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Coffee houses in PHX

  • h

Will be traveling to Phoenix in March and am looking for a funky coffee house with great scones/muffins/biscotti. Good espresso, good pastries, and an excellent atmosphere...is this too much to ask? Can anyone lead me in the right direction? We'll be staying in Chandler but would travel for the right place. Thanks!

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  1. As long as you're staying in Chandler, you might consider a franchise-busting experience at Coffee Rush. It's on the southeast corner of Dobson and Ray Road.

    1 Reply
    1. re: I'm Hungry

      Franchise-busting is EXACTLY what I am all about. We will definitely check it out. Thanks!

    2. j
      JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

      You want funky? It will be a bit of a drive, but coffeehouses don't come ANY funkier than Coffee Talk in downtown Mesa, on Robson just north of Main and west of Country Club (Arizona Avenue if you're coming up from Chandler). The atmosphere is easily the best of any coffee house I've been to, all of the decorating is the owner's idea, there's all kinds of neat goods for sale, and the coffee is top-notch.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

        I second this Mesa coffeehouse, except it's now called Inside The Bungalow. There are new mother-daughter owners as well as open mic nights on Wednesdays. Love the patio w/ trees and fountains out back!

      2. bump - i know this is an OOOLLLLLDDDD thread - but i'm also always on the lookout for more coffee spots.

        currently? lux on central, starbucks if im at a loss, and willow house if i'm at the end of my rope. my apologies to hardcore fans but while i like the indie thing, the coffee? not so much

        29 Replies
        1. re: winedubar

          winedubar, I feel your pain; I landed on this old thread in desparation. Moved to Chandler from Oregon about 2 yr ago and haven't found anything close to what they have back home. Best drip coffee I've found is Gold Bar in Tempe. I do not recommend their espresso, however. Haven't made it to lux, yet. Is that as good as people say?

          1. re: don giovanni

            i think its good. pretty good. some days really good. nice barrista's, appear to know what they are doing, its central *ha ha, on central. sorry lame joke*..

            but sometimes im not sure if i like it because its the best around or because there's not much else around? dunno...

            rumor has it that mama java on either thomas or indian school and 32nd is really good...but thats past my normal geographic comfort zone :D

            nice to meet another oregonian.. :D man, i do NOT miss the rain!!

            1. re: winedubar

              I tried mama java about a week ago. It was evening, and I had jet lag, so I had to order decaf. It had an okay flavor but was really weak...the usual in this city. But it may be because of the decaf. When I try places, I always just get drip coffee, because that's the hardest thing to find done properly. It was a nice place, though, and the people were friendly. I'll probably go back some morning and try the regular.

              You should start getting over to that part of town, though, if you can. There's a lot of good stuff over there. There's La Grande Orange nearby, with great breakfasts. And it's not much farther to get to Au Petite Four (24th and Camelback -- means The Little Furnace), which has great French pastries (probably the best almond croissant I've had in America).

              btw, I actually DO miss the rain. What part of Oregon you from?

              1. re: don giovanni

                Ohhh...that almond croissant...could not agree more. Love their macaroons as well.

                1. re: don giovanni

                  hi, i have a friend who lives across from lgo, so i'll walk there, but i'v given up on driving to postino/lgo. too terrible a parking situation...

                  i grew up outside of corvallis, btw ;)

                  1. re: winedubar

                    It's funny. I hear that a lot about parking. I guess I must be lucky. :D

                    I think you can park on the street somewhere near there, anyway...but maybe not.

                    I grew up in Bend; went to school in Eugene. Almost went to Corvallis for grad school, but decided to come down here and brave the heat at ASU.

                    1. re: don giovanni

                      well if you grew up in bend you are ready for the heat!! ;)

                    2. re: winedubar

                      the parking ugh. i'm going to postino this week and dreading the parking drama.

