Peixoto Coffee Redefines Direct Trade in Chandler, Arizona

The specialty coffee community often celebrates direct trade: when coffee roasters buy their coffee directly from farmers without utilizing a trader. In theory, the practice ensures more of the profits go to the people who grew the coffee.

But Peixoto Coffee in Chandler, Arizona takes direct trade one step further: the vertically integrated coffee roaster sources most of their coffees from their family estate in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Located at 4200 feet above sea level, Fazenda Sao José da Boa Vista has been farmed by three generations of the Peixoto family. The farm is made up of 18 different plots, each with its own unique terroir. Like many Brazilian coffee farms, most of the coffee at Fazenda Sao José da Boa Vista is natural process, with some honey process as well.

Peixoto’s main coffee offering Família Peixoto is the workhorse coffee offering at their Chandler café. When I visited, it was tasting sweet and balanced as an espresso. Light sugar browning flavors of like butterscotch or honey, supported by jammy fruit characteristics. It was one of the sweeter, more balanced espressos I’ve had in some time.

The interior at Peixoto is dark but cozy, a somewhat jarring but perhaps welcome respite from the sun-drenched desert. The intimate atmosphere is bolstered by an abundance of soft seating and dim lighting. Between the well-prepared espresso and the homey atmosphere, it’s easy to see why Peixoto has been voted the Phoenix’s area’s best coffee shop by the Phoenix New Times.

Years ago, I remember talking to a Panamanian coffee farmer who recently completed an MBA in luxury brand management. He told me that coffee farming could only be sustainable if more of the value-add was controlled by producers. In that regard, Peixoto is an all-too-rare example of precisely that: where the farm-to-cup process stays in the family.

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