Joshua Strange headshot

Whether out-of-town or in Knoxville, UT students have recently been in the midst of Armageddon with finals, projects and professors not answering emails. 

As a student myself, I can personally attest to being somewhere between stressed and considering dropping out of college to work on a ranch in Colorado to fulfill my cottage-core fantasies. 

That being said, for the few students who are still in Knoxville before the holidays (myself included), it would be nice to know of a few good coffee shops to unwind from the stress of finals and listen to some Carly Rae Jepsen. 

I’m sure that many readers will already be familiar with Remedy Coffee, the popular coffee shop just outside of Old City and across the street from Old Gray Cemetery.

To some this might even be their favorite coffee shop and for good reason. The tasty, lean coffee and breezy white brick interior make for one of the best coffee shop experiences in Knoxville. Were it not for the occasional unfriendly barista, Remedy Coffee might be the best coffee stop in town.

Today, however, we are not going to simply sing Remedy’s praises. We will be judging it based on four set categories of coffee, barista-service, atmosphere and focus-ability.

If the taste of coffee is something you don’t like buried under mountains of chocolate syrup and whipped cream, then look no further than Remedy for some of the best tasting coffee in Knoxville.

Aside from the mocha with chocolate syrup, the taste of coffee takes center stage in all of the drinks featured on the menu. From good ol’ fashioned drip coffee, to cortados and lattes, Remedy coffee will sate your caffeine cravings with only the strongest-tasting brews.

The coffee that Remedy serves is brewed from award-winning Intelligentsia coffee beans, a pioneering Chicago-based coffee roasting company that boasts some of the best coffee in America. 

What that means for the average college student is that while Remedy’s coffee is going to kick you in the pants with it’s taste it will also kick you in the wallet with coffee priced a little more expensively than other Knoxville area coffee shops. 

For a one-time patron, Remedy’s prices aren’t going to break the bank, but if you’re a filthy coffee shop addict like me the extra dollars can add up over time.

Though prices can change, the cheapest coffee drink on the menu is their drip brew, priced at a clean three dollars. That’s a little more than what other Knoxville-area coffee shops charge for a small drip brew, with the median price costing around two dollars and some change. 

Should you find yourself getting the munchies, as so many of us do, Remedy offers a modest array of pastries and other baked goods, such as muffins and cookies, at the coffee bar. 

In addition to this, Paysan Bread and Bagels bakery is conveniently located just a few steps out of the door. Paysan’s bagels are delicious if a bit pricey, coming in at 5 dollars for a bagel and some cream cheese.

All in all, though, with a bagel from Paysan and a drink from Remedy you can expect to pay around 10 dollars per trip.

Like the coffee, the barista-service is as a whole pleasant. Most Remedy baristas, as gatekeepers of the coffeeshop world, are quick and friendly and interacting with them can be educational and easy. Remedy baristas are perhaps most polite, however, when asking for tips.

Occasionally, I have found that Remedy baristas can be curiously annoyed at any kind of question a customer might ask. 

Simple questions such as “how much does an extra shot of espresso cost?” or “what’s your favorite drip brew?” can earn you an eyebrow raise and an exasperated answer.

The atmosphere and décor at Remedy is hard to beat anywhere else in Knoxville. 

The breezy open space that Remedy provides is flooded with natural light and coupled with the pleasing white brick walls, the bright interior makes you feel like you’ve entered some sort of moody-hipster afterlife.

This moodiness is elevated by the Victorian-era Old Gray cemetery just across the street and if you’re fortunate enough to visit Remedy on a rainy day, the coffee shop will transform into a scene straight from a gothic horror novel. It’s the perfect setting to go on a wistful Saturday afternoon and start a pretentious screenplay.

As one of the most popular coffee shops in Knoxville, it’s often hard to find a seat at peak hours. If you go earlier or later in the day, however, you’ll likely be able to find a corner to cut out for yourself.

In Remedy’s open space during peak hours it’s fairly easy to get distracted with the noise and movement of customers coming and going. With a shot of Intelligentsia espresso and a pair of headphones, however, you can drone out just about any distraction you might face.

Similar to seating, parking can be difficult, as patrons have to park along Tyson street. If you’re like me and parallel parking isn’t your strong suit then be prepared to park farther down and walk the way. 

Remedy Coffee is a Knoxville institution, serving some of the best coffee and vibes in town. Their location, décor and coffee offer a moody experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the Scruffy City.

If you want to check out what all the fuss is about, visit Remedy Coffee at 800 Tyson Street next to Old Gray Cemetery.

Joshua Strange is a junior majoring in Journalism. He can be reached at jstran10@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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