Coffee, coffee, coffee: Your guide to surviving finals with the help of caffeine

Madison Beveridge | The Daily Wildcat

 One of Presta Coffee Roasters' downtown location standing at 501 E. 9th St.

Finals are just around the corner and of course, with that comes the inevitable early mornings and late nights. What helps? Caffeine! Across Tucson, walkable coffee shops are easy to find. Whether you prefer a small, tucked-away table or a bustling environment, the caffeine scene near campus has lots to offer. Here is your guide to local, nearby and affordable coffee for this finals season (in no particular order). 

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1. Cartel Coffee Lab $$*



Cartel Coffee Lab's downtown location at 210 E. Broadway Blvd. is accessible by Sunlink.

With two Tucson locations, Downtown and North Campbell, Cartel Coffee offers a calm environment for those looking to escape campus. Several large tables scatter the shop, offering plenty of room to study, eat and drink coffee. Their small latte is 5 dollars while food options average around 8 dollars. Cartel is open every day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

2. Presta Coffee Roasters $


 One of Presta Coffee Roasters' downtown location standing at 501 E. 9th St.

Just a short SunLink ride south of campus are two Presta locations. Unique to Presta is their outdoor seating, which offers plenty of tables to bask in the sun while studying or finishing assignments. In addition to traditional caffeinated beverages, those with a sweet tooth can check our Presta’s signature drinks such as their Honey Nut Cheerio Iced Latte and their Tropical Cold Brew Sangria. Presta's three locations are open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

3. Café Passe $$


 Cafe Passe, located on Fourth Avenue is a great option for those who want to eat and drink coffee.

Café Passe offers a lot more than coffee. Their vast menu includes items such as smoothies, bagels, sandwiches and salads as well as plenty of plant-based food options. Their coffee selection is equally impressive, offering lattes, cold brew and coffee averaging around $4.50. Café Passe is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It is closed Monday and Tuesday. 

“Our most popular caffeinated drink is probably the honey cinnamon latte,” said Hana Olhaye, a Café Passe barista.  

4. Scented Leaf $  


Scented Leaf is located both Downtown and on University Blvd. 

Scented Leaf, located on both Downtown and University Boulevard, is a great option for those wanting more than coffee. With a wide selection of iced or hot teas, Scented Leaf is a great environment to wind down a bit during this finals season. Both locations offer plenty of indoor seating and Wi-Fi, yet the shop is a bit more lively than other quieter options. Scented Leaf on University is open every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and their Downtown location is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The fruit gusher is definitely our most popular drink, and it is completely customizable,” said Maddie Morse, a Scented Leaf employee.  

5. Caffé Luce $


 Caffe Lucé's University Blvd location is a great option for those who don't wish to walk far to get their caffeine fix. 

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A quick turn around the corner from Scented Leaf is Caffe Luce. With its vicinity to campus, Caffe Luce offers the perfect stop between classes. Hannah Trushell, a barista at the Caffe Luce, explained the current most popular drink.

“It changes depending on the time of day, but right now our Aztec Mocha is really popular,” Trushell said.   

*Note: Average cost rankings go from $3.50 to $6.50 and up for caffeinated items.

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