If you’re looking to sit down and sip a coffee these strange days, or to grab one for the road, Mythical Coffee in Gilbert has been brewing some imaginative cups. The shop opened a few days before 2019 ended. Since then, it has won a cult following of people looking for a thoughtful modern coffee experience.
Mythical brews all of the standard espresso-based drinks. These are nicely made, artfully presented. Espresso comes with carbonated water, often in a triangular serving vessel. Baristas pull espresso from a sleek, stunning teal machine out of Seattle, called MVP Hydra. And from this starting point, Mythical Coffee gets interesting.
Though the menu of specialty lattes rotates, the folks at Mythical make a blackberry-thyme latte sprinkled with a purple wedge of crumbled goji berries. They serve a lavender-blueberry latte topped with speared blueberries dusted with lavender sugar, which look like the olives of a martini.
They tap into cocktail and spirit themes for inspiration regularly, including for a latte using juniper and orange in a nod to the aromatics of gin.
They are a team of three owners: Eric Hervey, Katjriana Marker, and Courtney Gifford. Marker is a graphic designer and the mind behind the shop’s lean modern aesthetic, industrial design themes, and lofty white walls showing sparse accents like plants and globe lights. Gifford prepares the food. Hervey and Marker both pull espresso and carefully aim oat milk into thick, brimming mugs.
The shop’s aesthetic and specialty lattes are what most set it apart from other craft coffee destinations, both in the east Valley and beyond. “Our hope is ongoingly to create seasonal menus that are interesting and push boundaries a little bit,” Hervey says.
In pursuit of flavor and responsible origins, he sources beans from all over the coffee-producing world. Hervey is quick to mention crises and injustices in coffee-growing culture, like labor problems and the effects of climate change on beans. He considers these topics when sourcing and hopes to address them more deeply with his customers, potentially with special events at the shop.
"The majority of coffee is grown in third-world countries and consumed in first-world countries,” he says. “Many, many farmers are underpaid for what they're producing and should be making more."
Hervey takes these responsibly sourced beans and roasts them. Here, the Mythical crew gets an assist from Xanadu Coffee Company in Phoenix, which shares its roasting equipment.
The specialty lattes that these beans fuel will change all the time.
From the seasonal bounty, Hervey and his team take inspiration and simmer syrups. They take pride in their creative combinations. “For me, I hope to give people a taste experience that they haven’t had before,” he says. In the world of coffee, he sees “a ton of room in that area.”
And so, under Mythical’s neatly exposed ceiling ducts and vents, you can get a cortado, Americano, espresso, or cappuccino. You can get a pour-over, cold brew, or nitro. The shop fills with a young crowd. People nurse these well-made coffee classics as they work, take lunch breaks, meet friends. Many customers embrace the modern drinks, like a rosemary-caramel latte speckled on top like a creme brulee.
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Gifford's kitchen turns out a tight menu of smallish plates. These seem to be designed to sidekick coffee rather than the other way around. Scones and pastries. A light menu of toasts, including cinnamon-sugar, avocado, and one using house-made blackberry jam. Overnight oats. Food that can shift seasonally.
Even if you’re not one to linger in a coffee shop these days, check out Mythical if you’re in Gilbert. At the very least, you can takeaway. And if those aren't options for you, Mythical also sells its beans online.
1090 South Gilbert Road, Gilbert.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily
Editor’s note: The public dining space of this business may be closed by the time of publication because of the coronavirus.