If you’re in California and love coffee, chances are likely that you’ve hunted down a Philz Coffee at some point. They’ve made a name for themselves with their relaxed and friendly coffee houses that do not serve espresso (gasp!).
Yup, you heard that right – there’s not a single espresso drink on the menu. They do, however, freshly grind your beans, steep them slowly using the pour over method, and then customize it to exactly how you like it.
Sure, this means it’ll take a little longer to get your brew, but when you do, it’ll be a truly delicious experience that you’ll stand in line for again and again.
We were absolutely ecstatic when we saw Philz Coffee beans available at our local stores, so I thought it was time to share a little more about this spirited coffee roaster that is growing fast, but staying true to their roots of delivering delicious coffee made to order.
What makes Philz Coffee different?
This is something people ask when you tell them you want to drive out of the way to stand in line at Philz, rather than drive through the shop on every corner. Now, we’re not knocking any type of coffee house, we are equal opportunity coffee drinkers here, but yes, sometimes, you are willing to go the extra mile for some Philz.
Personally, I have a special place in my heart for Philz, since there was one right down the street from a doctor I saw frequently when my son was a toddler. We made the whole thing a fun event, making sure to stop by Philz for my coffee and a big chocolate chip cookie for him before the appointment and then visiting the coolest park nearby after. What could have been a much more stressful time in life was actually punctuated with these beautiful, special moments with my son and our little trips together.
Philz has created an environment that is truly inclusive and welcoming, with all types of people working and visiting. Plus, like I mentioned above, they only serve coffee based drinks. They grind and brew it fresh per order, which means if you want it iced (and I do), they ice it for you, too.
They do a brilliant job of adding cream and sugar just how you like it and get that magical foam right on top, too.
Now, as people have caught on to their incredible beans, you can pick them up at some local grocery stores or order online for even more convenience!
What are the best Philz Coffee blends?
All of the coffee blends have been customized over 25 years by Phil himself. While we haven’t had a bad blend, we have been repeatedly buying two of them that we really love and highly recommend:
- Jacob’s Wonderbar:
This is a chocolatey, nutty, full bodied coffee that is perfect with a little creamer or with a little biscotti. Honestly, it’s good with everything. It is a darker blend, so I definitely need creamer with it.
- Silken Splendor:
This one has a bit of a toasted marshmallow and dark chocolate aroma and taste. It’s a medium blend, which I like more and feel I can use less creamer with it.
Honestly, you can’t really go wrong with any of their blends, but these are the two we love to buy.
Where can you buy Philz Coffee blends?
Want to pick some up for yourself? Here are the list of retailers that may carry Philz Cofffee:
There’s probably more, but with the ability to order online too, you’ll definitely be able to get your Philz from one of these retailers. Also, while we buy our Philz with our own money, some of these are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, we may receive a commission if you purchase through our links. Cheers!
How to prepare Philz Coffee:
The best way to make your Philz is the same way they do in the coffee house – with a pour over! We’ve shared our easy method for pour over in this post (with a video, too!), and here’s what we use to make ours:
- Slow pour kettle or tea kettle where you can control the water flow (you could probably also use a pyrex measuring glass as well). Full review of the Fellow Stagg here.
- Coffee mug – using this one*
- Pour over device – these range in price. I am perfectly happy with this affordable version. People go crazy over this fancier Chemex.
- Coffee grinder – I recently upgraded our affordable coffee grinder to this one and we definitely notice a different. Totally recommend.
The Best Drinks on the Philz Coffee Menu:
If you’re local or passing by a Philz, definitely take the time to stop and go in. You’ll love the vibe of their shops and enjoy seeing how they make each coffee to order.
They do have some different drinks that are very good and you can still customize them the way you like it (although the way you do that may be new for you).
Here are the drinks that we love to pick up at Philz:
- Ecstatic Iced Coffee: Quite possibly our FAVORITE iced coffee EVER. This is always ordered when we visit Philz and we order it “sweet and creamy” (more on ordering below).
- Iced Mint Mojito: This might be the drink that put them on the map; it’s so good. If you love mint and coffee, you’ll dig this drink. The mint flavor is PROMINENT, be advised, and they put a fresh mint leaf right on top for adding aroma. It’s really delicious.
- Mocha Tesora: A creamy, delicious mocha. You really can’t go wrong with a mocha. I usually default to a mocha or vanilla latte when trying a new place.
- Iced Coffee Rose: Smooth and creamy iced coffee topped with a rose cream. HOLLA!
To see the full menu of drinks at Philz, check the menu page out here.
Or, to read our detailed review of our top 4 favorite drinks at Philz, read this post.
How to customize drinks at Philz Coffee:
There are definitely ways to customize your coffee, but you’ll need to know the lingo.
First, you can customize your “cream” and “sweet”.
Cream options include cream, milk, vanilla soy milk, oat milk and almond milk.
Sweetener options include honey, sugar and artificial sweeteners.
When you ask for your cream or sweetener (or both), you have four different levels: light, medium, regular or extra.
So, you might order like this, “I’d like an Ecstatic Iced Coffee Sweet and Creamy”. This means you’d like the regular cream and sugar and regular amount of both cream and sugar.
If you’d like to customize further you could say, “I’d like a mint mojito, light cream and sugar with almond milk and honey.”
If you don’t specify what type of cream or sugar, they’ll default to the regular cream and sugar.
- Straight Up – You want your drink without any cream or sugar.
- Philz Way – You want medium cream and medium sugar. If you’re new to Philz, this is a good place to start.
- Sweet and Creamy – If you don’t want to mess with types of cream and sugar, just start here.
I always order my drinks sweet and creamy. I happen to be somewhat dairy intolerant, but there’s isn’t so much cream that it sets me off. It’s such a rare treat for me to go to Philz, I like to stick to my favorites.
How to order at Philz:
Philz works a little differently than other coffee shops, so here’s what you can expect:
Wait in line until a barista is open and calls you over. Order your drink and then walk over the line to pay. Order any food you’d like and pay for everything. Go to the waiting area or bench and your barista will flag you when your drink is ready.
You can try it while standing there and ask for any adjustments.
How to order Philz ahead:
No time to wait in line? There’s an app for that! Head here to learn more about the Philz app, so you can order, pickup and go.
A couple things to know about ordering on the app: you can order up to 4 drinks at a time, you can customize your drink and you can save your orders to make reordering that perfect drink even faster and easier in the future. Check it out here.
How many Philz locations are there?
Currently, there are 69 locations in California (predominantly SF area), Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia and Chicago.
We hope you loved this guide to Philz Coffee and their delicious bean blends! We’ll be visiting some Philz locations soon while on a little road trip for a weekend vacation and I’ll write some more posts with pictures of the actual drinks we order.