Back in October 2019 I had the chance while down in Phoenix to get a sneak peak at the buildout of Mythical Coffee Roasters located in Gilbert. Eric & Kat were gracious hosts who shared their dreams for this new cafe and I had the chance to enjoy a few coffees before heading home with a few bags of coffee to enjoy.
Fast forward to March 2020 and I had plans to be back down in Phoenix to see Mythical fully operational...but due to travel restrictions in light of COVID I had to cancel my trip and didn't have the chance to visit. But I had made the promise to Eric & Kat after seeing their buildout and enjoying the coffee the sent home with me that I would love to have them be an upcoming feature for our "Coffee Roaster of the Month".
And so I am stoked that I finally get the change to share the story of this great cafe in the Phoenix suburbs. And I understand given the times we're in that bringing greater awareness to cafes is so critical since I have definite plans to visit Phoenix again and Mythical is on my list of the cafes I want to hit up.
[CC] Q: So who is the team behind Mythical Coffee Roasters?
[Eric] I was born actually born in Chile and grew up living in Central Asia. My parents moved here to the Phoenix/Gilbert area when I was going into high school, and I’ve been here ever since!
[CC] What’s your backstory in specialty coffee?
[Eric] I worked at Starbucks almost 10 years ago, and constantly felt that there was more to coffee, and after working at various shops, I decided I needed to make it happen and open one here with core values that supported individuals to create and give their input to create a culture that is constantly seeking growth!
[CC] Who were some of your early influences in coffee?
[Eric] It was always pretty sweet watching some of the earlier barista competitions and wondering how to understand coffee on that level. James Hoffman & Matt Perger are stand out people that have always seemed to think in a way that cares more about the whole than their individual ego. Rob Hoos is one of the people I look up to a lot in his approach to roasting coffee.
[CC] Tell us a bit about the history of Mythical Coffee Roasters.
[Mythical] Well we started by doing small pop-up events at the same time we began roasting and looking for a location. Almost a year ago we signed a lease, and built our little cafe in Gilbert over about 6 months! We opened our doors right near the end of December 2019.
We chose the name Mythical Coffee because we love stories, and hope to tell many stories (about coffee and the people who create it) in a way that is engaging and meaningful. Mythical is a doorway to that world, we hope to use it as a huge creative outlet as we go!
We roast our coffee on a Probat P12! We do this through a co-op with Xanadu Coffee and are thankful for all their graciousness in letting us use it.
[CC] Your coffee's are all named after a Mythical Creature/Character. Tell our readers why you decided to go in this direction and how you go about deciding what name to use for each coffee?
[Mythical] We always hope to find ways to make specialty coffee more accessible to the public, and Mythology is such a fun way to bridge the gap, when many people have no idea what origin or process or fermentation mean.
Many people have engaged with us in ways that otherwise may never have happened, and we have a lot of fun hearing how people get excited about our coffees & the stories that go with them.
[CC] In your opinion, what's the specialty coffee community like in Gilbert/Phoenix? What about it do you love?
[Mythical] We are so happy it is growing! So many people that are just excited with us and are so ready to share great coffee! We have Latte Art throw-downs often, and hope to promote more coffee education when things go back to a normal social status! There is a great demand for it, and we hope to be a hub for growth in this community.
[CC] Any exciting collaborations you can tell us about?
[Mythical] We have a few that are currently in progress… shhh! We hope to share information freely, and offer our support to anyone who wants it, we’ve seen some really great things come from this worldwide lockdown… as people struggle, there are so many who are willing to step in and help!
[CC] I got the chance to visit your cafe back in October of 2019 during the build-out. Now that it's open what was that process like for you? What do you love about the new space?
[Eric] Build-outs are notoriously stressful! I think the first was a great learning experience, and I think future projects will go much more smoothly! It’s such a bright and happy place for us, almost immediately when we opened so many people made it their coffee date destination and home… so humbling and we are forever grateful.
[CC] So speaking of coffee, what are you enjoying right now?
[Mythical] We have been drinking a bunch of coffee from Brandywine!! Literally everything they roast is great. And Proud Mary is always a heavy hitter! Oh, and Steady State… amazing stuff! We buy quite a lot of coffee from other roasters. Part of the reason we are a multi-roaster and serve/retail other coffees, we realize there are so many expressions that should be shared.
[CC] Tell the readers of Commonly Coffee about some of your recent accomplishments. Or any upcoming announcements?
[Mythical] We are still open… I feel like that is an accomplishment. Honestly though, we are so happy to be doing what we love, and have so many excellent coffees in the works, it is a great privilege to have access to all the fantastic coffee that can be found across our Earth.
[CC] Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
[Mythical] Keep buying coffee from small businesses! It makes a difference! Love your baristas and tip them like you mean it. Life is short, savour the ephemeral bits that make it worthwhile.
Find their beans: If you’re looking to get your hands on some beans then definitely check out their web-store for what they’re currently roasting!
Thank you so much to Eric & Kat for sharing about Mythical Coffee and for being such a huge contributor to the coffee culture in Gilbert/Phoenix! Keep up the great work!