Coffee CommuniTea: Lo Fi Coffee Roastery – Mesa, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea

Lo Fi Coffee Roastery
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Downtown Mesa hot spot:  coffee at a music club, what's not to love!  Photo: ©2013 ANVidean ©2013

Downtown Mesa hot spot: coffee at a music club, what’s not to love!
Photo: ©2014 ANVidean ©2013

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Friendly baristas
  • Spacious environment graced with art featuring musicians
  • Comfy seating

    Picture yourself here, relaxing and enjoying a conversation, or some fine local music. Ahh! Photo: ©2014 ANVidean

    Picture yourself here, relaxing and enjoying a conversation, or some fine local music. Ahh!
    Photo: ©2014 ANVidean

  • Quiet atmosphere
  • All baked goods made in-house
  • This quote from their marketing: “No business is perfect and we don’t want to be perfect! We just want to be a coffee shop that is always striving for excellence while maintaining a degree of uniqueness!”

Share a cuppa (the stories about the owner, building, history, name)

Co-owners Sam Clark and Randy Denton formed the idea for Lo Fi in December 2010 when they discussed opening up a coffee cart inside of the “front room” of The Nile Theater, an all-age rock club in downtown Mesa, AZ. The coffee cart concept eventually evolved into a coffee shop and, thus, they turned a dark lonely storefront on Main St. into a coffee shop. They first flipped on the open sign on June 14, 2011.

“Lo Fi” Coffee comes from the term low fidelity. Low Fidelity is often a term related to vinyl records, describing the scratched and flawed sound one often associates with them. The idea is engrained in the coffee shop decor and environment.

You know you want a home-made bagel and a fresh-roasted cuppa to improve your day. Photo: ©2014 ANVidean

You know you want a home-made bagel and a fresh-roasted cuppa to improve your day.
Photo: ©2014 ANVidean

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Bagel sandwiches
  • Nice loose tea assortment
  • Specialty coffees made with hand-roasted beans from Randy’s Xanadu Coffee Co., located behind the Phoenix Farmers Market in downtown Phoenix, AZ. As its owner operator he has roasted coffee since approximately 2009.

The Grind (what I would change)

Nothin’! It may be called Lo Fi, but a more appropriate name might be “Hi Fi,” because this place certainly serves up a high fidelity experience.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)

  • Start with its affiliation with the Nile Theatre. Cool.
  • They offer extended hours.
  • They host concerts for touring artists, as well as singer/songwriter nights for local and aspiring musicians. (Lo Fi Coffee allows only original music to play live on the premises.)

The Grounds (location)

105 W. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
(SW corner of MacDonald and Main, inside the Nile Theatre)

Tea Times (hours)

M.–W. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Th.–Sa. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
Su. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Yelp rating:

4 stars from 25 reviews

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Coffee CommuniTea: Gotham City Comics & Coffee – Mesa, AZ

 Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Gotham City Comics & Coffee
Downtown Mesa, AZ

GothamCitySign

Perks (what I really like!)

Gotham City is low-key, fun, and filled to the rim with comics, action figures, toys, video games, and knowledgeable staff.

MiguelKevinCoffee

Owners Miguel and Kevin are trained to serve up excellent libations, too. @2013 ANVidean

My favorite feature, of course, is the Espresso Bar serving comic-themed coffees and Italian sodas. It’s just a small stand in the midst of geek heaven, but trust store manager Jaime to create you one delicious drink.

Share a cuppa (the stories about the owner, building, history, name)

Owners Kevin and Miguel met in high-school and still share common interests: “devouring” comics, selling toys online, and playing Magic: The Gathering.

Shannon is the resident Magic: The Gathering liaison at Gotham City Comics & Coffee. @2013 ANVidean

Shannon is the resident Magic: The Gathering expert at Gotham City Comics & Coffee. @2013 ANVidean

They used to work together at another well-known comic store. When it closed, they saw an opportunity to buy an existing coffee shop in downtown Mesa featuring a few comic books. They started Gotham City Comics & Coffee in December 2010, and watched the business morph from a coffee shop with comics, to a comic book shop with coffee.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

The Espresso Bar features locally roasted coffee from Cortez Coffee Company—a coffee grower, roaster, and full coffee academy, in Tempe, AZ.

Gotham’s drink options are unique and delicious, including Italian sodas. They also sell chips and candy.

The Grind (what I would change)

More tea selection would float the boat of this Tea-vangelist, but what they offer should more than fulfill anyone’s specialty-drink palate.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)

VideoWallSeats

Inviting video game room. @2013 ANVidean

They offer free Wi-Fi, and plenty of seating and electric plugs. In the back, there’s a game wall in a cushy-chair video game room, rentable for just $5 per hour. It looks great for parties or groups.

Events draw the most people to Gotham City Comics. These include:

  • Dr. Who gathering on Tuesday, or “Dr. Whosday
  • New Comic Book Day and Dungeons and Dragons Encounters” every Wednesday morning, with an evening “From Parts Unknown” Indy Pro Wrestling Showcase hosted by Zero1 USA Pure Pro
  • A weekly, Thursday-night, live podcast taping of “Comic Book Shelf Life
  • Friday Night Magic: the Gathering” play every Friday evening of the month.
  • “Saturday afternoon yo-yo instruction with Julius, a world-wide yo-yo expert, an early evening Pokemon League, and later-night “Saturday Night Magic: the Gathering

The Grounds (location)
[Main Street 40, with Link Stops in walking distance]
46 W. Main Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
(480) 649-3065

Tea Times (hours)
Mon.–Th.: 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Fri.–Sat.: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Sun.: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Yelp rating:  4.5
Other awards:

  • “Readers Choice” by the Phoenix New Times “Best of Phoenix” 2011
  • #5 of the “Top 10 Places to Geek Out” in Phoenix by the Phoenix New Times

P.S. You can meet Kevin and Miguel—plus “Garbage Pail Kids” artist Mark Pingitore—at the Phoenix Comicon‘s Gotham City Comics & Coffee booth #374, May 24–26, 2013.

