Coffee merchandise at top shop Crema.

For those who’ve not visited recently, or worse, not at all: Nashville’s booming. Some liken it to Las Vegas. Sure, there are obvious similarities: downtown Nashville is a full-throttle, nonstop party from the minute doors to music bars open at 10 AM. But Vegas’s tourist appeal is an unabashed temple to money, a rehash or reinvention, a greatest hits homage from the replication of restaurants that launched in other cities to the musical acts which flourished in earlier decades. Nashville, as a founding town for country music, is genuine in its fervor, whether its daytime, outdoor, rooftop scene (yes, you can get that specific) or the interminable lines for hot chicken and weekend brunch. The downtown district along lower Broadway is a New Orleans-esque mix of live music, beer, characters, and revelers.

Based on the intro, you probably thought this was an article about booze. But I’m diverging to talk coffee. Like the rest of Nashville, the coffee scene is thriving. Coffee enthusiasts can patronize over two dozen reputable shops, from homegrown roasters who concentrate on brews and token baked goods to cafes with full-fledged menus, to hybrids that also offer cocktails. Here are six that illuminate the admirable range of options in a city that could really use the caffeine.

If you popped into Crema last week, you might have sampled Yemenese coffee. The country has been embroiled in civil war, yet a few intrepid suppliers manage to preserve and distribute its rich heritage (the origins of the word “Mocha,” for example, is based on the name of a sea port). It’s a distinction that marks Crema as a standout not just in Nashville, but in the country. Founders Rachel and Ben Lehman started the business in 2008 from scratch in a city without much competition at the time. The name, Crema, which describes the caramel-colored foam that marks a good espresso, was a sign of their focus on quality. They still have just one shop – though Pinewood Social can be considered a second location-…