Cultured, a self serve yogurt bar and espresso bar, is conveniently located at Aspen Place at the Sawmill, a mini upscale dining and shopping complex in Flagstaff. It also happens to be one of the few places in town where you can enjoy a coffee drink while taking in pretty views of the mountains.
I have had mixed experiences here based on the baristas on staff. The seasonal pumpkin spice latte was delicious, while some of the espresso drinks have been downright terrible.
Cultured offers a weird combination of a luxury espresso menu and a self serve frozen yogurt station. The espresso drinks are a bit pricey compared to other shops in town ($8 for 2 Americanos). Also the drinks only come in one size, which is a bit inconvenient for someone who wants just a small cup of coffee.
The Americano is usually pretty decent with a nice rich, smooth flavor, although the creama layer is pretty much absent. It is made with 3 shots of espresso, a bit strong in my opinion, however, this is the only size offered. I I have also tested out the Long Black, which is supposed to have an intense crema layer, unfortunately, there was absolutely no layer. I am not sure that the staff knows how to correctly made this drink, and therefore, should probably remove it from the menu.
The biggest disappointment of all was the standard mocha. The chocolate was completely clumped at the bottom of the mug (see picture below), and thus, had absolutely no flavor.
The best drink offered here is the seasonal pumpkin spice latte, which is almost as good as Starbucks, although much healthier for you as they use real pumpkins and natural flavors.
In addition to coffee, there are a variety of interesting loose leaf tea creations on the menu including a Pumpkin Pie Spice, Spiced Apple Chai, and Wild Strawberry blend. The teas we have tried have all been great.
Food options are limited to a few pastry options, oatmeal, yogurt dishes, quiche, and bagel sandwiches. Unfortunately, a rice krispie treat and yogurt bowl are the only 2 gluten-free options on the menu. Adding a few gluten-free and vegan options would be nice for guests with food allergies.
Service is typically pretty fast even though at times there is a line all the way to the door. Drinks are piping hot and nicely presented with a saucer and spoon.
The setting at Cultured is very beautiful due to the 2nd floor's large windows that face the San Francisco peaks. The downstairs section features cozy couches, a fireplace, board games and reading material.
Upstairs, you will find a bright colorful design theme with a few tables, relaxing chairs, and the fantastic mountain views. It's a nice quiet place with a clean, modern design. Surprisingly, it's the only place in town where you get to take in the views while you enjoy your coffee.
Cultured is a decent option for those who don't mind spending a few extra bucks for the fabulous views. The quiet, nicely decorated space combined with relaxing mountain views make it the perfect spot for a weekend coffee date. Be aware that the drink quality can be a hit or miss depending on who is working on the day of your visit. Cultured has a high turnover due to their employment of college aged students, which unfortunately translates into inconsistent service and drinks.