Our readers gave us a guide to the 4 best coffee shops in Tucson

Espresso machine at a coffee shop

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

By Copper Courier Staff

May 15, 2024

If you’re a coffee lover in Tucson, you’re in luck! Our readers have spoken, and they’ve shared their top picks for the best coffee shops in the city. From cozy cafes to trendy spots, these four coffee shops offer unique experiences that cater to all tastes and preferences. So grab your favorite mug, and let’s dive into the vibrant coffee scene of Tucson!

1. Cartel Roasting Co.

At the center of Tucson’s coffee culture is Cartel Roasting Co., a destination that melds meticulous craft with a vibrant sense of community. Here, the journey of the bean is celebrated, from its global origins to your cup, with each step showcasing Cartel’s dedication to sustainability and quality. The modern, airy space welcomes all—whether you’re here to enjoy a leisurely chat over expertly brewed coffee or to hunker down and tackle some work amidst the hum of the espresso machine.

Cartel sets itself apart with its in-house roasting process, ensuring that every cup delivers the freshest, most flavorful experience possible. Their baristas, passionate and knowledgeable, are always eager to share stories about the beans’ origins and the nuances of their flavors, making every visit an educational experience. For those intrigued by the science and art behind the coffee, Cartel offers online brewing lessons, opening up a world of coffee exploration and appreciation.

This is a hub for coffee lovers to gather, learn, and enjoy the beauty of coffee in all its forms. With a steadfast commitment to the local community and the global network of farmers, Cartel embodies the spirit of connection and quality, making it an indispensable part of Tucson’s coffee scene.

2. Time Market

Time Market is a locale that marries the charm of a coffee shop with the allure of a local marketplace. This enchanting spot is where the community comes together for an experience that tantalizes all the senses. Time Market transforms the simple pleasure of sipping coffee into an immersive journey.

Walking into Time Market, you’re greeted by the warm aroma of freshly brewed coffee that mingles with the scent of baked goods straight from the oven. It’s a place that feels like home yet invites you on an adventure every time you visit. The rustic, inviting decor beckons you to stay a while, to enjoy the moment in a space that feels like a cozy cocoon away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

But what sets Time Market apart is its dual identity. Beyond serving meticulously crafted coffee and espresso drinks, it functions as a vibrant bodega. Here, the shelves are stocked with an array of local produce, artisanal foods, and unique finds that make each visit a new discovery. This is where coffee enthusiasts can indulge their love for java and then wander through aisles of local treasures, perhaps finding the perfect ingredient for tonight’s dinner or a handmade gift that speaks to the heart.

The menu at Time Market extends well beyond your average coffee fare. Each item, from the flaky, buttery pastries to the hearty, inventive sandwiches, is thoughtfully curated and crafted. The commitment to community and quality shines through in every bite, making it impossible not to become a regular.

What makes Time Market a cornerstone of the Tucson coffee scene is the sense of community that permeates the space. It’s a place where conversations flow as freely as the coffee, where students, professionals, and artists come together, united by their love for quality and authenticity. The staff at Time Market adds to this warm atmosphere, always ready with a recommendation or a friendly chat, making each visit feel personal and cherished.

Time Market is a celebration of community, craftsmanship, and the simple joy of enjoying good food and great coffee with friends, old and new. It stands as a testament to what happens when passion meets quality, creating a space that’s beloved by locals and a must-visit for anyone passing through Tucson.

3. Savaya Coffee Market

Embark on a global adventure with every visit to Savaya Coffee Market, a gem within Tucson’s coffee landscape that invites you to explore the world one cup at a time. This cherished spot is all about the journey—highlighting the rich tapestry of coffee culture through its impressive selection of single-origin beans. Each variety tells a story, a narrative of its heritage and the meticulous care that brought it from the soil to your mug.

At Savaya, the passion for coffee is palpable, reflected in the depth and diversity of their offerings. From the sun-drenched hills of Ethiopia offering beans with notes of berry and jasmine to the lush landscapes of Colombia, where the coffee boasts a robust and chocolaty essence, there’s a new destination in every brew.

The team of friendly baristas at Savaya are ambassadors of flavor, ready to guide you through their curated menu with enthusiasm. They’re eager to share their knowledge, whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a newcomer eager to broaden your coffee horizons. Their dedication to fostering an environment of discovery and enjoyment is what makes Savaya a vibrant community hub.

For those with a keen interest in deepening their coffee knowledge, Savaya Coffee Market offers an array of events and workshops that are as informative as they are engaging. These gatherings serve as a perfect opportunity to dive deeper into the craft of coffee, offering insights into the nuances of tasting, preparation, and the fascinating journey from bean to cup.

The commitment to quality at Savaya is unwavering, evident in every meticulously brewed cup. It’s this dedication that makes each visit a new adventure, inviting you to savor the moment and appreciate the artistry and story behind your coffee. Here, every sip is a voyage, and you’re always welcome aboard.

4. El Jefe Cat Cafe

Discover a delightful twist to your coffee ritual at El Jefe Cat Cafe, where every sip comes with a side of purrs and playful paws. This enchanting spot is a paradise for cat lovers and coffee aficionados alike, blending the warmth of a coffee shop with the comforting presence of furry friends. As Tucson’s go-to destination for cat-themed relaxation, El Jefe Cat Cafe promises an experience that soothes the soul and delights the senses.

Imagine lounging in a cozy nook, your favorite coffee in hand, as a curious cat saunters over to greet you. This is the everyday magic of El Jefe, where adoptable cats roam freely, offering companionship and comfort to visitors. This innovative cafe not only serves up top-notch coffee but also champions a heartfelt cause. By partnering with local animal rescues, El Jefe plays a pivotal role in finding forever homes for cats, adding an extra layer of purpose to your coffee break.

The cafe’s atmosphere is as inviting as its mission is noble. Designed with both human and feline comfort in mind, it’s a space where you can unwind and connect—not just with cats, but with fellow coffee lovers and community members. The baristas at El Jefe are as passionate about their brews as they are about their whiskered residents, crafting each drink with care and always ready to share a story or two about their feline friends.

But it’s not only about relaxation and cuddles; El Jefe Cat Cafe is a vibrant community hub, hosting events and gatherings that bring people together over shared passions. Whether it’s a cat yoga session, a coffee tasting, or a bingo night, there’s always something happening that adds to the cafe’s charm and appeal. It’s a place where laughter and conversation fill the air, where the joy of discovery awaits in every corner, and where every visit contributes to a cause close to many hearts.

So, for those seeking a sanctuary where coffee and cats create the perfect blend of happiness, El Jefe Cat Cafe awaits. Here, the coffee is rich, the company is joyful, and the possibility of meeting your new best friend is just a purr away. It’s a community, a cause, and a corner of Tucson where the coffee always comes with a dose of love and whiskers.




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