High Five Coffee is committed to bringing Asheville the tastiest coffee imaginable. Our coffee partners at Counter Culture Coffee take care of the sourcing, roasting and education. Our job is to brew it attentively just for you. When it comes to our ideals, ensuring that you enjoy your experience is the most important part of what we do. From the flavor of our coffee to the warmth our baristas bring, you will want to give total strangers a high five after your time with us.


Our flagship and downtown locations offer classically prepared espresso drinks as well as house-made syrups for our own creative concoctions. We serve a variety of brewing methods for the cup, as well as whole bean for you to brew at home if that suits your fancy. We serve both savory and sweet fare which is all prepared locally and feature several local beers on tap. Join us for a treat soon…



With a little, or more accurately, a whole lot of help from the masterfully talented builder and friend Oxo Halo, a second location makes its way to the heart of downtown Asheville. The original wood flooring and exposed brick bring a fun industrial feel to the new location at 13 Rankin Ave., but the essentials of High Five remain: Serve great coffee. Be nice to people.


After five years of conducting the Dripolator train, Jay decides it’s time to re-brand and finalize the original idea he had oh so many years ago of a coffee bar with no frills, great community, excellent service and phenomenal coffee. Fortunately his wife, Kim, came up with the perfect name to represent a business that celebrates all of those things; a handle worthy of the people on both sides of the counter. They gave each other a High Five and the rest is history.


Moving locations into smaller and more refined space to hone in on the coffee, the Dripolator begins a new chapter in Asheville at 190 Broadway Street.


A new partnership is established with Counter Culture Coffee. Coffee shop idealism and coffee production perfection are aligned to begin what would surely be a model of utopian society.


After a year long crash course in small business preparation and planning, the dream comes to fruition when Jay, El Capitan, buys the Dripolator Coffee House in Asheville. Instead of starting from scratch, Jay is able to jump on board the moving train of a successful coffeeshop.


This article was originally taken from the Mountain Xpress, “High Five: Rebranding a responsible coffee shop,” published on March, 08, 2013 and written by Anna Raddatz.

While I chatted with Jay Weatherly at his business, High Five Coffee Bar, he cheerfully greeted half a dozen people as neighbors and friends. He petted their dogs and asked about their days. It was clear that Weatherly has created the type of environment he was after – a community-centered gathering place that puts values into action.

Borrowing a term from sociology, he mentions “third places” – social spots that are separate from home and work. “At a coffee shop, you can cross paths with someone for years and they become part of your community because you share a couple minutes a day,” says Weatherly. “Things happen in that space that promote progressive social change – ideas of commonality that don’t happen anywhere else – because they happen spontaneously.”

High Five has been in the Asheville coffee scene for several years, but you may not recognize the name. Until December 2012, it was called the Dripolator. Weatherly purchased the then-BIltmore Avenue business in 2007. Looking to open a café and taking a Mountain BizWorks business planning class to prepare, he jumped on the opportunity when the Dripolator came up for sale. A loan from Mountain BizWorks helped.

But the Dripolator had a sister business in Black Mountain, owned by Amy Carol. When Weatherly moved the business to the Pioneer Building on Broadway in 2009, customers assumed that both Dripolators were still under the same ownership.

So last year, Weatherly decided to announce his business’ evolution with a rebranding. “It felt like the right time,” he says, “a way to clear some confusion and to express that we’ve grown – not just that we’re different from the Black Mountain Dripolator, but that we’re different than what we were five years ago.”

So Weatherly and his wife, Kim Hunt – who is also co-owner – came up with the new name: High Five Coffee Bar. “We picked [it] on my back porch after months of discovering what names were taken,” he explains. “It was an intense, long process to come up with a name and to pay heed to intellectual property rights.” He wanted a name that was friendly and welcoming, not serious or pretentious. “And I like to give high fives,” he says, grinning.

He hired Asheville-based Atlas Branding to turn the name into a new logo and brand.

Weatherly saw the change as an opportunity to update the menu and the space itself as well. “We honed in on… the options we offer… with our coffee; they’re going to be crafted at the same level as our coffee.” For instance, instead of using flavorings containing corn syrup, High Five staff now make all of their flavorings in-house.

