Bean to Cup: Arizona Coffee Roasters

Meet the local roasters putting the flavor in Arizona’s coffee culture

Light or dark roast? Fruity, nutty or full-bodied? Arizona’s wide-ranging climate differences determine the best roasting techniques to coax flavors out of coffee beans sourced from around the world. Here, three of the state’s top roasters share how they create a tasty cup of coffee.

Peixoto Coffee Roasters, Chandler and Gilbert

Arizona’s coffee roasters are passionate about sourcing green coffee from sustainable farms across the globe. At Peixoto Coffee Roasters, that includes their family farm in southern Brazil, in operation for more than 100 years.

Julia Peixoto Peters has helmed the extension of her family’s legacy in Arizona since 2015. With a café and a roastery in Chandler and a satellite location in Gilbert, Peixoto has become a popular destination in the East Valley coffee scene.

Jeff Peters, co-owner and roaster, explains that the flavor potential of each batch is locked inside the beans.

“Systems and technology we developed, paired with a roaster’s skills, determine the roast profile that makes each batch of coffee shine,” he says. “The roaster’s ability to preserve each lot’s unique characteristics by manipulating all the variables in the roasting process honors all the work done by nature and the farmers who came before us.”

Bean to Cup: Arizona Coffee Roasters
Peixoto Coffee Roasters. Credit:

Perfecting the daily ritual is elevated to art at Peixoto. Vanilla lattes are crafted with Madagascar vanilla bean paste and organic sugar cane, while seasonal lattes bring in such toppers as dried lavender, bee pollen and cayenne pepper. Year-round, single-origin bagged coffees are roasted from light to medium with a passion to preserve the seed-to-cup simplicity.

Late for the Train Coffee Roastery, Flagstaff

This Flagstaff mainstay has been a downtown hangout for three decades, with a café near Heritage Square and a small-batch roastery in a nearby warehouse. Operating at an elevation of 7,000 feet, Late for the Train roasts beans at lower temps for longer periods of time. This produces medium roasts with caramel notes and dark roasts that are bold and chocolatey.

Bean to Cup: Arizona Coffee Roasters
Late for the Train Coffee, Flagstaff. Credit:

Dave Dobrick, owner and head roaster, explains that medium and dark roasts yield shiny beans since the oils have been heated out and sugars have burned off.

“By keeping our roast temperatures low, our dark roasts are not bitter,” he says. “Our dark roasts are actually smoother and sweeter than most dark roasts.”

Late for the Train sources its heirloom beans from small farms in Central and South America as well as Africa. Try the Flagstaff house blend, with dark-roasted beans from Latin America that glisten with oil. Or try the French Roast blend with beans from Brazil and Peru dark-roasted for robust flavors.

Late for the Train encourages guests to skip the syrups and add-ins that overwhelm the natural coffee flavors and acidity. Only then will the beans shine through and reveal each roast profile.


Presta owner Curtis Zimmerman named his Tucson coffee shop 10 years ago after a bike-tire valve, a nod to his time on the international cycling circuit. With three locations in Tucson including their newest café and roasting facility off 4th Avenue, guests can expect to see cyclists gathering in the courtyard of Mercado or on the patio at the 9th Street location before hopping on The Loop for a group ride. Presta’s popular coffee van is also a fixture at local cycling events.

Head roaster Blair Smith says Tucson’s dry climate requires less time and heat to extract moisture out of the beans.

“Light roasting allows the terroir of the beans to shine. We can achieve a beautiful expression as intended by producers of specialty coffees,” she explains.

“We find more fruit-like characteristics, delicate florals and unique mouthfeel attributes by roasting this way.”

Bean to Cup: Arizona Coffee Roasters
Presta Coffee Roasters, Tucson. Credit: @coffeeshopsinflipflops.

Blends at Presta change seasonally as beans are harvested at different times in Columbia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and other coffee-producing regions around the world. Going with the flow fits the Nordic coffee philosophy practiced at Presta. They want coffee drinkers to break the habit of dousing drip coffee with milk and sugar and instead sip and savor the earthy flavors light roasting preserves.

Bean to Cup: Arizona Coffee Roasters
Press Coffee Roasters. Credit:

More roasters around Arizona

Cartel Roasting Co.
Eleven locations throughout the state get their beans from Cartel’s roasting facility in Tempe, which also cans and kegs cold brews.

Cultivate Coffee
The onsite roasting facility at their uptown Phoenix location prepares artisan-roasted craft coffee using ethically sourced beans from around the world.

Firecreek Coffee Company
With an original roasting facility and café in Flagstaff, Firecreek has grown to include locations in Cottonwood, Sedona and Phoenix.

Firehouse Coffee Roasters
This Prescott café and small-batch roastery partners with organic farms to produce limited edition coffees from around the world.

Froth Coffee Roasters
Look for Froth’s coffee van all over the state or visit their brick-and-mortar location in midtown Phoenix that offers coffee roasting classes.

Lola Coffee
With two Phoenix-area locations, Lola roasts fair-trade beans daily in house and works with local dairy suppliers and bakeries.

Press Coffee
Try limited single-origin coffee releases twice each month at this roaster with five café locations and seven grab-and-go locations throughout metro Phoenix.

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About the Author

Jeff Atwell

Longtime Arizona resident and travel writer Jeff Atwell is in his element on road trips to small towns, on hikes through astonishing backcountry and on architecture tours that reveal the state’s heritage.


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