I’m quite certain if I lived smack dab in the middle of WNC, I couldn’t choose “bests” in all those categories [“Best of WNC 2007,” online at mountainx.com]—even if a few places do stand out in my mind. However, I do know of one place that excels in product and service beyond any similar place I’ve tried in the area.
I speak of the Dripolator Coffee House in Black Mountain. The coffee is first rate, and I have had coffees in coffee houses in Silicon Valley, Portland, Chicago, New York and Europe. I have been to the cradle of coffee greatness at Peet’s Number One in Berkeley and to Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, each of which produces superb, world-class coffees. They cannot surpass the coffee at the Drip.
When I am called South, I purposefully edge a bit east so as to pass through Black Mountain. After a 700-mile drive, the first thing I do is stop in at the Drip for their biggest cappuccino and one of those fabulous homemade goodies in the case next to the bar. When I’ve settled into a comfortable overstuffed chair, I call a friend or two and they come over for coffee and dessert. The a.m. lines at the Drip do not lie; Asheville or Black Mountain, they are the best.
— Mel Dickerson