8.1 miles from downtown Durham, “Major” the bull
105 W. North Carolina 54 – #249, Durham 27713
Hours: Mon – Sun 6AM to 7PM (SEE COVID UPDATE BELOW)
Friday, September 11, 2020 @ 3:05 PM
Bean Traders is still open 7 days a week, opening at 6 AM but closing two hours earlier than normal, at 5 PM. They are curb-side or take-out only until further notice, and masks are required. You can place your order online at https://beantraderscoffee.com/ or https://beantraders.square.site/. You can also order by calling 919-484-2499. In all cases you will receive a notification when your order becomes ready.
The Vibe: Funky, mellow, welcoming
Monday, February 3, 2020 @ 2:34 PM
Bob Marley is on the stereo, consistent with the crunchy, granola theme of Bean Traders. The coffee shop is moderately crowded. There’s plenty of room at the long, center table in the middle room, but space at the tables along the walls is at a premium. I’m happy to find one such seat still available, however, and plop myself, along with my cold brew, down and flip open my lap top. Most everyone else is working or studying at this hour. There is very little convivial conversation. The seemingly ever-present, rakish owner, Dave Chapman, is behind the counter, steering the ship, along with the other friendly members of Bean Traders staff.
Monday, October 21, 2019 @ 1:21 PM
Great day to be at Bean Traders. Plenty of people enjoying the perfect fall weather by sitting outside on the sidewalk patio. Inside is as active as ever – there are more people than there are available spots but the large, two-room coffee house denies no one an available seat. The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society from 1968 is playing on the stereo. The staff is either too busy to notice or they really like this album … it’s on auto-repeat and I’ve listened to Big Sky, along with all the other songs on the album, at least 3 times, and running.
Sunday, August 25, 2019 @ 4:11 PM
Bam! Bean Traders is blowing up this afternoon. Could it be because the universities are back in session? There is not a seat to be had, inside or out, and this is a relatively large coffee house. There don’t appear to be too many college students here, though, and appears to be the usual mix of young and old, from all walks. Today’s tunes are a bit off the usual Bean Traders jam band path, as Tegan and Sara, an indie pop band influenced by Green Day, Nirvana, and Hole, is the only artist playing for the past hour. I buy a bag of Nicaracua Limonceillo bean, roasted just two days ago, and will test the commonly held belief that coffee is best ground and brewed 3 to 10 days after it is roasted!
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
The funk continues to roll on at Bean Trader. Today is relatively quiet. There’s a mellow vibe inside (and mellow vibe outside on a beautiful spring day). The lines at the counter ebb and flow. Many of the people in the café have been here for some time, working, conversing, taking advantage of the welcoming atmosphere of Bean Trader.
There’s a typical cross section and mix people … older, younger, different races, students, parents with children, professionals, and retirees …
The tunes, while initially fairly consistent with the Birkenstock theme (dub-reggae from Dennis Bovell to Ranking Dread and tunes from Trey Anastasio of Phish fame) take a sudden departure into Def Leppard, A-Ha (Take On Me), Wham! and Michael Jackson. I guess this is just par for the course in the mix-it-up scene that is Bean Trader.
Friday, November 30, 2018 @ 2:15 PM
It’s 2:15 in the afternoon and I’m sitting in Bean Traders. There is some type of trip-hop on the stereo, but the vibe here is closer to crunchy granola – often The Grateful Dead is playing.
Bean Traders features an ample selection of coffee and teas, as well as beer, wine, hot chocolates, smoothies and milkshakes. You can buy coffee beans and loose-leaf tea to take home. They also have pies – a specialty of theirs – as well as bagels, waffles, and sandwiches.
The coffee shop is located right off of I-40. It attracts a fair share of hipsters, college students (mostly from Duke and UNC), professionals, as well as some retirees and parents with kids. The American Tobacco Bike Trail runs ride by the strip mall. Today I rode my bike here.
Bean Traders is large, colorful, and well-lit. There is lots of natural light coming in from the store-front windows and the oversized overhead lights lights make it a bright spot (Bean Traders is located in a strip mall so the original space was designed for retail, but they’ve done an excellent job of creating a unique, funky atmosphere).
The shop consists of three rooms, or spaces really, that can easily seat 50 people, and that’s being conservative. There is picnic-bench seating and individual chairs outside. Right now it isn’t that crowded. There are 14 people that I can see in my room. There are 10 in the room where you place your order. And in the room that used to be the original Bean Traders before they expanded, there are 12 people or so. There’s no line at the counter. I have been here on Saturday morning where there is a line extending to the door. During the week it’s normal for Bean Traders to be twice as crowded as it is now – there’s consistently a two or three person wait to order.
Okay, it’s now about 3:30. The trip-hop continues to play (have they changed the track or does all trip-hop sound the same?) but there are twice as many people here now. This feels more like the coffee shop I know: my experience with Bean Traders is that it is always active and vibrant. And the music has changed! They are now playing King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, an Australian psychedelic rock band that sounds like a cross between the Thee Oh Sees and GOAT, both relatively esoteric bands in their own right. But you get the idea. Berkeley Funky!
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