                        1. re: amkirkland

                          did my first lgo this weekend. what a great place. loved the spanish latte though it was a bit sweet for my wife. unfortunately she was too full to grab her standard to get a true feel for the coffee. loved everything thing else about the place (except the parking & crowds) too!

                  2. re: winedubar

                    Winedubar, I'm at Lux right now. Definitely the best cup I've had in AZ...except what I make at home ;)
                    Thanks for convincing me to try it.

                    1. re: don giovanni

                      dg - right on!! im glad you liked it!!! too bad i saw this so late, i could have stopped on by ;)

                      1. re: winedubar

                        Windebur... We stopped by today too on your recommendation...just found the board & then this thread this past week. It was definitely great. To echo, it was the best cup we've had in AZ. thanks!!!

                        As far as what some folks have said about attitude, was expecting some snobbery but it was 180 degrees the other way. Sammy was as nice as could be. I guess the owner was at the hospital right at that time with the birth of his son so they were short on beans to sell (particularly decaf as my wife is pregnant as well). We'll be back in at least by next weekend hopefully to buy some decaf beans! Thanks!!!

                        1. re: ccl1111

                          im so glad you guys liked it!! next time you go, if its open, definitely try pane bianco next door. its chris bianco *of pizzeria bianco* sandwhich place, and its really good!!!

                          1. re: winedubar

                            we saw that. i've of course heard of pane bianco and have always wanted to try it (same with pizzeria bianco). unfortunately it was closed. i definitely have it on the to do list! thanks!!!

                            1. re: ccl1111

                              LOL, i'm with winedubar, pane bianco = YUM! that spot is such a perfect place to spend a saturday morning/afternoon. start out lounging at lux, then go over and check out clothes and jewelry at passage, and wind up by having lunch at pane bianco.

                                1. re: pickychick

                                  :D sounds like a perfect saturday to me!!

                          2. re: winedubar

                            maybe another Saturday (the only day I have time to make the drive from Chandler) ;)

                      2. re: don giovanni

                        Lux is very good, but not a ten. The barristas do seem pretty knowledgeable, but their too cool for school attitude bothers me. Better than the cramped, slow willow house, although they make a good cup as well.

                      3. re: winedubar

                        how is willow house? ran into that while surfing on the bb trying to find lux on saturday. drove right by it (on our way to lux - which was a great decision!)

                        1. re: ccl1111

                          A lot of people like Willow House. IMHO the coffee really isn't very good, but it's still a fun place to visit (go when there's some live music).

                          1. re: don giovanni

                            here here. i think the willow house is a dud. i appreciate that they were downtown pioneers and im really glad that they saved an old building. the sandwhiches are decent, the sourced desserts are pretty good. but the coffee? yipes!!!!!

                            still, they are open super late, esp on weekends. many is a nite when we've ended up on the picnic tables outside, for want of something else...

                            1. re: winedubar

                              I couldn't agree more about the coffee (didn't wanna be too hard on them before, because I actually have only had the coffee once; after I find out I don't like a place's coffee, I usually start ordering other things). But in this city, there are so few places where the coffee is any good, I figure you have to gauge a place's visit-worthiness by something else (eg, a good building). Unless you can hit Lux (or you know of some secret you haven't shared with us), I say make your coffee at home. (But I will have to visit the place in Cave Creek that someone mentioned on this thread.)

                              Speaking of places with character but bad coffee, have you ever visited the Counterculture Cafe? It's a funny place. I went in there with a friend, when we were wanting something Indie. It was fun to hang out there and talk, but that coffee was seriously terrifying!

                              We were there close to midnight. The coffee tasted like it had been sitting on a burner since 6 AM. Have you ever gotten stuck making coffee from really terrible grounds, and tried to fix it by brewing it super strong, but it just turned into an acidic "syrup"? It was like that, except add a harsh burnt flavor to it. I think I could have gotten an ulcer from that acid if I'd finished it.

                              1. re: winedubar

                                in defense of the willow house: I've only been there once, and it was terribly slow... and not in a charming way BUT it was the best capuccino I've had around this area.

