Coffee Break: Taking Five at Press Coffee Roasters in Scottsdale Quarter

Chris Malloy

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Chris Malloy
A coffee shop is many things to many people. For some, it is a meeting place, for others an office, and for some, it is simply a place to grab a caffeinated cup on the go. Here we evaluate coffee shops around the Valley, to help you find your perfect spot for a coffee break.

The Shop: Press Coffee Roasters Scottsdale Quarter, 15147 North Scottsdale Road, #102, Scottsdale

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (During the summer, they close an hour early Monday through Saturday)

Sit-down or Take-away: Either

Wifi & Electrical Plug Situation: Both

Noise Level: Little to moderate

Comfort of Seating: Firm but forgiving enough for all but a true marathon work session

Overall Vibe/Aesthetic: Spare, clean design: think reclaimed wood, chalkboard menu, and local art

Food Options: Pastries and limited bites like burritos and avocado toast

At this Press location, the high-ceilinged walls are lined with reclaimed wood from the barn of Edward Davis (the inventor of the icebox) and you’re as likely to hear post-rock as you are 1990s Daft Punk. There are almost an equal number of people working on their laptops as there are two-tops buzzing with low conversations, for a vibe that is lively, but chill. It's a great space, but the real draw is what's being poured, dripped, and steamed at the counter.

Press’s espresso and plain old drip are compulsive-controlled. The espresso ratio of oil-thick shot to ground is 2:1, and they maintain near-total control of the coffee-making process, from sourcing beans from dozens of farms to roasting 150,000 pounds of them a year, firing each batch of 18 to 36 pounds to order. They treat their beans like the perishable agricultural product they are.

The Guatemalan single-origin cup I quaffed on a recent visit came from beans roasted just a week before. “Coffee,” General Manager Alex Mason boldly posits, “is like craft beer.”

In the case of cold brew, the beans, once ground and watered, spend 20 hours in stainless steel beer fermentation tanks at 39 to 40 degrees. For nitro, the finished cold brew is kegged and then nitrogenated. The frosty glass that comes across the counter from under the tap has the head and creamy swish of a Guinness, as well as a mellower coffee husk that lets more fleeting flavors shine.

With the eclectic tunes oozing and an oversized coffee flavor wheel hanging opposite the barn wood—with a sip, one feels and tastes the results of Press's coffee-centrism. The spare modern aesthetic seems to keep the emphasis on the coffee and, just as crucially, on the people caffeinating in the shop’s 35 seats.

Final Evaluation: Those 35 seats are a sweet place to pit stop between Quarter shops, to chat up a table neighbor, strap on headphones and knock out some low-key work, or to savor a really great coffee or espresso, whether you have five minutes or an hour.

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Chris Malloy

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Chris Malloy, former food editor and 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 stories on the food world's margins.
Contact: Chris Malloy

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