Best cups o’ Joe: Taos style roasts and hosts

DISCOVER DELICOSO

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The list of java joints in Taos is as abundant, delectable and varied as its eateries, galleries and cast of characters. The majority of coffee shops are locally owned. They are listed below in order of who opens the earliest because on some mornings, that first cup of coffee can’t come fast enough.

Taos Java

Hours: 5:45 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays

This well-established spot is the first to open every day. Taos java is a cozy, quaint coffee shop at 1066 Paseo del Pueblo Sur by Walmart. It has the only coffee shop drive-thru in town. In addition to brewing up Ohori’s beans (roasted in nearby Santa Fe) and offering Mexican cocoa, one of their specialties is creating unique flavor combinations. They also serve breakfast burritos and baked goods. Free Wi-Fi. (575) 751-9405

The Coffee Spot

Hours: 6 a.m.-4 p.m. daily

The Coffee Spot is north of town in El Prado while on your way to Taos Ski Valley, the Río Grande Gorge Bridge or the Enchanted Circle drive via Questa. Under a motto of “resist mediocrity,” a full menu is offered, a rotating selection of baked goods and a strong rock-star cup of joe. Free Wi-Fi and pet-friendly. This funky coffee shop is located at 900 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. (575) 758-8556

Starbucks

Hours: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

The newest addition to the Taos coffee scene opened for business in January. In addition to world-famous coffee, the shop sells sandwiches, pastries and other snack items. Starbucks is located inside the Albertsons market on Paseo del Pueblo Sur.

Elevation Coffee

Hours: 6:30 a.m.-4 p.m. daily

Located in El Prado at 1110 Paseo del Pueblo Norte is this popular, quiet and friendly place with a contemporary vibe. Keep your eyes peeled for the giant red coffee cup on the side of the road. Cash, check only. Free Wi-Fi, pet-friendly patio and a book exchange. (575) 758-3068

The Coffee Apothecary

Hours: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. and Sun.

One of the newest coffee spot gems in town. In its short time, The Coffee Apothecary has established itself for making excellent drinks, crafted with expertise and care. A welcoming and cozy environment, centrally located on Paseo del Pueblo Sur next to Gearing Up bike shop with solid and fast Wi-Fi. A selection of morning treats is also available. (575) 779-8706

KOKO Coffee/Deli/Carry-out

Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. Closed Sunday

KOKO offers an impressive selection of coffee drinks and scrumptious grab-n-go or eat-in food, including fresh housemade salads, sushi, desserts (don’t pass up some pie or a pastry) and more for the foodie in everyone. KOKO’s is located at 1033 Paseo del Pueblo Sur in the Martinez Plaza. (575) 758-9448

Noula’s

Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily

Noula’s was the first coffee shop to serve Starbucks coffee in Taos. Nice, clean and friendly café with multicolored tables and chairs. Noula’s is conveniently located in Hotel La Fonda de Taos on Taos Plaza. It was named for the wife of James Karavas, owner of the historic property from the late 1920s to 1953. Back in the day, it was a bar and a popular artists’ gathering spot. (575) 758-2211

World Cup Café

Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily

One of Taos’ oldest coffeehouses, World Cup is located on Taos Plaza on the corner of Paseo del Pueblo Norte and Kit Carson Road. It is known for its bohemian flair and anti-establishment voice. There is limited indoor seating, but benches that face the busiest intersection in town provide the perfect spot for people watching any time of day. Credit cards not accepted. (575) 737-5299

Coffee Cats

Hours: 9 a.m.-6 daily

This colorful and bright respite is on the historic John Dunn House Shops pedestrian mall off Bent Street in the heart of town. This petite café features organic, fair-trade coffee, herbal teas, frappes, smoothies, ice cream and baked goods and desserts. Indoor and outdoor seating. On a side note: For $1 the barista will drop a “rock” in your beverage that is said to have healing benefits. No checks. (575) 758-0606

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