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Giant Coffee's brew in a pretty little cup. Finish up then hit Bunky Boutique next door.Coffee is our morning lifeblood, and while we're more than guilty of slumming it at a Circle K to get our fix, we don't really consider that hot plate-warmed caffeine sludge a real cup of coffee. You don't have to chew real coffee, for one. Likewise, the dried out bagels and scones from Starbucks ain't gonna cut it in terms of morning nibbles. When the thought of burnt beans and stale danishes starts to get us down, we head to one of these local coffee shops and let a talented barista steam our troubles away.
Coffee is our morning lifeblood, and while we're more than guilty of slumming it at a Circle K to get our fix, we don't really consider that hot plate-warmed caffeine sludge a real cup of coffee. You don't have to chew real coffee, for one. Likewise, the dried out bagels and scones from Starbucks ain't gonna cut it in terms of morning nibbles. When the thought of burnt beans and stale danishes starts to get us down, we head to one of these local coffee shops and let a talented barista steam our troubles away.
10. Nami We know it's the new kid on the block, but even though Nami's known for its pastries and signature tsoynamis, we're big fans of the coffee. The ambiance of this bright, modern coffee and dessert shop is also a bonus. The pour over coffee with soy and agave sweetener is a hot cup of happiness, and it's the only coffee shop in the valley we've seen with champurrado, a super thick cup o' Mexican hot chocolate. Naturally, one of Nami's many pastries go great with their brew (sourced from Royal at the Market). The Winkies and Nami Cakes put Twinkies and Ding Dongs to shame, and the oatmeal cream pie almost makes us want to go vegan. Almost.
Echo brews several organic varieties of beans, and the baristas are always more than happy to guide you toward the blend that you'll most enjoy. Our favorite is the Titus, which isn't acidic or bitter and has a sweetish aftertaste that lets us sip our cup o' joe sans sweetener. As variety is the spice of life, Echo also offers organic rice milk, almond milk, and soy milk in addition to the traditional creamers. The environment is bright and airy, with huge leather couches for sinking into with a book, or smaller tables for working on a laptop. Coffee served in-house comes with a free little cookie on the side, and more substantial nibbles like pastries, quiche, or hot and cold sandwiches are also available. Trust the Best Darned Grilled Cheese or the Jamaican Jerk Beef sandwich if hunger strikes.
8. Press Coffee Roasters
7. Copper Star Coffee
6. Giant Coffee
Lola's delicious whipped cream atop a Matador mocha. Whipped cream required, quiche or pastries optional.
Lola's chandelier and full view of Central Ave.
5. Lola Coffee We like Lola for the rich espresso, fresh baked goods, gorgeous chandelier, and clientele with much fewer hipsters than Lux. One of our favorite perks of Lola is its homemade whipped cream, which we're pretty sure is addictive. Try an affogato for the full experience. The whipped cream is spiked with espresso and piled in fluffy peaks atop a perfectly pulled, creamy shot of espresso. Or order one of their specialty lattes, like the cinnamon-mocha Matador or the Borgia, a dark chocolate and orange espresso drink (and don't forget the whipped cream!). Saunter up to the long wooden bar against the almost full-length window facing Central and watch the day go by, relax in one of the modern couches, or sun yourself at one of the outdoor communal tables, and enjoy.
Royal at the Market's pretty latte art.
4. Royal at the Market
At Lux you may need to wade through hipsters, but damn is their coffee worth it.
2. Jobot Coffee
Cartel Coffee Lab, where coffee magic happens on a daily basis.
Local croissants and pastries with a cup of Cartel's coffee? Bliss.
1. Cartel Coffee Lab, Tempe
It's as close to coffee perfection as you're likely to get here in the Valley. Well played, Cartel. Well played.
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Ten Favorite Coffee Shops in Phoenix
February 20, 2012 | 7:00am|