READERS' PICK: It's 3 a.m., you're pulling an all-nighter and you've run out of coffee. Where are you going to find a pound of sumptuous Sumatra Lintong or Guatemalan Antigua decaf at this hour? Thankfully, Coffee Etc. is open 24/7 for all your coffee, tea and noshing needs. With their trademark Dorado roast done locally, their coffee beans are fresh, fragrant and flavorful. In addition to purist-favored regional coffees from around the world, there are a wide variety of flavored coffees and eight popular house blends, such as Boomer's Choice and Wrangler's Brew. After 8 p.m. both Coffee Etc. locations are non-smoking, which is either extremely good or bad news, depending on your habits.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Starbuck's, four locations. Beans, beans, the musical fruit...Oh, sorry, wrong shtick. Once upon a time, when our friends would come back from Seattle, they'd bring us bags of Starbuck's coffee beans as a consolation prize. Dark, deep and richly roasted, these babies pack a punch that can keep us up for an entire weekend, nattering on about the nature of reality, and towards the end of several sleepless nights, the FBI spies shooting X-rays through our walls. Now we can get Starbuck's beans any time we want here right in the Naked Pueblo. In fact, Starbuck's outlets are getting harder and harder to avoid -- is it a conspiracy!!?? In many ways, however, it's like having your favorite cocaine dealer living right next door. Only it's legal, of course. (We had to say that for the benefit of the FBI. They're watching, you know.)
MORE MANIA: Wilde Rose Café/Coffee Company, 216 E. Congress St. Hardcore coffee drinkers know that a really good cup of joe is only partially dependent upon quality beans. A large degree of taste comes from the roasting process, and no one knows this better than the folks at Wilde Rose. They've been dark roasting beans in downtown Tucson for the past five years, and even if you haven't visited the café yet, chances are you've tasted the blends they do for others around town, at The Cup Café and Cuppuccinos. But definitely do stop by for a bag of their competitively priced beans -- from the French Roast to the Mexican Organic, you're likely to find your new favorite roaster.
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