Mythical Coffee

A lovely one-and-one (espresso and macchiato) plus a glass of sparkling water, beautifully presented on a triangular tray at Mythical Coffee in Gilbert, Arizona.A permanent fixture of my now annual trips to Phoenix is meeting up with Meg and her husband Coffee Ken, Arizona’s leading coffee blogger. So, when I arrived in Phoenix on Saturday, other than picking up my hire car and checking into my hotel, my first act was to drive over to Gilbert, one the cities to the southeast of Phoenix, for our meet up. The venue was a new coffee shop, Mythical Coffee, on Gilbert Town Square.

What Ken hadn’t told me when he suggested Mythical Coffee as our venue, is just how new it is. Today it has been open for precisely two weeks. Mythical Coffee is a roaster and coffee shop, offering an ever-changing cast of single-origins, one each on espresso, batch brew and pour-over, with the coffee available to buy in retail bags. There’s also cold brew and, when the equipment has been tweaked, nitro cold brew will be available, along with several seasonal lattes and a small selection of matcha, chai and tea. Mythical offers a small brunch menu, featuring overnight oats, plus four different toast options, served until 2pm each day, along with a selection of cakes and pastries, available all day.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Mythical Coffee on Gilbert Town Square, seen approaching from the east...
  • ... and seen here head on. The front, with its inset double doors, is all glass.
  • The view from the inside.
  • There's a large, two-person sofa to the left of the door, complete with coffee table...
  • ... after which comes a chiller cabinet and a row of two-person tables...
  • ... four in all, with a pair of wooden benches against the wall.
  • This is repeated on the right-hand side, where another four two-person tables...
  • ... run between window and counter.
  • The counter, which starts about half way back on the right-hand side...
  • ... continues around the corner...
  • ... which is the domain of the coffee-making equipment. That's Eric, by the way.
  • Right at the back, before the enclosed kitchen, is a short, three-person seating area...
  • ... seen here in a (briefly) unoocupied moment.
  • A view of the front of Mythical Coffee, seen from half way down the counter.
  • Mythical Coffee continues, with more seating on the left-hand side.
  • This is one of two four-person tables opposite the counter, while here are...
  • ... two of three two-person tables in the corridor that runs past the kitchen.
  • One of the two-person tables in more detail.
  • Right at the back, a single door opens onto the car park behind Mythical Coffee.
  • The view if you enter from the back.
  • This water station is opposite the front of the counter. I particularly liked the...
  • ... painting which hung above it.
  • These maps, showing where the speciality coffee grows, are hung above the...
  • ... two-person tables in the corridor at the back.
  • Meanwhile, right at the front by the window, is this narrrow, well-stocked bookshelf.
  • Although it had only been open for two weeks, there were plenty of nice touches.
  • Wait! What's that I see in amongst all the books? The slim, blue volume.
  • Why, it's The Philosophy of Coffee! I didn't put it there. Honest.
  • To business and the front of the counter, where you order.
  • There are retail shelves on the wall to the right...
  • ... which includes retail bags of Mythical Coffee.
  • There's also a concise menu on the wall above the retail shelves...
  • ... and more detailed menus on the counter top...
  • ... with drinks on one side...
  • ... and food on the other.
  • Although I was too late in the day for the toast, there were plenty of cakes left.
  • Mythical Coffee uses the Marco SP9 automatic pour-over machines to do its pour-over.
  • I love watching them in action as they bubble away.
  • This wasn't mine, by the way. I was just being nosey...
  • ... although I was offered a sample of the batch brew, a washed Kenyan.
  • As well as the SP9, Mythical has the top of the line Synesso MVP Hydra.
  • If you stand at the front of the counter, you can watch it in action.
  • Here we go!
  • Nice, steady pour...
  • We're now 19 seconds in (the Synesso has an in-built timer)...
  • ... and now we're 24 seconds in and it's looking good!
  • 29 seconds...
  • ... and we're done!
  • That wasn't mine either. Inside, I had this is the one-and-one, made with...
  • ... a naturally-processed Ethiopian, which is where I'll leave you.
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Mythical Coffee is in Gilbert, one of the cluster of cities southeast of Phoenix, part of the greater metropolitan area, including Tempe, Mesa and Chandler. Located in Gilbert Town Square, to the south of the centre, it’s in a parade of shops on the left-hand side as you drive in. There’s limited on-street parking out front, but if you turn left at the roundabout you’ll find a large car park at the rear of the parade. Even better, Mythical Coffee has a small, discreet back door, leading directly in from the car park.