                                1. re: amkirkland

                                  That's surprising to me, but I wouldn't actually know. I almost always just order house coffee when I try places. Did they do it like a "real" cappuccino? You know, in an actual cappuccino mug, with the right ratio of coffee, milk, froth?

                                  1. re: don giovanni

                                    I'm kind of ashamed to admit mine was to go, but yes to everything else, except that it was far too large.

                                    1. re: amkirkland

                                      lol no shame necessary! you gotta do what you gotta do ;)

                        2. Article in the paper today says we're getting several locations of the Human Bean, an Oregon chain -- for the most part, smaller than Starbucks and geared towards drive-thru service. don giovanni, can you speak to the quality of their product, should we make a stop if we see one?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: themis

                            Smaller than starbucks is like saying better than the cardinals. However, I've found that it is small chains, or places that buy their coffee from small chains, rather than independent houses that do their own roasting, that have the best coffee.

                            1. re: themis

                              They finally opened a Human Bean on Riggs in Chandler, a month ago. Anyone tried it yet?

                              990 E Riggs Rd
                              Chandler, AZ 85249

                            2. Has anyone tried Copper Star in the 7th on Melrose District (7th Ave between Indian School and Camelback)? I've been there once, and my experience was mixed. I was impressed that they carry Harney teas, but the person behind the counter was not terribly friendly. Maybe, it was just a bad day. I enjoyed my tea but did not linger.


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: silverbear

                                I love Copper Star. I'm really not a coffee afficianado, but I find their lattes perfectly drinkable, and their housemade scones and blueberry muffins are delicious. I haven't had any of the other pastries, but I know that the cupcakes and banana bread are also made onsite.

                                I keep going back because the atmosphere is exactly what I like in a coffee place -- a friendly, neighborhood joint, with a bit of that urban edge, but not overrun by the hipper-than-thou crowd. I find the staff to be pleasant, and the owner is very friendly.

                                1. re: kjhart

                                  I'm not a coffee afficianado either. I just like a simple cup of Earl Grey tea. For some reason, the person working at Copper Star the day I stopped in was cold and uncommunicative. I'm hoping it was just a bad day. I will give Copper Star another try next time I'm in the 7th on Melrose area.

                              2. Human Bean is in southern Oregon, where I never spent much time, except on the way through to Cali, so I really can't say. I think I had it once passing through Ashland. Not sure. Probably worth a try, though.

                                I checked out their website.


                                They're doing the Farm Friendly thing, which is always a plus. Usually it's the same story at these kiosk chains. They have pretty okay espresso drinks, but the drip coffee isn't the best.

                                This excerpt from their website sounds promising:

                                'Our signature blend combines Indonesian, Central American, and African beans to create espresso that is smooth with a hint of berries and a bright finish. It�s great for mocha's and flavored lattes.'

                                1. A "four" is an oven,. Au Petit Four - at the little oven. They sell pastry (among other yummy things.)

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: Alice Letseat

                                    Not just any pastry. They sell the best croissants I've had. Ever.

                                    1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

                                      if you add "in the U.S." to that, then for sure. But even if you don't...

                                        1. re: abbefaith

                                          esplanade, in the outdoor walkway near camelback. There's a starbucks, quizno's and that 7th heaven place nearby. You MUST go. has anyone had anythng but pastries? I'm curious about their quiches and other "real" foods.

                                          1. re: amkirkland

                                            I found myself in Arcadia this morning, so I dropped in for coffee and a croissant (which was heavenly as always). I was still hungry, so I went back in and ordered a "Parisian" sandwich. Ham, boiled egg, cheese (can't remember now; I think it was provolone), mayo, green lettuce on a baguette; came with a side of pasta salad. It was very good (but not amazing, like the pastries).

                                            btw, according to the owners, they are waiting for their application for a wine and liquor license to be approved. Once they get it, I'll have to go for one of their weekend dinners.

