Sunday, April 12, 2015

coffee coffee coffee

I have been on a coffee shop exploration with my close friend Catherine for the past two months and it's been a wonderful experience. This post is co-written by me and Catherine.
The picture below has been sneaked in by Catherine, even though it has no connection to the coffee shops
Mango Popsicle

adventures :)

Cartel Coffee Lab

This is right by the ASU campus and I was surprised I had not been there before. The ambience is good and it has lot of students coming in to study. The coffee is great. We have been there two times actually and it's been a great experience both times. It also holds some significance because this was the place I met her first. In future the goal is to explore other cartel locations like the one in downtown Phoenix. They also brew beer at Cartel, but let me tell you that having a coffee with beer is not a good idea. It can make you feel sick.

This place is two venues in one. The bright half is a coffee shop where students are encouraged to study among decorative sacks of coffee beans. The other half is a brewery where you can cuddle your lover over a high top in the midst of a dim, candlelit stupor.

Here is information from the Centers for Disease Control:

Dangers of Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks

“When alcoholic beverages are mixed with energy drinks, a popular practice among young people, the caffeine in these drinks can mask the depressant effects of alcohol. At the same time, caffeine has no effect on the metabolism of alcohol by the liver and thus does not reduce breath alcohol concentrations or reduce the risk of alcohol-attributable harms.”

Also, from
Scientists aren't sure exactly how the body processes the combination of caffeine and alcohol because the combination - at least in the quantity seen in these alcoholic energy drinks - is too dangerous to test on humans in scientific experiments.
If you want to conduct your own experiment on the effects of beer plus a stimulant, Cartel coffee is the way to go. Here you can conveniently write an essay on your laptop while experiencing the stimulant effects of increased blood pressure and heart rate, heart palpitations and irregular heartbeat, headaches, agitation, jitteriness, abnormal breathing, stomach problems, and constipation while simultaneously experiencing the depressant effects of alcohol including a slowed pace of neurotransmitters in the brain. Also do not attempt driving.

Starbucks at ASU
coffee map

Here is a map that explains where you can find out what coffee from other parts of the world would taste like if you had a suggestible personality and a big imagination.

Latin America: nuts, cocoa, acid
Africa: berries, grapefruit, flowers, chocolate, and spices
Asia/Pacific: herbal, earthy flavors

They want you to believe that coffee has base notes and top notes like perfume, or that it can absorb the essence of the ground it sprouted in or the barrels it was stored in, like a bottle of wine.

But since this is Starbucks, any symphonic notes are drowned out by the larger and more resonant chords of….

lots of sugarrr

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Starbucks in disguise

Xtreme Bean

Live music. Mysteriously sometimes has ceramic coffee cups and sometimes not. Has lots of beautiful artwork too. Surprisingly, once it had a session on website design also. So, I take it that it’s a very versatile place.
People who could fly

Robby Roberson

Gold Coffee Bar

Lots of sugar. Mysteriously sometimes has ceramic coffee cups and sometimes not.

Starbucks at Barnes and Noble

I don’t think that little mermaid even reads.

Arizona Donut Co.

Imagine a McDonalds from the 1980s that was built along Route 66. As the highways replaced the old routes of transportation, this location remained. Then the owners died during Christmas, leaving Christmas lights hanging over the cash registers, and wandering spirits took over the location.

Arizona Donut and Co. ( Ancient Place)
Tea comes with gelatinous balls of wax at the bottom that can be slurped through a large straw. And is actually not tea, but chocolate milk. It really is chocolate milk.

This is also a good place to have meaningful conversations about what is the darkest direction your future could go. Would you ever end up in prison for theft? Fraud? Piracy?

They also trick you into ordering a mocha when you asked for a cappuccino. Then poor guy suffers. In their defense though, it was my mistake that I didn’t hear what they said and should have asked again.

They also cannot read your mind when they ask you if you want a mocha and you say yes. This is what you get when you don’t pay attention

Denny's and Sunny's Diner

Lumping these two together because nobody cares about the coffee at these places. It is good coffee. Period. And it isn’t sweet because the pancakes and waffles are sweet enough.

The best part is the number of refills you get.

Indian Tea at Udupi

This was the latest one in the series so far. Although we had tea at this place, we decided that this should count as one of the places to go in the list. I also had masala dosa after a gap of about eight months. So it was a special day. In many ways it felt like I was back in Bangalore for a moment. Sipping Indian tea and eating mysore masala dosa. While I like having milk in my tea(actually I can have tea in any form), she didn’t really like milk in her tea. And they never refilled our cups :( I was in a mood to have lots of tea, but then again paying more for tea would have been silly. However, the place has the distinction of being very healthy and tasty. Catherine has also developed a fascination for Falooda, which will be tried on the next visit. Also on the list is vada.

I crave this substance which is spicy and makes me drink a lot of water and cry.
Vegetable Vindaloo

At the zoo

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Those coffee places look great! I love filter kaapi, I think it is my favourite. Somehow I prefer making my own coffee and sitting on the verandah, perhaps watching the rain. Coffee shops charge so much for a random cup of coffee. But then having coffee in a coffee shop is about the experience and the ambience I think, like bonding with a friend, instead of having coffee :)