In contrast, the front of Mythical Coffee is wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling glass, with central, inset, glass double doors. Two small, round two-person tables sit on the pavement outside, one on either side of the door. Inside, Mythical Coffee goes a long way back, seating down either side. There’s a sofa on the left-hand side, back to the wall, followed by a large chiller cabinet for soft drinks. Next come four two-person rectangular tables with a pair of benches against the wall, while on the other side, each table has a solitary chair.

On the right, meanwhile, is a narrow bookshelf by the window, full of coffee-related books, including my own, The Philosophy of Coffee, which came as a pleasant surprise. This is followed by another four two-person tables, identical in layout to those on the left. The counter comes next, occupying the right-hand side, starting about halfway back, an enclosed kitchen behind that.

The counter’s narrow side faces forward, which is where you order, with the menu and retail shelves on the wall to your right, while the till, printed menus and the cakes are on the counter in front of you. The long side of the counter holds the coffee-making equipment, with Mythical Coffee being impressively kitted out. First is the state-of-the-art Synesso Hydra MVP espresso machine and its Victoria Arduino Mythos II grinder, followed by a pair of Marco Beverage Systems SP9s which Mythical Coffee uses, along with the Kalita Wave filters, to make pour-overs.

At the very end of the counter is a three-person bar section, while the remaining seating is opposite the counter along the left-hand wall, starting with two four-person tables. In a narrow corridor, which runs down past the kitchen to the door at the back, there are three two-person tables arranged head-to-tail.

Mythical Coffee is the brainchild of Eric and Kat, along with the chef, Courtney. Eric, who I had previously met at Peixoto, in nearby Chandler (he recognised me), roasts all the coffee, sharing time on a Probat owned by Xanadu Coffee Company in Phoenix. Meanwhile, Kat does the branding and social media. We also met Adam, a local barista well known to Ken, who is responsible for the cold brew.

The coffee changes on a regular basis, with ten different beans/roasts having been used in the shop’s first two weeks! When we were there, there was a natural Ethiopian on espresso, a natural Honduran on pour-over and a washed Kenyan on batch brew.

At Adam’s suggestion, Ken and I both had a one-and-one, Adam providing us with samples of the batch brew, while Meg had a spicy chai. The batch brew was a typical, fruity Kenyan, which Ken really enjoyed, while both of us were in raptures over the Ethiopian espresso. It goes really well in milk, producing a smooth macchiato, but for me, it was at its best on its own, a lovely, subtle, fruity, smooth coffee. If this is what it’s like in the first two weeks, Mythical Coffee has set a very high bar for itself!

December 2020: Mythical Coffee was a runner-up for the 2020 Best Espresso Award.

August 2022: Mythical Coffee now has a second location, Mythical North, which opened in Scottsdale. You can see what I made of it when I visited in January 2023.

1090 SOUTH GILBERT RD #102 • GILBERT • AZ 85296 • USA +1 480 818 6209
Monday 06:30 – 18:30 Roaster Mythical Coffee (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 06:30 – 18:30 Seating Tables, Sofa, Counter; Tables (outside)
Wednesday 06:30 – 18:30 Food Breakfast and Lunch (until 14.30), Cake
Thursday 06:30 – 18:30 Service Order at Counter
Friday 06:30 – 18:30 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 06:30 – 18:30 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 06:30 – 18:30 Power Yes
Chain Local Visits 11th January 2020

If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Phoenix’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Phoenix.

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