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

Coffee CommuniTea: The Black Cat Coffee House – Phoenix, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
The Black Cat Coffee House
Arcadia Towne Center in Phoenix

Black Cat Coffee - 6

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Urban, friendly atmosphere
  • Fairly quiet
  • Comfortable seating and varying sized tables
  • No trouble finding a plug-in for the Wi-Fi
  • Nice selection of teas

Share a cuppa (the stories)
I saw a friend’s Facebook “check-in” at Black Cat and thought I ought to go check it out. This place did not disappoint.

A pleasant, community minded hot spot: Black Cat Coffee House in the Arcadia District.   ©2013 ANVidean

A pleasant, community-minded hot spot: Black Cat Coffee House in the Arcadia District. ©2013 ANVidean

The owners’ community spirit encouraged me. Black Cat is a member of Local First Arizona, so they support other local businesses. This contributes to a more thriving Arizona community and economy, and that makes me happy. Plus, they support local schools and educators, whenever possible. Noble and kind, as well as solid coffee purveying. Nice.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Coffee blends and single origin coffees
  • Ice-blended drinks
  • White, green, oolong, and black teas
  • Herbal teas (herbal infusions or tisanes)
  • Pastries
  • Sandwiches
  • Salads

The Grind (what I would change)
Not much, but if high-school students make your allergies flare, you might want to visit in the mornings, as the location is right across from Arcadia High School. The kids I did see on the afternoon I visited kept their composure well. 🙂

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
I found one male barista especially considerate and helpful. Cheers, m’man!

The Grounds (location)
4730 E. Indian School Rd., Ste. 120
Phoenix, AZ 85018-5443602-553-BCAT (2228)
info@theblackcatcoffeehouse.com

Tea Times (hours)
Every day of the year from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Yelp rating: 4.5 stars (36 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: The Grove, Chandler, AZ

I’m trying an abbreviated, more bulleted, style compared to previous entries.
What do you think? Easier to read? Do let me know.

…………………

Here I am with Coffee CommuniTea brainchild Cherie Scott making the most of a cloudy AZ summer's day out on the patio. ©2011 ANVidean (via timer)

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
The Grove Coffee, celebrating its one-year anniversary in August 2011.

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Lovely environment!
  • Exceptional general manager/barista: Lawrence Jarvey
  • Quiet and peaceful
  • Local art featured and creation encouraged
  • Pass-through fireplace from outside to inside
  • All proceeds go to local and global outreach programs
  • The philosophy of the Grove Bible Church is “Love God. Grow Together. Serve the World.” This is an embraceable concept!

Lawrence serves up a special brew for his friend and patron. ©2011 ANVidean

Share a cuppa (the stories)
General manager Lawrence is a former-golf-pro-turned-coffee-shop-general-manager/barista, and an injury-healing Truth seeker.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Fresh roasted coffee. (Until August 2011, Grove Coffee brewed Cartel Coffee, a Tempe roaster’s. Now Lawrence roasts coffee beans onsite.)
  • Smoothies
  • A few teas
  • A few pastries

Can't wait to visit when the fire's lit! ©2011 ANVidean

The Grind (what I would change)
Maybe more food options, but otherwise, not a thing. The calm, supportive energy in this place fully feeds the soul!

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

  • Art classes
  • Music performances
  • Gorgeous patio (parents can sip a cuppa while  watching kiddos in the adjacent playground)

Art theme: Love (not pictured). Grow. Serve. ©2011 ANVidean

Just look at this comfy, functional setting! ©2011 ANVidean

The Grounds (location)
This beautiful destination sits next to a pistachio grove, the home of The Grove Bible Church:

2777 S. Gilbert Rd.
Chandler, AZ  85286
480.786.0108

Tea Times (hours)
Open:
M–F  6:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
S-S  8 a.m.–1 p.m.

Yelp rating:
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!

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!

Coffee CommuniTea Debut

Coffee and tea shops attract villages of like-minded people. But, not just coffee and tea lovers or people seeking community, relaxation and entertainment. Business folk hold meetings in these watering holes. Artists display work. Writers meet with their book clubs and critique partners. Music lovers come to relax and hear local acts. What a perfect environment to complement my goal to support all things Words•Music•Village?

Join us on this journey to discover indie coffee and tea shops, starting in the Phoenix metro area.  You’re expected to be an integral part of the conversation, adding your own hot spots and providing commentary on what’s posted. Consider this blog as our own online village to capture the cool, the hot, the fun, and the funky in this Coffee CommuniTea.

So, ready to join me for a cuppa?