Something that I really admire about the speciality coffee industry is its commitment to improving the lot of coffee farmers by paying them a decent price (far above commodity prices) for their coffee. At the same time, the industry’s finding new ways to ensure that more of the value stays with the coffee farmers/producers. Perhaps one of the most exciting is the concept of farm-to-cup, also known as crop-to-cup (which has the advantage of being alliterative), where the entire value chain remains with the farmers who control every stage from production (crop) to the final drink (cup).
I’ve seen this in countries such as Vietnam (Oriberry Coffee), Thailand (Akha Ama Coffee) and China (Lanna Coffee), but the first time I saw it outside of a coffee growing region was in Arizona, when I visited Peixoto, in Chandler, southeast of Phoenix. Peixoto was set up specifically to roast and sell coffee from the family farm in Brazil, something which it’s been doing for the last four years (it celebrated its fourth birthday on 31st January). I’ve already written about Peixoto as a coffee shop: today, in this Meet the Roaster feature, I want to look at the rest of Peixoto’s operation.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
You can find the history of Peixoto on its website, so I won’t repeat the story here. José Augusto Peixoto is a third-generation coffee farmer in Brazil and the current head of the family. The link to Arizona comes from one of José Augusto’s daughters, who came to Phoenix to study law and, liking it, decided to stay. While working as a lawyer, she met her husband, an aerospace engineer and together, they decided to do something to help the family farm back in Brazil.
Although José Augusto was growing speciality coffee, he didn’t always get the best price for it, so the young couple set up Peixoto Coffee Roasters to import, roast, brew and sell the coffee from the family farm. Thus, the coffee shop in Chandler was born, the coffee roasted in one corner of the shop, brewed in the other and drunk pretty much everywhere else.
This was the state of play when I first visited in January 2018. However, things have moved on and when I returned almost exactly a year later, the first thing I noticed was that the roaster had gone! In its place was much-need additional seating (Peixoto is always busy) while the roaster, a gleaming, customised Primo model, had been moved to a dedicated facility just down the road.
While I always love seeing roasters in coffee shops, I was delighted with the reason behind the move: Peixoto’s wholesale is doing realty well and the increased demand meant that it was no longer practicable to roast full-time in the coffee shop (which, for all its charm, is not the ideal environment to be roasting). So, the roaster moved out at the end of 2018, freeing up more space in the coffee shop and increasing Peixoto’s capacity, a real win-win.
Peixoto only roasts single-origins, with coffee from the family farm taking centre-stage, although there are other, seasonal single-origins from around the world on offer, including a Brazilian decaf, all of which are available to buy in retail bags in the shop or on-line.
Traditionally, the Peixoto farm produced naturally-processed coffee (typical for Brazilian farms), but recently, it has introduced honey-processed coffee and, this year, for the first time, a washed coffee. I tried the washed coffee on my return last month, taking it, as the barista recommended, as an espresso. It was lovely, a much crisper, cleaner, more acidic coffee compared to the naturally-processed coffee that I had on my previous visit, served in a classic cup on a small wooden tray with a glass of sparkling water on the side.
Sadly I couldn’t stay for long since I was on my way to the airport to fly to Chicago (which, by the way, is a special kind of madness, swapping the warm, 20°C sun of Arizona for one of the coldest spells of weather ever recorded in Chicago, where it got down to a day-time high of -30°C!!). Other than my coffee, I just had time to drop off Peixoto’s award certificate which it received as a runner-up for the 2018 Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award.
That done, I was on my way, but I’m looking forward to returning next year to see what else is new (I’ve been told that there may be another new processing method on the way).
|11 WEST BOSTON STREET, SUITE #6 • CHANDLER • AZ 85225 • USA|
|Monday||06:00 – 18:00||Roaster||Peixoto (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||06:00 – 18:00||Seating||Window-bar, Counter, Tables, Armchairs; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||06:00 – 18:00||Food||Pastries|
|Thursday||06:00 – 18:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||06:00 – 20:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||06:00 – 20:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||07:00 – 18:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||29th January 2018, 22nd January 2019|
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Phoenix’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Phoenix.
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