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
A traditional European-style espresso and a perfect balance of bittersweet notes. Jubilee is rich in flavour with an almond colouring and thick crema.
For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chartView full product details
About the bean
We love a new addition to our coffee inventory and when that new addition rocks our socks, our greatest pleasure is to share the joy.
The Kochere district in southern Ethiopia is very close to the summit of the country's coffee mythology, Yirgacheffe. Like the rest of Ethiopia, the micro-region of Kochere proffers its own distinct flavour and characteristics: a strong tea-like finish with a fruity brightness, deepened by notes of stone fruit, caramel and dark chocolate. This micro-region is considered one of the best coffee-growing areas in southern Ethiopia thanks to its nutrient-rich soil, thickly shaded hills and consistent rainfall. Coffee here is typically farmed organically, whether it is certified as such or not.
A rival to the sun (that being Ethiopian Yirgacheffe). Spring is here and this is our new love.
Score: 85.5 (out of 100 points; over 85 considered excellent)
Species: 100% Arabica
Altitude: 1,700 - 2,200 masl.
Process: Handpicked and washed
American roast brewed in a French press
We welcomed our newest coffee star with a proper cupping - cupping is a three-stage sensory process used by coffee professionals (but anyone can do it) to evaluate the positive qualities (and the not so positive) of a particular coffee. Go forth here to learn more about cupping or watch the curious business of cupping in action. And what did we cup and discover? Ethiopia Kochere is fabulous! A sweet fragrance delights with a bouquet of caramel, vanilla and chocolate. During coffee cupping, coffee grounds are placed in cupping bowls, or plain old cups will do. Hot water is poured over the grounds and left to steep for 4 minutes until a "crust" forms (looks like a chia pudding). Once we broke the crust (with a spoon), the Kochere's pleasant fragrances were unleashed. Coffee aroma is at its most intense at this point (we highly recommend giving cupping a go!). The coffee cupping itself (sampling the coffee slurped quickly from a spoon and then spitting into a cup) proffered a well-balanced brew with a lovely fruity brightness; a red fruit acidity that added a nice complexity. The taste in the mouth was soft yet striking. This is a marvellous Ethiopian!
City+ roast brewed in a Hario V60 pour over (30g of coffee for 500ml of water)
The flavours remained at this roast level; a delicate body and a sweet aftertaste. Such a pleasing cup. See here for pour over options and more information.
Roast recommendation: Light to medium for the full flavour experience. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
A number of the major coffee-growing countries we source from may not know how great their product is. When the "good stuff" is exported elsewhere, local coffee can be a sub-par experience, roasted dark to hide defects and mixed with filler to increase volume. Happily, that isn't the case with Ethiopia, which consumes half of its annual coffee production and boasts a thriving domestic coffee culture (Google for examples of an Ethiopian coffee ceremony). The birthplace of coffee according to legend, Ethiopia is where Coffea arabica originated, which is said to be the first species of coffee ever cultivated; it remains the dominant species and accounts for more than 60 percent of the world's commercial coffee production. Given its genetic wealth and history, Ethiopia is a coffee region like none other and an unparalleled paradise of coffee flavour.
Sun, sun, sun, sun ... For coffee lovers, Yirgacheffe is the luminous summit of coffee gaga. Light, bright, clean and balanced, this Yirgacheffe pick is also decently priced.
American roast profile brewed in a Hario V60 pour over: Yirgacheffe is known for a sweet, tea-like taste songed with notes of fruit and berry. Our sampling produced a sweet cup with a uniquely pleasant flavour of honey and lemon rind. The aroma was potent yet even and the aftertaste lifted by a caramel softness. At an American roast profile, the acidity is high but the brightness adds a complexity and juiciness that many enjoy. A star of a bean.
Vienna roast profile brewed in a French Press: The unique characteristics dimmed at a darker roast profile (and Vienna is quite dark). The body is great here, though, and the sweet notes continued, albeit without the fruitiness of the American cup. The Vienna sample made us wish we had tested this as an espresso - the balance and flavour would translate to an excellent shot.
Roast recommendation: Typically, light to medium. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the beans
Some of the finest coffee in the world comes from Guatemala, most notably Antigua in the country's central highlands. But Antigua ain't all there is!
La Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala, otherwise known as the FECCEG Cooperative, is located in the Quetzaltenango region of Guatemala's volcanic western highlands, and represents 1,943 small farmers (529 of whom are women). FECCEG focuses on organic, value-added agriculture and projects that promote gender equality and food security - 70% of FECCEG coop members depend on agricultural production for their livelihoods.
