Steve Kraus and his wife Tram Mai opened a restaurant, coffee, and wine shop in 2008. When the economy tanked, they shut that puppy down and focused on coffee only by opening Press Coffee in the Scottsdale Quarter. That’s the one I visited. Fast forward a few years and now they roast in downtown Phoenix, have three apartment locations, one in Chandler, and one at Sky Harbor airport. This is what you’re gonna get if you visit a Press Coffee location.
Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff. Let’s be real. When was the last time the person taking your order knew anything about the coffee that was being served? The guy who took my order was friendly, knew all about the different coffees Press served, and helped me pick two drinks. I ended up settling on a double shot of espresso and a single origin pour over.
Their espresso is not single origin, it’s a blend. But it was still delicious. And the place was packed. Even so, the barista making my pour over took the time to talk with me about the coffee. I rocked an Ethiopian Yergicheffe, and he was more than willing to talk about the expected flavor notes and grind settings. I was totally geeking out and loving every second. Then when I picked up my espresso that a different barista made, he talked with me a little bit about why they serve their espresso with sparkling water.
It’s to clean your palette. He likened it to ginger served on a sushi plate, preparing your mouth for the flavors to come. All in all, they probably took between 30 seconds and a minute to totally make my day. I mean, when was the last time you hade three people in a coffee shop talk enough coffee with you that you felt you got the ‘wow’ treatment. All three of them at Press did.
The Pricing. The pricing for single origin and whole beans was a little different than most places. The prices change based on the market. I’d never seen it before, but you had to ask if you wanted to know the single origin price tag. I didn’t ask, I just ordered. I was gonna get one regardless of the price, but I could see how that would be a barrier to entry for some folks who don’t even know what it is. It’s safer just to get my latte, mocha, or cappuccino, and that’s what the rest of the customers ordered while I was there.
There were no prices listed on the whole beans. I likely would’ve bought a bag, if I’d known how much it was. After I made it to the front of the line, I asked what the price was and he said it depended. That made me uncomfortable because the line was long and I was not going to make my way out of it just to go get a bag. It wasn’t a real spacious line and leaving it would’ve made me feel weird. Had they not been busy or had the price been listed, I likely would’ve picked one up. Especially with cool names like “twitchy’ on their espresso.
The Location. The Scottsdale Quarter spot feels a little high class, like everything else in that neighborhood. I went out of my way to go to Press, and I had never been to the Scottsdale Fashion district before. If you’re heading in just for the coffee, beware the parking is a little different from your usual set up. Street parking is very limited and the garage is only a short walk away. The Press staff treated me like a superstar, even though I looked like a grubby youth football coach just coming from practice in the wrong part of town.
They offer cuppings, which I plan on attending as soon as I can, and are totally invested in upping the coffee IQ of the coffee drinking Phoenix populace. Just the kind of shop we love to promote. But don’t take my word for it. Trust your taste buds and go get some of their delicious coffee.