Café Bebida joins an exclusive club of Valley shops brewing coffee grown on their own farms.
These days, it’s common to see a chef using produce from his own garden. A coffee shop owner brewing a cup using beans grown on her own farm? That’s still a bit of a unicorn in the contiguous United States, since coffee primarily grows along the equator. “There are so few farm/coffee shop-integrated businesses that we don’t have any data [on them],” says Vicente Partida, director of communications for the Specialty Coffee Assocation. Luckily for Valley coffee lovers, we have three unicorns.
Chandler’s Peixoto Coffee imports beans grown on the owners’ family farm in Brazil, while Glendale’s The Black Sheep Coffee + Tea + Smoothies sources beans from its farm in Honduras. And Goodyear’s Café Bebida, which opened in July 2019, proffers coffee grown on owner Deborah Huyer’s family farm in Kona, Hawaii.
“The environment is just perfect for it,” she says. Her family had been operating a fruit farm for many years and “started hinting” about growing coffee. They planted coffee bushes under their banana and papaya trees, so the coffee is shade-grown – a buzzword in some circles, as many believe it to be a superior method that allows for slower ripening and requires fewer or no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. “You get more complexity out of that than something that’s in the hot sun,” Huyer says. “It’s just become a labor of love for us. I was out there in November, and we picked 2,000 pounds of coffee cherries, but that yields only 350 pounds of coffee. It’s a very small boutique farm.”
Huyer outsources roasting to Old Hawaiian Coffee on the island before overnighting the beans to Arizona. The low yield and expensive transportation make Café Bebida’s Kona coffee – dubbed Cock-A-Doodle-Brew after the farm’s plentiful poultry – prized and pricey. It sells for $32 a pound, and Café Bebida offers it as pour-overs during the week and as drip coffee only on weekends. The shop augments its Hawaiian beans with those sourced elsewhere, roasted by Phoenix’s Espressions Coffee Roastery.
“There are people who come to us because of the Kona coffee,” Huyer says. “It’s very smooth, very velvety. It has chocolate undertones and caramel [notes] in it, and just enough acidity to keep it bright. A lot of people who usually put stuff in their coffee drink it black.”