COFFEE ROASTED FRESH DAILY
Green Beanery has a mission, one that extends beyond the commercial (not that we aren’t proud to have become Canada's largest online retailer of coffee and coffee equipment, offering more varieties of coffee beans than any other retailer in the world and selling more coffee paraphernalia than any other Canadian retailer).
Green Beanery aims to reinvent the coffee shop of old. Until the 1920s, when big business began to take over the coffee industry, all coffee shops roasted their own. Green Beanery is helping to spur a renaissance in local roasting by supplying hundreds of micro-roasters and restaurants, and leading by example by roasting all of our own coffee, too, at our café-roastery at 565 Bloor St West in Toronto’s Annex district.
The renaissance includes returning coffee shops to the service of the community, providing a place to sip small luxuries in an atmosphere large with comforts for both mind and palate. You won’t find Wi-Fi in our café ̶ our patrons place a premium on conversations and conviviality.
The renaissance also includes reviving the coffee shop as change agent. Coffee shops of old were known for great innovations and passionate discourse ̶ this is where Lloyd’s of London launched the insurance industry, and where social revolutions were born. In that spirit, Green Beanery hosts Grounds for Thought, a discussion series held the last Tuesday of every month, for those who relish having their intellect provoked and entertained. Details of our next presentation can be found below. Fittingly, Green Beanery is owned by Probe International, a Canadian charity known for out-of-the-box thinking, whose directors have included many of Canada’s most celebrated minds, among them Jane Jacobs, David Suzuki, Margaret Laurence and Thomas Berger.
About the bean
Coffee in the relatively compact region of Yirgacheffe in southern Ethiopia is typically grown by small holders in "gardens" with coffee trees mixed in with other plants and trees cultivated for food and other essentials. There is little to no use of chemicals by these small holder farmers; they can't afford them, and, as such, it would be safe to assume all coffees produced by these gardens are organic.
What to expect
An excellent coffee. This Yirgacheffe offers a well-balanced cup no matter where you move on the roast spectrum. At an American (light) roast, the Yirgacheffe is particularly aromatic - fresh and fruity. Acidity for this one is high but the cup is so nicely balanced, it remains widely pleasing. We enjoyed notes of orange and peach, enhanced by a lemony caramel flavour.
At a Full City roast, the Yirgacheffe inevitably loses some of its note power but it does gain a chocolatey, brown sugar sweetness with a discreet citrus brightness that some of us preferred. Very balanced, sweet aftertaste; a wonderful morning coffee and a great pick for espresso. This bean is a gem.
Roasting recommendation: To bring out the Yirgacheffe's subtleties, roast medium. Consider blending to add nuance to other coffees. When roasted dark, it becomes sharply pungent but very thin, bereft of all its flowery and fruity notes. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
About the bean
Coffee from Sumatra tends to be earthy, woody and light on brightness. This week's featured pick, however, is a slight departure from the Sumatran norm: a high-end delight, our Sumatra Fair Trade Organic GR1 is a chocolatey, spicy coffee with a medium to good acidity. Expect a very nice body and mouthfeel.
For our taste test, we sampled the Sumatra FTO GR1 as both an American and City+ roast. Oh my, my! The aroma for the lighter American roast was transporting. No need for additives. This cup made us feel like we were kicking back, looking out over the ocean in a very happy place. The popular darker roast summoned forth a bittersweet, dark chocolate character. The loss of aroma at this level was criminal compared to the American experience but, as always, it's a matter of taste.
Sourced from the Gayo Organic Coffee Farmers Association (PPKGO) located in the Gayo Highlands in Sumatra's Aceh province, the PPKGO is the first, and still the only, coffee co-operative in Indonesia that is Fair Trade Certified. Cooperative members are small-scale coffee farmers dedicated to producing 100% certified organic, shade-grown coffee. In a region known for political conflict, the co-op has continued to produce, process, and export high-quality Sumatran coffee.
What to expect
A quality cup with a deep rich bottom and a subtle sweetness on top.
