a-‘tall-order’:-the-guide-to-coffee-shops-in-tempe-and-downtown-phoenix-–-the-arizona-state-press

A ‘tall Order’: The Guide To Coffee Shops In Tempe And Downtown Phoenix – The Arizona State Press

College students need coffee. But in the case that they do not drink the caffeinated beverage, students can still visit coffee shops around ASU’s campuses because they provide comfortable study spaces to engage in conversation with friends, work silently on a project due that night or to just enjoy the pastries and drinks sold by the baristas.

If students are in a rush, the Downtown and Tempe campuses are littered with cafes from the local Starbucks to a Dutch Bros around the corner. Even so, sometimes a breather from mainstream coffee is needed. But where should Sun Devils go?

Tempe Campus

Cafetal Coffee

Cafetal Coffee is a coffee shop on the Tempe campus dedicated to providing Latin-infused foods and drinks to the local community. The shop is located on College Avenue, south of the Fulton Center parking garage.

Cafetal Coffee started out more than 60 years ago in Columbia, where co-founder Sebastian Ramirez’s great-grandfather strived to improve the coffee industry with his own coffee bean farm. 

The same mountain in Columbia is used today for Cafetal’s coffee. 

Celeste Vizcaino, assistant manager at Cafetal Coffee, said the environment of the shop has an at-home feel that works to bring the community together.

“Very homey, very calm vibes,” Vizcaino said. “It just feels like you’re at home when you step into that door.”

Cafetal Coffee has Latin influence on the interior of their shop as well, with decor and an atmosphere very similar to Columbian culture. 

Written on a wall inside the shop is the message: “We know the power that a cup of Columbian Tintico has in making the world a better place. All cultures are welcome here, because around a cup of liquid gold new friends are made, deals are closed, loving words are spoken and the heart finds comfort in dark days.”

Cafetal Coffee is at 777 S College Ave. open 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on weekends.  

King Coffee

King Coffee is a family-owned business in Tempe that offers customers pastries, sandwiches and a variety of drinks off the corner of South Mill Avenue and West Tenth Street.

“I love it. I love the smell of coffee shops,” Trevor Siu, a junior studying supply chain management, said. “I think it’s a big thing for me and it makes me feel productive because everyone else here is starting their morning off drinking a cup of coffee, reading a book and working on their projects.”

This brick-clad cafe is outfitted with tables, comfortable chairs and chalk boards that detail the menu for the morning. King Coffee’s interior is a peaceful, cozy area where students like Siu enjoy their coffee or tea from a large selection of options.

“I started going recently, like the last month or so. Seems like a great way to start my day,” Siu said. “I always go on a morning walk, grab a cup of coffee and read a book.”

King Coffee is open from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. on weekends. It is located at 1020 S Mill Ave.

Happy Joe Coffee

Happy Joe Coffee is a cafe in Tempe that takes pride in their CBD-infused drinks that contain 100% water soluble, odorless and tasteless CBD from “regeneratively grown” organic hemp. These drinks are said to have medicinal benefits like treating chronic pain and inflammation.

The coffee beans at Happy Joe are sourced through direct trade relationships and are roasted in small batches to produce “clean energy” so students can get through their day without the jitters.

Happy Joe Coffee first began in 2014 as a local business in the North Hollywood Arts District in Los Angeles. The ASU location in Downtown Tempe is the first Happy Joe Coffee Shop in Arizona, dedicated to bringing this new trend to Tempe students and the surrounding community.

“I like the environment. I think it has fair prices as well,” said Ralf Petitt, a freshman studying politics and economy. “Some people hate going to Starbucks and chains like that, so I’d much rather support local business.”

Happy Joe Coffee’s signature look is replicated through its black and white graphics decorated on the shop’s entrance.

The shop is at 213 E 7th St., and is open every day from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Downtown Campus

Fillmore Coffee Co.

Fillmore Coffee Co. is an à la mode coffeehouse located off the northwest corner of East Fillmore Street and Fifth Avenue in the Skyline Loft Apartments. They offer locally produced pastries, wraps, sandwiches and, of course, coffee. 

Tristan Davies, the owner of Fillmore Coffee, emphasized the importance of bringing Australian coffee culture to the heart of downtown Phoenix.

What really strikes ASU students about this spot is the gorgeous scenery of the Skyline Loft Apartments and their common area outside, according to April Famoso, a freshman studying nursing.

“I think it’s really nice. I really like this spot specifically,” Famoso said, referencing the unique view from the back of the shop. “I like looking at the buildings. There’s just something about it that I like personally, and I like the background noise of the orders and the conversation and everything.”

Olivia Owens, a general manager at Fillmore Coffee, emphasized the uniqueness and comfort of working in a cafe that offers a social, study-strong atmosphere.

“We’re your colleagues. It gives that comfort that there are a lot of ASU students that are working here, so you kind of feel that understanding, and it’s very comforting,” Owens said.

Owens also said how personable the coffeeshop is, as most of their staff members build strong relationships with each other and their regulars. 

Fillmore Coffee Co. is on 600 N 4th St. and is open 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. on the weekdays and 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the weekends. 

Xanadu Coffee Company

For 12 years, Xanadu Coffee Company has been offering ASU students coffee in a comfortable, dreamy setting disguised as a rustic house on the east side of Seventh Street in the Garfield District. 

The parking lot is at the back and can only be seen because of the giant “Enter Here” sign that draws cars in.

The name Xanadu comes from a poem about an ideal city in inner Mongolia. It is meant to describe a dreamy, divine area, much like Xanadu Coffee.

“Xanadu, the meaning of it that I think the owners took in, was it being an ideal realm, so you’re just trying to make a space very habitable,” said Brooklyn Petersen, assistant manager at Xanadu Coffee. “And I think being in a home just (brings) that comfy feel to it, so I think that’s definitely what we’re trying to go for.”

According to Alma Manzo, a graduate student studying nursing, many ASU students like to go to Xanadu for its inviting environment and excellent drinks, as well as it being a tranquil spot to study.

“I really enjoy the community here,” Manzo said. “I bring a lot of my friends here just because of how inviting it is and how amazing the coffee is.”

Xanadu is dedicated to roasting coffee “co-op,” where coffee farmers collectively grow and sell their coffee in its development from green to roasted.

Xanadu Coffee Company is opened Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. on the weekends, and is located at 625 N. 7th St.

Songbird Coffee and Tea House

First opened in July 2012 in a century-old house in the Roosevelt Row Arts District, Songbird Coffee and Tea House is a go-to spot for Downtown ASU students to relax and study in an easy-going setting.

Songbird is most known – similarly to Xanadu – for its small, homey interior that, while sometimes crowded, brings a different energy from usual coffeehouses in the Valley. 

Filled with lights, plants and paper swans on the windowsills, Songbird has an energy seldom replicated elsewhere where students can study, talk and enjoy coffee.

Songbird is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. and is located at 812 N. 3rd Street.

Edited by Grey Gartin, Sadie Buggle and Grace Copperthite.


Reach the reporter at gheadle@asu.edu.

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