Coffee CommuniTea: Prickly Pear Lounge, Howard, CO

Today’s Cup o’ Tea: Prickly Pear Lounge, Howard, CO

The sign to watch for…
In this coffee shop in one of the
smallest towns in America, I tasted my favorite chai tea ever.

Perks (what I really like!)
Besides the friendly service and delicious coffee and tea, my favorite part about this beautiful, refreshing stop is the featured artwork from the many local artisans. Relaxing atmosphere. Cozy rooms. Friendly staff.

Share a Cuppa (the stories about the owner, building, history, name)
With an affinity for the prickly pear cactus, the owner, Danielle—who sports a tattoo of the cactus—envisioned a place for community to gather and enjoy good food and beverages, music, and camaraderie.

My daughter Codi (left) and dear friend Paula (in blue) with founder/owner Danielle.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)
• Made-to-order breakfasts and lunches
• Baked goods
• Fresh-roasted coffees
• A variety of teas (Did I mention that incredible chai tea?)

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
Danielle has turned her “community gathering place” vision into reality with coffee chats, kid programs, crafts, and community learning programs.

The Grind (what I would change)
If I could, I would make a change at every other indie coffee shop to emulate Prickly Pear. Coffee shop owners worldwide, please install a rack with hooks where regulars can hang their favorite mugs!

The Grounds (location): 
9236 US Highway 50
Howard, CO 81233
United States
719.942.3789

Tea Times (hours)
M.–Sun: 7 AM – 6:00 PM

Yelp rating: 5 stars from 3 reviews
Facebook rating: 5 stars from 20 reviews
(You know only 500 people live in Howard, CO.) Though there are few reviews, trust me when I say it’s amazing…
Totally worth a side trip from State Route 285.

……………………

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: Lia Leaf Tea House, Flagstaff, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea:
Lia Leaf Tea House, Flagstaff, AZ

Lia Leaf.5

Share a Cuppa (pertinent details)

What better way to warm up in the winter or cool down in the summer than with a cup of REAL tea from a tea house tucked in the high pine forests of Flagstaff, Arizona? Owner, Christine, opened the shop in February of 2018 as an authentic tea house for true tea aficionados.

Lia Leaf.4Perks (what I really like!)

  • Clean lines of the interior, yet comfortable
  • Knowledgeable baristas
  • All teas are made with 100% real ingredients, no added chemical flavors
  • Tea books to study while you sip
  • Tasty teas
    (Sorry, coffee lovers, you’ll have to jump across the parking lot to the Dutch Bros. where my daughter works.)

Lia Leaf.3
Hubby, Bob, checks out the menu: hot bar, cold bar, matcha bar, and loose leaf teas.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

Lia Leaf specializes in:
  • Single origin teas
  • Specialty tea concoctions
  • House blended tisanes

A few pastries are available, too… tasty tidbits to munch on while enjoying your cuppa.

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

The location is handy to Northern Arizona University and popular restaurants and shopping.

You can rent space for meetings of up to 10 people, too, at a very reasonable rate.

 

The Grind (what I would change)
It’s a true TEA house! What’s not to love?

Lia Leaf.2
Morgan and Sydney helped us out with excellent tea descriptions, options, and yummy ideas. Thanks, ladies!

The Grounds (location)
601 E Piccadilly Dr, Ste 10
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
 (928) 440-5386

Tea Times (hours)
M.–F.  7:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
Sa.  9 a.m.–8:30 p.m.
Sun.  9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Yelp rating:
4 stars from 4 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!

Coffee CommuniTea: Festive Cup Coffee, Highlands Ranch, CO

IMG_3760

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Festive Cup Coffee – Highlands Ranch, CO

Don’t let the small storefront fool you. This charming spot houses not only an excellent and diverse coffee and tea bar, but a sizable and compelling gift and clothing boutique!

Perks (what I really like!)

  • The gift shop brims with wonderful finds: jewelry, clothing, household items, funny/inspirational desk and wall decor.
  • It’s quiet.
  • The comfortable seating and furniture lends well to either work or a “catch-up” with a friend.

IMG_3768Share a Cuppa

I find the owner—Anthony Whitham—his family and staff always kind, thoughtful and helpful.

Lexi (left) helped me on my last visit. She was so accommodating, plus a sweetheart of a person.

 

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

In partnership with a local, Colorado-based coffee roaster, Festive Cup offers everything from classic coffee to Frappe Brezzas. Those wanting an alternative to coffee can indulge in “Refresher” smoothies, teas, and other non-coffee alternatives.

