Floor-to-ceiling windows adorn the front wall of Sparkroot, showering light onto a small tree that sits at the center of a circular wooden table. This café space, lined with the work of local and international artists, aims to spark creativity with paintings, varied seating options, and a lofted area that takes advantage of the towering ceiling. Within these confines, tunes blast from a classic jukebox, harmonizing with the chatter of conversations and fingers typing on laptops.
Of course, customers don't watusi into Sparkroot just for the atmosphere, so the staff works to create a menu as innovative as the decor. Behind the counter, baristas brew espressos and lattes using Blue Bottle coffee, a small roaster that uses organic and pesticide-free, shade-grown beans. The drinks, which also include craft beers and wines, are complemented by housemade vegetarian meals, including pressed ciabatta sandwiches and crunchy granola.
Within sight of the beautiful mosaic-tiled dome of the Pima County Courthouse resides another Tucson treasure: Roasted Tea & Coffee Shop, where passionate coffee aficionados brew earthy, aromatic cups of joe from small batches of locally roasted beans. The coffee curators' insistence on organic and fair-trade products ensures top-shelf quality for each satisfying sip of espresso and each sweet, creamy latte. Cold-brewed iced coffee, spicy cold chai, and frosty chocolate-milk mochas cool down overheated taste buds while delivering all the rich, complex flavors of the house's carefully selected coffee beans.
City Blends’ baristas create 1 of 25 smoothies on the spot for each client, filling blenders with ingredients ranging from blueberries to oreos. Many drinks are designed to help slim bodies from the inside out, and help sippers reach their goals of burning extra calories, building muscle mass, or sweating pure apple juice. A selection of additives includes infusions of creatine, vitamins, or wellness boosters.
Fresh bagels with cream cheese and café drinks are just a few specialties available in the mornings at Cafe Sol. Later in the day, cooks prepare roast beef sandwiches with provolone cheese and au jus, BLTs with avocado, and other satisfying handhelds.
The roasters at Coffee X Change ignite peaceful morning rituals with fresh-roasted regional beans procured from the fair-trade market. With a day's notice, customers can order one pound of house, Peaberry, or globetrotting beans from such coffee-rich regions as Costa Rica, Kenya, or New Guinea, and the expert java-whisperers roast the beans overnight. To satisfy the percolating preferences of all patrons, brew maestros can grind the batch of freshly cooked crop or leave the beans whole for personal grinding practice or delicious slingshot ammunition. Though the market price of each bean type varies, batches range from approximately $12.45–$14.45 per pound.
Avenue Coffee's certified baristas serve responsible coffee with a level of dedication that shows from the drink selection to their latte art. These bean shamans heat their espresso ($1.75) to 202 ¬¬ºF to achieve quality taste with none of the bitterness that characterizes coffees who never got a reply on their screenplay treatment. Offer a date a choice between a white- or dark-chocolate mocha ($3.25–$4.25) to determine their allegiance to the dark side. Delicious baked goods such as muffins ($2.25) and bear claws ($2.75) arrive fresh daily, but it's always an option to adopt a pastry orphaned from the previous day ($1.25) as well.