Coffee CommuniTea form: Add your own favorite tea/coffee shop

Add your favorite tea or coffee shop to this community! I’m looking for hot spots all over the world, so please share any place you truly admire.

Ann at Carmel's Cafe in Phoenix, AZ

Ann at Carmel’s Cafe in Phoenix, AZ

I created the Coffee CommuniTea blog  because I deal with a lot of indie businesses and authors, and — since I love connecting people and ideas — what better place to do it than a coffee or tea shop? Besides, I wrote most of my Rhythms & Muse novel and Delfaerune Rhapsody series-in-progress in such venues.

I already covered many of my favorite hot spots on this site, but want to include your favorites, as well. I would be delighted to add your perfect little meeting place for a “cuppa.”

Simply copy my “Coffee CommuniTea” form (below) into the comments, and fill it out. Or, you can print it out, complete the form, and email it to avidean@videanunlimited.com. 

I will follow up with the owner/manager to fill out any missing details, secure photos, and post everything to this site. Cheers!

…………………………………………………………………………….

Coffee CommuniTea Blog
Contributor Form

Contributor: (your name, city, state, and other contact info you wish to make available, even a mug shot – pun intended)

Today’s Cup o’ Tea (name of shop, its city/state location, its Web site and/or best online site, with its owners’ names and contact emails)

Perks (what I really like!)

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

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

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

The Grind (what I would change)

The Grounds (location)

Tea Times (hours)

Yelp rating: ____ stars from ___ reviews

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

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Coffee CommuniTea: Carmel’s Breakfast House – Phoenix, AZ

 Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Carmel’s Breakfast House, Phoenix, AZ
Facebook

Carmel's Breakfast House

A charming little stop for conversation and delectable goodies.
[Patrick requested black-and-white photos to represent its vintage.]
Photo: @2014 ANVidean

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

Patrick Flanigan trains his baristas well... you'll love the coffee presentation. Photo: @2014 ANVidean

Patrick Flanigan trains his baristas well…
you’ll love the coffee presentation.
Photo: @2014 ANVidean

Owner Patrick Flanigan named Carmel’s for his mother, who was quite a character, and “would have loved this place.” He said he used to haunt another Phoenix coffee shop every morning before work as a TV weatherman and media salesman, studied coffee roasting, and always wanted to own a coffee shop. Three years ago, in 2011, his dream came true when the current location — a cozy, urban vintage 1940s house –became Carmel’s home.

I love me a beautiful patio! Photo: @2014 Mary-Ann Hart

I love me a beautiful patio!
Photo: @2014 Mary-Ann Hart

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Homespun, comfortable atmosphere, conducive to conversation
  • Friendly, knowledgeable baristas
  • Patio seating
  • Free wi-fi

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Chef Miguel Pliego serves up delectable breakfast fare and sandwiches all day, plus his homemade breads and freshly baked croissants
  • Well-trained baristas brew up a wide range of coffee drinks, with a beautiful presentation
  • Good loose tea selection
  • Fresh-squeezed orange juice
Carmel's unique step paintings.

Watch your step!
Photo: @2014 ANVidean

The Grind (what I would change)

Actually, I loved everything about this friendly place, even the unique art used to identify the stair steps.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
Carmel’s specializes as a venue where people actually talk with one another. Here, conversations range from arts and humanities to sports and family…the gambit of life experiences. Yes, you may access a free wi-fi connection, but your fellow patrons typically aren’t staring at computer screens, they’re building relationships.

Carmel's interior

Cozy chic.
Photo: @2014 ANVidean

The Grounds (location)
4225 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85019
(480) 626-0020

Tea Times (hours)
M–Su. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Yelp rating: 4 Stars (70 reviews)

……………………

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: Lo Fi Coffee Roastery – Mesa, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea

Lo Fi Coffee Roastery
Facebook

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

Coffee CommuniTea: Solo Café Gourmet Coffee and Tea House – Tempe, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Solo Café Gourmet Coffee & Tea House
Tempe, AZ

Solo Café's quaint storefront and patio seating

Solo Café’s quaint storefront and patio seating

Perks (what I really like!)

  • A whole wall full of loose-leaf tea selections
  • Delicious hazelnut mocha latte
  • Super friendly barista/co-owner, Chad

    Co-owner Chad hard at work

    Co-owner Chad hard at work

  • Edgy artwork
  • Lots of comfy seating, inside and out, giving the place a homey feel

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

My research turned up little marketing material online or otherwise for patrons to discover more details about this hot spot. They may not need it, as the shop was packed in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon, but I still would like to find more background on the place… (If you know more, please comment below.)

Plenty of delicious choices.

Plenty of delicious choices.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Coffee drinks of all kinds
  • Did I mention a whole wall of loose-leaf tea? Ahh!
  • Pastries and snacks

The Grind (what I would change)
No decaf offered. This place must be for purists!

