Continuing my quest to be the definitive guide to coffee in Arizona I have news of a new coffee shop in Tucson. It’s called The Coffee Vein and it’s at 1545 N. Stone Ave just north of PCC. Here’s a map.

From everything I’ve read this place sounds really good. I’m interested to try this drink they call the White Cell (2 shots espresso with vanilla condensed milk). It sounds similar to the Spanish Latte at La Grande Orange.

Next time I’m in Tucson I’m planning to stop in. If you’ve visited please leave a comment.

Here’s my favorite part from the article:

Since she was 17, Raymond has worked in the coffee industry serving as a barista and manager for no fewer than seven shops and cafés — starting with her first job at One Cup at a Time in El Con Mall.

She frequently toyed with the idea of starting her own business, but fear of failure kept her from moving forward, she said.

Then along came Huffstetler, whose time spent managing his father’s local dental practice was on par with Raymond’s years of service in the coffee business. The two hit it off, though not romantically, at first. They began dating in earnest only last April.

Their comfort with each other comes through in their conversations, which often begin with one person speaking and end with the other.

“We have been friends for 12 years,” Huffstetler said.

— “It’s a slightly romantic story,” Raymond added.

— “Which we won’t go into.”

— “No, I’ll go into it,” she says, letting out a quick laugh before launching into their history together.

“We fell in love really quickly,” she continued. But “It wasn’t like you meet someone at a bar and say, ‘Hey, let’s start a business.’ ”

Both knew what they wanted in a café, and borrowed what they described as their best memories from other coffee bars and cafés.

“We like to have a melting pot of cultures and clientele,” Huffstetler said.

He describes The Coffee Vein as a place where Harley-Davidson bikers, students and artists could feel equally comfortable. “I think people take ownership of the places they visit. They know what they want and how they like it made.”

“It’s like a bar without the alcohol,” Raymond added.

The name refers to a comment from a former employer of Raymond’s that she had coffee, not blood, running in her veins.

Arizona Coffee

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1 comment

  1. I’ve been a coupla times, and the place is really nice. It has somehow, without walls, simultaneously seperated the bar-stool crowd from the couch-and-lounge-chair crowd from the table surfers while keeping them in the same space. Violating some law of physics, to be sure, but making it a place where the kid with 14 lbs of piercings, twelve tats (counting the sleeves as one) and a mauve and hot-pink ‘hawk can sit in proximity with the MBA student and the law assistant in his suit and tie and everyone is comfortable. Shoot, in Tucson, we could be describing one person!
    Anyhoo, on to the important stuff. The coffee. I’ve had a double capp and a dopio, and both were exceptional. If you are a coffee afficianado, and Starbucks is what you do in an emergency, this is your place. They import their coffee from Vivace in Seattle, because David Schomer (the owner of Vivace) knows what he is doing and is considered a reference in thw world of baristi. Speaking of knowing what you’re doing, the baristi that I’ve been exposed to have been excellent. That’s be Mike and Martha, although I can’t imagine any of the others being too far away, skill-wise. This is a coffeeshop that knows how to put together an espresso, and cares about what’s in the cup. Just how it should be. At least one of the baristi there is a member of the Barista Guild of America. I’m pretty sure you’re not going to find that at your neighborhood drive-thru Siren embossed frappucino palace…