Typically, coffee from Guatemala is sweet with a medium to full body and a chocolate taste ranging from cocoa (bittersweet) to milk chocolate. But enough with the gibble-gabble already, here's what you really to know: This batch of coffee from Quetzaltenango [pronounced ketsalteˈnaŋgo] is seriously mouth-watering. Go, get!
Altitude: 1400 - 1600 masl.
SHG: Strictly High Grown
Process: Fully Washed
Drying: Patio dried
Harvest Period: December-April
American and Full City roast profiles brewed in a French Press, Hario V60 and Chemex:
That's it, 2019; we're done. This batch of Guatemalan is the best coffee we've tasted this year so far. What a flavorful cup! Deeply delicious at both roast profiles. We could have gone darker - a flexible bean indeed.
At a light American roast brewed in a V60 pour over (26g of coffee to 400ml of water), the aroma was just amazing and even more so: the fragrant flavours were all present in the cup - peach, passion fruit, lime and spice. The fruity notes were balanced by a nice, citrus brightness and a sweet, honey-chocolate underlay; the aftertaste was most pleasant.
At a Full City roast brewed in a French press (30g of coffee to 500ml of water), the Guatemalan remained very flavorful. We gained sweetness at this roast profile and more body - perfect for the morning. A real pleaser.
At an American roast profile brewed in a Chemex [pictured], the Guatemalan surpassed itself. At a ratio of 20g of coffee to 340ml of water, we relished notes of yellow fruit, oranges, mascarpone (an Italian cream cheese), sweet cookies and a touch of cinnamon. Heaven!
And one more thing: These Guatemalan SHG, FTO beans look great! Taste, gaze upon, enjoy!
Roast recommendation: To preference, although light to medium is a good pick. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
Our current supplier of Honduras Fair Trade Organic is a testament to the resilience of Honduran farmers after an epidemic of La Roya (leaf rust) in 2013, followed in recent years by drought and crop failure. Formed in 2014, the Pacayal Coffee Cooperative represents 134 savvy small producers (54 of whom are women) who realized their terrific product would fetch a better price through direct market access. And it has. Located in the mountainous south-central department of La Paz, where the altitude is ideal for coffee growing, Pacayal's rapid growth has come with numerous accolades and clients in North America, Ireland and Japan. Long may they prosper.
Oh, happy days. A light roast is perfect for this summery Honduran.
Region: Marcala, Honduras
Process: Washed Arabica
Certification: Fair Trade Organic
Drying: Sun and mechanically dried
Botanical varieties: Catuai, carturra, bourbon, pacas, typica, parainema, IHCAFE 90 and lempira
Altitude: 1350-1700 masl.
American roast profile brewed in a Hario V60 pour over: What a perfect roast for this batch of Honduran FTO. Expect quite the bouquet of aromatic flavours - a syrupy, sugary fragrance not unlike buttercream frosting, pronounced apricot and peach notes buoyed by a medium to high brightness (acidity), complemented by a wonderful juiciness. The sweet and light chocolate finish left us wanting more of this flavorful brew: a summery delight.
Full City+ roast profile brewed in a French Press: The cup remained sweet with a subdued fruitiness and body. A relaxing and most pleasant brew with a tea-like aroma, this is an ideal roast for sipping throughout the day or to complete a meal as a post-dinner coffee - dessert accompaniment. A good pick if you enjoy the flavour and strength of a dark roast but not the burnt aftertaste common to this end of the spectrum.
We tried this one as an iced coffee using a nifty Hario V60 Ice Cold Coffee Maker. And? Not really our cup of cold joe. Sorry Honduras.Our Mexican HG EP beans are still the superior pick by comparison when it comes to coffee chill. But the iced coffeemaker is the real story here: an easy-breezy pleasure to use - brew and chill using the same container. Yes! [Pictured].
Roast recommendation: Let there be light! For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
Kenya AA has always been one of our favourite beans. Kenya is known for coffee excellence, in part due to its long-established open auction system of rewarding quality beans with higher prices (thus thwarting insider trade deals). Add to this, the variables of high-growing altitudes, technical sophistication and efficient small-farmer cooperatives and you get a sense of why coffee from Kenya has the reputation it does. The story continues with the country's growing Women in Coffee project that seeks to empower female farmers by finally paying them for their efforts and the right to their own coffee bushes: a program that improves both productivity, incentive and marital relations [read more about this here].
