Coffee is the second most popular drink in the world — right after water.
Taos’ coffee scene might not yet have reached the caffeinated heights of Seattle’s, but its community of artisan roasters and independent shops is ever-growing. From the Starbucks outpost at Albertson’s to Taos Java, KoKo (which serves food as well), Taos Cow (ditto), in Seco, and the newly opened CiCi’S in the former Coffee Cat’s space on the John Dunn boardwalk, it’s clear Taoseno’s love their coffee! But with all of these choices and only a few days to enjoy the slopes and sights, how does one decide where to get one’s morning kick?
For coffee lovers, it’s a real treat to discover a local coffee shop where you can savor a cup of coffee and connect with the local community. While there are many coffee shops here, there are a few that stand out with their own, distinctive local flair.
From hipster elixirs to the best espresso, this is where to find the best coffee in Taos. Not just the best places to go for a great cup of coffee but a great room too. This is a short list of 3 of the coolest coffee shops in town. North, south and in the middle. Might not want to try them all in one day, unless you plan on being awake until next January.
World Cup Cafe
On the corner of Taos Plaza, the World Cup’s origins are legendary; it began as Black Diamond Coffee in a cart in TSV. It then branched out to a cart on Bent Street before arriving in its hole in the Plaza wall. At the top of the list for it’s classic Cafe Culture along with excellent espresso that has kept customers from near and far, coming back time and again. It’s a local institution and a destination spot for visitors, and it’s not uncommon to run into folks you probably wouldn’t cross paths with otherwise. The baristas and baristos (on Friday mornings it’s Michael and Jack), are pros thanks to proprietor Patrick Larkin’s education in the Art of Coffee. Try the classic espresso if you are a purist, or the silky smooth Cafe Borgia if you’re in the mood for a real treat. All organic everything from the coffee to the baked goods, make this place a winner! The T-Shirts aren’t bad either, nor is the ‘Cup’s motto: Resist Mediocrity. Indeed.
No website. Either you know or you don’t.
On the plaza, opens at 7, closes at 6ish.
The Coffee Apothecary
A relative newbie on the scene, this cafe has earned itself a solid and well deserved reputation as the hipster fave aqui en Taos. Eiffel chairs amplify the old meets new Taos vibe the space is imbued with, lending it a unique, yet cosy ambiance. The coffee is excellent – they roast their own beans – and they know what they are doing. Pablo Flores learned to make coffee as a kid, from his dad Greg, who stared Elevation Coffee (next on my list), years ago, after purchasing the original Black Diamond/World Cup’s cart. What goes around, comes around. The service is great, the vibes are cool and they have fast Wi-Fi, yummy treats, good conversation and with the great aesthetics, you can’t beat it for an afternoon meeting or a morning drop-in.
Located at 616 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, they close at 4pm. For more about them and what they do, please visit their site linked below.
Last but not least on my list, are Elevation, north of town on the way to TSV, is the perfect morning pit stop on your way to a day on the Mountain. It’s also the perfect spot to take your laptop and spend some time working. Wi-Fi and great coffee make for an inspiring combination, in this spacious room, that allows for privacy while being a community hub all at once. Begun by Greg Flores and his former partner, Ellen, in the cart that once housed Black Diamond Coffee, before it headed north on the Paseo for more space and higher ground. Pun intended.The new and current owners, have continued in the stellar tradition rooted in the cafe’s origins, and have brought their own charming, personal touch to the place. Located at 110 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, El Prado, Elevation does have a website.
All three cafe’s share another thing in common, besides their origin’s in that humble coffee cart; they all offer outdoor as well as indoor seating, so you can enjoy your brew while soaking up a little of our legendary sunshine, no matter the season.
All images Stock Files except for featured image by Bill Curry