By Sean McHugh
Nashville is most famously referred to as “Music City, USA,” regardless of one’s opinion on such a title, it should be noted that Nashville has become much more than just “Music City.” Most notably, Nashville has become a much more gastromically inclined city, growing in a number of culinary fields, but none more rapidly than coffee.
Most people would probably consider Seattle and other places in the Pacific Northwest as the preeminent cities known for their espressos and coffee, but Nashville has made a strong case for “Coffee City, USA,” in the past few years, and Barista Parlor has been at the forefront of the initiative from the get go.
Barista Parlor has swiftly spearheaded the coffee movement in Nashville with its three distinctly branded locations – East Nashville, Golden Sound, and Germantown – each one taking a separate theme of sea, sky, and ground. Additionally, the locations get more distinct, with the flagship location being East Nashville, having been repurposed from an old transmission shop into a wonderfully aesthetic space with the coffee to boot. Golden Sound is the first of the two expansion spaces, situated in what was once a recording space on the outskirts of The Gulch, and it is perhaps the most aesthetically unique – a retro space themed space that has a sound set up that’s worthy of its name. The newest expansion, Barista Parlor x Germantown is a more “earthbound” theme, focusing on retro racing and Grand prix styling.
Aesthetics and branding aside, Barista Parlor is perhaps the foremost entity when it comes to their approach to what types of roasts the shop uses to make its coffee. If you’re one to go for an Americano, don’t expect to get one from Barista Parlor (and why would you want to dilute something exquisite as a Slayer Espresso). Barista Parlor’s innovative roasting methods have garnered the coffee shop quite a bit of buzz, having been listed in the likes of The New York Times, Esquire, Buzzfeed, Epicurious, and Thrillist to name a few.
Of the three Barista Parlor locations, my personal favorite is the Golden Sound location, partially because of its close proximity to where I live, but also for its aesthetics. That being said, all three locations have their merits, but outside of the individual properties of each, the best aspect about any Barista Parlor is the coffee. Barista Parlor’s innovative craftsman approach to coffee is unparalleled and is a must when in Nashville.