Food Scene

Tempe has a latte of great coffee spots

Tempe has a latte of great coffee spots and per usual I have a ton of puns that I could relate to this…but I won’t. I mean, I can’t espresso to you how brew-ti-ful Tempe is this time of year with a cup of joe in hand. Okay, I will stop, but seriously Tempe is the hub of great coffee. We ask you to step away from the “Bucks” (Starbucks), and seek out the best coffee in Tempe at these cafes.

Cartel Coffee Lab
225 W. University Dr., #101 | (480) 621-6381

Tempe’s coffee claim to fame would have to be Cartel Coffee Lab. Their first shop opened in Tempe a few years back and they now have tons of locations, including Phoenix Sky Harbor, Tucson, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Palm Springs and even Austin, Texas! Their empire is growing and that’s a very good thing. Cartel’s espresso is top notch and their flavors are out of this world. Each type of coffee is curated and sourced responsibly from countries including El Salvador, Colombia and Rwanda. This coffee shop gets straight to the point with limited menu items, but don’t be fooled, these coffee connoisseurs can whip up just about anything. Don’t feel like leaving your house to get Cartel coffee? No problem. Subscribe and they will deliver it wherever you would like. Now you can Netflix and brew!

Press Coffee
601 W. Rio Salado Pkwy., #103 | (480) 794-1107
1221 E. Apache Blvd. | (480) 566-5380

Ten years and eight valley locations later, Press Coffee has become a staple throughout the Phoenix Valley. Their passion and commitment for making great coffee has built a loyal and enthusiastic fan base throughout the years. From the beginning, Press Coffee has stayed true to their mission of sourcing the best products, equipment and team members. Their dedication helps supports Arizona charities and coffee farmers around the world.

Infusion Coffee & Tea Crafters
1300 E. 8th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-2533

Infusion is a bit off the beaten path, but once you discover it, you’ll keep coming back for more. It is located next door to Four Peaks Brewing Company, just a stone’s throw from the ASU Tempe Campus. The owner, Patrick O’Malley, travels around the world to teach about coffee and bring the best sourced beans and teas back to Tempe. Patrick has a diploma from the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and opened the International Barista & Coffee Academy in 2012. So this place is legit. You can get any of your standard coffee beverages, but they also have some interesting twists like The Bee’s Knees (a mix of espresso, lemon and honey) and SpoO’J (a blend of juice and espresso). And, their tea selection is out of this world. They also teach a variety of classes from a Latte Art Workshop to Public Cupping, where you learn all about how coffee is made and why each coffee has a unique flavor.

Romancing the Bean
80 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., #120 | (480) 921-4077

Originally from Scottsdale, Romancing the Bean calls Tempe home at the Hayden Ferry Lakeside office complex on Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway. This family-owned establishment has a passion for great coffee and tea and puts time into selecting beans from the finest growing regions in the world. This charming coffeehouse specializes in hot, iced and blended drinks that have been perfected to possess the ideal characteristics for all espresso lovers. I go for the Iced Carmello every time. It’s the perfect mix of espresso and caramel flavor. Pair one of their drinks with a tasty pastry or lunch item. And be sure to go during the week — they’re not open on Saturday or Sunday.

King Coffee
1020 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 307-6557

Is it a coincidence that a coffee shop across the street from Arizona State University would do so well? They have a local customer base and gain new fans all the time. This quaint, kind of hipster spot is locally owned by people who truly love coffee. They’ve expanded their space over the years so there are plenty of tables for studying, business meetings or just relaxing with your besties. I’m a big fan of their Iced Chai, with just the right amount of spice. And, you can’t ever go wrong with their Pour Over or Macchiato. Pair a drink with a pastry, bagel or sandwich.

Royal Coffee Bar
502 S. College Ave. | (602) 402-8184

A hop, skip, and a jump from The Blend lies Royal Coffee Bar. The Royal Coffee Bar & Roasting Company is an independent coffee shop and roastery located in Downtown Tempe. If you are a true coffee fanatic this is your place. They have a clean and simple design giving it a no fuss or fluff appeal. This place means coffee business!

The Crepe Bar
7520 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 247-8012

I know what you’re thinking. The Crepe Bar sells crepes and this is a blog about coffee. True, but we had to give The Crepe Bar an honorable mention here. Yes, everyone obsesses about their crepes and for good reason. They’re incredibly tasty. But, your experience isn’t complete here until you’ve tried their coffee. They take it quite seriously, using Presta Coffee from Tucson. Their photogenic and tasty lattes come can come with honey, vanilla, caramel and sea salt and dark chocolate mocha flavors. And, for something truly unique, check out their Molasses Spiced Latte with espresso, black molasses, whipped cream, chocolate shavings and pecans from Arizona. Is it a meal? Is it a coffee? Either way, it is a serious kick-start to your day.

20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 361-6644

As it mentions in the name, SNAKES & LATTES has lattes galore and more! Start your morning with a buzz and enjoy a coffee cocktail like the Espresso Martini which has Titos Vodka, Kahlua, simple syrup, espresso and heavy cream or the Revolver which has Bacardi, pineapple, lime, orgeat syrup and cold brew. Of course, they have non-alcoholic choices as well! Accompany your beverage with your choice of board game and play classics like Clue and Mall Madness to the newest in strategy games.

Cafetal Coffee
777 S. College Ave., #101, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 557-5245

Cafetal Coffee is the true definition of farm to cup. Sourced directly from their family farm in Columbia, Cafetal Coffee is a specialty coffee shop that prides itself on offering delicious drinks near ASU Tempe campus. Everything, from the coffee to the small plates, is prepped in-house from their baristas. Stop by on your way to work or class and see why everyone is raving about their service and hospitality!

Steve’s Espresso
1801 E Baseline Rd., #102, Tempe, AZ 85283

Steve’s Espresso is a local neighborhood joint known for quality coffee and a great atmosphere. From their chai to their pastries, like their famous heavy cream scones, Steve’s Espresso makes everything from scratch. Whether you are in the mood for breakfast, lunch, coffee or cocktails, Steve’s Espresso has you covered!

Secret Handshake Coffee & Tea
4415 S. Rural Rd., #10, Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 999-0309

We can’t contain this secret any longer…The Secret Handshake Coffee & Tea has made its way to south Tempe! Specializing in assorted coffee beverages, pastries, sandwiches and other delicious treats, The Secret Handshake will leave your taste buds happy. Check out why they say that this is a space “where coffee flows, art shows, community grows & the music never stops!”.

Gold Bar Espresso
3141 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 839-3082

When you walk through the doors of Gold Bar Espresso you are welcomed into a cozy, at-home feeling. The extensive coffee and espresso menu is located conveniently on the wall above the breakfast treats case, and has lots to choose from. They have just about any coffee drink you can think of, and an abundant selection of custom mocha drinks.

Don’t forget to tag us in your photos on social media @tempetourism #ourtempe We would LOVE to see your Instagrammable coffee art. Cheers!

Alicia Kentz
Written Alicia Kentz

Alicia is an ASU Alumna and Tucson native who is unapologetically herself. When she is not sharing her passion for Tempe, she is a devoted dog mom and reality TV enthusiast who has a weakness for charcuterie boards and wine!


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