Fourtillfour (Original)

Fourtillfour in Scottsdale, operating out of this neat little space at the back of a patio.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 outside 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, one with the counter, the other with some seating. The coffee, which is from San Cruz’s Verve Coffee Roasters, comes either via a simple espresso-based menu or there’s bulk-brew.

February 2019: I’ve updated my piece on Fourtillfour, which has recently started roasting. This is the original write-up, published in March 2018. For an up-to-date description, please see the updated post, while you can see what’s changed in my Coffee Spot Update.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • In Phoenix, where there are mountains in the parking lots...
  • ... you'll also find coffee shops that hide behind trees.
  • In particular, this coffee shop. No, not the studios. Over to the right a bit.
  • That's it. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Fourtillfour.
  • That was the view from 1st Avenue. You might also approach along Marshall Way...
  • ... in which case, this is the view you are likely to get.
  • Either way, you're looking at a patio out front (facing north) & a small building at the back.
  • The builk of the seating is out on the patio, with a pair of tables against the east wall...
  • ... and another pair in the centre.
  • There's also a bar which runs along on the north & west sides and stops you falling off!
  • There's a handful of stools here as well, which completes the outside seating.
  • Whatever you do, you'll need to head inside at the back to order.
  • Here you'll find the counter, right at the back...
  • ... with a takeaway station and a couple of stools off to the left.
  • The view out of the front. There's also a door to the side, leading to Marshall Way.
  • Talking of doors, at the back, on the left, just before the counter, a doorway leads...
  • ... into another space, which also belongs to Fourtillfour.
  • There are a handful of chairs in here, plus this awesome sofa.
  • You can also get to Fourtillfour this way, through the design studios.
  • The pictures of vintage cars on the walls belie the other aspect of Fourtillfour...
  • ... as does the choice of reading material in the other room.
  • Moor books, this time from above the sofa.
  • There's some merchandising in here too.
  • I loved the glorious wooden floors (and counter)...
  • ... while outside, there's always company when you have your coffee.
  • Beyond being a bird, I have no idea what it is!
  • Back inside and there's a specials board (of sorts) to the right of the counter...
  • ... although I was, of course, more drawn by the light bulb than anything.
  • Talking of which, check out this beauty in the other room.
  • To business. The counter is a simple affair, espresso to the left, bulk-brew to the right.
  • Let's put co-owner, Nico, to work.
  • Nice cups...
  • ... although I was going for an espresso, served in an equally nice cup.
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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 and the only seating in the shape of two low stools. At the back, just before the counter on the left, a doorway leads into a second, slightly larger room. This has a handful of chairs around the walls and, against, the front wall, a large sofa. You can also get into Fourtillfour through here, a door on the opposite side leading into a corridor by the design studio.

I had a lovely, sweet well-balanced espresso pulled on the La Marzocco GB5, and got chatting to Nico and Mia, who opened Fourtillfour at the start of 2016, although the company has been going since 2007. They told me about the car side of the business, with the two mutually supporting each other, particularly at weekends. 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.

March 2018: When I visited in February, Fourtillfour was using San Francisco’s Four Barrel, although Nico and Mia were in the process of chosing a new roaster. I popped back in March to find that the decision had been taken and Verve was now in the hopper. I had a lovely shot of the Streetlevel blend, which, I believe, will be the house espresso for the foreseable future. A lovely, well-balanced shot, expertly pulled by the equally lovely Jess, who served me that day.

7105 EAST 1ST AVENUE • SCOTTSDALE • PHOENIX • AZ 85251 • USA +1 602 888 3583
Monday CLOSED Roaster Verve (espresso + bulk-brew)
Tuesday CLOSED Seating Stools; Tables, Bar (outside)
Wednesday CLOSED Food Toast
Thursday 07:00 – 14:00 Service Counter
Friday 07:00 – 14:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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

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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