By Djamila Noelle Grossman
MATT ROBLES/Arizona Daily Wildcat
History graduate student Stephen Neufeld orders a coffee from Mark Albertolle, a pre-business sophomore, at Espresso Art last week.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 28, 2004
For many people, drinking coffee has become a lifestyle. Unless you want to utilize it to get your eyes open in the morning, consumption often goes along with a relaxing atmosphere, a cigarette for some and pastries for others.
Espresso Art, the new coffee shop on University Boulevard, is so close to campus you can go there before class, cram for a test in between classes or simply pass out on one of their plush couches after class.
The most dominant thing upon coming in is the huge golden espresso machine on the counter. A classical interior is tucked into the long back part of the café. Gold framed mirrors, American Indian art and paintings from local artists like JoAnn Hill decorate the walls. There is a vibe of "Bella Roma" in this place, especially if you meet the owner who will greet you with a loud "Buongiorno!"
The atmosphere is welcoming. People seem to be open and chatty, but you also have the chance to just kick back or study. It's a place to be comfortable.
I've spent a lot of time on those cute little tables outside watching the street life, smoking cigarettes and cramming for a test.
Spending hours in this place also means spending money, which is a good investment for your taste buds. Make sure to get a punch card for a free drink after you buy six.
Espresso Art offers coffee, tea, Italian sodas and smoothies. Generally the variety is not too different from other coffee shops, but there are some new flavors to discover.
My favorite was the Mango Smoothie, made with organic fruit, yogurt and ice, for $3.25. It is also available with berries. Iced Raspberry Mocha with whipped cream is also very good. Italian Soda, Mochachino and Latte come in different flavors like caramel, vanilla, white chocolate, raspberry and almond. All drinks are available in three sizes and range from $1.95, which is the opening special for a small Mocha with any flavor, to $3.25. A good ol' espresso is $1.50.
All coffee beans are organic and grown by small farmers near the equator, adding one reason to indulge at this privately owned place instead of the big chains.
Espresso Art offers many different pastries: little cakes and bars, biscotti, cookies, croissants and something like strudels. The Lemon Bar and also the Blueberry Bun were really good. Prices range from 60 cents to $1.95 depending on the size.
Drinks and food are not everything the place offers. There is a free meeting and game room, where you can play pool and several board games every night until close. Internet access is also free, so you can bring your laptops. The program is expected to expand with occasional live music by local bands in the near future.
Currently the place is open from 7 in the morning to 11 at night. But it might change to 6 a.m. for all the early birds among us.