During the holidays, pumpkin- and gingerbread-flavored items tend to be everywhere, particularly in seasonal beverages.
Mountainview Coffee in Fountain Hills has those two covered but also offers a Candy Cane Frappe that makes peppermint a strong contender in the season's flavor throwdown.
See also: Where To Get Your Peppermint Fix
The drink is peppermint-flavored shaved ice blended to a light and foamy consistency and topped with candy cane bits for a little extra minty punch. You don't have to add the espresso, but we chose to have ours on the caffeinated side for both the potency and the taste and ended up loving the way the strong coffee and the sweet mint created a cool, tingly balance.
The shop does not roast its own coffee but does source coffee from area roasters. They like to support other local businesses as well, and sell handmade goods produced regionally, in addition to the plump menu loaded with coffee and tea drinks, smoothies, frappes, bagels, pastries, and Italian sodas. A breakfast burrito is on the morning menu and for lunch, sandwich options include both egg and chicken salad.
Don't expect this to be your nighttime hangout; barista Ashley Kennell says the town "shuts down at 5 p.m." and Mountainview does, too, on Mondays through Saturdays. On Sunday, it closes at 3 p.m. What you can do, though, during open hours, is lounge on the dog-friendly patio with a view of the fountain and lake, or stroll down to the duck feeding frenzy just steps below.
A few fun facts about barista Ashley Kennell:
1. She is developing a love of baking and is responsible for some of the baked goodies available at Mountainview Coffee, including the big, inviting chocolate brownies featured in the counter display.
2. She recently moved from Scottsdale to Fountain Hills and thinks it was a weird choice of a destination for a 23-year-old but completely loves living in the town.
3. She is a movie fanatic with an affinity for comedies and is eagerly awaiting the theatrical release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.