If you're the type of person who, after forcing yourself out of bed and making yourself presentable, heads over to your favorite coffee spot, this routine might maintain your abstract sense of sanity. Coffee is as essential to most of our lives as gasoline is to our cars, and options to refill the tank in the Valley are ever-expanding.
In 2017, Vogue asked, "Is Phoenix the Coffee Capital of the Southwest?" — and coffee connoisseurs and addicts alike have seemed to take notice. While heavy hitters like Cartel and Press continue to dominate the scene, more java options are never a bad thing. Here is the lowdown on five recently opened coffee shops in the Phoenix area.
1301 Grand Avenue, #6
Operating in the Grand Avenue Arts District as a double-agent art gallery and coffee shop, Belhaus has charm and grit inside the unassuming storefront off 13th Avenue in the old Bragg's Pie Factory building — neighboring chef Silvana Salcido Esparza's Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva. You may even forget you're in Phoenix when you stop by, as the shop has a Soho or Los Angeles vibe.
When owner Anthony Fiorelli got a call from soon-to-be partners Gino and Sherri Belassen, he knew it was time to take his vintage Vespa coffee cart, Caffio, to the next level. Regular hours began in November 2018. Utilizing a Colombian Honduras blend from local Xanadu Coffee Roasters, the espresso and accompanying latte art are sure to please. Stroll in for their signature Lumio, a savory and comforting burnt honey latte, and stay for the people watching. If you have deep pockets and highbrow taste, you may even walk out with a piece or two of art.
8295 West Jefferson Street, Peoria
Driftwood Coffee, located in the heart of Old Town Peoria, is all about community. Owners Luke Bentley and Lance Linderman have intentionally created a space where people can drink coffee, enjoy a great meal, and just be together. A community-centered attitude is apparent in all that Driftwood does; they even support other coffee shops by featuring their beans. Take your pick between a locally or nationally roasted bean, depending on how altruistic you feel. Their speed bar, touting espresso drinks, cold brew, and a hot and iced tea selection, is perfect for the early morning grind.
When you have more time to savor your cuppa in a leisurely fashion, check out their slow bar for an epicurean experience. The lackadaisical cup, brewed via a Chemex, V60, or French press, is sure to be worth the wait. Stop in to sample their ever-evolving food menu, or to champion a social cause during one of their many community events (a recent get-together discussed how to fight sex trafficking). Become a “Drifter” for first dibs at merchandise and events, and to meet like-minded coffee fanatics.
3712 North Scottsdale Road, #110, Scottsdale
Founder Mike Melton, who opened JOJO Coffeehouse in Old Town Scottsdale in December 2018, strives to connect the community through “coffee, food, and self-expression.” Featured artists like Natalie Grace regularly take the stage to enhance the coffeehouse vibe with their music.
A full food menu is offered daily, with breakfast and brunch from 7 a.m. to noon, and lunch and dinner from noon to its various closing times. Try the breakfast bruschetta with Nutella, banana, brown sugar, and an agave drizzle, and pair it with a JOJO coffee flight for the long day ahead. Featuring their nitro and regular cold brew, a double shot of espresso, latte, and caramel macchiato, the flight is sure to keep you awake and alert for at least one business day.
Established in 1998 in Bellevue, Nebraska, Scooter’s Coffee has recently graced us with three Valley locations: Seventh Avenue and Indian School Road, 26th and Glendale avenues, and 126th Avenue and Bell Road in Surprise. With both walk-in and drive-through options, Scooter’s is great for both the morning hustle to the office and the midday pick-me-up. Roasting from only the top 10 percent of specialty coffee beans in the world and offering each drink hot, iced, or blended, you are sure to find your fix here.
Try the Caramelicious, their signature drink, if you prefer a rich and velvety beverage. If coffee just isn’t giving you the jolt you need, order one of their Red Bull Infusions — Tropical Red Bull infused with your choice of flavor (add some cream if you really want to get crazy). Scoot on by for your daily fix; the smiley stickers on each cup are just an added bonus.
Serafina Coffee Roasters
45 West Jefferson Street
This Warehouse District spot opened its doors in March of last year in the historic Luhrs Towers. No novice to the business, owner Damien Serafina actually launched his first coffee shop in the Valley, Roma Coffee, back in 1992. As you can imagine, the landscape has changed a bit since then. Roasting their own small batch Ugandan coffee on-site is just part of the charisma of the current establishment. The brick and concrete interior gives Serafina an urban yet homey feel, while local artwork and a black leather, mid-century modern couch round out the laid-back aura.
Yummy kitchen offerings like ricotta and jam toast and Belgian waffles topped with homemade whipped cream and fresh bananas are sure to keep your growling stomach at bay while you sip on an espresso or cold brew. You can even feel extra good about that sip — Serafina's coffee program is designed to give back. Sourcing their beans from Matendo Coffee Importers, an organization helping to make coffee farming a fair and sustainable industry for Ugandan families, means your caffeine habit can also be a humanitarian one.