                                            1. re: amkirkland

                                              Regular food is not good... very very disappointed.

                                              Enjoyed the croissants very much (not the best, but excellent for a non-cosmopolitan US city). Cookies are also not so good. Buy flaky pastries when you go.

                                        2. re: Alice Letseat

                                          Thanks for correcting my not-so-strong French. Oven makes a lot more sense than furnace!

                                          1. re: don giovanni

                                            but furnace sounds much more quaint... depending on how you interpret it.

                                        3. i would recommend the royal coffee bar downtown if you can get there. the barrista trained at lux (which is awesome) and you won't get an attitude. what you will get is a great cup of coffee in a cool shop. it's one of my favs along with lux.

                                          1. if youre coming to downtown phx try Tammie Coe Cakes.7th St. & Roosevelt, BEST bread, muffins, scones, monster cookies in town. Oh yeah the coffee is over the top, I stay with the drip for everyday, latte etc for lounging. All to-go, little sitting area. Copper Star has been good to me.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. where is the royal coffee bar?!?!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. Going to sound wierd, but one of the best espresso's that I can find in the Chandler/Gilbert area is at Gilbert Pizza. The owner is from Italy via New York. The pizza and food are pretty good too. Not a coffee house, but to get a real espresso with some crema on it - try Gilbert Pizza.

                                                17 Replies
                                                1. re: StuCazzo

                                                  I believe it. All the best espresso drinks I've had in Phoenix have been at Italian restaurants. It sucks, though, b/c I really want my good espresso/cappuccino in the morning, not the evening.

                                                  1. re: don giovanni

                                                    And now I found another place that makes espresso like it should be made.
                                                    Once again, it's not a coffee house :)

                                                    We had lunch in a strip mall near Brown/Higley. After lunch my friend pointed out a new gelato shop. I did not think it was open, but we strolled over. It's called Gelato Dolce Vita and they just open up about 3 weeks ago. The owner is from the Bergamo area of Italy and speaks Italian. How wonderful was it to be able to order my ristretto espresso in Italian and actually receive the proper drink!!!

                                                    1. re: StuCazzo

                                                      I worked at a gelato shop that made espresso and we made great espresso, or at least some of us did.

                                                      1. re: StuCazzo

                                                        i think we have one of those at chandler and 48th. i've been wanting to try it...

                                                        1. re: abbefaith

                                                          Thank you. I drove past that once and thought it looked good, but I couldn't remember where I'd seen it...it's hard in a city with so many strip malls! By the way, anyone tried the wine bar next door to that? I was wondering about that too.

                                                            1. re: abbefaith

                                                              Not sure. :) It's just a vague memory of something in Ahwatukee, next to a gelato place that had just opened. If I remember right, it was either a wine bar or a nice restaurant with a good wine list.

                                                              1. re: don giovanni

                                                                va bene is a few doors down from the gelato place. it's an italian place with a pretty good wine selection, and i absolutely love it. very reasonably priced, good food, great service and nice atmosphere.


                                                                  1. re: abbefaith

                                                                    Tried it last night. Had a very good experience and will go back. I'll post a review when I get a chance (although it seems like most hounds know about the place anyway).

                                                                    1. re: don giovanni

                                                                      awesome! i'm glad you liked it. did you get gelato too? =)

                                                                      1. re: abbefaith

                                                                        They were closed by the time I finished at vb :(

                                                          1. re: StuCazzo

                                                            StuCazzo, If you're missing Italy, you should get over to Tutti Santi (you probably know the place). The first place I've found in this city that knows what an affogato is.

                                                            1. re: don giovanni

                                                              starbucks used to do it... sorta... and they called it an affrogato.

