Maverick Coffee

A lovely flat white, made with the guest espresso, the Runaway Blend from Yellow Brick Coffee in Tucson and served at Maverick Coffee in Phoenix.Maverick Coffee is another of chances discoveries of a coffee shop right outside my hotel, in this case in the Paradise Valley Plaza, an old-style outdoor mall in Scottsdale, where I was staying on my visit to Phoenix last week. Maverick, which opened in 2015, in many ways feels like a typical American coffee shop, but when it comes to the coffee itself, it serves a house-blend from San Francisco’s Ritual, with a monthly guest, chosen by popular vote on social media, plus decaf on espresso.

However, that’s only the start. There’s the obligatory batch-brew, while if you really want to explore, Maverick has a constantly-changing selection of four single-origins on filter through the Aeropress, V60, Chemex and cafetiere. When one bag finishes, another goes on in its place. The range of roasters is bewildering, with Maverick supporting both local roasters and pulling in coffee from all over the country, most of which is for sale on the retail shelves by the counter.

If none of that takes your fancy, there is a selection of loose-leaf tea, various iced and cold-brew coffees, plus small but tempting all-day breakfast and lunch menus, all backed up by a variety of cake.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Maverick Coffee, in the Paradise Valley Plaza in Scottsdale, right by my hotel.
  • There's a long, bench-like table outside the window to the right and more seats (benches this time) in the sheltered, recessed doorway to the left.
  • In case you were in any doubt as to where you were.
  • Stepping inside and the bulk of the seating (seen here from the back) is to the right...
  • ... although there is a row of four-person tables against the left-hand wall.
  • This ends with a two-person table and the retail shelves, which are level with the counter.
  • The remaining seating is on the right with tables in the middle...
  • ... seen here from by the window, looking towards the counter.
  • There are also two seating bays on the right-hand wall, made up of armchairs & sofas.
  • One of the best seats in the house is the two-person table in the window-bay...
  • ... although the two-person sofa up against the wall under the clock is pretty neat.
  • Another look at the sofa, with its little coffee table.
  • I love the way that the light from the west-facing window catches the table.
  • The final seating in the front is on the left-hand end of the counter next to the pour-over.
  • Go past this, and you're into the back room.
  • This has a central table (made up of three two-person tables)...
  • ... and, against the left-hand wall, a seven-person bar.
  • This has a variety of seating from chairs to stools.
  • A two-person table at the back is flanked by this two-person sofa on the left...
  • ... and this coffee roaster on the right.
  • A view of the back room from the back right-hand corner.
  • A handy sign by the door welcomes you to Maverick Coffee, which is full of nice touches.
  • I particularly liked the flowers on the tables...
  • ... which probably explains...
  • ... why I took so many pictures of them!
  • There are also plenty of photographs which line the walls...
  • ... with these on the right-hand wall on the front...
  • ... and this on the left-hand wall at the back. I believe they're all by Cyrus Arthur.
  • Naturally for a place with just one window at the front, there are plenty of lights...
  • ... and so there are plenty of light-ftting shots, such as these bulbs...
  • ... which Maverick keeps in cages.
  • These globes, meanwhile, hang above the counter.
  • I was fascinated by the reflections.
  • For its house-blend on espresso, Maverick uses San Francisco's Ritual Coffee.
  • This can be found for sale on the retail shelves along with an array of local...
  • ... and not so local roasters.
  • To business. The counter is at the rear of the front space.
  • You order at the till on the left, where you'll also find the cakes.
  • There are more goodies in the chiller cabinet in the centre, plus a selection of tea.
  • The menus, meanwhile, are on the wall behind the counter.
  • I was particularly taken by the concise breakfast and lunch menus.
  • The espresso side of the operation is on the far end of the counter...
  • ... which is where I started on my first viist, with the guest espresso.
  • This went well in my flat white...
  • ... which had some lovely latte art...
  • ... while I also enjoyed it on its own with a glass of sparkling water.
  • I was back the following day for a flat white to go in my Therma Cup...
  • ... and for another the day after that.
  • More excellent latte art.
  • I was in again on Friday lunchtime for the avocado toast, which was excellent.
  • I planted myself at the end of the counter next to the pour-over station.
  • There's a choice of four single-origins from different roasters, so naturally...
  • ... I had to try one, a V60 of a Guatemalan from Vancouver’s 49th Parallel...
  • ... which was served in a narrow carafe with a cup on the side, all on a wooden tray.
  • I'd also been in earlier in the week for a stunning Ethiopian through the Aeropress.
  • I'll leave you as I left Maverick, with a final flat white to go on Saturday morning...
  • ... this time in my Global WAKEcup and again with more excellent latte art.
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Maverick Coffee is in the surprisingly large Paradise Valley Plaza in Scottsdale, an older-style mall with lines of single and two-storey shops on four sides of a rectangle facing a central parking area. Maverick’s on the eastern side, near the bottom (southern) end, conveniently close to my hotel, which was in the adjacent block (I could see the back of Maverick from my window!).