What to expect
Kenyan coffee is known for a sparkling acidity, and Malic acid in particular, which is the same acid that gives green apples their tartness. In coffee, it adds a juicy, smooth sharpness to the taste. The lighter the roast, the more fruity acids you'll encounter. Under-extracting your brew will lead to that undesirable sour taste. The finer the grind, the longer the brew time and the hotter the water, the more quickly extraction will occur. But you don't want to over-extract or you'll wind up bitter.
Our Taste Test
Hario V60 pour over - American Roast
We anticipated a citrus tang and that's what we have here: lemon pop, tangerine, even grapefruit enhanced by a pleasant tartness. Well balanced, bright with a winey finish; a spritely cup indeed.
French press - City Roast
This is the groove: the tangy citrus is softened by a sugary sweetness, with more body and depth to round out flavour. Very nice. Strangely enough, we decided to pair citrus-themed food with this already citrus-amped coffee!
We've heard that adding lemon zest to coffee, or the zest of similar options such as tangerine and orange, provides the health benefit of vitamin C to a brew that is already doing us health good. We are still working on this: our first attempt gave us a bizarre coffee-infused lemon slice and a rind-filled cup that we further weirded with turbinado (raw) sugar.
But we did discover JOY when we paired a lemon loaf with our taste-test. Our sweet loaf recipe made with Greek yoghurt and cream complemented this lemony coffee to perfection. The loaf also transformed the experience of the cold brew we made using Kenya AA. Recommendation: opt for iced coffee over cold brew; and make lemon loaf (it's an amazing coffee companion).
As per our last taste test for Kenya AA, we found this pick a match for drip coffee, pour over and plunge-press brews. A little too acidic for espresso. Try a 30-40% ratio for blends (e.g., Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, which is less acidic and more floral).
AA is the highest grade given based on a screening process that sorts beans primarily by size (the larger the bean, the better it supposedly is). FAQ stands for Fair Average Quality and is a class system used by the Coffee Board of Kenya to rate the quality of the bean.
Region: Nyeri ("the heart of Black Gold Coffee"
so-called because the area's preferred slow maturation process results in especially dense beans packed with flavour)
Processing: Fully Washed and sun-dried on raised beds
Cupping score: 85.5 (out of 100 points; over 85 considered excellent)
Roasting recommendation: Medium - City to City+. It's easy to go too dark because Kenya AA is a dense bean (the brightness will be lost). For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
For various reasons, coffee from Nepal is hard to source. Our supply dwindled after two devastating earthquakes struck Nepal in April and May 2015 causing catastrophic damage and loss of life. The ongoing convergence between the massive tectonic plates that collided to create the Himalayas means Nepal's future will remain intensely seismic. As the country struggles to recover, we consider ourselves very fortunate to welcome the Nepal Mount Everest Supreme Organic back to our fold. This bean has always enjoyed quite a following and is one of our most missed. We lost a treasure. We are, once again, elevated by its return.
A unique, clean, refined flavour profile. The romance of spring in a cup. We fell hard.
Category: Single Origin
Certification: Humaniterra Foundation
Screen Size: 16/17
Altitude: 500 m
Our taste test: Most Nepalese coffee is grown by small farmers. Priscila Fonseca, our resident coffee expert, would like to personally thank the growers of this particular offering. You can taste the care taken in its cultivation and harvest. A soft, velvet exquisiteness at first sip, the flavour notes are an excellent surprise: fresh, plump-in-the-mouth peaches and pears, a herbal fineness; great body and brightness. A lovely pop of fruit on the finish.
We tried an American roast profile brewed in a Hario V60 and a Full City roast profile brewed in a French press. We loved both. Never leave us again, Nepal Mount Everest Supreme (and it's organic). Typically, the Nepal is enjoyed as a single origin because, not only is it perfect as is, the price is too steep for blending.
Roast Recommendation: Don't bury beauty. Go Full City and lighter. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
Our new batch of Nicaragua FTO makes us think of balmy nights and basking in the pause of the season. This is a smooth, creamy cup, pleasant and sweet (even a bit nutty), with a chocolate finish (that ranges from caramel to baker's chocolate depending on the roast). A fine summer companion, easy to sit with, and that's what these slow-down days are calling us to do.
Nicaragua coffee is known for quality and, increasingly, variety of flavour. Most of the country's offerings are shade grown and cultivated at high altitudes. The world's largest coffee beans (elephant beans) are produced here. Typically, beans from this region are similar in character to other Central Americans but Nicaraguans are the mild ones of the bunch.
Summer fine. Deep dive into this coffee pause.