                                                              1. re: amkirkland

                                                                lol Leave it to them to come up with some silly marketing name! I bet it wasn't too bad, though. They couldn't screw up pouring a shot over ice cream, could they?
                                                                [later]...I Googled that spelling. I got a few hundred results (correct spelling gives a few hundred thousand hits). I guess the wrong spelling (of Italian for drowned or smothered) is beginning to catch on. Go Starbucks!

                                                                1. re: don giovanni

                                                                  their idea was actually quite tasty. they made a frappuccino and covered it with a layer of caramel and dropped the shot on top, so some trickled down, some mixed with the caramel and some mixed in the drink. I'll take some espresso and rum over a simple vanilla gelato over that any day though.

                                                              2. re: don giovanni

                                                                Yep - have been to Tutti Santi (Dobson/Guadlupe location) a few time and enjoyed it.

                                                        2. My wife's a coffee freak and swears by the soy decaf latte at Orange Table in Scottsdale (she's also pregnant hence the decaf & soy as our 2 year old is allergic to dairy).

                                                          If you get out to Orange County, look up Kean Coffee in Costa Mesa. Awesome. Martin Diedrich, of the Deidrich's chain, quit his job as Chief Coffee Officer to for them to open his single location. He's there onsite roasting the best coffees from around the world. Was very cool to see him hauling huge bags of coffee beans around & then chatting with us & making recommendations (which turned out to be awesome). The rest of his family works there too. Pretty cool.

                                                          1. drip coffee lounge - on 7th street in the same little strip mall where trente cinque 35 is, just south of lisa g's. i always forget that spot is there....we went to lisa g's for dinner and had coffee at drip. nice mid century modern furniture everywhere, free wifi, good coffee, really nice service, and i love their breakfasts :D

                                                            so i'm going to add drip back to my rotation. anyone else been there??

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: winedubar

                                                              We go to drip about twice a month. I love their french toast! The first time I ate there, I thought the portions looked small, but it turns out that I am just conditioned to ridiculously large portion sizes at other restaurants. The serving was absolutely perfect. I was satisfied, not stuffed! Another nice thing is that Gina streams KCRWmusic, one of my favorite internet radio stations (an all-music spinoff of LA's public radio station, KCRW). She is also incredibly friendly and I don't know for certain if she recognizes my husband and I now, but she sure makes us feel like she does!

                                                              The only downside was a recent experience when we dropped in around 11:30am on a Friday. I was in the mood for lunch and my husband wanted breakfast. The menu states that they serve breakfast until 2pm. Great! So I ordered the grilled cheese (with Swiss, it was simple and soooo tasty) and my husband ordered the egg n-a hole. Gina paused, kinda made a face, and said something to the effect of, "He really doesn't like to do that - you need to both order breakfast or both order lunch." We kind of stared at her in disbelief until my husband lodged his protest by telling her he would just stick with his coffee. I understand restaurants having policies about splitting plates, or requesting substitutions, etc., but I haven't ever run into a place that won't let diners at the same table order both lunch and breakfast.

                                                              I really like Drip and am hoping that this was just an anomaly amongst all of my other good experiences.

                                                            2. It's a bit out of the way, but the Cave Creek Coffee Co. (in Cave Creek, of course) has the best coffehouse atmosphere in the state and some pretty damn good coffee to boot.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: kat9lifes

                                                                I head up north now and then. I'll give it a shot.

                                                              2. I just got back from Flagstaff, and I had acceptable coffee at two different places. One was Macy's, which is frequently mentioned on Chow; but the other, which surprised me, was a place called Late for the Train. I didn't see the name until after I got my Latte (yes, I ventured beyond drip, since I'd already had three cups, earlier); if I'd known it had such a bad name, I wouldn't have gone. It was late and I was already pretty wired, so I ordered a small decaf double latte. It came in an 8 oz. cup, with some nice "latte art", and tasted great. However, I think the usual 1 shot for 8 oz./2 shots for 16 oz. would have been too weak...but it turned out well.

                                                                I know the thread is supposed to be about Phoenix, but most of us are probably in Flag from time to time.