To upgrade the interior as well, Weatherly solicited feedback from his loyal customers. “I sent out a questionnaire asking, ‘What do or don’t you like? What would you change?’ And one of the suggestions was more seating.” He removed some of the two-top tables and built two bars, which added six more seats. “Bars encourage a communal seating atmosphere – you can sit down and do your own thing, or you can have a conversation with someone you don’t know. Philosophically, that’s what a coffee shop is there to be.”?

What has not changed during the rebranding is Weatherly’s commitment to quality and fairness. As a product of working in coffee shops in the 1990s, when public awareness of the fair-trade coffee industry was blossoming, the integrity of the coffee production chain is one his top priorities. “Our roasting company, [Durham, N.C.-based] Counter Culture Coffee, works directly with producers to make sure the condition of the farm has a sustainable view of how it’s growing down the road – it’s a ‘seed to cup’ perspective. That’s why I choose this coffee, and train my people the way I do.” Weatherly applies this value of fairness not just to coffee beans – but to his employees as well. “I would rather pay my people well and provide a product that costs more, than pay people less with a cheaper product and make a larger profit.”

After all, one of the reasons Weatherly felt Asheville was a good place to open a business was its deep sense of community. “I think Asheville is one of the few places with a collection of locally oriented businesses that truly have a care and intent for what they do and the products that they offer, instead of getting into business just to make money.”

It all comes back to Weatherly’s business mantra: “Care about what you do.” As he finishes off his espresso, he references the “triple bottom line,” which measures business success as a combination of financial, social and environmental performance. It “isn’t just a good way to do [business]; it’s the way it should be done,” he says. “Regardless of what your industry is, let’s do that!”

An amazing cup of coffee begins with a seed. High Five Coffee partners exclusively with Counter Culture when it comes to handling those seeds. We know that the planting, cultivation, harvest, farmers' wages, transportation, storage and roasting of these seeds are at the center of this transparent and passionate group of professionals. Counter Culture Coffee is esteemed in the industry as a pioneer of sustainable farming methods, developers of direct trade standards and a relationally centered approach to business.
At High Five, we the baristas have done our homework. Before we take the helm of that shiny espresso-yielding beast, we have each completed the High Five written and practical tests. Thanks to our friends at Counter Culture we have a coffee playground at our fingertips via the Asheville Training Center and we use this space to become familiar with the variables of a beautiful brew. Through education, baristas become familiar with variables like dose, temperature, time, water quality, technique and milk texture, which can all hinder or enhance a beautiful brew. We continue our education through the Counter Culture Certification program, and as we complete this process successfully you can see our certifications framed proudly on the shop wall ~ bragging rights!
Coffee is a craft, which requires quite a bit of attention. The technical side of brewing involves cleanliness and consistency. We need to be constantly aware of how things like humidity and roast date can affect the volume of and flavors in your espresso. Subtleties like the difference between the texture of a latte versus a cappuccino are always on our radar. Coffee stewardship involves defending against the three threats to fresh coffee: light, heat, and moisture. Counter Culture does an incredible job enhancing the true flavors of each coffee through the roasting. At the shop level respecting coffee of this quality really begins with machine maintenance. We deep clean our espresso machine three times daily and take care to remove the oils and residue in our brewing equipment each night. Cleanliness is next to godliness in a cup!
Finding outlets for creativity and autonomy in a workplace is a basic desire for all of us. At High Five, we take any opportunity we can to experiment with house-made syrups for our 'Crafted' menu. We keep the selection dynamic through a seasonally driven coffee program. Our staff has collectively spent close to 50 years working in the coffee industry from shops as far as Arizona to Washington State. We are proud to be at the center of a thriving coffee community in Asheville, which boasts regular latte art Throw Downs, events discussing sustainability in coffee, and several stellar local and regional roasters. From the farmers to you the customer, the pulse of coffee connects us worldwide. We love coffee and it shows!


  • Fresh-roasted coffee (1.6 – 2.0 grams per fluid oz)
  • Hot Water (195 – 205 F)
  • Grinder (grind size = granulated table salt)
  • Brew basket or cone
  • Paper or metallic fiber filter
  • Measuring spoon or scale
  • Cup(s) and/or thermal carafe

Pour Over Directions

1. Place paper or metallic fiber filter into brew basket.
Use a small amount of hot water to pre-wet paper filters (to avoid paper taste). Dispose of water used for pre-wetting.

