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 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|
|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)
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