From the front, Maverick has a deeply-recessed door on the left, wide bay window on the right. A long, bench-like table stands in front of the windows, with a pair of benches in the sheltered door recess. This hides a spacious interior which goes a long way back, split in two by the counter, which runs almost the full width of Maverick. This leaves a small gap on the left leading to the rear section, which is about half the size of the front, with an enclosed kitchen on the right and seating on the left.

The bulk of the seating is at the front, with three, high four-person tables lining the left-hand wall immediately after the door, followed by a single two-person table level with the counter. Against the opposite wall, two seating bays are formed of pairs of armchairs facing a sofa across a coffee table. Beyond these, at the front, a two-person table occupies the window, with a two-person sofa against the window-bay’s left-hand wall.

There are more tables in the centre: a long, thin six-person table in front of the counter and two rows of tables between it and the window, each with a four-person table (window-side) and a two-person table (counter-side). Finally, for the front, three chairs perch on the counter’s left-hand end by the pour-over bar, with the retail shelves behind them against the left-hand wall.

It’s quieter in the back, which also has power outlets. A seven-person bar runs along the left-hand wall, while in the middle, three two-person tables form an eight-person communal table (with an additional chair at either end). Finally, there’s a two-person table against back wall, flanked on the left by a two-person sofa, and a coffee roaster on the right. This isn’t currently in use, but Maverick has plans to roast its own coffee.

I visited Maverick almost every day during my week in Phoenix, picking up flat whites to go in my Therma Cup when heading into the office, with one for the road in my Global WAKEcup on Saturday morning. On my first visit, on Monday, I was able to linger, trying the Runaway blend from Tucson’s Yellow Brick Coffee, first in a flat white, then on its own. The coffee and milk went very well together, while on its own, it made for a well-rounded espresso with a little bit of a kick.

I also sampled the filter coffee. The batch brew was quite bold, but not really to my taste, whereas I absolutely adored the hand-brewed coffees I had. On Friday, I popped in a for late lunch of avocado on toast, a single slice of toast with smashed avocado, topped with sun-dried tomatoes, pickled red onion and micro-greens. Very tasty and, for a country where I’m used to massive portions, it was a pleasingly reasonable size. I paired this with a V60 of a Guatemalan from Vancouver’s 49th Parallel, which was slightly darker than I expected, and more than held its own as it cooled.

However, the absolute best was a wonderful naturally-processed Ethiopian Kidane from Olympia Coffee in Washington State. I had this through the Aeropress on Wednesday afternoon and it was awesome, a rich, complex, fruity coffee.

December 2019: Maverick Coffee was a runner-up for the 2019 Best Filter Coffee Award.

August 2022: Maverick Coffee is now Mythical North, following a buy-in by the team behind Mythical Coffee in nearby Gilbert. You can see what I made of it when I visited in January 2023.

10269 NORTH SCOTTSDALE ROAD • SCOTTSDALE • AZ 85253 • USA +1 480-278-4499
Monday 06:30 – 17:00 Roaster Ritual Coffee & Guests (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 06:30 – 17:00 Seating Tables, Sofas, Counter, Bar; Tables (outside)
Wednesday 06:30 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 06:30 – 17:00 Service Counter
Friday 06:30 – 17:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 07:00 – 17:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 07:00 – 17:00 Power Limited
Chain No Visits 7th – 12th January 2019
13th – 17th January 2020
14th – 21st January 2023 (Mythical North)

Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to Phoenix for more great Coffee Spots.

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