Cafe Passe

Alicia is a fighter not a lover, so she goes for the "Bruce Lee" at Cafe Passe, 415 N. Fourth Ave.

You are what you drink, so have some caffeine and it'll make you fun! At least that's the kind of person I am right now, because I've visited five different coffee shops in the span of two days. All to bring you this personality-driven coffee listicle ... (twitch) 

Happy national coffee day!!! ☕☕☕

For the hipster: Presta Coffee Roasters

2502 N. First Ave.

Nitro cold brew with a big old block of ice, so it doesn't get watered down. 

  • Study or pleasure: pleasure 
  • Probability of plugin: low (only a few tables in the room) 
  • Food options: none on my visit

Chic industrial building: Check. Bikes on the walls: Check. Coffee brewed in beakers: Check. Almost forgot to mention the vintage record player and the spiffy new coffee roaster sitting next to the counter. Presta does pour over, Chemex and Aeropress, but I chose the nitro cold brew made from a blend of Tanzania and Congo beans, pulled from a beer tap to make it spritzy.  

For the coffee snob: Exo Roast Co. 

403 N. Sixth Ave.

John Peter Baer built the bar and tables at Exo Roast Co. The tables are made of Douglas fir slabs that were reclaimed from a North Dakota dairy barn.

  • Study or pleasure: both 
  • Probability of plugin: low 
  • Food options: empanadas

Choose from the single origin beans like the velvety Colombian Finca El Manantial, roasted inside the little room between the wooden tables and the counter. It's all pour over after that. Or you can get one of Exo's signature AZ concoctions, in my case a latte ($4.25) infused with locally-made chocolate mole, then decked out with frothy flower art. 

For the do-gooder: Big Heart Coffee

4802 E. 22nd St.

Last month Big Heart Coffee donated $1,000 to the Handi-Dogs of Tucson.

  • Study or pleasure: both 
  • Probability of plugin: high 
  • Food options: pastries

I was pleasantly surprised by this southeast side coffee joint in an empty parking lot next to a pet store. Aspiring 16-year-old Jake Shaw worked with local roasters to hone his skills and craft the selection, which includes beans from all over town. In addition to the pour over, French press and drip coffee, they also brew with a hybrid method called a clever. It gave my cup of Ethiopian a light fruity taste with notes of kiwi and watermelon. Oh yes, all the profits go to local charities. This month it's the Erik Hite Foundation for first responders.     

For the UA student: Caffe Luce

943 E. University Blvd. #191

Spilling all over the table not recommended. 

  • Study or pleasure: study 
  • Probability of plugin: low (you have to get lucky)
  • Food options: bagels, pastries

It's Mac city in this campus coffee shop, which looks like a cross between a warehouse and a scene from "So I Married an Axe Murderer." If you manage to find a plugin, whip out your laptop and get to work. (You have twenty minutes!) Fortunately the line moves fast and the iced coffee is mellow and gulpable. 

Fourth Avenue foodie: Cafe Passe

415 N. Fourth Ave.

The Bruce Lee has enough caffeine to fill this entire frame. 

  • Study or pleasure: Both 
  • Probability of plugin: high 
  • Food options: bagels, pastries, plus a full German menu and healthy cafe classics 

Even now that Kade Mislinski from Batch is at the helm, you can still get the same German käsespätzle from the old menu. Plus all manner of breakfast dishes and avocado toast. (They also have a "biergarten," woot!) As for coffee, I tried the Bruce Lee, ($5) which was compared to a red eye with coffee + a shot of espresso + sweetened condensed milk. It kicked my ass. 

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You can find #ThisIsTucson's food writer Andi Berlin at a taqueria near you, taking tiny bites and furiously scribbling into an old notepad.