Roasting recommendation: This is a full-spectrum candidate. Go lighter and live! But a delight at any level. Roast a little darker to bring out the chocolate note. Excellent as an espresso. And just plain excellent. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
Beyond the cup
This coffee sells at a premium to allow the co-op to support a wide variety of programs. These include:
Co-op farmers live in an environmentally sensitive region - the buffer zone to a national park which contains critical watershed areas and sanctuaries for endangered species, such as the Sumatran tiger. Fair Trade price incentives and technical support provided by the cooperative are designed to encourage sustainable agriculture and resource conservation.
About the beans
This blend is a blend made in-house by one of our star baristas, Mitch Beauregard [pictured with portafilters for posterity below]. Mitch's blend is named after the legendary jazz standard "Take Five" composed by Paul Desmond, and originally recorded on July 1st, 1959, in New York City, by the Dave Brubeck Quartet for their album Time Out.
We don't need to say, it's quite an honour to have your blend associated with the biggest-selling jazz track of all time. Even before taking into account that Mitch is currently enrolled in a jazz performance program, we couldn't help but think of "Take Five" when we tasted Mitch's brew.
Like its namesake, this blend delights with an overall sprightliness of elegance and movement that is likewise bright and energetic, buoyed by a great body - of taste rather than sound, in this case. Man. We love it!
Mitch has dedicated himself to researching coffee and experimenting with combinations, so the birth of his own blend was always on the cards. It took two versions to arrive at a Take Five that fulfilled Mitch's aim to create a coffee high in sweetness, brightness and balance that would jive with any brew method. We ripped through sampling Take Five as a press pot, pourover, AeroPress and espresso and we have to agree: You did it, Mitch! Expect notes across the sweet spectrum - lemon, agave, chocolate - a juicy mouthfeel and a very balanced cup that taps across the palate without tripping into low/earthy or harsh flavours. Note: The bag label says "espresso" but this blend suits all brew methods and is a drip brew baby at heart.
And if we can congratulate ourselves, as well, we will! Says Mitch: "I made this coffee because of Green Beanery's selection, not to augment it. I wouldn't have been able to try so many different coffees, and think so intently about what I wanted to make, if there hadn't been such a range to work with."
Roast recommendation: The lighter side. We opted for an American roast for the most part but went to a City roast for an AeroPress shot for an espresso feel (loved it here). For an explanation of our different roasts, see: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
Our new crop of Tanzanian Peaberry is inspired by the gorgeous island of Pemba, which forms the Paradise Islands off the Zanzibar Archipelago located in East Africa. Also known as the 'Green Island', Pemba is secluded but nevertheless famous as the world's #1 producer of cloves with the perfume of clove at times filling the island air! This "Pemba" bean, however, is grown on mainland Tanzania in the south in the largest of the country's five coffee-growing regions - Mbeya. Coffee from Tanzania's south tends to be fruitier than beans from the north of the country.
Peaberry-grade coffee is prized by coffee connoisseurs for the uniform roasts they produce. According to mythology, the peaberry is male, and is often associated with virility.
We typically use Tanzanian Peaberry as one of our go-to beans for espresso. For our taste test, we brewed the peaberry in both an AeroPress and French press. If we weren't already gaga for AeroPress as one of our favourite brewing options, we were delighted with the peaberry AeroPress-style at a City+ roast profile. Expect a sweet aroma, notes of chocolate, caramel, yellow fruits, sweet mango, even cherry. A good balance between brightness and body with a long aftertaste - and one of the best bodies we've Aeropressed in a while! Loved this one. If using an AeroPress, try our in-house coffee expert Priscila's favourite recipe here. Good for filtered coffee, pour over and drip, and, of course, espresso.
Roast recommendation: City+. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
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Two irresistible flavour forces come together in this divine blend. And, no. We haven't added Lady Godiva chocolate to the brew, just the best beans going.
Avoid very dark roasts to maintain the nuance in this blend.
A mild blend based on a quality Brazil arabica for body and eye-pleasing crema. We add two other bean varieties for a bit of sharpness and a touch of the exotic.
Roasting recommendation: Avoid very dark roasts to maintain the nuance in this blend.View full product details