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel and Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Coffee CommuniTea: Vinyl Rush Cafe – Downtown Mesa, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Organic Bean Café
[formerly Vinyl Rush Café]
Downtown Mesa, AZ

Park right on the street in front and enter here... ©2013 ANVidean

Park right on the street in front and enter here…
©2013 ANVidean

Perks (what I really like!)

...walk down the courtyard alley...©2013 ANVidean

…walk down the courtyard alley, where you may want to sit later…        ©2013 ANVidean

  • Courtyard seating. A cute, narrow courtyard between the rows of small businesses in the building.
  • Intimate setting. “Side A:” the coffee bar where you order your goodies, and “Side B:” a room across the courtyard where you can sit, chat and listen to music away from the sounds of blenders and counter chatter.
  • Album clocks. The owners decorated with lots of charming music paraphernalia, including a large collection of vinyl record album covers—33s and 45s—which they’ve turned into clocks.

    ...purchase delectables on Side "A" and enjoy them here in the comfort of "Side B." ©2013 ANVidean

    …purchase delectables on Side “A” and enjoy them here in the comfort of “Side B.”
    ©2013 ANVidean

Share a cuppa (the stories about the owner, building, history, name)
Missy, one of the owners, is both a coffee and music lover. She and her coffee partner bring you 38 years in the restaurant, hotel, and retail industry. At Vinyl Rush, they roast their own coffee beans, favoring full-bodied, medium-dark to dark roast styles. Just be ready for it!

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Fresh roasted coffee
  • Espresso drinks
  • Smoothies
  • Hot teas (a nice selection)
  • Pastries and bagels

The Grind (what I would change)
Not a thing. Just be prepared to enjoy your goodies in a close, intimate setting.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
If you want your own album clock, they’ll make one for you. Each is custom designed with the time movement and hands placed creatively to compliment the cover image. http://vinylrushcafe.com/clocks/

The Grounds (location)
Downtown Mesa, AZ
40 N. Macdonald Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
480.615.4333

Tea Times (hours)
Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Yelp rating:
4 stars (62 reviews)

Who recognizes the symbol under their “Vinyl Rush Cafe” signs?

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel and Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!

Coffee CommuniTea: Inside the Bungalow, Mesa, AZ

Today’s Coffee CommuniTea
Inside the Bungalow

The front patio at Inside the Bungalow in Mesa, AZ. ©2011 ANVidean

The Grounds (location)
48 N. Robson
Mesa, AZ  85201
(480) 844-2353
www.insidethebungalow.com

Tea Times (hours)

  • Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)
This eclectic destination in the downtown Mesa, Ariz., area serves an assortment of natural and organic items. It is known for its award-winning Veggie Sandwich, Chicken Waldorf, and Chicken Curry, and also offers vegan-friendly items like a Thai Peanut Tofu Wrap and a Vegan Curry.

This artsy little spot serves up plenty of little surprises as you look around. ©2011 ANVidean

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
This spot is certainly unique. Not only does it offer a charming, artsy, inviting atmosphere, plus a variety of good coffee, teas and foods, but it is also a unique setting to enjoy yoga, workshops and more.

The yoga studio, housed in a 1923 bungalow style home, is behind the cafe. Its original hardwood floors, a charming fire place, and French doors open onto an outdoor courtyard filled with orchid trees, bamboo and water features.

Other activities:

  • Leash and Latte Hour, Mondays from 6p.m. to 8 p.m. Come with your favorite canine friend and receive 1/2 off latte specialty drinks.
  • Open Stage, Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. when you can enjoy and participate in a night of singing, poetry and comedy.
  • Game Nighton Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. during which you receive a free dessert with the purchase of a large latte or mocha

    I enjoyed a delicious banana bread, ginger root tea, and the "Alice's Tea Party" wall paintings. ©2011 Cherie Scott

Share a cuppa (the stories)
Inside the Bungalow also sports quite a long list of awards including several Best Coffeehouse awards, Top 5 Yoga Studios, and One of Valley’s Best Mom & Pops.

Betty, the owner, “came to yoga at the age of 60, hoping to find relief from chronic hip pain. Impressed that yoga promptly improved her hip problems, she is now committed to bringing the healing benefits of yoga to others.”

Co-owner Carrie, E-RYT, “has been practicing and teaching yoga since 1998. She weaves humor into a dynamic fluid class that invites students to uncover their innate beauty.”

Perks (What I really like!)
Inside The Bungalow is a “one of a kind community rooted in wholesome values, connection, fun, and awareness and acceptance of self and others.”

They say their mission is “to provide quality products and services, fun activities and special events in a friendly, historic neighborhood setting, to foster community relationships, self-discovery, and personal growth.”

I also like that they work to lessen their green footprint by striving for new ways to support coffee and tea growers, their communities, and locally owned businesses.

The Grind (what I would change)
Not a thing! Delightful!

Yelp rating:
4.5 Stars

……………………

I love connecting people and ideas, so I’ve been creating small villages my entire life. Really, what better places can writers and musicians find to create “village” than independent coffee/tea shops? I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel in coffee/tea venues, so it seemed natural to create this blog. Whether you came here to find a new favorite hangout, or suggest a spot not yet not posted, may you find Coffee CommuniTea exactly to your taste!