Jolta Java in Scottsdale closes

July 21, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Scottsdale

Jolta Java, a long-time coffee house / cafe in Scottsdale has closed. We were heading over there on Saturday morning for breakfast, when we noticed the doors were locked, and the landlord had attached a sign to the door. The owner, Jonathan, was inside clearing out the store. Most of the store was empty, except for some leftover menu boards, and equipment.


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FAEMA E61 espresso machine at Liberty Market turns 49

July 19, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Gilbert


The FAEMA E61 espresso machine at Liberty Market turns 49 years old on Tuesday, July 22nd. And, to celebrate, they’ll be giving away classic espresso drinks (espresso, macchiato, and cappuccinos, for drinking in ceramic mugs) all day long!

If you’ve never been to Liberty Market, you should check out this photo-post I published a couple of years ago after one of my visits. They have just absolutely fantastic food, and a dedicated espresso bar inside the restaurant.

Joe Johnston emailed Arizona Coffee with the following description of their espresso machine, which is, to my knowledge, the only one used commercially in Arizona. Joe writes: “The showpiece of the eponymous espresso bar is our FAEMA E61 espresso machine, a retro-futuristic chrome plated beauty built in Milan, Italy on July 22, 1965. The E61 is perhaps the most famous espresso machine ever built, introducing several technical innovations that revolutionized the making of quality espresso. Our machine was used in Milan for decades then refurbished by Mr. Espresso of Oakland, CA and installed at Liberty Market five years ago.”

Has it only been five years? Congratulations to Liberty Market!

Liberty Market
230 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ
Phone: (480) 892-1900
Twitter: @libertymarket

Firecreek Coffee Company in Flagstaff

July 18, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Flagstaff

In the downtown area of Flagstaff, facing Route 66, is the entrance to Firecreek Coffee Company. This location opened in April, 2013 and just recently celebrated its 1st year in operation.

Firecreek Coffee Company also has a location in Sedona, and previously had a location in Cave Creek. Firecreek Coffee has a fairly large roasting operation.

On a recent weekend in June we were on our way to Arches National Monument in Utah, and from there over to Denver, Colorado. So, we naturally had to make our way towards Flagstaff. I knew immediately where I wanted to go — Firecreek!


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Silent Flight Coffee Delivery

July 14, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Tempe

silent-flight-coffee-delivery-tempe-arizonaIf you’re lucky enough to live in Tempe, AZ, you can be a part of the recent launch of Silent Flight Coffee Delivery. They’re making 64 oz Growlers of ready-to-drink iced coffee that they’ll deliver to your door for $25.

The price per delivery drops if you subscribe and receive weekly deliveries. To have iced coffee delivered every week for a month costs $90.

For now, all deliveries are done on Sunday mornings, and deliveries are limited to the immediate Tempe area around the 85281 zip code. They’ll deliver to both residential, and commercial locations.

They’ve released this video:

Right now, they’re featuring an Ethiopia Danch Meng coffee from Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders.

The three founders and operators are: Perry Czopp, Cherisse Teeple, and Suzy Lippmann.

Congratulations on launching! You can learn more at their web site, or on Instagram.

Press Coffee Roasters announces new Tempe location

July 14, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Tempe

press coffee roasters arizonaPress Coffee Roasters announced recently that they will be opening a new location in Tempe, AZ. The new location, planned for a late summer opening, will be located at SkyWater Apartments on Rio Salado Parkway across from the Tempe Center for the Arts and facing Tempe Town Lake.


In their announcement, Press Coffee said they “will continue our mission to provide the best coffee and service we can, while educating and sharing our passion with the community we have grown in.”

Press Coffee currently has two retail locations in Arizona, one in Scottsdale, AZ, and the other at Sky Harbor Airport (Terminal 4). They also have a coffee roasting operation in downtown Phoenix, where they regularly host events such as the recent latte art throwdown.

New coffee shop in San Tan Valley opening this July

June 23, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Jobs

I just heard from Tom Maegdlin, who is consulting with Letha Mae’s Bakery and Café which is opening this July in San Tan Valley. He wrote in to say that the owner, Michael Cox, is searching for people for the following positions:

  • Café Manager with specialty coffee experience.
  • An experienced Baker (will be given a great deal of creative license).
  • Café staff preferably with specialty coffee experience.

To inquire, email

Tom writes: “I have spent the last week getting Michael Cox (Letha Mae’s Bakery and Café) ready to open in early July. Michael is passionate about bringing his grandmothers baking recipes to the San Tan Valley community where he has been a business owner for 4 years.”

