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  • Diana Brandt

Top spots to get caffeinated

If that's your thing, of course. Maybe you're into decaf, that's cool too. Me, I'm into cortados, what is a cortado?

Coffee Review defines it as:

"In Spanish, as in Portuguese, the word cortado translates to cut. In the case of the coffee drink, cortado is simply a serving of espresso that is cut with an equal part, or slightly more, hot milk. Typically a cortado is served in a small glass with very little, if any, froth. The cortado is common in Spain and Portugal as well as various Latin American countries. Naturally, alongside the diaspora of these cultures, cortado can be found in restaurants and cafes throughout the world."

Basically, I want to taste the espresso and have a little bit of my almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk (some milk other than milk because milk in the form of milk has not been my friend lately) to cut the strength of the espresso for me. I haven't gotten to the point where I can drink my coffee or espresso black but I do prefer less milk that you would find in a latte.

This list is based off of places that I have been to and there are some in the nether regions that I can't get to on a regular basis and they too may have great coffee but alas, I do not know.

Without further ado, here are my top spots for coffee in no particular order:

Press Coffee (locations all over town)

Props to Press for expanding quite fast, at least I feel like it was relatively fast. This place has smooth beans and tons of locations all over. I have two that I stop at frequently, the newer location by the Biltmore and the also newish location close to downtown. Um, have you guys ever had a tumeric latte? You can get one here and it will be amazing, I promise. I force them to make me a tumeric cortado with espresso and almond milk because I like to get real extra! The health benefits of tumeric are numerous but also, it tastes great and could be a fun Instagram pic (you know how I feel about that)!

Cartel Coffee (locations all over town)

How could you not mention Cartel, they are a staple all around town and every time I drop in, that espresso wires me up good!

Royal Coffee (located in the Biltmore)

I live relatively close to this coffee shop and I've been going here for years. I started with the lattes, moved to the Dirty Chai and then went on down to the cortados. Each time I switch it up, I'm always pleased. They also have some pretty bomb cold brew that you can purchase.

Berdenas (located in Old Town Scottsdale)

This place has done exceedingly well at building up a following with minimal promotion. How? Because they have good drinks and they know how to make them well. If I'm in Old Town, this is where I go, even if I've already had my coffee for the day.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, whenever I head down to Tucson, I have to stop by for their coffee. They have a couple locations around town but they were the first ones to introduce me to an oat milk cortado and I wasn't mad about it people!

Lux Coffee (central Phoenix)

You have to know Lux, it's the place to go when you need to work, hang out or just grab a great cup of joe to go and some delicious treats or mac n cheese.

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