Explore

WHAT ARE YOUR VALUES WHEN IT COMES TO OBTAINING COFFEE BEANS?

When I source beans I want to know their story. You see, we are controlled by labels and certifications. SPP, Fair Trade, Organic Certified, Rainforest Alliance, etc are labels we all know and trust and I look for these when I am buying but rarely do we hear about the products that don’t have these labels but are just as equally organic or fairly traded or earth friendly. From my experience visiting farms I know that a lot of farmers would love to have these certifications but can’t afford them which also means, in most cases, they can’t afford chemical fertilizers so of course their farms are organic. In some cases farms could be in transition to become organic or they are farms that have grouped together to help each other to improve their economic situation. There are smaller certifications that have risen from the producer countries that are built on the framework of larger certifications but are being run by the producing countries instead of European or North America offices far from the farmers reality. I look for the stories because if enough people support the struggling farms they will one day be able to afford to get those certificates. I source with knowledge and heart to find beans that are great in more ways than just taste alone.

   

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPE OF BEAN CULTIVATING PROCESSES AND WHY DO I CARE?

There are many different bean processes that affect the taste of the end product. What I mean is that after the coffee cherry is picked the “beans” must be removed from the fruit. When this happens and how much fruit is removed plus a number of other steps along the way has a direct impact on the end flavour of the cup. Having a basic understanding of this can help narrow down or discover what you really like about coffee. If you have a sweet tooth you might want a natural process coffee with it often times jammy, fruity notes or maybe a washed coffee for a true taste of the cultivar.

   

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT ROASTING METHODS?

This one is tricky because every roaster is different in their approach. Some are surprisingly simple and others extremely involved. I can say that from my experience I’ve noticed more of a regional taste when it comes to roasting. The average east coast roast is lighter than the average west coast . A WC French roast for example is comparable to an EC Italian. The lightest coffee I’ve experienced was from Iceland and comparable to another from Germany. I tend to roast in a style reflective of my east coast roots and my Nordic coffee tasting experiences which may be very common in cities like Halifax, New York, Vancouver, Seattle but not so much next to a cow pasture on our tiny island in the San Juans.