Tom added that Letha Mae’s Bakery and Café “is proudly serving Press Coffee and is committed to the high standards of a quality-driven café.” That’s awesome news for folks in San Tan Valley!

Songbird Coffee & Tea House

June 18, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Phoenix

songbird coffeeI’ve been intending to write a longer form essay about Songbird Coffee & Tea House, and just haven’t gotten to it. With this post, I’m hoping to help share some of the awesome things about Songbird I’ve discovered.

Songbird is the favorite coffee shop of many Arizona Coffee readers, and I am frequently asked to share my thoughts about Songbird. People love this coffee shop. The great coffee aside, I think people love it because of its location and friendly environment. When the owners of Songbird talk about community, I think what they’re referring to is the nature of the place, and how they want people to feel as if they are a part of Songbird’s story.

1. The coffee

They’re doing really great things with coffee at Songbird Coffee. Songbird’s coffee beans are from Cortez Coffee Company (based in Tempe, AZ). On each of my visits I’ve ordered a cappuccino, which is my standard fare (mostly because I really like cappuccino’s, but also because it’s a good test drink). All have been terrific.


Above: A cappuccino from Songbird

I’ve also tried the iced toddy they make, and it’s super smooth. So they’re winning me right there.


Above: Cold brew iced toddy


Above: Another cappuccino from Songbird

2. The waffles

My wife and I recently discovered Belgian Liege Waffles from a food truck here in Arizona, and then when Songbird announced on Twitter that they were going to be serving Belgian Liege Waffles we knew we had to check them out.

They don’t serve the waffles every day, but only on select weekend’s. So, if you’re going for the waffles check with Songbird to ensure they’ll have them on the menu.

If you are not familiar with Belgian Liege Waffles here’s what you need to know: They’re like sugar waffles… they are created with a lighter batter and almost taste like a dessert, especially when you top them with fresh fruit and whipped cream. They taste sweet, crispy, and because Liege Waffles are made with pearl sugar, it caramelizes on the outside of the waffle when it is cooked. That’s what gives it the amazing taste.


Above: Waffles! You’re sure to love them!

Songbird gets their other food from Treehouse Bakery and Sly Fox Nutrition.

3. The location

The first time I visited Monorchid was in 2007 for a Creative Connect event and at the time I always thought it was one of the cooler “creative” environments in downtown Phoenix. And, it still is today, but it’s even cooler because they have a fantastic coffee shop inside the walls.


Above: The cozy side entrance from within Monorchid.

One of the reasons Songbird chose to open inside Monorchid was because of their goal to be part of a larger community. They’ve expanded upon that idea by showcasing local art, having regular events, and getting to know their customers.

4. The tea

I’m not much of a tea person, but I’ve heard people talk about the tea at Songbird and refer to it as a terrific place to get tea in Phoenix. People say it’s one of the few places that really knows tea preparation. They also have a Thai iced tea, which people rave about. Songbird gets tea from Maya Tea Company located in Tucson, AZ.


Above: The trademark yellow/green menu board made from Scrabble pieces

5. The owners

Pretty much every single time I’ve visited Songbird I’ve seen one of the owners. Songbird is also transparent about their partners, and list all of the companies that they source from on their web site.


Above: Erin behind the counter

Songbird Coffee & Tea House was founded by Jonathan and Erin Carroll. They opened in July, 2012 at their current location on Roosevelt St.

Jonathan and his wife Erin are very active online. They have recently been posting some cool photos to Twitter that show their Songbird coffee cup at cool venues around Arizona. It reminds me a bit of how Paletas Betty will post photos of their sticker at various venues around the world.

6. The huge bookshelf

There’s a massive bookshelf inside Songbird that spans nearly the entire wall — perhaps twenty feet. As you sit in your chair, drinking your coffee or tea, you can’t help but look over the items on the wall, and wonder where they all came from. There’s a bird theme, which seems appropriate, and I saw an old bird nest on the top shelf. There’s also dozens of old books that look interesting. If you’re staying a while, they would make for good reading. If you were to find yourself trapped somewhere awhile, Songbird would be an interesting place with enough things to look at that you wouldn’t get bored.


Above: A view of Songbird and the cool bookshelf

7. The seating

The seating is comfortable, with a selection of beautiful chairs and a two-seater couch. The rest of the room is occupied by beautiful wood tables that extend from the walls — they look hand made to me, and have comfortable black chairs.


Above: Here’s another close up shot of the shelving

8. The windows

The huge floor to ceiling windows in the front of the store face Roosevelt St. You can sit in front of the windows, looking out at the traffic.


