Mike Westphall received his coffee education a world away in Australia.
For about 18 months, the former Florida businessman who moved to Australia after selling his hydrogeologic firm, ran a small outdoor bistro and coffee roasting shop Down Under.
He moved back to the United States a few years ago, settling in Tucson. In February, he opened Pangean Coffee Roasters on North Wilmot Road in the small storefront space once occupied by the gourmet popcorn shop Prayerfully Popped.
Westphall specializes in fair trade, organic beans. He roasts them to order, medium to dark depending on your taste, in a 3-kilo roaster from U.S. Roasters. He can roast up to 25 pounds of beans an hour, but most of his custom roasts are small batches.
“We had a guy come in here yesterday, and he liked the Guatemalan we had, but he wanted a much darker roast than we typically do,” Westphall said. “So he had a cup of coffee, and I roasted it darker in about 20 minutes.”
Westphall sources his beans from a major broker who deals in large lots of beans from Ethiopia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Mexico. He also gets beans from New York-based Crop to Cup Coffee Importers, which Westphall said has “relationships with some of the smaller outlying plantations that the bigger guys don’t get to” including in Kenya, the Congo, Tanzania and Burundi.
Pangean Coffee Roasters, 1525 N. Wilmot Road, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Details: pangeancoffee.com