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June 29, 2021

A Barista’s Guide to Local Coffee

Grace Wagner and
Claire Furjanic

I think we can all agree that coffee is vital.

Fortunately for us, Omaha, Nebraska is full of many local, vibrant, cozy, cute coffee shops. But the giant list of coffee shops (all with different menus and quirks) can become overwhelming. Having visited most of them numerous times, your local baristas are here to help guide you to the right place and offer you suggestions on what to order!


One of the cutest, most aesthetic coffee shops in Omaha, Myrtle & Cypress, is a cozy house full of fun furniture, plants, and delicious coffee and tea. They even have a nice outdoor patio for those sweet summer mornings. With staff members that treat you like family, you can order from a large menu of coffee, teas, and local pastries. Myrtle & Cypress is one of the most health-conscious coffee houses in Omaha, with their gluten-free pastries and homemade almond milk. Stop by this coffee house soon, you won’t regret it.

Go-To Orders at Myrtle & Cypress

  • Matcha Latte (hot or iced)- local honey, matcha powder, milk of choice
  • Honey Cinnamon Latte (hot or iced)- local honey, espresso, milk of choice, cinnamon powder
  • Iced or Hot Tea- a wide selection of Artemis teas that are perfect for a cold winter morning or hot summer day.
  • Housemade Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies (a.k.a. the best cookie ever)


Without a doubt, Stories is a very popular choice for coffee, especially if you live in West Omaha. Along with a busy and fun atmosphere, Stories also has a convenient drive-thru. Not only will you be supporting local, you will also be supporting the community with each coffee you purchase as Stories donates a portion of their profits to a local, non-profit organization. With live music at night, Stories also offers a wide selection of food and alcoholic beverages. Stories Coffee is continuing to grow, now with 3 locations!

Go-To Orders at Stories Coffee

  • Americanos (iced or hot)- water, espresso. Add sweetener and/or milk if you’d like!
  • Tip: Order your cold brew or iced americano with a flavored cold foam!  A few flavored cold foam options include vanilla, cinnamon, lavender, and caramel, but there are other flavors to choose from as well!
  • Nitro Cold Brew- nitrogen-charged cold brew on tap
  • Iced Matcha (hot or iced)- matcha powder, milk of choice. Add sweetener such as honey, vanilla, or white mocha!


This is truly the hidden gem of coffee shops in Omaha. Located in downtown Omaha, Howlin Hounds is known for its amazing service and extraordinary coffee. The owner, Greg, is your local barista, always ready to chat and serve you whatever you’d like. As he lives up the stairs from the bar, he is the only worker that you will ever see and the only one you will ever want to see! So stop by Howlin Hounds soon, take a seat at the bar, and have a friendly conversation with Greg. And by the second time you go, he will have remembered your name and your order, treating you as if you are like all his other customers: regulars.

Go-To Orders at Howlin’ Hounds

  • Cortado- 3 shots espresso, steamed milk of choice (equal parts espresso and milk)
  • Vanilla Latte- 3 shots espresso, steamed milk of choice, and Greg’s homemade vanilla syrup
  • Honey Shaken Espresso with oat milk & cinnamon- 3 shots espresso shaken with ice, honey, and cinnamon. To finish, it is topped with more ice and oat milk (or the milk of your choice)
  • Tip: Greg is willing to make you whatever you’d like, even if it’s not on the menu! So don’t be shy to mix it up and try something new!


This coffee shop is a favorite, caffeinated gem found in the outskirts of Omaha! The Beanery has 3 locations – Papillon, Gretna, and now Ashland! Their locations definitely provide a small town vibe with great hospitality from their employees! We also love their endless list of syrup flavors, from Amaretto to Brown Sugar Cinnamon (plenty are not listed on their menu, so ask the employees about some of their favorite flavor combos!).  

Go-To Orders at The Beanery

  • Red Bull Blitzes- Watermelon or Blueberry Red Bull (your choice!), pomegranate, lemon
  • Iced Churro Latte- espresso, milk,  white mocha, brown sugar cinnamon syrup, vanilla
  • For a less sweet, more coffee-forward, yet equally tasty version of this drink, I order a small iced cold brew with oat milk, half a pump of white mocha, and 1 pump of brown sugar cinnamon syrup.
  • The Beanery Mocha- signature caramel white chocolate sauce, espresso, milk of choice. Try it blended!


Now with two locations, Zen Coffee is a loved coffee shop with a comfy and cute atmosphere. Constantly releasing a variety of seasonal beverages, you will never get bored of trying new drinks at Zen! With a large selection of flavors and teas, you might have difficulty deciding what to order! But Zen suspected this, creating a “double cup” that allows you to have two drinks in one cup!

Go-To Orders at Zen Coffee Company

  • Honey Bee Latte (hot or iced)- raw honey, espresso, milk of choice, cinnamon
  • Pineapple Palmer- hibiscus iced tea, pineapple, lavender, lemonade  
  • London Fog- vanilla, earl grey tea, steamed milk of choice
  • Belgian Waffle Latte (hot or iced)- maple syrup, espresso, milk of choice


Amateur is Omaha’s vegan coffee shop, with quality-tasting coffee and a small menu of delicious vegan breakfast items. They roast their coffee here in Omaha, & sell different blends in store (packaged in artsy bags). They also serve your beverage to you in a reusable glass jar, and if you bring it back the next time, you get a dollar off your purchase! With limited indoor and outdoor seating, this coffee shop is full of delicious coffee to stay or to go!

Go-To Orders at Amateur Coffee

  • Latte- espresso, milk of choice (almond or oat). Add sweetener such as vanilla or agave!
  • Cold Brew- coffee beans steeped in water for at least 12 hours, put on ice (a quality iced coffee). Add milk and/or sweetener if you’d like!
  • Wellness Latte- with options like matcha, turmeric, or spirulina, you can have a delicious health-beneficial latte with the milk of your choice. Add a shot of espresso and/or sweetener, such as vanilla or agave!
There you have it, fellow coffee (or tea) addicts! Now head out there, get caffeinated, and support your local coffee shops!

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