Long live King Coffee

The Maple-Ash neighborhood in Tempe holds something of a spell over the collective consciousness of ASU students. To some, it is a shaded oasis in the desert, to others, well, it's just another neighborhood. 

King Coffee, located on 1030 E. Vista del Cerro Drive (north of the Chipotle and South of the old Alternative Print and Copy on Mill Avenue), this coffee shop straddles the aforementioned oasis and the bustle of ASU's Tempe Campus. Once school starts up, check this place out for a rest between your morning music class in the music building and afternoon history of medieval poetry in the Coor building. 

The location used to be occupied by 3 Roots Coffee House, according to this informative Phoenix New Times article. I wouldn't know anything about that, having only been here a few years and always high-tailing it to the Royal Coffee Bar on College Avenue. 

Read about more ASU-centric coffee here. 

Once inside, I found a mismatched (but not offensive) collection of chairs and tables, including a magical bar setup where you can sip your Cortez roasted espresso (apparently roasted in Tempe for 23 years now) and look out a huge window onto the weirdly peaceful parking lot, Mill Avenue and campus. The art on the walls made me blush in embarrassment, though. 

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By Ben Moffat | The State Press

A coffee drink at King Coffee in Tempe on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

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By Ben Moffat | The State Press

Art hangs on the walls of King Coffee on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in Tempe.

The vibe was overall sweet and comforting, as the barista was friendly and willing to give me a tip and a trick — as well as heat up my La Boulange-inspired blueberry scone in the microwave. My espresso was delicious and put some heat under my collar, as all good espresso should. I was offered a taste of their cold brew, and it was bonkers. I would really recommend it if you're in a hurry across campus and need some joe.

The menu also included three sandwiches: the classic hammy, king turkey and the vegetarian. Seemed weird to me that a coffee shop would keep all those ingredients on hand and be fresh, but I digress.

The shop offers your usual iced/hot beverages at 12 oz and 16 oz hot, 16 oz and 24 oz iced. The lattes are $3 here, if that gives you some idea of what you're getting yourself into. Ever heard of an affogato? Me either — until I visited the outlet with "Coffee that Rules" (Get it?). 

An affogato is espresso with ice cream. Mmmm. There were at least seven flavors on the menu, flavors too bizarre to put in print. 

Despite this, I really enjoyed the comfortable vibe and relaxation of the barista. If you're already getting caffeinated, in my opinion,  your surroundings and your barista should guide you through your experience. Thank you, King Coffee, I'll see you again soon.

Tell the reporter your favorite flavor of affogato at pnorthfe@asu.edu or follow @peternorthfelt on Twitter.


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