This review was contributed by Joey Robert Parks:

“Daily rush” is not the kind of coffee house I would typically stop for a cup of Joe – it’s in a stand alone building at 2613 N. Scottsdale Rd.; right smack between Super Burrtio Mexican Food and Smart Automotive. It’s the kind of building that’s been a hundred different things, none of them very successful and none that stayed for long. But my car ran over a screw (I was headed to another coffee house, actually), so while my tire gets unscrewed (at Discount Tire, just south of here), I’m writing this review just a few blocks north at “Daily Rush”.

The owner and operator, Richard Vietor, welcomed me as I entered what turned out to be a comfortable, casual interior: dark brown leather chairs, two large tables with plenty of work space, a nice array of green plants, even a little bar area with a flat-screen TV, where Richard likes to chat with the customers or watch the football game when people like myself and the other woman in the corner are absorbed in their laptop work. So right off, I’m really liking the inviting and charming atmosphere.

But is the coffee any good? Before I answer that, let me give you a little of my coffee drinking background: I was a coffee barista for 8 years, I wrote a fiction novel where the sub-plot circulated around the coffee industry, and the vast majority of my writing is spent in coffee houses all over Phoenix and Scottsdale. All this is to say that I was extremely pleasantly surprised to see “Cubana” on the Daily Rush menu board. For those who don’t know, a Cubana is 2 or 4 shots of espresso with a packet of Sugar in the Raw. It’s made by tightly packing those little brown sugar pellets between two layers of espresso grinds. When the high-powered water is shot through the machine, it extracts the sweetness from the Sugar in the Raw and blends it perfectly into the espresso, cutting out the bitter edge often associated with straight espresso.

It’s my favorite espresso mix and I’ve not found a single coffee house in all of metro Phoenix that will make it. They (the big chain coffee houses, as well as the little ‘mom and pop’ ones) all say the same thing, “It ruins the machine to make those drinks.” Frankly, it’s just not true. Fortunately, Richard at “Daily Rush” knows what’s what and has filled a hole in my precious espresso world. Add to all this, free wi-fi, with a strong signal that reaches beyond the patio tables to the parking lot and you’ve got a coffee house I’ll definitely rush to the next time I’m on this side of town or I get another flat tire – whichever comes first.

Daily Rush also has a drive-thru. Their hours are 6am – 5pm, Weekdays and 7am – 1pm, Weekends. You can visit their website at:

Copyright 2006 Joey Robert Parks

Joey is an independent writer and Phoenix native. He was featured in the July/Aug issue of ‘Desert Living Magazine’ and wrote the feature cover article for the forthcoming September issue of A2Z Magazine. When he’s not looking for sharp objects to run over with his car, he’s on the lookout for the next great wi-fi equipped coffee spot. He can be reached at

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Mike Trevino

    While I’m not going to agree with the “ruin the espresso machine” excuse, it’s a nice and convenient to use on the layman when you don’t want to do that to your machine.
    I tell the questioning customer the truth, I don’t want to deal with sugar residue perhaps getting in the next shot. I’m that crazy about my shots. Yeah, I do rinse everything like a crazy mofo, but well, I think it’s too much of a risk, especially if you have way more Dopio drinkers than Cubano drinkers.
    Most customers do leave it at that, but then there are the “Awww?!?!? Come-on!?!?! Please?!?!?!” customers who are determined to break your resolve. Which at this point, is just a plain disrespect for an establishment and it’s decisions. At this point I appologize that I cannot fulfill their request and offer them a Dopio with a packet of raw sugar on the side.

  2. Austin

    We do the cubano but we make it like a cappuccino-breve. So half and half in addition. Is that wrong? I would hate to be making up a drink and calling it by a name that is only remotely similar (like no place in particular).

    We have so few doppio drinkers here in Globe (or cubano drinkers for that matter) that I haven’t really considered the sugar coffee residue issue.

  3. I’m with Mike on this one. Then again, we’re more along the lines of “coffee purists”.

    I don’t want sugar residue in my 3-way valve, or creeping into my pump or OPV.

    It can only gum things up and effect the flavor of future espressos.

    And for the record, a great espresso should not be dominated by a bitter edge.

  4. MikeFTrevino

    Dang it, “Doppio” not Dopio. I always do that with esspresso and cappuchino. 😛

    I was totally wondering about sugar in the groupheads and past that too. I mean, we get coffee grounds and oils in the group head all the time, that’s why we backflush religiously (a twice a day, if not more, call to prayers for our shop).

  5. Austin

    do you really think that sugar creeping into the group head is an actual issue. I mean, I flush the head every time I knock out the grounds. Do you think that sugar is any more of an issue than overextracted or burned grounds hanging out up there?

    I definately appreciate a great espresso but I dont think I agree that “It can only gum things up and effect the flavor of future espressos.”

    It isn’t the ONLY thing it could do. It could not do that. I appreciate the concern over the machine and the quality of coffee.

    I think that calling yourself a “coffee purist” indicating that other people aren’t into it as much as yourself really removes the whole aspect of community which I have always found to be one of the best qualities of the coffee culture.

  6. I wasn’t implying that “others aren’t” or that I’m the only one, or even that there’s anything wrong with adding things to your coffee.

    It’s merely a position of preference with no arrogance tied to it.

  7. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure, but my thought is that since sugar easily dissolves in water it may mess with the extraction. As the dissolved solids increase, the extraction may decrease.

    I also don’t know what effect the sugar would have on the gicleurs (flow restrictors) in the grouphead but I’m not going to take a chance for the sake of experimentation.

    Why not try a bit of liquid sugar in the bottom of the cup? It should mix with the pouring shot fairly well and you won’t disturb the crema nor risk fouling the machinery.

  8. MikeFTrevino

    Goddamnit, Larry, Why do you gotta make things so easy?!?! Huh?!? Liquid sugar?!?! So simple, so convenient.
    Although the Cubano purists (no poke Austin, just a good discriptor) might not think of it as that since it’s not extracted with the coffee. I could see that argument. I’ve heard some tweak the grind finer to compensate for the lower dosage. What ever the reason, be it coffee TDS lowered due to extra sugar, finer grind to compensate, or physics of water flow in the PF changing due to disappearing sugar crystals, the coffees extracted (minus extra sugar) will surely be different.