2. Place brew basket above cup, carafe, or pitcher.

3. Measure and grind coffee
Use 1.6 – 2.0 grams of freshly ground coffee per fluid ounce of water. Grind coarsely to roughly the size of granulated table salt. Burr grinders generally offer better performance, but if using a blade grinder, grind in short bursts and give the grinder a few firm shakes between grinds.

4. Add ground coffee to filter.

5. Heat and add water.
With a gentle pour, saturate the grounds with water (195 – 205 F), allowing the coffee to “bloom.” Try to add only enough water to saturate the grounds; stop before coffee starts to flow from bottom of filter. Carefully pour remaining water and control brewing time (3-4 minutes total) by slowing or stopping the pour as needed. Keeping the water level in the cone between 1/2 and 3/4 full in the cone is recommended for optimum brewing.

6. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Brewing is complete when the drip becomes irregular (instead of a steady flow) within recommended time parameters.


  • Fresh-roasted coffee (1.6-2.0 grams per fluid oz)
  • French press pot
  • Hot water (195-205 F)
  • Grinder (grind = coarsely cracked pepper)
  • Measuring spoon or scale
  • Stirring spoon or other stirring tool (e.g. butter knife)
  • Timer
  • Cups and/or a thermal carafe

French Press Directions

1. Measure and grind coffee
Using the guide above, weigh and properly grind the coffee, and place grounds directly into the press pot.

2. Add water
With a gentle pour, saturate the grounds, allowing the coffee to “bloom.” Try to add only enough water to saturate the grounds, or until the press pot is half full.

3. Gently Stir
Gently stir the coffee, trying to agitate and equally disperse the crust that appears after the coffee blooms.

4. Add remaining water
Carefully pour the remaining water.

5. Put filter and lid on pot
Allow coffee to steep 3-4 minutes.

6. Push down filter
Press plunger top gently yet firmly, and serve immediately.

7. Pour, serve and enjoy!
Pour the brewed coffee into serving cups or a thermal carafe.

The key is pouring immediately after you press, as coffee left in the pot will quickly over extract and become unpleasant.


  • Cold brew concentrate… from High Five Coffee Bar!
  • Water
  • Glass of ice

Cold Brew Directions

1. Measure 1/2 desired total amount of concentrate and 1/2 amount water.

2. Combine in glass and stir

3. Drink and enjoy!


  • Drip Cone / “pour over” brewer or Chemex
  • Fresh-roasted coffee (1.8 grams per fluid oz)
  • Ice to hot water ratio: One to One
  • Hot water (195-205 F)
  • A reliable burr grinder is recommended for precision and consistency.
  • A good scale is essential when brewing in small amounts. We recommend a scale that can read both grams and ounces.
  • An Iced Coffee Container – preferably clear and lidded – is recommended to serve and store the final cold brew.

Iced Pour Over Directions

1. Weigh Ice
The best way to measure ice is to weigh it. One fluid ounce of water (or ice) weighs one ounce! Weigh appropriate amount of ice to equal one half of the total liquid volume.

2. Measure and Grind
Measure and grind appropriate amount of coffee just before brewing. This can be done with a scale and a burr grinder.

3. Brew the coffee
Filter and brew according to chosen method directly over ice.

4. Serve and Enjoy
The melting ice contributes to the total water volume without weakening the beverage and the immediate cooling of the brewing coffee helps trap in some aromatics that other iced coffee processes don’t. Delicious!

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On the last Sunday of every month, we close at 6:00 p.m. for our barista meeting.

Directions to Our Locations

Our flagship is located just north of downtown as Lexington Ave. becomes Broadway St., behind Greenlife Grocery in the 5 points neighborhood. Parking is available in the parking garage or across the street in the gravel lot.

The Downtown location is right next to the entrance of Tops for Shoes on Rankin Ave. A convenient four-story parking garage is directly in front of the bar and… first hour is free!

Contact Us



Double the High Fives! 

Visit us at our flagship or new downtown location.



EVERYDAY: 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.

On the last Sunday of every month, we close at 6:00 p.m. for our barista meeting.


190 Broadway St.

13 Rankin Ave.


Broadway - (828) 398-0209 |

Rankin - (828) 713-5291 |