Separation of Church and Coffee

Espresso in progress at Remedy Coffee.

Remedy Coffee co-owner and Knox Life Church co-founder Sarah Alsobrooks, by the door to the theater where they hold Sunday services.

How many of us would be lost without our regular coffeeshop? In the age of wifi and telecommuting, cafes have become more than purveyors of lattes and cappuccinos. They’re the office, the community hub, and the conference room as much as the provider of our caffeine fix. And now—are they also a surrogate for the church?

In cities and towns across the South, an increasing number of the folks offering up latte art and high-end pourover brewing are devout Christians. Is it an unlikely and subtle tool for proselytizing? Or a more nuanced expression of 21st Century Christianity, intertwined with social events and professional endeavors. We sent writer T Cooper to explore the coffee scene in the famously bible-minded city of Knoxville, Tennessee, to find out.

Pierce LaMacchia of KBrew Coffee.
Pierce LaMacchia of KBrew Coffee.
Employee Guidelines at KBrew Coffee.
Employee Guidelines at KBrew Coffee.