Region: San Juan del Rio Coco, Madriz
Supplier: Procafe RL Cooperative (approx. 90 small-holder farmers)
Process: Sun dried, washed Arabica
Certification: Fair Trade, Organic, Smithsonian Bird Friendly (Bird friendly, organic, shade-grown coffee supports bird conservation, a healthy environment and the livelihood of small-scale farm owners).
Process: Sun and mechanically dried
Altitude: 900 - 1,900 masl.
SHG: Strictly high-grown
EP: European Process (Indicates the coffee has undergone rigorous sorting - usually by hand to ensure defective beans and foreign material have been removed).
Full City roast profile brewed in a French Press: This is the sweet spot. The bean's brightness is balanced by a pronounced sweetness and a smooth, round body; a most enjoyable brew. Opt for a pour over brew for more expression or a plunge-press for amped-up body. A lighter roast (City) gave us a muted sweetness (stone fruit, roasted chestnut) and a medium to high acidity; the nutty flavour really developed on the cool-down.
Embrace the darkness - this is a bean suited to a Vienna roast, espresso and for chillin' (cold-brew style). And that's what we did!
Cold Brew (Full City roast, coarse ground) brewed in a Bodum Bean Cold Brew Ice Coffee Maker: Using a 1 to 4 coffee-water ratio, we let this one sit overnight and supped our chill Nicaraguan for breakfast. What a delight! At this temperature, we have a more fruity cup (watermelon, a touch of cucumber) with a splash of nut. This is just the ticket for a hot summer night; maybe even add a dash of cream or milk. So nice.
Roast recommendation: The dark side. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the beans
These beans come to us from the Don Vicente Estate, located in Panama's ancient Volcan Barú region, in an area once occupied by the now extinct pre-Colombian Barriles culture.
Four generations of the Yanguez family have farmed here, dating back to 1930 when they first arrived from Spain. Their prize-winning varieties are grown beneath a canopy of native forest cover at 1,300 m above sea level.
Panama coffees are very sought after and frequently win awards.
A soft and sweet bean with a caramel aftertaste. Suits the wallet and a variety of brew methods.
Score: 85.3 (out of 100 points; over 85 considered excellent)
Varieties: Bourbon, caturra
Altitude: 1,300 masl.
Process: Sun dried and later mechanically dried. Given 60 days rest (permits carbon dioxide to escape; results in a more balanced, sweeter coffee).
Full City roast brewed in an Aeropress:
For those of you not acquainted with the Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker, see here (it's a gem). We enjoyed a perfect, soft body and a balanced citrus brightness (medium to low acidity); a clean and sweet coffee overall. A memorable finish delivered a pure caramel aftertaste - such pleasure!
City roast brewed in a French press:
We would typically opt for a ratio of 1:15 of coffee to water for the French press (for every 1 gram of coffee, add 15 grams of water). Instead, we went for a 1:12 ratio and the urge paid off: impressive! At this roast profile and ratio, we savoured a strong coffee, nicely balanced, with more citrus notes complemented by a hazelnut, caramel underlay that was quite delicious.
Roast recommendation: Medium to dark. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
Our new batch of PNG comes from Papua New Guinea's renowned Sigri Estate in the country's mountainous western highlands. At Sigri, Arabica coffee is hand-picked and rigorously sorted and resorted to ensure uniformity. Fermented over a period of three days and washed every 24 hours, the Sigri care regime produces one of the cleanest Indonesian coffees around. The result in the cup is a unique complexity that is most delicious. Papua New Guinea, unlike its neighbours, doesn't use the semi-wet method (aka Indonesia's famed giling basah technique which skips lengthy drying to arrive at market with a whopping 50% moisture content). As a result, PNG coffees are brighter, cleaner and not as earthy as other coffees from this region and tend to be creamy, juicy and buttery in character.
Of note: Arabica seeds from Jamaica Blue Mountain were introduced to Papua New Guinea's western highlands in the late 1930s, where the bulk of coffee is produced. Most of the trees on the island were originally grown from Blue Mountain Coffee beans and PNG coffees can be reminiscent of JBM offerings. The Sigri Estate is recognized internationally as a gourmet coffee producer.
PNG coffee is one of our most popular Daily Roast options.
Region: Sigri and nearby farms in the Waghi Valley and Mount Hagen
Process: Washed; sun dried on raised beds as well as rolls (aka "sails") spread over the ground
Varieties: Arusha, Bourbon, Carribean Blue, Catimor, Mundo Novo, Typica
Altitude: 1,600 masl.
Harvest: Late spring to mid-summer
Cupping Score: 85.70 (a score of 80 points or above on a 100-point scale is graded "specialty" coffee)