Anna Perreira at Yellow Brick Coffee (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Yellow Brick Coffee founder and CEO Anna Perreira is a conscious coffee connoisseur.
Perreira spent a fair chunk of her youth in Tucson before moving to New York for a job in corporate finance. However, a coffee epiphany led her to train with coffee figure Willem Boot in San Francisco and learn about the origin of her coffee.
Nowadays, Perreira runs Yellow Brick with her brother David Perreira to provide single origin, specialty coffee roasted on demand. Their Kenya: Kamoini, Othaya coffee just recently scored 93 from Coffee Review, so make sure to try a world-class cup before it runs out. The monthly 4th on 44th Block Party happens to be tomorrow as well, so check out the neighboring beer and spirits.
1) What was the first dish you had that changed your perspective on food?
I have two ways to answer this question. The first actually being about food. But I would be remiss not to mention the first coffee that changed my perspective on coffee. So, the first dish — I was sitting across the table from my roommate, Wendy. This was probably seven years ago. I lived in NY at the time, and ate out probably three to five days a week. She asked how I liked my food. I’m sorry to say, I don’t remember what was on my plate, the restaurant in which we were dining, or even my response. I just remember her comment. She said, “you never just answer ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ You talk about the saltiness, the acidity, or the way the flavors work together.” That was the moment I realized I am a foodie.
It wasn’t long after that when I started heading down to Counter Culture Coffee’s training facility, located about a mile from my office in Times Square. I’d go there every Friday on my lunch break to learn how to cup (analyze) coffee. It was my second or third visit when I tasted a coffee reminiscent of grape juice. I’m not kidding. This coffee blew my mind. I still have notes from my cuppings there. And I’ve since sourced some of the same coffees.
2) What are you eating these days?
Generally, I eat pretty healthy. My newest trend is granola with warm almond milk or just a little hot water. It’s like oatmeal, but with a lot more flavor.
3) What was the first dish you remember cooking?
I remember attempting my family recipe for pot roast in my tiny little shoebox of an apartment in NY. It’s such a simple recipe, but I failed miserably on the temperature. It cooked too fast, and was ultimately inedible.
4) What concept, ingredient, or food trend are you experimenting with these days?
I’m preparing for a major hike in about a month. So, I’m experimenting with things like dehydrated mushrooms, onions, and carrots in couscous. I’m also looking into cold soaking, to avoid use of my Jetboil or a campfire.
“She said, “You never just answer ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ You talk about the saltiness, the acidity, or the way the flavors work together.” That was the moment I realized I am a foodie.”
5) Who would you most like to cook or eat dinner with?
I love to cook with close friends. One of my best friends just moved back to California. She came to visit recently, and brought over two boxes from her CSA. We had a great time hanging out in the kitchen all night. So, really any of my close friends. But to narrow it down, Renee Kreager of Renee’s Organic Oven. She’s one of my favorite people.
6) What city, other than Tucson, is your favorite place to eat?
Oh, man. This is tough. I mean, New York is the obvious answer. I got so spoiled there. But I’ve traveled to some incredible culinary hot spots around the world. One of my favorite memories from food abroad was at my friend’s wedding in Chennai, India. We had all of these beautiful offerings spread out on a banana leaf. They all looked delicious. But I must have bitten down on a peppercorn or something, because they all tasted the same. So, I can’t exactly say it’s my “favorite”, but I would love to go back to that same temple in Chennai and try all of that stuff again. And to be clear, everything I ate all over that country was phenomenal.
7) Speaking in junk food terms, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Hands down Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
8) Which three Tucson restaurants do you frequent the most?
Kingfisher, Beyond Bread, and Wild Garlic Grill.
9) With a figurative electric chair in your immediate future, what is your last meal?
Mom’s beef stroganoff. I would bathe in it.