I’m ashamed to say it has been over 2 years since my last visit to Royal Coffee Bar. For those not familiar, it’s located at 209 W Jackson St. in downtown Phoenix.

When I visited on Thursday morning they appeared to have a steady stream of customers. They provide free wireless internet, and have a nice table where people can spread out and get some work done.

Royal Coffee Bar
This is a velvet mocha.

Royal Coffee Bar
My double shot of espresso.

Royal Coffee Bar
Royal Coffee Bar is at the base of a tall building, across from the Sheriffs Office.

Royal Coffee Bar
Setting up to roast some coffee.

Royal Coffee Bar
The kit.

Royal Coffee Bar
The entire shop.

Royal Coffee Bar
Brian and Natasha work on their laptops.

Royal Coffee Bar
My cappuccino.

Royal Coffee Bar
My muffin was horribly dry. I asked if they baked them in house and they said they didn’t. I think mine was a week old.

My drinks were quite good. My mocha and espresso tasted just great. I didn’t catch whether they grind per shot. Next time I’ll pay more attention.

For my espresso, they did not pre-heat the demitasse. The cappuccino foam did leave me wishing for more… the whole drink didn’t have the smoothe taste I’ve come to expect, but rather the espresso felt completely separate from the foam.

Royal Coffee Bar uses coffees roasted by Cafe Cortez.

Royal Coffee Bar
209 W. Jackson
Phoenix, AZ 85003
Phone: 602-374-8044
Twitter: @royalcoffeebar

Arizona Coffee

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  1. John

    Hey, guy, you really need to relax. Stop taking coffee so seriously. Cappucinos really are not that important. Why don’t you take up a hobby that is actually CONSTRUCTIVE? You know, sewing, knitting, rebuilding motorcycles, drawing, sculpture, taking care of special needs kids, ANYTHING other than judging the coffee at different cafes. Honestly. People have different taste in coffee, just like they have different taste in food. Not everyone likes cappucinos, anyway. Or hot coffee. Another thing. You obviously don’t take into account the attitudes from people in these coffee shops. I love the toddy at Cartel, but all the people that work there (with the exception of Ashley) are a bunch of egotistical, self righteous, coffee know-it-all assholes. If a customer asks for syrup in their drink you don’t just say “We don’t do that here.” when I can clearly see the syrup behind you. You can explain that your prefer not to put syrup in someone’s drink, but if the customer is willing to pay for it, and especially if they are NICE TO YOU, you do it. All I’m asking is that you get a life, dude.

  2. Well, Thacher, I think you took my comments the wrong way. For one… this is hardly a review site. I like to think of it more as a profile.

    Secondly, I made a couple of comments about my cappuccino that are things that I think could be improved. But I’m hardly bashing the whole establishment.

    Contrary, I think Royal Cofee Bar is a swell place. I really enjoyed my visit. The staff is pleasant and helpful. The atmosphere is great, and besides the comments above I did enjoy the coffee.

    Also, I mentioned that RCB didn’t pre-heat the demitasse for my espresso. This is actually common. I included that note for some of the coffee gurus so they’d know. My espresso was extracted properly.

  3. Brian


    I appreciate your enthusiasm and support of the local coffee scene. Thank you for HIGHLIGHTING local coffee shops and offering your short reviews. I must say that according to the short reviews you post, you have a great palette and know how coffee should taste.

    You do so well for the coffee scene Chris….keep it up!

  4. I’d have to agree with John that there is sometimes a major attitude at certain coffee establishments. That makes me less likely to visit. But I see a lot of value in your opinions, Chris – I get a very good idea of whether or not a particular coffeehouse is gonna serve up what I want.

    Bottom line: It’s your blog, and you should write about what interests you, right?

  5. 4 things……..

    a.) The kit image doesn’t show very much. How about one from the business side of it?

    b.) I didn’t know RCB roasts there own now. Nice looking Toper!! Looks like they just bought it, or go through insane measures to keep it looking like it appears in the image. My guess is that it’s pretty new.

    c.) While not super-critical, it’s really not good practice not to pre-heat the demi before pulling a spro. Hopefully other baristi with a passion like yours (Mr. Tingom) for aspiring to be the best they can glean this kind of information from your blogs.

    d.) I agree with the genteman above regarding attitudes of some baristi. I think you do write about when that happens. (like the place in SF).

  6. John, there are so many of us that appreciate those that know, and since Chris is willing to take one for the team and try it before we do, we have come to expect him to tell us how it would stack up to our coffee standards. Some of us are somewhat particular about our coffee, and Chris is fairly exacting in describing according to our expectations. And we do appreciate it.
    Chris, “Great drinkers have always encountered opposition from mediocre grinds.” Get used to it, and know that you’re appreciated by the more obsessed amongst us.
    Victor, of course it is standard practice to pre-heat the demi. It’s why the entire top of the boiler is covered with cup-holder, on nearly every machine you have ever seen! Go to /www.lostdutchmanroasters.com and look for the brewing instructions for espresso. Now that guy knows his coffee! ; >
    Yeah, if you rock, you tend to cop a bit of an attitude, especially if you are unappreciated. Oddly enough, I have been treated with nothing but pleasantries at Cartel. Might be because I kiss the Clover, pat the Synesso, and rub the belly of the Robur before I order…

    Fight the good fight, and don’t let the bastards wear you down. Remember, it’s easier to crank on someone on their website than it is to fix issues with your product.

  7. Brian

    Psyd – love your comments!

  8. Thanks, Brian. No one comes to my house and gets to be rude to me, and no-one should come to Chris’ house and not behave like a guest should.
    I’ve disagreed with some of the things that Chris has posted (no, nothing even remotely important) but I’ve expressed my difference of opinion as a desire to see additional things, not as a lack of provision on his part. In short, with common courtesy, and respect. His response? Well, just look at some of the shots of the toys we get to look at now! ; >
    If we don’t back his play, some Keyboard Kommando might just discourage him enough to go away.
    And we can’t have that…

  9. Bruce

    I think John is the one who needs to relax.
    Chris keep up the great work. If not for you, and your thoughtful website, I would not have discovered many great coffee shops here in town.