A steaming cup o’ joe this time of year? No thanks.
But, since caffeination is a year-round activity, we appreciate that life-sustaining coffee quests still happen even when it’s 150 degrees outside. At 7 a.m.
Iced is an option, but that’s so unimaginative compared to the creative cold coffees at local spots that cool you down while fueling you up.
That’s the nickname for the ice-drip coffee at Savaya Coffee Market, which has three locations.
“The machine kind of looks like a chemistry set,” says Andy Ko, a barista and manager of the Williams Centre Savaya, 5350 E. Broadway.
No joke. “The machine” is a Yama Cold Brewer, a glass contraption that does indeed look like something out of a high school chem lab. Ice and cold water drip through ground coffee for 12-16 hours and the resulting concentrate, which is smooth and clean and low in acidity, is mixed with water.
“The taste is what gets you,” Ko says.
$4 for 16 ounces.
Cold brew with nitrous injection
Sit down at a table with a glass of this, and it looks like you’re sipping beer for breakfast.
A thick, foamy head tops deep brown liquid that looks a lot like Guinness. It’s really cold-brewed coffee on tap that’s injected with a nitrogen-carbon dioxide blend. Adding the gas to coffee that’s been steeped overnight in cold water (that’s known as cold brew or Toddy) and then diluted with water results in a creamy texture and taste with a hint of sweetness, says Stella Java owner Curtis Zimmerman, who researched the strange brew in Portland last year and added it to the menu a month ago.
“I feel like there’s a need for it in Arizona,” Zimmerman says of the icy, refreshing coffee.
$3 for 10 ounces; $3.50 for 12 ounces; $4 for 16 ounces at Stella Java in Mercado San Agustin, 100 S. Avenida del Convento.
Exo’s regional ingredient coffees
Exo Roast Co., 403 N. Sixth Ave., offers a trio of unusual brewed beverages that use regional ingredients like mesquite, ground corn and chiltepin.
The mesquite Toddy — a limited-time offering that’ll be on the menu as long as the stockpile of milled mesquite flour lasts — uses cold-brewed coffee and mesquite syrup, says co-owner Doug Smith.
“It comes out kind of sweet and malty, you can really taste the mesquite,” he says.
The just-added-to-the-menu iced pinole incorporates dried, ground corn — a staple of the Tarahumara Indians — and mole sauce with espresso and milk. “You can really taste the corn, but it has the consistency of horchata, creamy and a little bit chalky,” Smith says.
Though it seems counterintuitive to suck down a spicy chiltepin Toddy, the capsaicin in the peppers actually cools you off because the resulting sweat that evaporates lowers body temperature.
“It’s doubly cooling,” promises Smith.
Iced pinole, $4 for 12 ounces; mesquite Toddy and chiltepin Toddy, $3.25 for 12 ounces.