Shana Fischer: She's serious about her coffee. For five generations her family has been growing coffee beans on the 600 acre farm in southeastern Brazil.
Julia Peixoto-Peters: Very beautiful, rolling hills, coffee trees as far as I can see. Very beautiful sight to see.
Shana Fischer: While Julia grew up around coffee getting into the family business wasn't for her. She became a lawyer, got married and had two children. But she never forgot the stories her father told her as a little girl.
Julia Peixoto-Peters: He used to harvest his own coffee and ride a mule for about three hours to town carrying a bag of coffee on his back to go sell in the little local market.
Shana Fischer: Those stories grew to dreams to open a coffee shop and use her family's beans to make the coffee. With her husband Jeff on board, they opened Peixoto in January 2015. She says making a good cup of coffee starts in the grounds.
Julia Peixoto-Peters: You really need "The Perfect Storm," if you will. You need climatic conditions. You need altitude. You can't grow coffee at sea level so my family farms at 1300 meters above sea level. It can be -- can't be too high because coffee cannot be exposed to frost or snow. You need a well-defined rainy season. You need rain like any other food or any other agricultural product. You need rain at the right time. You need drought at the right time.
Shana Fischer: Brazil tops the list of the world's coffee producers. 2 million tons of beans are harvested there each year and coffee is the United States number one import ahead of petroleum. Coffee is mostly sold on the commodities market. Small coffee farms like this family's sell to middle men brokers who then sell to larger conglomerates. It means a smaller return for those farmers. Some small farmers also sell beans directly to a buying source, those are considered specialty and can set a higher price. This is the crop to cup concept. Julia sells some of her family's beans that way. It's eco-friendly, less carbon emissions as the beans travel directly to the buyer and allows for sustainable farming. It's not known exactly when coffee was discovered but it's believed to be centuries ago in Ethiopia. Coffee made its way to Europe and eventually New York City in the 1600s. Geography can have a profound effect on the taste of a bean. Coffee grown in Ethiopia tastes different than that grown in Hawaii.
Julia Peixoto-Peters: When it comes to coffee we have different varietals of coffee on my family farm. We have about six different varietals. Different varietals will give the beverage different taste, different conditions that you grow coffee in. It's very interesting to be able to taste the beverage and be able to.
Shana Fischer: Roasting the beans brings out those notes appeared while roasting is not rocket science it does help to have a rocket scientist do the work. Julia's husband Jeff was one. Using his background he developed software that helps roasters like Spencer turn out a superior product. On a busy day, they will roast 600 pounds. And coffee connoisseurs say you can taste the difference between small batch roasted beans and the ones used at larger chains. At large chains beans from all over the world are combined and roasted one way without regard to the area where they were grown or the flavor profile. It makes for consistency but also a bitter or ash-like aftertaste. When you roast carefully and in small batches you can take notes of citrus or chocolate depending on the beans. Julie and Jeff are proud to continue the legacy that began so long ago on the Peixoto farm and to see their customers fall in love with their coffee one cup at a time.
Julia Peixoto-Peters: I'm most proud of the community we have built here, the surrounds my family coffee. The coffee its really the element that holds it all together here. The community aspect that has been able to build here, the passion around my family's coffee is something out of this world.
Ted Simons: It recently won best business award from the downtown Chandler partnership. It's at Arizona avenue and Boston in Chandler.
Ted Simons: Thursday on "Arizona Horizon" we Mark three years since the deadly Yarnell Hill fire by talking to the author of a mu book on the fire and then we will hear from the lone Granite Mountain hotshot survivor of the fire as he discusses his new book. That's at 5:30 and 10:00 on the next "Arizona Horizon." That is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.
Video: "Arizona Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the friends of Arizona PBS, members of your PBS station. Thank you.
We will take you to a Chandler coffee shop that is perfecting the crop-to-cup concept and at the same time promotes sustainability. See how one of the owners turned from her legal career to return to the family business of coffee in opening the Peixoto coffee shop.