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!

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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: Vinyl Rush Cafe – Downtown Mesa, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea
Organic Bean Café
[formerly Vinyl Rush Café]
Downtown Mesa, AZ

Park right on the street in front and enter here... ©2013 ANVidean

Park right on the street in front and enter here…
©2013 ANVidean

Perks (what I really like!)

...walk down the courtyard alley...©2013 ANVidean

…walk down the courtyard alley, where you may want to sit later…        ©2013 ANVidean

  • Courtyard seating. A cute, narrow courtyard between the rows of small businesses in the building.
  • Intimate setting. “Side A:” the coffee bar where you order your goodies, and “Side B:” a room across the courtyard where you can sit, chat and listen to music away from the sounds of blenders and counter chatter.
  • Album clocks. The owners decorated with lots of charming music paraphernalia, including a large collection of vinyl record album covers—33s and 45s—which they’ve turned into clocks.

    ...purchase delectables on Side "A" and enjoy them here in the comfort of "Side B." ©2013 ANVidean

    …purchase delectables on Side “A” and enjoy them here in the comfort of “Side B.”
    ©2013 ANVidean

Share a cuppa (the stories about the owner, building, history, name)
Missy, one of the owners, is both a coffee and music lover. She and her coffee partner bring you 38 years in the restaurant, hotel, and retail industry. At Vinyl Rush, they roast their own coffee beans, favoring full-bodied, medium-dark to dark roast styles. Just be ready for it!

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Fresh roasted coffee
  • Espresso drinks
  • Smoothies
  • Hot teas (a nice selection)
  • Pastries and bagels

The Grind (what I would change)
Not a thing. Just be prepared to enjoy your goodies in a close, intimate setting.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)
If you want your own album clock, they’ll make one for you. Each is custom designed with the time movement and hands placed creatively to compliment the cover image. http://vinylrushcafe.com/clocks/

The Grounds (location)
Downtown Mesa, AZ
40 N. Macdonald Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
480.615.4333

Tea Times (hours)
Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Yelp rating:
4 stars (62 reviews)

Who recognizes the symbol under their “Vinyl Rush Cafe” signs?

……………………

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: 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: Souvia Tea, Phoenix, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea: Souvia Tea

@2011 ANVidean

Perks (what I really like!)
Souvia is probably my favorite independent teashop in the Phoenix area. I love it mostly because it’s dedicated only to delicious tea.

As you walk in the door, an earthy tang of pure tea with all-natural flavorings floods your senses. You’ll think you’ve just walked into heaven. (Oh, wait, maybe that’s the Apple Computer store. Could there be two heavens? Ah, but I digress…)

Surrounded by 120+ premium loose teas and tisanes (herbals) from around the world, and knowledgeable baristas to help you understand all their nuances, what’s not to love?

I find the store small, but comfortable, and a very relaxing respite from the daily GRIND, if you’ll excuse my pun.

Souvia also has a nice little selection of tea accessories. I found myself the perfect “Tea-vangelist” TEA-shirt there, too. (Oh, I’m just full of them today!)

The perfect tea for me! @2011 Andrea Beaulieu

Share a cuppa (the stories)
Owners Bret and Kerstin Wingart explain on their Web site that the idea for their shop came to them in the spring of 2004 while hiking in the Maverick Mountains south of Prescott, Ariz. Based on their initial plans that day – plus research, and inspiration from tea room and retail establishment visits in Germany, Austria, China and Japan – the Wingarts opened their  store on Jan. 7, 2006, in Phoenix.

The name Souvia is a combination of two partial words. “Sou,” from the word “soul,” reflects the belief that tea and its traditions are good for one’s soul. “Via” the Latin root for “the way,” and the last part of Kerstin’s middle name, also fit. Therefore: “Souvia,” representing the soul of Olivia and the way of tea.

Very nice. This wordsmith approves.

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)
The focus is strictly on custom-brewed teas here, so you’ll find only a few goodies and snacks. My Almond Dream brew, which tasted like a freshly warm oatmeal cookie, beautifully complemented the deliciously chewy chocolate chip cookies I shared with my friend Andrea.

Andrea Beaulieu and I enjoy great smells, tastes and camaraderie at Souvia Tea in Phoenix. Thanks to our barista for snapping this shot.

The Grind (what I would change)
I only wish Souvia was not 45 minutes from my home in Mesa!

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

  • Souvia offers informative, customized tea seminars and tastings.
  • They host private events, too.
  • They sell gifts and accessories to help you brew the perfect cup of tea.
  • The owners are members of the USA Specialty Tea Institute, and their training and dedication to the craft certainly shows.

The Grounds (location)
15414 N. 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85022
602.938.1216

Tea Times (hours)
Open:
Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.–5 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: 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!