When you first walk into Deep Space Coffee, your eyes dart from the wall of art on the left to the swinging lamp on the right (we don’t know why that’s so fascinating, but it is!) to the custom Deep Space Coffee flag hanging above the counter.
It almost makes you want to walk out the door to make sure you didn’t just teleport to Los Angeles, Portland or Brooklyn. Almost. But, then you stare in wonderment at the menu and shout, “I want it all!” Okay, you don’t do that, but you do ask the awesome barista what their favorite drink is and they’ll gladly make a suggestion based on what you’re feeling that day.
On this particular day, we decided to try a flat white and an almond milk latte (but you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose). As we settled into our seats at a communal bench covered with adult coloring books and cute succulent plants in coffee mug planters, we stared at the new art across from us. This particular art is by Thomas Christopher Haag, an artist known for painting collages with different symbols, never using the same one twice. You could spend hours looking at his paintings trying to dissect the meaning behind it all – a great conversational piece for a coffee shop, a place where creatives tend to gravitate towards anyway.
Speaking of creative types, it’s a great place to get inspired, especially if you’ve been in kind of a rut. The baristas are always laughing and having a good time, the music playing in the background is always spot on (they sometimes have CD listening parties, most recently Zhu’s new one) and people are genuinely there to enjoy the atmosphere and connect with others.
By now, it’s pretty apparent from our pictures that Deep Space Coffee knows how to create an atmosphere and aesthetic that’s marketing gold. What we love is that no detail has gone unnoticed. When we first visited Deep Space Coffee in February, we’d just arrived from Los Angeles and spent our fair share hanging out at coffee shops, from Verve to The Wheelhouse to Dinosaur Coffee. We can honestly say that Deep Space Coffee blew us away and is at the forefront of the future of third wave coffee shops in Downtown Albuquerque.
And their branding is on point. Scattered around the tables and in tall glasses you’ll find their unique business cards – small wooden geometric shaped pieces. GENIUS! When we first came here, we didn’t know what they were and thought it was a cool puzzle-type game. That’s when the barista told us it was their business card…now that’s how a business, especially a coffee shop in a sea of coffee shops, stands out. What’s more, they keep it local and had their logo/business cards made in Albuquerque by Levitated Toy Factory, a 3D printing business whose owner co-founded a little ol’ online shop called Etsy.
If you’re visiting for the first time, we’d suggest getting the espresso flight. Not only does it give you a taste of the artisanal (local) coffee their serving up, but it comes on a dark wooden paddle with two sides of seltzer water to cleanse your palette after each sip. For a jolt of energy, the gibraltar will do the job and keep you going throughout the day. And if you’re up for something a little more refreshing, the cold brew takes the (vegan) cake. It’s the most unique-tasting cold brew we’ve ever had and almost tastes like it has a hint of tea in there (does it?).
We’re excited to see where Deep Space Coffee is going with its Tumblr-esque shop filled with hidden surprises like the mirror in the bathroom replaced with a sweet little reminder letting you know “You look fine” or the awesome #secretlyvegan baked goods from behind the bar. It’s unassuming in the sense that Deep Space Coffee is like the cool kid in high school who didn’t know he was the cool kid and was nice to everybody; it’s unpretentious and staying true to itself. We like that A LOT and can’t wait for it to grow. Here we are now, Deep Space, entertain us.
So, if you ever find yourself in Albuquerque (and who wouldn’t want to visit…we have the Sandia Mountains, green chile and the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, just to name a few..), make your way down through iconic Route 66 and grab a latte or two at Deep Space Coffee. And if you’re local and haven’t stopped by yet, then believe the hype. Just like its namesake, this little coffee shop off Central will transport you into another world and you’ll never want to go back to regular coffee again.
Wanna grab some coffee?