Coffee CommuniTea: Pitchforks & Corks, Tempe, AZ

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Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Pitchforks & Corks – Tempe, AZ

 

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

Smack dab in the center of Tempe, just north of University Drive—above the ASU store and overlooking College Ave.—hides a gem of a coffee/wine shop/restaurant you have to experience to believe.

Pitchforks & Corks is a quiet, second-floor coffee shop with industrial chic decor and a delicious menu. I love this place!

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It didn’t hurt either, to be treated by my talented author and friend Dr. Andrea Tovar. [Thank you, Andrea, for the amazing appetizers, cookies, not to mention the photo using the airbrush app that makes you look incredible, and me like some unknown glamorous woman. 🙂 ]

Perks (what I really like!)

  • The value of the food your receive for the price!
  • The deck, with built-in heaters, and an excellent view of “A” Mountain.
  • The look of the place! I hear they’re planning to improve with a slight remodel soon, too! Not sure what they could improve on except perhaps the cool-looking, though not-too-comfortable high stools.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Omelettes
  • Salads
  • Small plates
  • Sandwiches
  • Patries
  • Coffee/tea
  • Wine/beer/spirits

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

  • You can make a reservation for parties of fifteen or fewer by calling (480) 727-4546 or emailing Melissa.
  • Happy Hour, M.–F., 3 p.m.–6 p.m.

The Grind (what I would change)

  • I’d let everyone know about this place, because it is such a hidden treasure.
  • A bigger tea selection would satisfy Tea Evangelists like me.

The Grounds (location)
660 South College Avenue
Tempe, AZ  85281
480-727-4546

Tea Times (hours)
M.–F.      11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Yelp rating:
4.5 stars from 13 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 I found it 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!

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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: Tea Infusion, Tempe, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Tea Infusion

A hidden little oasis at the Tempe Marketplace for a fresh splash of tea. ©2011 ANVidean

The Grounds (location)
Tempe Marketplace
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy. #1064
Tempe, AZ 85281-4927
(right across mall walkway from Barnes & Noble)
480.967.1141

Tea Times (hours)
Mon–Thurs:   10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Fri–Sat:         10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Sun:               10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Folk taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi and delectable fare. ©2011 ANVidean

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
Knowing about this little tea place is like a your own, secret, tea lover’s “tree house” in the middle of a mall. I’ve taken to fancying it for my writers’ tribe meetings because of the intimate environment, boffo tea selection and assortment of tasty munchies.

Tea Infusion is busy, but quiet; tiny, but comfortable; and emphasizes tea, not coffee (very refreshing to find once in a while).

A wall full of leaves and a case full of sweets. What's not to love?! ©2011 ANVidean

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)
They offer an amazing assortment of teas – more than 90 varieties, served up by a knowledgeable staff of baristas. Plus, their lunch fare includes a number of tasty, fresh-made sandwiches, salads and desserts.

Perks (what I really like!)
As I said, it’s a pretty quiet place, but people come in and out to use the free Wi-Fi, and to buy bulk tea and accessories, as well as imbibe delectables.

The most delicious tea I’ve tried is there is the Cookie Monster herbal tea – a blend of caramel, fruit, and almonds – which passes as a liquid version of an oatmeal raisin cookie. Can you say, “Coo-oo-ookiee-ee-ee?!”

My fav’ sandwich so far is the Tuscan Chicken piled with moist chicken, tangy goat cheese, pesto and veggies. Yum!

The Grind (what I would change)
A cover over the blender to mute the periodic noise would be helpful.

Share a cuppa (the stories)
The owner is mysteriously missing from any online mentions, but a card I picked up at the shop says it’s Christine Dilorio. The shop opened in 2007.

Yelp rating:
4 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!

Coffee CommuniTea: Gold Bar Espresso, Tempe, AZ

Gold Bar Espresso
Gold Bar ambience. ©2011 ANVidean

The Grounds (location)

Gold Bar Espresso
3141 South McClintock Drive
Tempe, AZ 85282
(NE corner Southern Ave./McClintock Dr.)
(480) 839-3082

Tea Times (hours)

Open everyday from 6am – 11pm

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Specialty coffees
  • Good assortment of teas (critical to my palate)
  • A glass case of tasty baked goods, including the best lemon McTavish shortbread cookie EVER!

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

High activity. Gold Bar is always busy, and offers:

  • Game night
  • Live music
  • Local artists on display

Share a cuppa (cool background and stories)

In 2010, Gold Bar celebrated its 16th year in the Valley of the Sun as a locally owned, independent coffee house.

Gold Bar Espresso, Ann Videan, Molly idle
Children's book author/illustrator Molly Idle (right) joins me for a morning tea. Her whimsical artwork graced the walls while we were there. ©2011 ANVidean

Perks (what I really like about the place!)

Gold Bar, in my opinion, is the consummate indie coffee shop because of these traits:

  • Focus on the customer
  • Home-like seating areas
  • Ambience, including décor by local artists
  • Free wi-fi
  • Well lit
  • Lots of electrical plug-ins
  • Great drinks
  • Delicious baked goods
  • Friendly baristas and patrons
  • Fun calendar of activities
  • Finger on the pulse of the customer
  • They even have a secret menu!

The Grind (what I would change)

  • I’m not thrilled having to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. 😦
  • Sometimes it’s hard to find a seat.
  • Its Web site offers no background on the owners, nor a full menu of all the goodies they offer.

Yelp rating: 3.5 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!

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