                                                                1. Folks, please remember to keep the conversation focused on the topic at hand (i.e. coffee houses).

                                                                  We have split the discussion regarding food choices and moved it to its own thread which can be located at http://www.chowhound.com/topics/381390

                                                                  1. If you want a relaxed neighborhood coffee house with great coffee, I have to vouch for Steve's Espresso in Tempe, on the SE corner of Baseline and McClintock. The coffee's all made by French press, and it's hands-down the best coffee I've had in the Valley. He gets the beans from a local roaster, so it's really fresh, and way, waaaay smoother than the equivalent cup of Starbuck's. Steve's also got the best cranberry scones I think I've *ever* had: perfect texture (flaky/crumbly, but not dry, and not tough), not too sweet, and lots of cranberries. The staff are laid back and friendly, and Steve himself is usually behind the counter serving the coffee. The art on the walls is by local artists and changes every couple months. This is the kind of place you bring your dog and the newspaper to on weekends. (There's even dog biscuits for the four-legged friends.) It's comfortable, friendly, clean, nicely furnished, there's music but you can still hear yourself talk, and the coffee and scones can't be beat. There are also espresso drinks (naturally) and other pastry selections, but I've found a combination that works for me and am happy to remain in my rut!

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ckiddoo

                                                                      I had forgotten about this place. I went in a LONG time ago and got a decaf. I remember I was all excited about the french press brewing, but when I got my coffee, I thought the flavor was pretty weak; but of course, I have to wonder if that was b/c of decaf. I'll go back and give them another try.

                                                                      1. re: don giovanni

                                                                        I've tried the French Roast and Sumatra (both caffeinated), and prefer the French Roast. The Sumatra isn't weak, but it's also not as syrupy and chocolatey as I'd expect from this bean; don't know if that's because of the brewing method or maybe it's something about the way it's roasted. The French Roast is billed as the bolder of the two, though, so I'd recommend that if you like your coffee on the stronger side.

                                                                        1. re: ckiddoo

                                                                          Thanks, c. The sort of weak I experienced tasted like a result of the brewing, not the roasting. Normally, brewing in a press results in a richer cup, but it tasted (to me) like they used a lot of water for the amount of grounds they used (just my opinion).

                                                                          1. re: don giovanni

                                                                            we did steve's espresso tonight for the first time. really enjoyed the coffee. 2 americanos, 1 french roast coffee, 1 honey vanilla latte, an iced carmel macchiato & a raspberry chocolate soy milk. quite happy with everything.

                                                                            we're trying to break out of our lux rut (though that's not a bad rut to be in) so we're trying to sample some different spots. as comparison, tried coffee rush recently & while it was a very cool place & setup, the wife (the house coffee afficiado) wasn't keen on the coffee. she definitely liked steve's.

                                                                            the place was very laid back & comfortable. being old & small kid laden, we didn't have laptops with us but we could see it's a very laptop friendly place as well (free wi-fi, outlets/power strips all over & single/double tables lining the walls near the outlets) if that matters to you. just a well conceived place in many ways.

                                                                            to us, it's just about the coffee and we were happy with every drink we had. we will definitely go back.

                                                                            also had a cranberry scone (forgot i read they were recommended on this thread) and the aussie two scone eaters with us were very impressed (dug it myself but i wouldn't know a good scone from a bad one).

                                                                    2. If we're back weighing in on coffee houses, Inza Coffee at Pima and Shea (in the Pima Crossing shopping mega-plaza) is terrific. They have excellent Colombian, Costa Rican, Peruvian and Guatemalan coffee, luscious empanadas, choclos, arepas and pandebonos....and black-and-white cookies! Open-mic nites, cultural exchange evenings, jazz, and tango....plus free wifi. And Linda, Wilson and Tuto - the owners - are just great.

