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: Global Tea Mart, Chandler, AZ

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Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Global Tea Mart – Chandler, AZ

I discovered a new lovely gift shop and tea room in Phoenix’s East Valley, and I’m so excited about it!

 

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

Global Tea Mart (GTM) owners Diane and Dean Eddy’s tea shop has been around for a couple of years in Chandler, but they just expanded to offer several charming themed tea rooms in November 2017.
With certifications earned in various teas, their knowledge is only a question away. Go query them, find the perfect tea accessories, and enjoy the experience that is tea.


Perks
(what I really like!)

  • The themed rooms, both spacious and cozy versions: Queen Victoria Room, Charles Dickens’ Room, the Music Room, etc. If you want a tea event—Wed.–Sun. 11 a.m.–2 p.m.— 48-hour advance reservations are required.
  • Their delightful tea gift shop, where you’ll find teas, books, and wares to satisfy even the heartiest of tea aficionados.
  • Their comprehensive and information Web site, even including a State of Mind tea game to introduce you to the perfect tea to fit your current mood.

 

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Your favorite teas from around the world.
  • Buy your choice of tea in the gift shop, order it online, or experience it in one of the themed rooms.

 

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

  • Diane Eddy, Certified Tea Professional, leads tea classes covering everything from “Pairing Tea With Chocolates” to the “Japanese Tea Ceremony.” She invites you to learn the origins and history of fine tea, and to see, smell and taste the differences between teas.

 

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My friends Laurie, Andrea, and I in the Music Room for our Christmas Tea.

The Grind (what I would change)

!Nada¡ I really enjoyed my experience at Global Tea Mart and cannot wait to go back. Give me an excuse, friend…

 

The Grounds (location)

991 S Alma School Rd #5
Chandler, AZ 85248
Promenade At Fulton Ranch
(480) 219-6211

 

Tea Times (hours)

M.–Sa.      10AM–5PM
Sunday      11AM–2PM

Yelp rating: 5 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

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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)

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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: 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: 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!

CBTL answers tea questions

A graphic I created to enter a CBTL gift card contest. Yep, those are my family's hands. @2010 ANVidean
A graphic I created to enter a CBTL gift card contest a couple of years ago.   Yep, those are my family’s hands. @2010 ANVidean

My favorite tea organization, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, held a live tea chat with their international tea expert David DeCandia today (Jan. 30, 2013). The convo took place in honor of National Hot Tea Month. [Who knew that was going on?]

Even though you didn’t catch it live, the questions and answers are still worth checking out.

Coffee CommuniTea: Rocket Bakery On First, Spokane, WA

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Rocket Bakery On First

Rocket Bakery On First. Photo by Nathan on Urban Spoon

Perks (what I really like!)
• Great open-air space
• Free Wi-Fi
• Located in a charming old brick building in downtown Spokane, within walking distance of Riverfront Park (site of 1974 World’s Fair)

Share a cuppa (the stories)
• Locally owned bakery and coffeehouse with nine neighborhood locations in the Spokane area, since 1992.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)
• All baked goods made by scratch with only wholesome ingredients
• Wide selection of delicious food choices
• Good tea selection and specialty drinks

The Grind (what I would change)
• More accessible Wi-Fi (I couldn’t get on during my second visit, perhaps because of a an over-protective firewall?)

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
• Lots of activity from loyal, local patrons.

The Grounds (location)
1325 W. 1st Ave.
Spokane, WA
509-747-1834

Tea Times (hours)
Open daily 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

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: 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!

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