So what, exactly, is the "Coffee Conspiracy" at Conspire coffee house in downtown Phoenix? We can let you in on one thing -- this offbeat mom-and-pop shop uses the house blend of Tempe's Cartel Coffee Lab for its brews, so CenPho folks can enjoy Cartel's heady roast blends without having to drive to the east Valley. But Conspire is more than just coffee -- as we pointed out in this week's cover story on freegans, the coffee shop also serves as a hangout for neo-hippies, local artists, anarchists, and reluctant hipsters. The front of the shop contains a variety of boutique clothing and locally-designed goods, including artwork, jewelry, and a collection of buttons. The back of the shop houses the anarchist library, where patrons can read up on everything from Reagan economics to space exploration, or take advantage of the community computer and Wi-Fi.
But this is about the coffee, right? We couldn't resist the Chai Latte.
Conspire (The Coffee Conspiracy): Chai Latte
901 N. 5th Street
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Conspire owner John Sagasta often makes this himself, hand-mixing the ingredients (chai tea, cinnamon, cloves). It's heavy on the nutmeg and the soy, which means it's rich and heavy on flavor, too, with a spicy kick that sticks with you after each sip. In fact, the drink might be too heavy for a morning pick-me-up -- it's more like a dessert in a recycled plastic cup. But fret not -- there are plenty of other high-octane beverages on the menu, including espressos that can curl nose hairs and flavorful iced mochas. Whatever your poison, Conspire's probably got it, and they've got plenty of stuff to stare at while you're waiting for your order.