Mornin' Moonshine in Downtown Phoenix Is Cute but Misses the Mark on Quality

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Mornin' Moonshine wins for decor, loses for deliciousness.

The fine folks at Vovomeena have taken their coffee service out of the restaurant and into a brand new space at 111 West Monroe. The mid-century modern office building is the perfect location for Mornin' Moonshine's quirky, vintage aesthetic -- but while some of the cafe's visual details are perfectly polished, others seem blatantly overlooked. The same could be said of the shop's coffee products.

While the coffee at Vovomeena may be drinkable, Mornin' Moonshine just doesn't pass muster as a standalone coffee concept.

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32 Shea Makes Flavored Syrups, and They Taste Real Good

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Nothing better than sitting outside on a pleasant afternoon. Sippin' syrup. Like you do.

There are a lot of reasons to like 32 Shea. The patio is adorably cozy. The atmosphere is casual, the staff are attentive and kind. And there's a chair in the bathroom! Not just a boring chair, a really nice cushy one, perfect for feeding a baby or taking a little time-out from a bad date (why don't all restaurants have a bathroom chair?!).

They also have arguably the best coffee service in North Phoenix. Part of what makes 32 Shea's coffee so great is that the baristas are talented -- but they also don't take the coffee thing too seriously, which we have come to appreciate. 32 Shea adds some fun flair to their beverage menu in the form of house-made flavored syrups. We don't just mean the standard simple-syrup-and-cheap-vanilla-concentrate "house-made" syrups- - we mean real, delicious flavor combinations that complement coffee without smothering it.


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The Velo Bike Shop & Cafe Is Our New Favorite Thing

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
A bicycle loaded up with beer and cold brew. What more do you even need??
They say that the right number of bicycles (and coffee shops) (and cats) is always however many you currently have plus one more.

Thankfully, Downtown Phoenix has found a great new source for both bikes and coffee at The Velo Bike Shop & Cafe. Sadly, you'll have to find a new cat elsewhere.


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Taco Bell's Biscuit Taco Isn't Much of a Taco

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Josh Chesler
It's a fast food bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a folded biscuit. What did you expect?

The Guilty Pleasure: The Biscuit Taco
Where to Get It: Taco Bell, like you even had to ask
Price: $3.29 plus tax
What it Really Costs: The emotional distress of sitting in a Taco Bell drive-thru before 11 a.m.

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Coffee Nerds Rejoice! Cartel Coffee Announces $15 Brewing Class Starting March 29

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Learn to brew it better at home. For just $15!

Craft coffee lovers and home baristas, get excited: Cartel will be offering coffee brewing classes starting on Sunday, March 29th at 11 am.

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The Roastery of Cave Creek: Small-Town Hospitality On The Fringes of a Big City

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
The view from the Roastery.

We're sitting at The Roastery of Cave Creek. Owner David Anderson came out to give us a tour of his facility, despite having had knee surgery just a few days ago. He wasn't able to drive yet, so his spunky and incredibly sweet stepdaughter, Wade, gave him a lift.

The business was closed, but a customer came in looking for coffee. The Roastery usually offers after-hour sales on an honor system; a cabinet outside the building holds bags of coffee, visitors drop cash through the mail slot. Quaint, right?

But this customer needed his beans ground. And he didn't have cash on him. No matter -- The Roastery took care of it. Wade ground the beans while David spoke with the visitor. He told him to drop by with cash when he had it, and the customer left happy. As he walked out the door, he said, "What I just experienced here is what makes this place special. Small-town hospitality."

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Village Coffee Roastery in Scottsdale: Your Coffee Is Just Okay, But We Like You Anyway

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Village's mechanism for storing coffee is as retro as their preparation methods.
Remember the opening scene in So I Married An Axe Murderer? The one where Mike Myers gets served a ginormous cappuccino topped with thick, dense foam? And it's 1993, and Mike Myers is still cool, and everyone is all grunged out and Gen-X and happy drinking cappuccinos that look like that?

The spirit of that 1990s coffee scene is alive and well at Village Coffee Roastery in Scottsdale. The beat poets have changed into businessmen in BMWs, but when it comes to the coffee, nothing has changed. And we kinda like that.

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"White Espresso" at ThirdSpace's Grind House Coffee Is a Strange Take on a Classic

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Grind House at ThirdSpace.  

Grind House, the Grand Avenue coffee shop housed within the ThirdSpace complex, is a strange little place. In an aging casita, with exactly one tiny indoor table (and ample patio space), the spot could be called "charming" or "kind of grimy" depending on your take on things.

Grind House prides itself on selling "White Espresso." What is this, you ask? Well, we've got the answers.

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When Good Restaurants Have Bad Coffee

Categories: Grind

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Zaida Dedolph
Just say no.

The Henry is undeniably beautiful. The Sam Fox Concept is bright and sunny, has a gorgeously polished interior, sumptuous seating, and a patio that summer dreams are made of. The food is, in classic Sam Fox style, simple but well-executed, the cocktails are top-notch, and the whiskey list is long and impeccably curated. This is a space where every detail has been deliberately crafted to fit with an overall image of quality and comfort.

To this restaurant, which seems to have paid such immaculate attention to every tiny facet of the customers' experience, we pose this question: why do you serve such absolutely abysmal coffee?!

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Phoenix Barista Perry Czopp Went to Costa Rica to Harvest Coffee and All We Got Were These Gorgeous Photos

Categories: Grind

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Courtesy of Perry Czopp
Harvesting coffee is seriously hard work.

Perry Czopp is something of a coffee wunderkind. At just 25 years old, Perry will compete in this year's United States Barista Championship and has ownership stakes in two separate local companies (The Coffee Chop and Silent Flight Coffee). He recently went to visit the Costa Rican farmers who produced his championship coffee. We checked in with Perry to learn more about the journey coffee takes from tree to cup.


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