Above: A view out the windows

Have you been to Songbird? What makes it unique? What’s your favorite drink? Have you tried the waffles?

Songbird Coffee & Tea House
214 East Roosevelt St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Twitter: @songbirdcoffee

Snapshots from a recent visit to Altitude Coffee Lab

June 15, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Scottsdale

On a recent Saturday morning we found ourselves at Altitude Coffee Lab for breakfast. We’ve been over here a couple of times for breakfast, and one reason is because it’s close to this awesome walkway along Lake Marguerite in Scottsdale. It’s just a fun place to take the family for a quick Saturday stroll.

Anyways, we’ve been getting the Breakfast Burrito which I absolutely love. Paired with a cappuccino, of course.


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Shine Coffee

June 8, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Phoenix

In April, yes, April, I packed up the family and headed downtown and one of our stops was to Shine Coffee in Midtown Phoenix’s museum district. Believe it or not, I had never been to Shine Coffee and when they announced the grand opening of the pocket park next door, I knew it was a good time to visit. Shine Coffee gets its coffee from several local roasters, rather than just one.

We arrived just as the party was getting started for the grand opening of “Pocket Park” as it has been dubbed. They had face painters, food to eat, and a band playing music and singing. About an hour into the party, a massive dark cloud rolled over and with wind put temporary dampers on the event, but it didn’t really rain much.

Overall, I really enjoyed my visit. The people were friendly, the location is beautiful and feels like a restored version of Phoenix, AZ (because it is), and I like what they’re doing in this tiny corner of midtown Phoenix.


Here’s a photo of my cappuccino, which was just okay. I’ll come back to try another next time.


Here’s the cute little window where you place your orders, and chit chat with your barista.


This is the view inside the large building to the west of Shine Coffee. It’s a bit of a reading room, with spacious seating, couches, and restrooms. It is also air conditioned and they have free wireless internet.


Here’s a view of the exterior of Shine Coffee at 10 West Vernon Avenue in Phoenix.


Beautiful hand painted wood signage on the exterior of the separate building.


Here’s a great view of the park and the beautiful landscaping. There are lots of apartments nearby, so the location is perfect.


Here’s the reading room where you can sit and relax in air conditioned bliss. It’s small, but makes a perfect place to get some work done, or meet with a friend.


Pocket Park.


Some of the coffee cake.


A home made zucchini muffin from Shine Coffee.

Have you been to Shine Coffee, what did you think?

Shine Coffee
10 W. Vernon Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Phone: (602) 625-6322

Third Wave

May 26, 2014 Posted by Chris Tingom Filed under Coffee


I generally liked the article in The Arizona Republic about Third Wave coffee movement, but had a few thoughts on it. Overall, it is nice to see some local coffee shops getting some mainstream press.

The term Third Wave was coined in 2002 by Trish Rothgeb to define coffee that aspires to the highest form of quality in every step of the process, from coffee bean growing, harvesting, roasting, and preparation. It can also mean direct-trade coffee, single-origin coffee, and latte art.

First, I found the comparison to New Orleans interesting. In the article the author states:

“Phoenix and New Orleans are completely different markets, but the Third Wave coffee movement began showing up in both cities around the same time.”

The article suggests that the Third Wave only began showing up in New Orleans in 2013:

“…because New Orleans’ residents hold on tightly to tradition, their coffee hasn’t changed much since. Within the past year, however, Third Wave coffee shops have sprung up around the city.”

Before this article, have you ever heard anybody compare our coffee scene to New Orleans? I haven’t.

cappuccino-arizona-third-wave-coffeeThe author then goes on to suggest that the Third Wave came to Phoenix in 2008 with the opening of shops like Cartel Coffee Lab, and Press Coffee. I know there are a lot of people who would differ with that statement, but one thing I definitely agree with is that it was about that time that Arizona’s coffee culture really picked up speed. Sure, coffee culture isn’t what the third wave is about, but the number of coffee shops opening in the last five years (and staying open) has been surprising.

“Cartel Coffee opened its first location in Tempe in 2008. Other Third Wave companies in the Phoenix area include Giant Coffee, Songbird and Press Coffee Roasters.”

I tend to think of Arizona as a highly sophisticated coffee community. Sure, there are other states with more coffee shops, but Arizona is amazing. We have tons of great coffeehouses in our state. There’s a vibrant coffee community, and the community is ripe with talent.

I think articles like this one in The Arizona Republic help introduce people to great coffee who haven’t been paying attention to the excellent coffee scene we have in Arizona.

What do you think? Which coffee shops or coffee roasters brought the Third Wave to Arizona?