Breakfast Beat

Breakfast Beat: A Chill Nomadic Coffee Cart With Viral Lattes

Luana's Coffee Yard is a movable feast.
Luana's Coffee Yard is a movable feast. Chris Malloy
The Spot: Luana’s Coffee Yard
Mobile (find location through Instagram, linked above); 623-341-6940.

The Scene: The anything-goes vibe of Luana’s is half of its appeal. In an age of intricate restaurant branding, when posts feel carefully curated to siphon right from your wallet, Luana’s doesn’t give a shit about any of that stuff. Owner Aaron Schofield does his own thing, splashing his digital feed with huge personality.

That attitude is what you get at Luana’s. His turquoise trailer may be parked in Glendale one day, and downtown Phoenix the next. The vibes remain the same. Schofield plays music. He sets out fold-up chairs. He lays a rug on the pavement. It's not much, but it makes things feel nice, which is the purpose of coffee.

The whole operation hums to the rhythm of a tiny espresso machine. Schofield bought the machine during a darker time in his life, a time when he “didn’t know shit about coffee.”

He started pulling espresso for friends in his yard. Soon, he was working alongside his friend Kyle Hodge, whose family owns Hob Nob Food and Spirits in Phoenix. About a year ago, Schofield started Luana’s Coffee Yard, the name and mood of the yard skeltering today to wherever he brings his trailer.

click to enlarge The operation hums in rhythm with this tiny espresso machine. - CHRIS MALLOY
The operation hums in rhythm with this tiny espresso machine.
Chris Malloy
The Goods: The focus of Luana’s is coffee. Within coffee, lattes. Schofield keeps a few standbys on the menu of eight or so, rotating in special lattes, a few with cult followings.

Regular lattes include a salted caramel and white chocolate. (Schofield uses Ghirardelli syrup.) On the more specialty side, things get weird. Schofield has already crafted a viral latte: the Voldemort. It features coconut, vanilla, Italian soda, chocolate, charcoal, and black whipped cream. He created the drink to recreate “unicorn blood,” which, apparently, the dark lord in Harry Potter drinks all the time.

For specialty drinks, Luana's makes its own whipped cream.

The mobile shop makes the full range of coffee drinks. Standard cappuccinos and double espressos are on the menu. Beans come from Xanadu Coffee. Schofield has collaborated with Xanadu to settle on a Guatemalan-Colombian blend roasted the way the beans do best in his drinks: on the lighter side of dark.

Food options are limited. It's all outside pastries that rotate. BoSa doughnuts are common to see. Moffa’s Muffin Tops, based in Peoria, is a Luana's staple. Schofield often carries 319 Hidden Kitchen's triple-chocolate muffins, poppy seed muffins, and raspberry-chocolate muffins designed to go with Luana’s raspberry mocha.

click to enlarge Sweet options change. Recently, BoSa Donuts were on the menu. - CHRIS MALLOY
Sweet options change. Recently, BoSa Donuts were on the menu.
Chris Malloy
The Bottom Line: When Luana's is in your hood, the place is ideal for a hot or iced latte and a pastry or two, a breakfast that will keep you feeling nice and light for a high-velocity morning.
Hours: Varies
Price: $
Wi-Fi: No
Juice: Not unless you consider Italian sodas juice.
Drinking Before Noon: Nope
Special Note: Luana's just secured a permit to serve warm food, and plans to in the coming months.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Malloy, former food editor and current food critic at Phoenix New Times, has written for various local and national outlets. He has scrubbed pots in a restaurant kitchen, earned graduate credit for a class about cheese, harvested garlic in Le Marche, and rolled pastas like cappellacci stuffed with chicken liver. He writes reviews but also narrative stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy