Four drinks to try at Philz in the Bay Area that aren't just coffee

Thomas Smith
Original photo by the author

It’s no secret that I love Philz Coffee, one of the best local coffee chains in the Bay Area. There are Philz locations all over the region, often in trendy areas like Palo Alto, downtown San Francisco, and City Center Bishop Ranch.

Philz is best known for its pour-over coffee, where a barista crafts the perfect cup of hot coffee by slowly pouring hot water over a single helping of grounds. That’s great if you want hot, drip coffee. But what if you’re craving something sweeter and icier--or something totally unique?

If that’s the case, there are still plenty of drinks at Philz that can scratch that particular itch. Here are four great drinks to try at Philz Coffee that aren’t simply pour-over coffee.

Mocha Tesora

Philz doesn’t do lattes; all their drinks are made with brewed coffee, not espresso. If you love lattes, though, Philz has an option for you: their Tesora blended coffee drink, or its chocolate-blended cousin, the Mocha Tesora. 

Philz describes the Tesora as their “original coffee blend”, and the mocha version includes “lightly sweetened cocoa.” The Tesora is basically a cup of traditional coffee that has been shaken and blended with cream and honey (or the non-dairy milk and calorie-free sweetener of your choice), yielding a frothy beverage that’s every bit as creamy and delicious as a traditional latte.

The “Tesora” in the Mocha Tesora refers to Philz’s tesora coffee bean blend, which the company says is “smooth, with caramel and vanilla notes.” It’s a medium roast, which makes it the perfect coffee to combine with something creamy, something sweet, and optionally, something chocolatey to yield this tasty drink.

Iced Gingersnap

Around Fall, pumpkin spice becomes all the rage. You can get pumpkin spice lattes at many coffee joints. There are pumpkin spice candles and even pumpkin spice Spam.

The Iced Gingersnap is Philz’s answer to the world of pumpkin spice. As the name implies, it evokes a spiced cookie rather than a giant slice of pie and is subtler than many pumpkin spice concoctions you find in the Autumn season. The drink incorporates cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and other fall spices, as well as a generous helping of cream. 

The Iced Gingersnap is frothy, sweet, and most importantly, available year-round.

Mint Mojito

This drink sounds like it’s tailored to the 21+ crowd, but in reality, it contains no alcohol. Inspired by the classic rum drink, the Mint Mojito is an iced coffee masterpiece incorporating real crushed mint leaves, as well as plenty of cream and sugar.

Just like the drink that inspired it, the Mint Mojito has a vibrant, fresh undertone of mint oil from the crushed leaves, which perfectly complements its creamy sweetness. To top it off (literally), the Mint Mojito is garnished with a sprig of real mint, just as you might drop into a julep or the namesake mojito. 

This is one of my favorite iced coffee drinks anywhere. It’s refreshing and perfect both for a hot summer day or a cold winter walk, where the mint flavor is evocative of candy canes and holiday treats.

Iced Coffee Rose

Another booze-inspired drink, the Iced Coffee Rose doesn’t actually taste like rose wine. Instead, its name is a play on words--the drink is actually flavored with the essence of rose flowers.

Roses and coffee might seem like a strange combination at first. But consider that many Middle Eastern societies have flavored drinks and desserts with rose water (and many were or are avid users of coffee) and the Iced Coffee Rose makes a lot of sense.

The drink is similar to the Iced Gingersnap, but instead of incorporating nutmeg, cloves, and other warm Fall spices, it’s topped with a pink swirl of rose-infused cream. The flavor is subtle but definitely present, and the drink has a cheerful, Summery color. It’s also super refreshing on a hot day.

Yes, Philz has great pour-over coffee. But the next time you visit the local coffee chain, try expanding your caffeine horizons a bit with one of these tasty, chilly drinks.

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Award-winning entrepreneur, and the co-founder and CEO of Gado Images. Thomas writes, speaks and consults about artificial intelligence, privacy, food, photography, tech, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a professional photographer, Thomas' photographic work regularly appears in publications worldwide. Pitches/news tips:

Lafayette, CA

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