One of my most vivid memories is sitting around the kitchen table with my grandparents as they read the newspaper and having a half-cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer before heading off to kindergarten. Yes . . . you read that correctly, I started my relationship with coffee early in life and to this day I still begin my day with a good ol’ “cup of Joe.”
I once heard that a coffee shop is the adult equivalent of a kid being in a candy store and couldn’t agree more! There is just something about the inviting aroma and ambience of coffee houses that is unparalleled. Although many shops have expanded their role and serve as excellent spaces to meet others, grab a bite to eat, and even get work done, I want to focus on the main event and highlight some of the perfect local places to feed your need for coffee!
One afternoon, I needed a quick pick-me-up and opted to visit Beck’s Roasting House and Creamery. I stopped by the original location on Mesquite Street in Las Cruces; however, they now have two satellite locations as well. The barista who assisted me graciously offered several recommendations, and I went with a cold brew with caramel and oat milk. Not only was the coffee amazing, the atmosphere and customer service were perfect. Beck’s Express operates out of a creatively converted shipping container on Main Street. In addition, the owners have opened one of downtown’s newest restaurants, Willow + Blaine. Beck’s Roasting House and Creamery’s original location was closed down in January for 2023. Their downtown Express location is still open and are still offering wholesale services with a new owner.
Milagro Coffee y Espresso on University Avenue is now under new ownership, with John Kelly taking over the reins this past summer from the now-retired Bernie Digman. “I started working at Milagro in 2006 and was lucky enough to buy the business. I love everything about coffee. My favorite part about my job is the community that grows up around a coffee shop. People come by and spend time working and socializing and it feels like more than just a business or restaurant,” says John. You can pick up an exceptional cup of coffee for just $3 and most other drinks are well under the $5 mark, with their most popular drinks being the espresso shake and flavored lattes. “We make a fantastic cappuccino and I think our newest offering, the Cafe Paleta, is delicious,” states John.
Nessa’s Café on Picacho Avenue is a cozy spot you can’t afford to miss! I stopped by one morning before work and was excited to see they even have a convenient drive-through option for those on the go. I ordered an iced coffee with a shot of vanilla flavor, and it did not disappoint. In addition, owner Vanessa Smith has an incredibly inviting essence, which was confirmed as I watched her take a moment to water the grass that sits beside her shop and chat with customers seated on white picnic tables enjoying their coffee. “I get to be a part of a community. Some are like family and the support I get from all my regulars is so reassuring,” says Vanessa.
Cruise on down to the quaint little town of Mesilla where I grew up and you will find The Bean Café. When it opened, way back when I was in high school, I spent many afternoons sitting in the intimate outdoor courtyard enjoying a piping hot coffee with my nose in a book. In addition to the standard menu, The Bean sells whole beans in decaf, light, medium, or dark roast. The best part is that a half-pound goes for only $8 and a full pound for $15. You can even purchase gift cards! How could you go wrong with a gift like that?
I reached out to native El Pasoan Juan Ramos to get the scoop on the coffee scene in our neighboring city in the Lone Star State. Without a second thought, he told me about 2Ten Coffee Roasters with two locations in the El Paso area. “I would say that 2Ten is my favorite coffee shop and I usually get a matcha or Spanish latte. I find myself there at least once or twice a week,” declares Juan.
Located in the heart of El Paso, Coffee Box has two beautiful outdoor patio areas overlooking San Jacinto Plaza. A second location recently opened on the east side of the city near Zaragoza Road and Pebble Hills Boulevard.
Have you ever heard of a charcoal frappe? It was certainly news to me, but something that is now on my bucket list. They claim this is “a drink everyone is talking about!” It features activated charcoal made from charcoaled coconut shells combined with premium Black Onyx cocoa and can be served hot or cold.
Along with attractive drink items, a unique feature of Coffee Box is extended hours Monday through Thursday until 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday until 10 p.m., just in case you need a cup later in the evening.
About 1,000 feet higher in elevation than the picturesque village of Ruidoso, the home of Sacred Grounds Coffee and Tea House and Zocca Coffee, you will find the quaint Black Bear Coffee Shop located in the equally picturesque town of Cloudcroft. Nathan and Crystal Tompkins had their first date in a coffee shop and never looked back. Their shop is complete with a Synesso espresso machine they fondly named “Nessie” and features coffee beans from artisan roasters in New Mexico.
Sunrise Espresso in Silver City is confident they live up to their name and are home to “The Best Espresso.” Among traditional coffee choices, they have a “specialty drink” section of their menu with 12-, 16-, and 20-ounce size options. A couple that caught my eye were the “Almond Joy,” a chocolate, almond, and coconut latte, and the “Hawaiian Mocha,” flavored with chocolate, coconut, and macadamia.
Whether you are a coffee house regular or simply want a special treat, one of our local coffee shops will surely satisfy. Even if coffee is not your “cup of tea,” you can opt for an actual cup of tea, Italian soda, or a great snack at many of these locations. Whether you drink it simple or fancy, hot or cold, either way — be bold!
Here are some coffee shops around the region that might just be your cup of tea!
Java Nick’s Coffee Hut
Black Bear Coffee Shop
2Ten Coffee Roasters
The Bean Café
Beck’s Roasting House & Creamery
Milagro Coffee y Espresso
Sacred Grounds Coffee and Tea House
Javalina Coffee House
Written and photography by Desiree Bustamantes
Additional photos courtesy coffee shops
Originally published in Neighbors magazine.
Posted by LasCruces.com