I have more photos from the Tucson trip (it’s only been a month!) and wanted to post them with some short commentary. I don’t have time right now to write a lengthy review of each place we tried, however I’ll give you the important notes.

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The espresso machine at The Coffee Vein.

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Mike F. Trevino prepares an espresso while Martha Raymond talks about coffee at The Coffee Vein..

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Trevino at The Coffee Vein..

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Latte Art — by Trevino at The Coffee Vein..

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The coffee vein itself.

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Now we’re at 6th Street Cafe and this is a view of the espresso machine.

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Menu board at 6th Street Cafe.

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Now we’re at Espresso Art. This was a view of the espresso I ordered. I honestly found this place fine as far as coffee goes (Illy) but hated the way they treated me. I was not happy. Will not go back. They mocked me.

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Inside Espresso Art.

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Another view inside Espresso Art.

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Cup of coffee inside Raging Sage Coffee Roasters (What are those bubbles? They were really weird).

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Raging Sage Coffee Roasters puts the coffee in a refrigerator for some reason, and immediately after roasting (they were roasting while we were there).

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That wraps up our trip to Tucson!

Further reading about Tucson:

Update: The billiards table at The Coffee Vein.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. I am excited to see that 6th street is using a Simonelli Machine!

    ..be bold

  2. MikeFTrevino

    Please don’t judge the Vein by the picture of our three group macine with only one portafilter locked in. We were in the middle of cleaning it to use Larry’s PF Thermometer. It’s still a great picture Chris, I was looking at it and thought people are gonna think we leave the PFs out of the group.
    I see Jason like Simonelli.
    The Laranzato’s ok, but the boiler runs a little cool as Larry helped us find out, even at 1.45 boiler pressure. Jim and Martha wanted a better machine and know that the Laranzato has it’s limitations, but, well, it wasn’t in the budget. I’m pulling some of the most awesome shots on this machine, it’s just alot of work.
    I am liking the the simplicity and price point of the Synesso lately.

  3. Those bubbles look like the result of coffee dispensed from an air-pot.

    The simonelli isn’t just a NS, it’s the Aurelia. It’s the ONLY NS I’d consider worth seriously looking at, and even then, there’s some stiff competition.

  4. I worked on the Aurelia a few times — along with others — and really love it. I agree, Jason, that there is alot of great stuff out there. I feel very comfortable on the Aurelia because of it’s ergonomics..

    ..be bold

  5. I was just gonna ask if that coffee came from an aero press or something? Odd.

  6. Very weird those bubbles, that happened to be a photo Chris took of the cup I was served. Not the usual airpot bubbles, at first I thought it was soap residue that wasn’t rinsed off. But no soapy flavor was detected by the three of us who were brave enough to try it. It remains a mystery.

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  8. ..bubbles look like you got the end of the pot — more air coming out than brew. Not sure…

    ..be bold

  9. Maybe that’s the answer to the mysterious bubbles. They had a “hardness” to them unlike what you would expect from an airpot. After more than 15 minutes they were still there. Maybe the airpot was rinsed in water that contained oils or grease from another kitchen utensil?

  10. Ken

    Don’t know what the bubbles are at Ragaing Sage. But since I live right nearby and go there frequently I have to say they are definitely one of the best cafes in Tucson. Excellent home baked goods. Their espresso is way better than their drip, which unfortunately isn’t true of lots of places.

    I was served a terrible espresso at Espresso Art – way bitter, no crema. Yeah, it’s weird that Raging Sage keeps their beans in a fridge, not a good idea. So I’ve since been trying out beans from other local roasters. Roaster X is really nice. But just bought a pound of Rocket’s Classic Espresso at Coffee Vein from Mike Trevino (really nice guy). Gonna give it a try.

  11. I see in your top photo that you are using a Laranzato ME-2 machine along with the Aurelia from Nuova. What features do you like about each one of them? Why do you have two machines at the shop?

  12. sallyho

    The bubbles are from the freshness of the beans, like the crema on an espresso. If they freeze the beans directly after roasting there is no off-gassing, and froth and bubbles naturally occur in fresh brewed coffee, and more so in the high-pressure circumstance of an espresso shot. I’ve never witnessed air pots at raging sage in all the times I’ve visited, only the freshest coffee around.

  13. Spencer

    Keeping fresh roasted beans frozen keeps them fresh. Warm beans will off-gas, which corrupts the flavor. Some beans sold in bags have air valves to release these gases. This was invented to save retailers the cost of refrigeration. If beans are frozen in a sealed container, then moisture will not condense on them, and they will remain fresh for a long time.