It can be tough selling a hot beverage in the desert. Against all odds, roasters like Cartel, Press, and Peixoto have long championed locally-roasted coffee in the Phoenix area. But a new wave of cafés are introducing the Valley of the Sun to out-of-state roasters, adding a depth and diversity to the Phoenix coffee scene. On a recent trip to Arizona we visited three Phoenix coffee shops changing the local scene.
Kream Coffee in North Central Phoenix may only have a single-group Synesso, but that doesn’t stop them from brewing up a serious arsenal of coffee. Whether it’s from nationally known roasters like Ritual and Onyx or regional favorites like Tucson’s Presta Coffee, every coffee at Kream is brewed with care and precision. Also, Kream shares the space with For the People design shop, which makes for some fascinating window shopping while you sip your cappuccino.
If we’ve ever been to an appropriately named coffee shop, it’s Futuro. The sleek, ultra-modern interior feels like something out of a 70s scifi movie, only with really good coffee. Futuro serves coffee from acclaimed Canadian roasters 49th Parallel, and boasts a veteran staff of baristas with an impressive array of experience. Whether it’s the sparkling hibiscus tea served with espressos or the Danzeisen Dairy milk used in Futuro’s blanco (all drinks are named in Spanish), its the subtle details that make Futuro memorable. We ordered more coffee here than we planned and we expect you will to.
While technically in Old Town Scottsdale and not Phoenix, Fourtillfour Coffee deserves a nod for bringing San Francisco-inspired coffee culture to the Valley. The vibe here may be classic cars, complete with a Craftsman tool box condiment stand, but the menu is all Bay Area. Wood-fired bread from nearby Noble Bread is sold by the slice, and Four Barrel Coffee is the exclusive coffee provider for both espresso and autodrip. Although the the café itself is barely a room, a large porch makes Fourtillfour a perfect place to take in that beautiful Arizona weather.