Where do I go if I’m tired of the normal coffee drinks?

Songbird Coffee & Tea House, a local coffee shop, laughed at the idea of a secret menu. (Photo by Jessie Zook)

Songbird Coffee & Tea House doesn’t have a secret menu, but they do have unusual drinks such as their espresso spritzer. (Photo by Jessie Zook)

Local coffee shops laughed at the idea of secret menus. It’s safe to say they leave that for the corporate companies, like Starbucks. Jonathan Carroll, owner of Songbird Coffee and Tea House, said, “If it was a secret, why would I tell you?”

Fair point.

Maybe it’s more fitting to talk about unique items coffee shops have on their menus that you may not know about.

As one could guess, most coffee shops have the normal drinks- lattes, mochas, drip coffee, Americanos, etc. But the drinks that are the most crave-worthy are unique and unusual ones.

At 8th Day Coffee & Culture, manager Daniel Davis said some of their unique drinks include The Reverend, Carmanilla and Dirty Angel.

“(The Reverend is) infused with raw sugar and totally affects the way the espresso is extracted,” Davis said. “It’s way different than having two shots of espresso with raw sugar in it.”

The Carmanilla is 8th Day’s most popular drink “because we use a thick caramel sauce, a Ghirardelli mocha sauce,” Davis explained.

“The Dirty Angel is two shots of espresso with the creamer on top and either chocolate or caramel drizzled all over the place,” he said.

Shine Coffee also offers some unusual options, partner Laryn Blok said.

“We have a hand-made cardamom sugar that we use in our summer cardamom iced coffee – it’s very delicious and it compliments the true flavor of good coffee,” Blok said. “We also have a Cafe Canela – which is a latte with a whole cinnamon stick dropped into the hot espresso/milk – it infuses the drink with the natural aromatic oils in the cinnamon bark (cinnamon sticks are curled bark). We are working on a final version of our Matcha green tea ginger latte.”

There are plenty of coffee shops in the Phoenix and Tempe areas with unique drinks. One Coffee Co. has the dirty chai latte, which is chai and coffee. At Jobot you can get a Pomo, or “Poor Man’s Mocha”, which is cheaper than a normal mocha. It’s made with toddy and chocolate syrup. And Songbird Coffee and Tea House has an espresso spritzer which is coffee, agave nectar and sparkling water – a good drink to cool down on a hot day.

Here’s unique coffee vocabulary you might want to know before setting foot in a local coffeehouse:

Breve- half and half instead of milk in a latte
Café O’Lay- steamed milk and coffee
Americano- water and espresso shots
Belgian- cinnamon and sugar
Cubano- espresso with raw sugar
Sobo- Toddy with chocolate milk
Black eye- two shots of espresso in black coffee
Red eye- one shot of espresso in black coffee

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