Mon, July 22

No ordinary 'cup a joe' at Red Rock Coffee

Barista Greg Suekoff preparing espresso

Barista Greg Suekoff preparing espresso

"Red Rock Coffee adds community feeling."

That's how resident Ashley Torres describes our new coffee stop at 6500 State Route 179.

Specifically, at the Cortez roundabout, on the west side of the highway behind the Local Artists studio. We agree with Ashley. The expertise of the barista and friendliness of the supporting staff, the delight seen on the faces and in the chatter of coffee and tea connoisseurs and the care given to the interior design shows that owner, Jeff Whetmore, has set high standards for his business.

"I wanted to do something different than what's here in Sedona. I'd like this place to become the village hangout with a variety of simple foods and great coffee."Jeff recruited Greg Suekoff as the store manager and chief barista. Greg has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the coffee trade, from planting to preparing a cup of outstanding café mocha or any other coffee or tea drink."

Greg informed us that 45 sets of hands are involved in making a cup of coffee from start to finish. In other words, just as in crafting an outstanding glass of wine, great coffee has undergone chance and choice as growers, roasters and baristas develop that cup of coffee for you.

Greg has won many coffee competitions and can be seen demonstrating the making of a perfect latte. He finishes adding the glossy foamed milk in the shape of a heart, a rosette and his own creation, the inverted rosette. Look on and type in Suekoff.

Also on staff is Susan Korth. Many of you may remember that Susan ran the kids program this summer at the Kiwanis Park. Susan and her husband parent two middle school children while Susan is Red Rock Coffee's office administrator and marketing manager.

At Red Rock Coffee you can order from a choice of brewed coffee or espresso drinks. Fresh coffee beans are secured within two days roasting from Fire Creek Coffee Roasters in Cave Creek. Freshness makes a huge difference, as coffee flavor is easily lost from mishandling.

Greg says that the absolute freshest coffee is prepared using a French Press. Table side French press service is in the plans for Red Rock Coffee.

Besides your favorite "cupa," Red Rock Coffee offers freshly baked muffins, bagels. croissants and pastry. Try the "morning glory muffin!"

In addition, there are a variety of panini sandwiches. Whole wheat bread for sandwiches is available upon request.

Salad choices including Caesar Salad and Cobb Salad are also available. On the shelves for sale are packages of coffee beans and teas.

Drive thru service is available Monday through Friday, 5:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on the weekends, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The shop aims to be open weekdays and weekends from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 928-284-4660 for more information

We thank the folks at Red Rock Coffee for sharing their talents. We also take this time to thank all of you who have contributed to our column this year: Guinea pigs, photo subjects, proprietors, readers. We love writing this column. With you we have cooked, dined, wined, and shared good times around the table.

May God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving.