Scottsdale, to the east of Phoenix, is a lovely area of shops, hotels, houses, quiet streets and, right in the centre, a cluster of four speciality coffee shops, forming a rough diamond. At the southern tip is Fourtillfour, the creation of Nico and Mia, who moved here from San Francisco. Fourtillfour satisfies their twin passions: great coffee and vintage cars, the couple often organising rallies and other events.
I can’t speak to the cars, but when it comes to the coffee, it’s a small but lovely place. There’s an award-winning outdoor patio, which has the bulk of the seating, something you could only get away with in a climate such as Arizona, while inside there are a pair of small rooms. The first, accessible from the patio, has the counter, while the other houses a large Probat roaster, where Fourtillfour roasts all its own direct-trade coffee under the brand Four Coffee. This is served via a simple espresso-based menu, along with batch-brew, while if you’re hungry, you there’s a small breakfast menu and a selection of doughnuts. Naturally, the coffee is available to buy either in-store or on-line.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Fourtillfour sits on the corner of East 1st Avenue and North Marshall Way at the heart of Old Scottsdale, an area worth exploring in its own right. Fourtillfour shares a building with The Whitehouse Studios, which is on the left as you look at it from 1st Avenue. Meanwhile, off to the right, along the side of the building, is a large, raised concrete patio, which is maybe twice as deep as it is wide, where you’ll find the bulk of the seating.
Since it’s north-facing, it’s reasonably well-shaded, particularly in the morning, making it an ideal spot to sit and drink your coffee (unless you want to go sunbathing). Steps lead up to it from the front, while at the back on the right, another set of steps lead up from Marshall Way. A small bar that doubles as a barrier, runs around the front and right-hand side between the two sets of steps. You can sit here on one of eight remarkably-comfortable plastic stools. There are four tables arranged in a square, two high two-person tables with stools in the centre and two low two-person tables with chairs against the wall on the left, the most shaded spot on the whole patio.
At the back, running maybe half the width of the patio, is a large room, open to the front, which contains the counter at the back, but with is otherwise rather sparse. There’s a door on the right which leads to the steps down to Marshall Way, while against the left-hand wall is a takeaway station. At the back, just before the counter on the left, a doorway leads into a second, slightly larger room. This used to contain a handful of chairs around the walls and a large sofa, while also doubling as a second entrance, a door on the opposite side leading into a corridor by the design studio.
However, since the middle of last summer, it’s been put to use as a roastery, with Fourtillfour now roasting its own coffee, having previously used San Francisco’s Four Barrel and then San Cruz’s Verve Coffee Roasters. During my visit, Fourtillfour was using a washed Honduran single-origin, Nico and Mia having spent several months researching their options, including taking a trip to origin. In another claim to fame, Fourtillfour works directly with the farm, making it one the few coffee shop/roasters to deal solely in directly-traded coffee.
For now, Fourtillfour roasts twice a week, the output just used in the shop, with the same coffee used for both the espresso and batch-brew. Naturally I had to try some, going for a shot of espresso, which, I have to say, was excellent. Although a little bright, it was really smooth and surprisingly sweet. I paired this with the last of the day’s blueberry doughnuts, an equally lovely concoction.
If you’re interested in the car side of the business, (the two halves of Fourtillfour mutually support each other), Fourtiilfour runs a Porches + Coffee event on the first Saturday of each month, an Adventure Mobiles + Coffee event on the last Saturday of each month and a Vintage European Car Club every Sunday, all the events running from 8 – 11. The rest of the time, you can just swing by for good coffee and great company.
December 2018: Fourtillfour was a runner-up for the 2018 Best Outdoor Seating Award.
January 2019: this is an updated version of the original post which was published in March 2018, where you can find out what I made of the coffee on my first two visits. If you want to see what has changed since then, check out my Coffee Spot Update.
|7105 EAST 1ST AVENUE • SCOTTSDALE • AZ 85251 • USA|
|http://www.fourtillfour.com||+1 602 888 3583|
|Monday||07:00 – 14:00||Roaster||Four Coffee (espresso + batch-brew)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 14:00||Seating||Stools; Tables, Bar (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 14:00||Food||Breakfast, Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 14:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 14:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||07:00 – 14:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 14:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 11th February, 23rd March 2018|
|Update: 5th January 2019, 12th January 2020|
You can see what local coffee blogger, Coffee Ken, made of FourtillFour. I still can’t believe I got there before him! Also, if you liked this, then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to Phoenix for more great Coffee Spots.
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