My favorite, though… Tea Forté as their tea brand of choice. Per the company’s Web site, they are “known for the variety and unparalleled quality of handcrafted teas, design-driven accessories, exquisite packaging and opulent approach, Tea Forté re-imagines and re-defines the contemporary tea experience by delivering a delighting and luxuriant encounter.” All true, in my estimation.

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

IMG_3765

Whether you want a place for your bridge club, expect to share a conversation with a loved one, or are looking for that perfect unusual gift that only independent gift stores offer, this is your spot.

It also serves as the perfect getaway for a short respite with a cool refreshing drink in the summer or a warm comforting cuppa in the winter.

The Grind (what I would change)

Nary a thing! I adore visiting this lovely get-away whenever I visit Colorado.

The Grounds (location)

Festive Cup nestles in the corner of an unobtrusive strip mall atop one of the rolling hills in Highlands Ranch—a community in Littleton, CO, of enough size to warrant its own zip code.

50 W. Springer Dr.
Highlands Ranch, CO 81029
(720) 627-5075

Tea Times (hours)

M–Sa. 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
Su. 9 a.m.– 2 p.m.

Yelp rating: 4.5 stars from 35 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!

Coffee CommuniTea: BuzzBerry Bistro, Scottsdale AZ

BuzzBerry - 04Today’s Cup o’ Tea
BuzzBerry Bistro Coffee, Smoothie, and Espresso Bar —Scottsdale, AZ

 

IMG_0377Perks (what I really like!)

I recently discovered BuzzBerry in the Park Scottsdale Shopping Center just a minute off Interstate 101 at McDonald. This down-to-earth, hot spot offers:

  • A comfortable, laid-back atmosphere.
  • A wee, bright outside patio.
  • Rave reviews about the made-in-front-of-you omelettes.

Baristas with personality: Bronte and Hannah.
Baristas with personality: Bronte and Hannah.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Coffee
  • Smoothies
  • Espresso
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner (BuzzBerry menu)

The Grounds (location)

5959 N Granite Reef Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
(480) 717-9962
geturbuzz.com

IMG_0370Tea Times (hours)
Open 24 hours a day!

Yelp rating: 4 stars from 164 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!

Coffee CommuniTea: Cultured Cafe yogurt and coffee – Flagstaff, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Cultured Cafe—Flagstaff, AZ

You have arrived!
You have arrived!

The perfect tea stop in Flagstaff, AZ.  Oh, and did I mention frozen yogurt, too? Photo: ANVidean ©2015
The perfect tea stop in Flagstaff, AZ. Oh, and did I mention frozen yogurt, too?

 


Perks (what I really like!)

Yogurt and coffee counter.
Yogurt and coffee counter.

  • A great tea selection, not to mention special coffee concoction, and the self-serve frozen yogurt bar!
  • The décor… how did they manage to pull off a comfy industrial mountain theme? Apparently, through the creative brilliance of “owner Kelly, who combined the influences of mountain lodges with olde-world flare and a twist of lime.”
  • Free wi-fi
  • Varied seating, from large meeting tables and high bar tables to comfy couches
  • A fireplace to cut the chill.
  • A piano in the upstairs loft. Love!

Share a Cuppa (the stories)

Per, the Web site, “Owners Kelly and Jesse found themselves craving frozen yogurt in middle of the Flagstaff winter, but wanting to enjoy it in the inviting warmth and ambiance of mountain coffee shop. Combining the creativity and creamy goodness of self-serve frozen yogurt with a full specialty coffee house seemed so natural.”

The fireplace view from the loft.
The fireplace view from the loft.

It just feels natural and comfy, too.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

    • Nice, loose-tea selection, complete with your own brewing tray, tea steeping carafe, teapot, teacup, honey pitcher, and tiny spoon.

      Tea for one, please. Photo: ANVIdean ©2015
      Tea for one, please.
    • Specialty coffee, “every cup carefully prepared  to exacting standards.”
    • Truly cultured yogurts, “artfully produced and Certified Live and Active with 5 active culture strain and 3 probiotics in your cup.”  Now you know fro-yo can be healthy!

The Grind (what I would change)
No complaints here.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
Get Cultured on Fridays with its “Coffee Q” and explore a variety of coffee origins and preparation methods, complete with free tastings.

The Grounds (location)
319 West Regent St.
Flagstaff, AZ
928.213.0999

Tea Times (hours)
Mon-Sat: 7am – 11pm
Sun: 8am – 11pm

Yelp rating: 4 stars from 40 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!

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

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!

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