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Tucson’s Quest for Caffeine

Whether you’re trying to wake up or just love the taste of an espresso, Tucson has your coffee needs covered.

There is no shortage of quality coffee in Tucson, Arizona. Each cup is crafted from start to finish, with an emphasis on both the way the coffee is made and the quality and taste of the end product.  It would take days to fully explore the coffee scene, so here are a few of our favorites to get you started.
 
2516 N. Campbell Ave.
210 E. Broadway Blvd.
 
With six locations across Arizona, Cartel is well-known, established, and respected. Tucson is home to two locations, one in Midtown and one Downtown. Both stores have generous seating and Wi-Fi available, which make it a favorite among students and professionals. If you need a place that is open late, visit the Campbell location which is open until 10pm daily. Cartel is committed to transparency in their sourcing, roasting, and brewing with their single-origin coffee. They place a high value on community, letting their coffee producers name their coffee, and inviting people into the story of how their coffee was produced from start to finish.
 
Exo Roast Co.
403 N. 6th Ave.
(520) 777-4709
 
At Exo, you come for the coffee and stay for the atmosphere. Old brick walls, large windows, music from a record player, and unique architectural details will make you want to stay for hours. They have Wi-Fi available, but also host Analog Hour on certain weekends to promote offline activities. Each cup of coffee is crafted with care right in front of you at the bar, and there are several options to choose from. One item they are known for is cold brew coffee, as well as specialty drinks made with local ingredients like mesquite and chiltepin. Seasonally, they offer unique, non-coffee options like Prickly Pear Shrub.
 
Multiple locations
 
If you appreciate latte art, head to one of Caffe Luce’s three locations. Well-regarded among locals, their coffee is arguably some of the best in town. Their flagship, two-story store is in Downtown Tucson on Congress Street.  Artwork covers the walls, and you will see a bike hanging from the industrial ceiling. Downstairs has bar seating, individual table spaces for laptop work, as well as casual and funky lounge chairs to sit with friends. Don’t forget to check out the bathrooms, both uniquely decorated, one with records hanging from the ceiling. Up the stairs, you will find a great view of Hotel Congress, a couch and a large table for meeting space. Beyond coffee, there are several other food and drink options. Their location near campus is a great starting point to explore the University of Arizona and shops nearby.
 
Presta Coffee Roasters
2502 N. 1st Ave. #100
100 S. Avenida del Convento #180
 
Calling all cycling enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy cycling or not, you will appreciate the thought put into the design, atmosphere, and small batch roasted coffee in this almost hidden shop set on a busy street in Tucson. The building was designed to minimize the harsh light and noise from the surrounding area, which you’ll notice as soon as you enter the desert courtyard and walkway leading into the shop. Once inside, you’ll see a display of bicycles on the wall surrounded by beautiful wood work crafted from local artisans. In the middle of the shop is a large communal table where free cuppings are held weekly and open to the public. Their sister location, Stella Java, started by the same owners, is also worth a visit at Mercado San Agustin. You’ll get the same great coffee in a different setting, set in an open-air market with seating indoors and outdoors, and with shops and a bakery all within a short-walking distance.
 
Raging Sage Coffee Roasters
2458 N. Campbell Ave.
(520) 320-5203
 
Take this opportunity to slow down and enjoy some of the best pastries in town. There is often a line at the counter, but it is worth the wait. Once you’ve ordered you can choose a cozy seat inside or take in some fresh air on the dog-friendly patio covered with shade trees. Internet is not available all day, so bring a book or share a conversation with a friend over quality, environmentally-friendly roasted coffee. Several different coffee drink options are available, as well as a wide selection of tea.
 
Savaya Coffee Market
Multiple locations
 
Organic, quality coffee coupled with a celebration of community is what makes Savaya special. This is a place where you can go for the usual cup of well-made coffee and where you can also try something with a twist - Turkish coffee. At any time, there will be 15-30 varietals available. You can learn more about them through the classes they offer, although you will want to make reservations ahead of time online. There are four locations throughout Tucson, all the way up to Marana and Oro Valley, making it easy to find a convenient location for you. While the coffee is the same, each location has a unique look and feel. The smallest location at La Encantada is a great place to visit for coffee while enjoying shopping and views of Tucson.
 
Yellow Brick Coffee
3220 S. Dodge Blvd. #1
(520) 226-4068
 
Often found at local farmers’ markets, this artisan roaster is based in Tucson, and also distributed internationally. Their emphasis on community and coffee education, makes a visit to their shop in South Tucson worth the drive. You will find a wide variety of beans from around the world, roasted with care to emphasize the unique characteristics and flavors of each region. The staff is happy to talk shop and discuss all things coffee. Check their website for a schedule of cupping and roasting classes that are offered regularly. 

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