Phoenix Phoodies: Jeff at Lux on a Mission
By Sloane Burwell
Jeff Fischer isn’t your ordinary barista. After 20 years in the hospitality industry, he and his wife took ownership of Lux Coffee Bar, so that his wife could pursue her life’s dream of owning a coffee shop. Under his watchful eye and warm smile, Lux has emerged as more than a spot to quell your caffeine jones. It’s true – Lux is ground zero for downtown movers, shakers, hipsters, ne’er do wells, a Mayor and city council member or three. But it’s also a second living room and steady meet-up spot for an ever expanding and diverse group of folks who come here simply because if they didn’t – they would miss it. Jeff’s freshly roasted beans and tasty confections, turned out daily, are a labor of love. He’s a man with a mission, and the mission statement to prove it.
Chow Bella: Your roaster is a thing of beauty.
Jeff Fischer: It is. It’s the Victoria Lido from Italy.
CB: How does it work?
JF: It takes about 14-16 minutes to turn out a 7 pound yield. Some contributing factors that make the beans special are that it's small batch, hand-crafted, and what we call ‘palate-driven’. We roast it, we palate it (taste it), and we always try to stay aware of how it tastes. Coffee beans are at the optimal state between 24 and 72 hours after it roasts. This way our customers always have it when it tastes the best.
CB: How would you describe the roast?
JF: We call it an espresso blend, medium roast. Our emphasis is a) driving from the palate and b) organic quality beans. We’re aware of our communal relationships with the farmers. When you roast coffee beans, you get three cracks (of the bean). The quality from this part really comes out in the crema. We aim for roasting to the second crack.
CB:Where do your beans come from?
JF :We use a custom blend, and it comes from El Salvador, Ethiopia.
CB: What’s it like to own Lux?
JF: It’s been an enlightening experience. I have 20 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry. I started out at McDonald’s and my last job before this was a bartender at T. Cook’s. I’m grateful for this, and I do believe in our mission and in serving people. I really do care about that.
CB: A mission? Do you guys have a mission statement?
JF: We do. Through the highest quality hospitality and service, provide guests with the highest quality coffee and bakery goods, in an atmosphere where art, music and design are cultivated to create a place of culture and shared ideas.