                                                                      1. have been meaning to stop in to the Sagasta coffee house for eons and finally did so today. let me just say this...wow. i am telling you this place is a hidden gem. because they cut hair on one side of the house/building i wasn't quite sold on the prospect that they might actually take their coffee seriously.

                                                                        three years ago, as a married couple, john and jayme opened the salon together. john managed the place but really didn't have much to do beyond that while jayme cut hair. since he loves coffee he decided to incorporate a coffee bar.

                                                                        fast forward, divorced but still working side by side, john has created coffee nirvana in his corner of the house. he's trained and perfected and steamed and frothed his way into a true barrista. i had a horchata latte which could literally make me forsake all others it was so good. reminiscient of the spanish latte at la grand orange, johns could take them on in a coffee match and at least make it a tie game...and that's saying alot. no waiting in line, no attitude...need i go on? a hint of cinnamon and rice...pure heaven.

                                                                        the hair salon incorporated into this house is too cute. kind of retro decor (adorable) while the coffee section is more modern. looks like they are still searching for their marketing identity...but with such an incredible product lighting their way, i'm sure it will come together.

                                                                        2540 east indian school road (little red house on north side of the street) lots of parking in back
                                                                        hours: monday thru friday 7-5pm
                                                                        saturday 8-4pm

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: kate adler

                                                                          I was at au petit four today and decided to drop down to sagasta to give it a shot, so to speak. I was very encouraged by the fact that the cappuccino comes in only one size. The barista spooned out the froth (and extremely slowly, stopping to converse between each tablespoon size drop), which concerned me, but my worries were unwarranted. It was silky smooth like a cappuccino should be. I watched the shot pour and it looked a bit slow and weak on the crema, but in the cappuccino it was delicious.

                                                                          I talked with the barista (who nuts, by the way) a bit about his horchata latte, and he confessed that the LGO chef stops by occasionally and that's where he got the idea from. He says he's been tinkering with the recipe some. Thinking about making a horchata syrup to add to a milk based latte because the rice milk doesn't steam well. I haven't had his latte, but it'd be sad to see a unique creation like that morph into something you could put together at starbucks.

                                                                        2. I have now found a non-Italian restaurant place that serves espreeso correctly and the best thing is that they are open in the morning!!!
                                                                          A new place opened up in Chandler called Coffee Shark. Below is theri info:

                                                                          1020 E. Ray Road, Ste 1
                                                                          Chandler, Arizona 85255

                                                                          I went in there one afternoon aqnd asked for an espresso. It was perfect. The next morning, I went through the drive thru and asked for a double espresso with sugar. The girl indicated to me that the sugar was in the cup, but she did not want to disturb the crema of the coffe so she had stirred it. I was impressed that she knew what crema was! Again another perfect espresso. Bye bye Starbucks......

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: StuCazzo

                                                                              I just went by Coffee Shark. Tried the house coffee, as usual. It was actually pretty good! It's gotta be the best house coffee I've had in the Chandler/Gilbert area. Found out the owner is from Portland, OR, so no wonder it's good. He comp'd my refill AND a shot of espresso. The espresso was excellent. They had a sign up indicating you can order a 32 oz. press pot for about $4 (I think 4.25, actually -- can't remember), which was also encouraging.
                                                                              My only criticism is that they really need to bring in a decorator, because, at the moment, the place feels a bit like a converted warehouse inside. But they've only been there 3 wk. Gotta give 'em time to fix up the interior.

                                                                            2. Sorry - should have stated that she did NOT stir the espresso so as to not disturb the crema of the espresso.

                                                                              1. Whatever happened to the Coffee Plantation?

                                                                                12 Replies
                                                                                1. re: taiga

                                                                                  There is a new Coffee Plantation Drive Thru on 100th st and FLW in Scottsdale....
                                                                                  and still one @ 73rd and Shea by Shea 14 Movie theater

                                                                                  Coffee Plantation
                                                                                  14144 N 100th St, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

                                                                                  Coffee Plantation
                                                                                  7366 E Shea Blvd Ste 102, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

                                                                                  1. re: ciaogal

                                                                                    There's also still the Coffee Plantation stand in Scottsdale Fashion Square.

