David Edwards, cofounder and president of New Mexico Tea Company, is a bona fide tea lover, so much so that he once tried to drink 40 cups in one day. He appreciates the drink's soothing fragrance and flavor, but he also praises its health benefits. "Tea acts as a neutralizer for the body, so anything that may be out of whack—sleeping patterns, weight problems, headaches—tea works to balance the body and get you back to normal,” he told Local IQ.
With the help of a small, dedicated team of tea aficionados, Edwards blends some of the bulk loose-leaf teas onsite and imports others directly from growers around the world. Mild rooibos, Chinese puerh, and oolong are a few of its specialties, and each has a distinctive flavor along with high levels of antioxidants.
For more than 30 years, Golden Crown Panaderia has been baking cookies and breads with flavors and traditions deeply rooted in New Mexican tastes and culture. New Mexico green-chili bread is slowly baked to seal in the essence of green chilies, onions, cilantro, and hot desert sun that permeate the dough ($7.95). This panaderia hand makes traditional biscochito cookies in original, chocolate, cappuccino, and sugar-free flavors ($16.95–$19.95 for 1 lb. or approximately 30 cookies), which can be paired with gourmet coffee and espresso drinks or eaten alone in an underground complex to avoid sharing. For flat-food lovers, bakery-style pizzas are invoked with peasant or green-chili dough and adorned with standard pizza accouterments such as mushrooms or pepperoni.
Cheese & Coffee Café’s menu silences midday hunger gurgles with sandwiches made from fresh ingredients. Hearty reubens showcase layers of dusky pumpernickel, and the C&C club refreshes palates with a triad of meats, dill havarti, and sprouts. Taste buds wash upon the meaty shores of the Sicilian, french bread that’s bursting, like dynamite wrapped in neapolitan pizza, with capicolla, pepperoni, and gooey mozzarella cheese. Pairs taking a crack at sandwich artistry can build their own hand-held—dipping into palettes of cured ham, salami, seven breads, and an array of condiments—before snarfing their creations atop glossy wooden tables. Soft drinks, which bubble eternally with free refills, and iced teas quench thirst, and Monin-syrup-laced italian sodas and cream sodas inject novel flavors into standard refreshments. Charming framed paintings from local artists adorn the walls, depicting peaceful farmhouses and river vistas as breathtaking as experimental lung-removal surgery.
K.I.S.S. features an uncomplicated menu of simple drinks and cafe fare, guaranteeing ease of ordering for the worrisome perfectionist in your geography enthusiasts club. Each of K.I.S.S.'s lemonades ($2.50) are composed of the juice of freshly squeezed lemons and sweetened not with crystalline cane-sugar granules but with syrupy agave nectar, an organic, plant-based sweetener with fewer calories and a lower glycemic index than traditional sweeteners. K.I.S.S.'s spare yet ample sandwich selection ($3.00) offers turkey, veggie, or the "meat of the day" option on either flatbread or ciabatta, grilled hot or served cold.
Bocadillos' chef and owner Marie Yniguez plates bite-sized and hearty fare and brews fresh coffees and teas within the cozy café, which also boasts an outdoor patio and complimentary WiFi. Southwestern superstar huevos rancheros ($5.50) anchors the breakfast menu, and the inventive Bird's Nest ($5.50) captures digestive hearts and minds with a duo of eggs nestled between two slices of toast and draped with a tapestry of red or green chiles. Pair meals with a 12-ounce coffee ($1.25) from the full coffee and tea bar, or opt for a homemade honey-drizzled granola and yogurt ($3.50) as light as the feathers of an astronaut. For lunch, Marie stacks signature sandwiches and burger favorites such as the New Mexico Green Chile cheeseburger ($8), which comes accompanied with a side, a soda, and a pamphlet about chilies' undeserved fiery reputation.
Mes Amis Teahouse raises pinkies high with an extensive selection of hot tea and a diverse menu of sandwiches, quiche, and fresh scones. Senses steep as skilled steepers meticulously pour chai lattes ($4) and french-press coffee ($3) into mugs and well-insulated berets. A Ceylon highgrow tea ($3) can accompany a fluffy quiche lorraine ($6.95), which crumbles at the fork’s touch in a steaming avalanche of ham, swiss, and fresh basil. To complement a green Temple of Heaven tea ($3.50) or White Monkey tea ($4), a group of friends or a patron with 12 hands can sample a mishmash of finger sandwiches with the Mes Amis sandwich bouquet ($12.95), or the french afternoon tea or nob hill vegetarian tea's three-tier tray of scones and sweets ($15.95).