Relax in the intimate library

Relax in the intimate library

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

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Cool little library with cushy seating
  • Turntable and vinyl available for a listen
  • Small TV with DVDs
  • A community night for musicians on Wednesdays

The Grounds (location)
107 E Baseline Rd., #A-4
Tempe, AZ 85283
(480) 838-7656

Tea Times (hours)
M–Sa 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
Su. 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.

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 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: Bergies Coffee Roast House – Gilbert, AZ

Bergie's exterior

Photo: @2013 ANVidean

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Bergies Coffee Roast House
Gilbert, AZ

Share a cuppa (stories about the owner, building, history, name)
More than two years ago, when I met my friend Cherie Scott for tea here, she suggested I write a positive blog about coffee and tea shops. The idea for “Coffee CommuniTea” started brewing at Bergies!

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Its location. Brothers Brian and Bruce Bergeson opened the doors to Bergie’s in Gilbert’s historic Heritage District in early 2009. It earned a New Times “Best of Phoenix” award that year.

    I enjoyed the comfy seating in intimate rooms. Photo: @2013 Cherie Scott

    I enjoyed the comfy seating in intimate rooms.
    Photo: @2013 CScott

  • Cottage environment with comfy, private sections
  • Two shady patios
  • Knowledgeable baristas
  • Delicious tea. Even though the menu focuses on coffee, I was pleasantly surprised at the knowledge of the barista who helped Cherie and I on our return visit. She introduced me to a special “Celebration” blend of teas, which was fruity and delightful when brewed later at home.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Quality coffee, custom roasted by the brothers themselves
  • A limited number of teas
  • Online ordering available
  • Pastries and desserts
The front patio. Photo: @2013 ANVidean

Bergies’ front patio.
Photo: @2013 ANVidean

The Grind (what I would change)
Our visit was delightful. Why it’s taken me so long to feature this charming place, I’m not sure. But, I highly recommend you check it out.

Percolation Factor (activity/ environment/energy/service)

  • Local musicians on Saturday evenings
  • The brothers chat every Tuesday from 11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. on “Culinary Confessions” on AM Radio 1440
What's not to love? Photo: G2013 CScott

What’s not to love?
Photo: ©2013 CScott

The Grounds (location)
East side of Gilbert Road, between Elliott and Guadalupe roads, next to Joe’s Real BBQ.
309 N. Gilbert Road
Gilbert, AZ 85234
480-497-3913
bergies309@hotmail.com
http://www.bergiescoffee.com/

Tea Times (hours)
M–Th:  6 a.m.–5 p.m.
F–Sa:  6 a.m.– 8:30 p.m
Su:  7 a.m.–12 p.m.

Yelp rating: 4.5 stars from 63 reviews

……………………

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: Celestial Seasonings – Boulder, CO

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Celestial Seasonings
Boulder, CO

P1270015

Perks (what I really like!)
An all-natural tea manufacturer, with a tea tasting room, art gallery, café, and gift shop in one of my favorite eclectic U.S. cities. What’s not to love?

Share a cuppa (the stories about the owner, building, history, name)
Celestial Seasonings, headquartered in Boulder, is one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)
My family and I dropped by the Celestial Seasonings facility, expecting to pop in to buy a few of our favorite teas at a discount. We ended up staying a couple of hours enjoying the flavors of many teas, buying presents, and learning about teas.

Tea-tasting room and art gallery.

Tea-tasting room and art gallery. @2013 ANVidean

I especially loved the tea tasting room. When you walk into the light, inviting room, a host hands you a small porcelain teacup. You carry it over to the tea station featuring a handful of featured pre-brewed teas. If the flavor you want is not available, you walk up to the counter, ask to try a particular tea, and they fill your cup with hot water and give you a fresh teabag to brew  your own.

P1270021

They offer so many delicious teas! @2013 ANVidean

My new favorite: Jammin’ Lemon Ginger. Yum!

The Grind (what I would change)
Not a thing. My family thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

Tea tasters. @2013 ANVidean

Tea tasters: Codi, Bob and Cutter. @2013 ANVidean

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

  • Informative hosts are handy to provide answers to any tea-related question.
  • Free tours of the world’s most advanced tea production plant every day (except major holidays) show you how the finest all-natural ingredients from around the world become your favorite Celestial Seasonings teas. Tours leave on the hour and last 45 minutes.
  • A tea shop with discounted teas, all the tea-related supplies and gifts you can imagine.
  • The Celestial Café, serving fresh, delicious, home-cooked meals in a cozy atmosphere featuring beautiful Celestial Seasonings artwork. See Web site for special café hours.
  • My favorite surprise came in the form of tea art. The tasting-room and café walls, and lobby display cases, brim with beautiful packaging artwork and unique tea sets. The work is truly eye-popping.

    This is a teapot! @2013 ANVidean

    This is a teapot! @2013 ANVidean

The Grounds (location)
4600 Sleepytime Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301
(303) 581-1202

Tea Times (hours)
M–Sa.  9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Su.  11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Yelp rating: 4.5 stars from 165 reviews

……………………

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: 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!