Cartel Coffee Lab's Espresso Horchata: The Bad Girl of Good Drinks
Oh, horchata, the hottie of cold drinks. Its sixth-grade-joke-inspiring name is oh so fitting. It's zesty and delicious, but those aren't the only features this drink has to offer -- it often si subtly diverse, made unique by the creators who serve up glasses loaded with your chilly, dreamy-creamy goodness.
Horchata is nothing new. It first popped up in ancient Egypt, where it was derived from tigernuts. As it made its way around the world, it found new interpretations, regionally. The heart of the drink generally consists of nuts, rice, barley or seeds, or a combination of those ingredients blended with milk or water and additions like vanilla or cinnamon.
See also: Make Your Own Dairy-Free Horchata
At Cartel Coffee Lab in Tempe, barista Ryan Frazier tells us that it is the beauty and power of the roasted bean via their joint's espresso horchata that is all the rage. Why shouldn't it get plenty of attention? Their version of the addictive concoction is a milky drink made from brown rice, ground almonds, and chilled cinnamon. It is sweet, cold and full of flavor -- the kind of beverage you want to swirl around in your mouth, enjoying the accent of each ingredient, before slowly letting it glide down the hatch.
The drink's extra beauty comes from adding the bold to the cold. Within this refreshing lip smacker resides a double shot of Cartel's proprietary espresso roast. Savory and strong, the coffee finds a nice place for its power within the sweetness; the union is sublime.
Five fun facts about double agent barista/actor Ryan Frazier:
1. He really likes calling the espresso horchata a dirty whore -- to her face and behind her back.
2. He is an avid gardener.
3. He once performed naked in a play and found it hard to concentrate on his lines.
4. He has a dog at home who is in heat.
5. He has "no great aspirations in life."
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.