                                                                                    1. re: ajs228

                                                                                      The stand is completely gone. You can't tell what was there before. Blew my mind, it was operating on the 30th. An escalator is going in.

                                                                                      1. re: AguasFrescas

                                                                                        What?! I was just there the weekend after Christmas (really bad idea, btw). You're saying that in the last two weeks they tore down Coffee Plantation?

                                                                                        1. re: ajs228

                                                                                          I had a hard time believing it too. It's spooky, there's just shallow hole in the marble where it was.

                                                                                          1. re: ajs228

                                                                                            Probaby part of the rebuild of the east end of SFS to accomodate the new Barney's store.

                                                                                            The original Tempe Coffee Plantation also appears to be in jeopardy as Centerpont is redeveloped. The Harkins theaters there have already closed, and most of the low-rise development, including Coffee Plant, is supposed to be replaced eventually with high-rise buildings.

                                                                                            1. re: silverbear

                                                                                              No, the CP was on the West end, in front of Neiman Marcus and Dillard's.

                                                                                              It seemed they did decent business; I wonder if they'll rebuild once they finish remodeling, or putting in an escalator, or whatever it is they're doing.

                                                                                              1. re: boingo2000

                                                                                                That's right, thanks. I thought there was another coffee place toward the east end, but I haven't been there in a while.

                                                                                              2. re: silverbear

                                                                                                So where is the hangout in Tempe?

                                                                                      2. re: taiga

                                                                                        Coffee Plant has declined over the years. For a while, it was owned by Deidrich based in California, but is now under new ownership. I hope that will bring the business back to life. There was a long discussion about it on the Arizona Coffee site:


                                                                                        1. re: silverbear

                                                                                          Coffee Plantation -- ever since the original Joe, the Gilbert restauranteur, sold it, the coffee has been poor or even execrable. It's one of my biggest pet peeves: so many coffeehouses pour bad coffee. I would love to haunt a neighborhood coffeehouse, but only if it offers good coffee. Can anyone recommend a coffeehouse with good coffee? Yeah, I like red tea, green tea, some kinds of chai and an occasional latte, espresso, even an annual cappucino, but coffe, good coffee, my kingdom for a clean, well-lighted place with good coffee ...

                                                                                          1. re: misohungrychewlow

                                                                                            Lux is still my top choice.

                                                                                            I recently tried Lola's morning coffee service, which was good, but not great.

                                                                                            Same with Gold Bar Espresso in Tempe--OK, but nothing to write home about IMO.

                                                                                            To be fair, I've only tried Americanos at the these places, not drip coffee.

                                                                                            800 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85014

                                                                                            Lux Coffeebar
                                                                                            4404 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012

                                                                                            Gold Bar Espresso
                                                                                            3141 S McClintock Dr Ste 6, Tempe, AZ 85282

                                                                                      3. For those of us that rarely get east of Central, Q's coffee Bar at 35 ave north of Greenway. Nice little place, very homey, great coffee, and a cast of regular "characters". What more could anyone want???

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: phxcook

                                                                                          Great tiip -- not in my 'hood, but good to know it's there. This is the kind of place we need!

                                                                                        2. I don't know if these places have gotten mention yet but I frequent Weather and Coffee on Bell and the 51 and Anna Bean's Coffee and Gelato on Union Hills and 32nd St. in NE Phoenix. Neither place has great coffee, but at least it's not Starbucks...

                                                                                          Weather & Coffee
                                                                                          3607 E Bell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: andrewkfromaz

                                                                                            Is the coffee at either place better than, or at least as good as, that at Starbuck's?

                                                                                            1. re: hohokam

                                                                                              Weather and Coffee is easily better. Anna Bean's still needs a new beans supplier/roaster, but I would consider it better than Starbucks.