Linger over a nosh and coffee at Jam Coffee House

Linger over a nosh and coffee at Jam Coffee House

A cozy coffee house is a great addition to any neighborhood. A drive-up coffee stand is fine for quick caffeination, but I like somewhere I can settle in to catch up with friends or linger over a book while getting my coffee or tea. In addition to well-made beverages, there should be a little something to snack on or maybe even a light meal. Sure, Starbucks has perfected the formula, but I’d rather abandon the formulaic chain in favor of local flavor.

Jam Coffee House has just what I’m looking for in the heart of Phoenix. The coffee shop opened last year in a trim little white house with a bright blue roof at 507 N. Main St. Duck down the driveway to find parking tucked behind the building.

Inside you’ll find a barista working at a sleek bar backed with gleaming mirrors and fronted by a glass pastry case displaying bagels, doughnuts from Organicos, and muffins baked by Jaime Chase, who owns Jam Coffee House with her husband Darin Chase.

An enclosed porch offers seating at a high counter with a view of the busy street outside. Two rooms inside the house have been opened up to provide ample seating at tables and in comfy chairs arrayed across the L-shaped space that provides plenty of nooks for conversation, reading or work. The design helps keep the noise to a comfortable buzz, preventing the clattering echoes that can arise in a small, busy shop with polished wood floors and shabby chic painted wood walls. On bright days, sunlight streams through windows to warm the space with natural light, while drab days are brightened with strings of tiny white lights that ring the rooms.

Jam Coffee House serves Case Coffee from Ashland. It offers a standard line-up of coffee drinks: espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, mochas, and Americanos as well as hot chocolate, chai, teas and smoothies.

Planning to avoid the jitters, I ordered a decaffeinated latte for $4. The barista completed the final feathery pattern atop the cup when he realized it wasn’t decaf, so he had to head back to the drawing board. The next drink he brewed and poured was equally lovely to look at and exactly what I ordered.

Appreciating the attentive service, I decided to turn my visit into a meal by adding a burrito stuffed with fluffy scrambled eggs, crispy red potatoes, bacon and melted cheddar cheese. Prepared ingredients are wrapped in a flour tortilla that is grilled to a golden brown, then served with a side of fresh salsa. This $8.50 breakfast burrito is available all day at Jam.

Berry and tropical smoothie bowls are topped with Birdseed Granola, made in Bend by the Chases’ daughter. Fans can buy bags of the granola and Case Coffee beans to take home.

As the weather warms up, I’ll want to return to try the cold-brew coffee on nitro to see if it measures up to the top-notch version from Rise Coffeehouse in east Medford. The Chases plan to build a deck behind the shop for outdoor seating and room for music, which they hope to host at least once a month. Jaime also plans to expand the lunch menu to include teriyaki and curry rice bowls and a weekly sandwich special.

Jam Coffee House is part of a wave of quality coffee that is sweeping through comfortable neighborhood shops across the Rogue Valley. It’s a welcome addition to Phoenix.

Jam Coffee House is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call 541-778-3453.

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