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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wondering where to get the best cup o’ Joe? Ask Tucson Coffee Chronicles

If you are like many of the students at the University of Arizona, caffeine in the form of coffee is not a choice, but a necessity. 

UA students Giulia Ghidoli and Vaisha Nair feel you.

The pair has gone so far as to make a social media page dedicated to their love and reliance on coffee called Tucson Coffee Chronicles. The Instagram page was started in 2021, and documents the girls’ favorite places to get their caffeinated pick me ups in Tucson, complete with reviews and ratings. 

The page started as a hobby, a solution to their “pandemic boredom” as the pair called it. They were seasoned instant coffee drinkers by this point. A cup or two or sometimes even three a day would help them keep a pep in their step. But when getting out of the house became an event in itself, coffee-shop-outings seemed like the perfect solution. 

“When we were in quarantine and didn’t have something to do, we would be like ‘well we could go and grab a coffee.’ And then we started putting reviews on our [Snapchat] stories and people would give us suggestions and be like ‘oh try this place.’ So that’s how people heard that we were doing reviews,” Nair said. 

“And then one of our friends, Emily Palanjin, told us to start an Instagram account for it,” Ghidoli said. “By that point we were already keeping track of each place we were going,” she explained as she scrolled through her phone; showing a long list of coffee shops that they started almost three years ago.

“It was kinda lowkey to start,” she said.  “We would just try the seasonal drinks at the Union Starbucks, but now we go out and it’s an event.”

They made it their mission to try every coffee shop in Tucson. 

The two friends have gone on to try 35 coffee spots in the Tucson area. However, as Ghidoli noted, gaining a following as coffee connoisseurs doesn’t happen overnight. Their Instagram bio reads, “Just two girls with caffeine addictions attempting to try every coffee shop in the dirty T.” They currently have over 1,200 followers on Instagram and almost 100 posts. They’ve been featured in the Daily Wildcat and were also asked by Arizona Forge to give a talk at their Create Café that took place in early October. 

Tucson Coffee Chronicles growth has been pretty gradual. 

“We started celebrating when we would hit milestones, like when we hit a certain number of followers,” Nair said. “When we hit 500 followers, we were like, ‘Oh woah this is cool.’”

Ghidoli laughed and added, “Yeah, and when we hit 1,000, Vaisha cried.”

Fame, Fortune and the Chronicles’ Future

While they might not be a verified account, their Instagram has brought the two a bit of fame in the Tucson area. 

“Sometimes we get recognized by people we don’t know,” said Ghidoli,  who is from Laguna Hills, California. “One time I was at Target checking out and the cashier was like, ‘are you Tucson Coffee Chronicles?’”

“A lot of people now that are like, ‘oh I follow your account,’ followed us before they moved to Tucson,” said Nair, who is from Gilbert, Arizona. “They were looking at Tucson stuff on Instagram as a prospective student and saw us and followed us, so it’s cool to know that we are giving people a window into what Tucson has to offer.” 

As seniors now, they are throwing around ideas about what the future of The Chronicles has to hold. 

“We haven’t come to a decision yet, it’s kinda up in the air,” Ghidoli said. “We don’t have concrete plans after college yet, but it’s unlikely that both of us will be in Tucson.” 

They’ve talked about passing it down and have joked about interviewing people to take over their Instagram page. They’ve also toyed with the idea of creating a Tucson Coffee Chronicles lineage, but they mostly hope that whoever would take it over would be passionate about it. 

“Part of [the page] is us, and Tucson, but I hope that it will still keep going and either way our page is still going to be there,” Nair said. “People can still look back on our page to find coffee shop inspiration.” 

But what’s craziest to the pair is that they are having to come to some sort of decision about where the future of Tucson Coffee Chronicles lies. 

Spreading Tucson Love 

Nair said that through creating the Tucson Coffee Chronicles and getting to visit so many local shops, her love for Tucson has grown greatly. She hopes that her followers can experience the same thing through the page.

“There’s still Tucson haters out there; we’re fighting them one by one,” Ghidoli said.

The two laughed when asked what makes them credible to be giving reviews of coffee on a platform. They are not experts of coffee by any means, they stressed. 

“We are not qualified, and that’s what makes it fun,” Ghidoli said. “Sometimes I buy really expensive coffee and end up hating it. I never want to come off as someone that really knows their coffee. Let’s be honest, I’m just a college student who spends way too much money on it.”

While the two aren’t pros, they know what they like; they have the following to prove it. So where does the pair go for a cup of joe when they aren’t wearing their Coffee Chronicles hats? Here are a few of their favorite spots. 

Their *Expert Recommendations 

When you just need to get it it fast and on-the-go

Nair: Red Captain, 4004 N. Stone Ave.

Why: Really good coffee from a cute red cart, the best to-go coffee around

Ghidoli: Presta, 501 E. Ninth St.

Why: Great seasonal drinks, something new to try every time; WARNING: No almond milk!

When you want to study and sip slow

Nair: Cartel, 210 E. Broadway Blvd. 

Why: Good wifi, quiet vibe, lots of other people doing work

Ghidoli: Exo Roast Co., 403 N. Sixth Ave. 

Why: Good coldbrews, little tables that feel like tiny desks, good location, high ceilings

When you’re hanging with a friend over a cup of joe

Nair: Ren, 4300 N. Campbell Ave. 

Why: Fun for the weekend when the market is happening, 

Ghidoli: Le Buzz, 2930 N. Swan Road 

Why: Big menu with lots of variety, far away to feel like a getaway

Honorable mentions:

Black crown, 4024 E. Speedway Blvd.

Time market, 444 E. University Blvd. 

Barista del Barrio 1002 N. Grande Ave. 

Follow the Tucson Coffee Chronicles on Instagram and look out for Tucson Coffee Chronicles merch coming soon. 


*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.


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