Grinders Coffee Co's Viennese Mocha

E. Groves
We're in love. Just when we thought we'd tried every caffeinated beverage imaginable and gotten sick of coffee, we stumbled upon Grinders Coffee Co in Sunnyslope, and their amazing Viennese Mocha.

Grinders proprietor Dennis Miller is a coffee connoisseur, and the Viennese Mocha is a java experience. There are seven different beans in the blend, and a smorgasbord of flavors in every sip. Sitting outside Grinders on a sunny Saturday morning, nursing our Viennese Mocha, we felt like we were spoiling ourselves. 

The Viennese Mocha is a blend of espresso with milk, chocolate, cinnamon, and almond -- a sweet java, but not overly so. A pretty cap of white whipped cream is optional, to which baristas add a swirl of chocolate and powdered cinnamon. The coffee looks so nice we were hesitant to take the first sip and mess up the aesthetic.

When we finally took the first drink, we have to admit we were shocked by how good it tasted. It's hard to find coffee that stands out from the Starbucks army, but Grinders Viennese Mocha is definitely special. The various coffee beans meshed into a smooth, robust java that wasn't the least bit bitter, and the additional flavors came in waves -- first a heady, chocolate espresso taste, offset by the light sweetness of the whipped cream. Then came hints of cinnamon, and finally, a short blast of almond and an amaretto-cherry aftertaste.

This coffee tastes just as Grinders guru Dennis Miller intended -- like a fine European coffee, rather than the popular Seattle standard. Patrons can buy and grind fine beans from all over world here -- there are several large containers of beans opposite the register (judging by the container's emptiness, the peaberry is very popular here).

In terms of energy, the Viennese Mocha provides a solid caffeine kick -- it's made with espresso, after all. There's also a bit of a sugar rush from the chocolate and whipped cream. It would be a good get-up-and-go coffee if it wasn't so artisan. Thankfully, Grinders opens at 7 a.m. most days and can whip them up fairly quickly. Too bad there's only this one location in Sunnyslope. We wouldn't mind having a Grinders on every corner at all.

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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