Caffiend: Barrio Cafe's Chiapas Iztapa

In a street-front strip mall on 16th street just south of Thomas Road sits the unassuming Barrio Cafe, a place known for its tasty authentic Mexican cuisine and the slogan, "Conserve water -- drink Tequila." But one of the best drinks on the cafe's menu is their sole coffee, Cafe de la Casa Barrio.

This house blend, made from "Chiapas Iztapa la Paloma" coffee beans from southern Mexico, is served piping hot in a press, with real, fresh cream on the side. It tastes somewhat like chicory coffee, with an earthy, bittersweet aftertaste that's actually not unpleasant. There's a hint of chocolate flavor, too. In fact, the thick, heady roasted beans coagulated into a sludge that looked like Hershey's Chocolate Syrup at the bottom of the mug. Again, surprisingly not unpleasant.

And Barrio Cafe's brew is the kind that makes your eyelids jump when you smell it. A couple cups of the potent, pressed Chiapas Iztapa, and you could be blabbering your lunch hour (or dinner date) away.

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea