When Aaron Wilson decided to pursue his dream of opening a coffee shop, he knew he wanted it to be in his hometown of Marana. After a three year search for the perfect location, he and his wife Amy found the right spot on Ina at Thornydale to open Crema Coffee.
“We wanted to introduce the community to new and different coffee,” Aaron said. “We wanted to bring a craft coffee shop feel to Marana.”
In their journey to learn about coffee, the Wilsons would attend tastings at Presta Coffee. There, they learned that coffee has the same complexity as wine does, with different notes and flavor profiles.
“I remember thinking, this is really cool,” Aaron said.
Crema’s drink menu is designed to highlight the quality of the beans that they settled on using from local roaster Exo Roast Co. The Wilsons focus on classic methods of preparation, like lattes, which are a combination of espresso and steamed milk, or Cortados, which are roughly half espresso and half milk. Americanos, which are made from espresso and hot water, are available for those who like their coffee black. The espresso is all single origin varietals.
“The Mexican varietals are really well-rounded,” Aaron said, “and the Honduras is punchy. The Ethiopian beans have a citrusy flavor.”
Some customers are surprised by the slim menu, but find themselves falling in love with the coffee-forward drinks. “Lots of people come in and realize that they love the flavor of coffee,” Amy said. “We get feedback that it’s the best latte they’ve ever had.”
All of the drinks at Crema Coffee can also be created with almond, soy, and oat milk. Tea from local company Maya Tea is available, as well as oatmeal and local pastries from Sweetster’s Bakery. Aaron is looking to expand into pour-overs and other techniques as they grow.
Going forward, the Wilsons are hoping to create a community hub with Crema. Local art will be featured in the shop, and students are welcome to study there. Every second and fourth Monday is Game Time from 3-5:30pm, where customers are invited to play board games. Thursdays are Crema Coffee Kids Morning, where you can receive a pastry or kid’s beverage for free after purchase of a coffee or tea. Crema has also created a partnership with the Bookmans Entertainment Exchange that shares the building with them, offering 10% off if you show your receipt.
“We wanted Crema to be welcoming to families and new parents,” Aaron said.
Crema Coffee is located at 3725 W Ina Rd. Visit cremacoffeeaz.com to learn more.