8 of Louisiana’s Best Coffee Shops


The best coffee shops do more than serve lattes and espressos; they act as a focal point for their community. That was the goal New Orleans-born, Ouachita-raised Byron Bailey had in mind when he opened Roela Roaster in Monroe.

“We hoped the shop would be a catalyst for citizens and a place where young business leaders could come together and kick ideas around,” says Byron. “In a short period of time, that has happened, and it’s been a joy being part of it.”

Byron approaches roasting and serving coffee as he treated savory dishes when he was a chef in New Orleans. Just like chefs work hard to source produce from the finest local vendors, Byron searches out the best single-origin specialty-grade beans he can find.

The café offers a variety of pour-over options along with French press, espresso, and a nitroinfused cold brew. One of the bigger surprises for Byron was how his Voodoo coffee concentrate took off when he bottled a ready-to-drink version called Creola.


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