable space that offers several areas for gathering and visiting. It’s the first pearl in a downtown Quitman renovation plan. 103 North Main Street, 903.760.2739. speakeasycoffee.net.

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