I’m leaving Phoenix today after an all-too-short week-long visit, which included a weekend in the Grand Canyon. However, I couldn’t go without sharing on the unexpected highlights of my stay with you. Speciality coffee is not something I was expecting to find on this trip since I was on business and staying out to the northeast of the centre, in North Scottsdale. However, on my second evening there, having wandered the block from my hotel to the Scottsdale Quarter (I think of it as an outdoor shopping mall), I stumbled across Press Coffee Roasters, which immediately set off my Coffee Spot radar!
Press Coffee is a roastery, with a chain of four coffee shops, including one at the airport. What’s more, there are three more on the way! Press Coffee has been going for eight years, with the Scottsdale Quarter branch opening in 2010. There are two blends on espresso, along with decaf, plus five single-origins on filter, made using the Seraphim automated pour-over system through either the Kalita Wave or Chemex. There’s an espresso blend and single-origin on the obligatory bulk-brew, plus cold-brew and nitro cold-brew. If you’re hungry, breakfast/lunch is served until 2.30, with cakes available all day.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
I made two visits to Press Coffee Roasters. The first was on the evening of my serendipitous discovery, when I wandered in for some late-night coffee. Unfortunately, just as I was about to ask to take some photographs, the whole block suffered a power cut, so I returned on Friday morning, my last day in Phoenix before heading out to the Grand Canyon.
There’s not much to Press Coffee. It occupies a rectangular unit towards the Scottsdale Quarter’s southern end. About four times as deep as it is wide, with the short side facing the street, the front is entirely glass, with double-doors in the centre. Outside, a short row of two-person tables lines the pavement on the quiet street, stretching from Press to the corner of the block.
Inside, the layout’s simple, two rows of two-person tables lining either side of a broad, central aisle. The back half of the store, which houses the counter, is slightly narrower, missing a chunk on the left. The counter runs up the entire left-hand wall and along the (narrow) back wall, while there’s a corridor-like space on the right where you can queue to order and wait for takeout orders, although in Press, in contrast to many American coffee shops, your coffee is brought to your table, so there’s much less of this milling around, waiting for your coffee and/or your name to be shouted.
The counter itself is long and uncluttered, the Synesso espresso machine first, followed by its three espresso grinders, a two-headed EK-43 and finally the two brew-heads of the Seraphim. The till is at the far end, facing the front of the store, menus on the wall behind and cakes to the right. An in-built shelving unit on the right-hand wall opposite the espresso machine has bags of coffee for sale, along with the usual merchandising you find in American coffee shops.
On my first visit I had an excellent decaf cortado. The coffee came strongly through the milk, resulting in a very smooth drink, plus the milk held its latte art all the way to bottom of the glass, something that’s always a good sign. I was, though, very taken with the Seraphim. I’d never seen one in a coffee shop before and, keen to see it in action, I returned on Friday morning for breakfast (an excellent poached eggs on sourdough toast with a side of avocado).
After a discussion with the barista, I selected a Guatemalan single-origin. It was either that or a fully-washed Ethiopian which, while smelling amazing in the jar, was probably far too subtle for me first thing in the morning. My coffee was served as it should be, in a carafe, with a cup on the side, and it was sublime. The Guatemalan was the perfect choice, full-bodied, with a fruity flavour which mellowed and sweetened as it cooled.
Before I left, the barista made me a cappuccino with the house-espresso, the delightfully named Twitch. There is also a second espresso blend, which was Spitball during my visit, described to me as “funkier”. The guest changes every month or so, while the single-origins are seasonal and, once they’re gone, they’re gone. My cappuccino was excellent, by the way, the coffee coming strongly through the milk, perfectly complimenting the milk’s natural sweetness.
December 2016: Press Coffee, Scottsdale Quarter was a runner-up for the 2016 Best Filter Coffee Award.
January 2017: You can see what I made of another branch of Press Coffee, Skywater Apartments in Tempe.
January 2019: You can see what I made of the latest branch of Press Coffee, Waterfront in Old Scottsdale.
|15147 N SCOTTSDALE ROAD • SCOTTSDALE • PHOENIX • AZ 85254 • USA|
|Monday||06:30 – 20:00||Roaster||Press Coffee (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||06:30 – 20:00||Seating||Tables, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||06:30 – 20:00||Food||Breakfast and lunch (until 14:30), Cake|
|Thursday||06:30 – 20:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||06:30 – 21:00||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||07:00 – 21:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 18:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||25th, 28th October 2016, 17th January 2017|
|31st January 2018, 7th January 2019|
Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of Phoenix’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Phoenix.
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