From the moment you walk through the door of Yellow Brick Coffee’s off-the-beaten-path location, it’s obvious you’ve wandered into a place that cares about coffee, coffee knowledge, and most importantly, community.
A cozy, parlor-like lobby area and a long, wooden communal table beckon you to linger while you sip and savor the cafe’s carefully sourced, single-origin brews.
Meanwhile, the counter staff, which often includes Yellow Brick’s CEO David Perreira, are quick to engage you in a conversation about brewing techniques, regional origins, roasting styles, and more.
Every cup of coffee has a story to tell, and the folks at Yellow Brick are not only excited about that but making that knowledge accessible to everyone.
“Specialty coffee has a perception of being pretentious. It doesn’t have to be,” said David. “High quality doesn’t have to mean ‘high-quality and snobby’ and we’re committed to making this knowledge more approachable.”
Specializing in single-origin coffee and on-demand roasts, Yellow Brick operates more like a craft brewery than a traditional, industrial coffee roaster.
A strong emphasis on quality and product traceability is a priority while hand-crafting each roast to best suit the unique nature and subtle flavor notes of each coffee.
While Yellow Brick’s whole bean and by-the-cup offerings change often, the company consistently offers high-quality regionally sourced coffee varieties from Africa, Mexico, and both South and Central America.
Current favorites include the Ethiopia coffee with subtle floral, fruit, and hibiscus notes, an El Salvador coffee blend that is naturally processed with strawberry hard candy and blueberry soda, and a Kenya coffee with black currant and mango.
For those new to exploring and experimenting with different flavors of coffee, The Yellow Brick Box is a great option. It’s a sampler of four individual four-ounce bags and provides customers a virtual world tour of bean varieties.
Yellow Brick was founded in 2011 by David’s sister, Anna Perreira.
While working in the New York City finance industry, Anna’s home away from home was her favorite neighborhood cafe-roastery, where she became obsessed with learning more about the origins, history, and science of her daily cup.
With David’s help, she opened the company’s cafe-roastery in 2014, eventually leaving the company’s day-to-day operations in David’s hands. Since then, the company has grown steadily, never abandoning its founding commitment to quality and coffee education.
As it continues to expand and offer regular events, such as tastings and classes at the South Dodge cafe location, Yellow Brick has created a regular presence at the Heirloom Farmers Market at Rillito Park.
Yellow Brick also offers subscription services. The innovative service allows the company to build up a growing wholesale business among small, local businesses, as well as many local food establishments.
When it comes to restaurant partnerships Yellow Brick is hoping to change the game by focusing on coffee as an overall part of the fine dining experience—much like one would pair food with wine or beer.
With that in mind, Yellow Brick is working with chefs and restaurant owners to provide the best varieties and roasts to compliment the unique flavors of their food offerings.
“You never want to end a good meal with a bad cup of coffee,” said David.
Yellow Brick is also excited to be working on several intriguing experimental offerings, including a possible collaboration with the folks behind Whiskey Del Bac. In another venture, Yellow Brick is providing the coffee component of a planned cannabis blend at the Tucson-based dispensary The Green Halo.
While Yellow Brick has built a loyal following even with its distant location, the roastery would love to have more “drop-in” traffic and chances to interact with the coffee-curious public.
Looking ahead, David says that the company hopes to launch a flagship location that is more convenient and accessible to existing and future customers. Whether that will mean a second location or a move for the existing roastery remains to be determined.
“We really want to find the right place for Yellow Brick, and look forward to opening a place very prominent in the near future.”
Yellow Brick Coffee, located at 3220 S. Dodge Blvd., Suite 1, and is open from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday – Friday.
For more information, including details on upcoming roasting and cupping classes, visit yellowbrickcoffee.com or call the shop at (520) 226-4068.