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
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
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 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
We've been delighted in recent times with every batch of beans from Honduras we've been able to get our hands on. The largest exporter of coffee in Central America, Honduras is rich in diversity from coffee varieties to micro-climates. Typically, coffee from here is fruity (think tropical), with a sweet underlay or bouquet (chocolatey), and a delicate but distinct brightness.
Our newest Honduras offering is sourced from Cafetal, an international coffee trading company based in both Honduras and Canada focused on sustainable development for farmers, their plantations and the communities they are a part of. The beans were grown at Finca Lara, which has been a family-run farm since 1965 - Lara is the family name. Located in the Yojoa Lake Region in western Honduras, this area is also one of Central America's fastest growing travel destinations, a lure for its remarkable scenery and biodiversity and the country's largest natural lake (check it out!).
Flavour and character at a really nice price point. Honduras is on a roll!
Altitude: 1000-1100 m
Process: Fully Washed
Drying: Sun and mechanically dried
Certifications: Rainforest Alliance
City+ and Full City roast profiles brewed in a French Press:
This is a bean with character. We enjoyed a flavorful, fruity brew with an intense, medium brightness - quite a unique coffee and we definitely weren't expecting this much personality, based on previous cuppings of coffees from Honduras.
For this one, we'd opt for a Full City+ or Vienna roast profile. The Honduras SHG EP would definitely serve as a morning go-to for its strength and interest. At the price, we're looking forward to experimenting with blending and putting the Honduras to work as an espresso.
Roast recommendation: Medium-dark to dark. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
About the bean
Le Réveillon is one of our special in-house blends created especially for the festive season. It serves as a tasty reminder at any time of the year to slow down, you move too fast, you've got to make the moment last ... and cherish all that is good in life.
La vie est belle!
A three continent blend, Le Réveillon is a secret recipe that combines sweetness with a very good body and a bright and fruity pleasantness. A caramel underlay lingers to the finish of this tasty, satisfying brew. Le Réveillon is particularly well suited to the French press and drip brew method and was made to enjoy over food, in the company of others, or bathed in solitude at either end of the day.
This is the coffee for slow-living
Our taste test: An American (light) roast enhanced this blend's elegant berry, fruit flavour with a subtle spice underlay. A (darker) Full City roast produced a smoother body and a longer aftertaste with a caramel finish. In the end, we couldn't decide which we liked more.
Roast Recommendation: Versatile. For French press, a light to medium roast is recommended. If using a Hario V60 or Chemex drip brewer, the roast profile is more flexible; select to preference. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.View full product details
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
Once upon a time, Nicaragua was considered a Latin American coffee champ but a series of natural disasters combined with a civil war in the late 1970s, ongoing political strife throughout the eighties, followed by a devastating hurricane in 1998 (one of deadliest to hit the Western Hemisphere in more than 200 years) led to the country's disappearance as a coffee exporter for years. As Nicaragua rebuilds, so has the region's coffee industry and its unique coffee character. In the past decade, Nicaragua is increasingly recognized for its quality, shade-grown Arabica beans produced by small farmers at high altitudes.
Like other Central American coffee countries looking to save water, the honey processing method has gained in popularity here. Rather than wash off the gooey layer of mucilage that surrounds and protects the coffee seed, that layer is left to dry naturally and removed mechanically. Although this process consumes less water, the effort is labour intensive: coffee must be pulped, spread out to dry and then turned by hand. At a certain point, the beans will give the appearance of candied nuts, hence the description "honey". "Red honey" beans are left to dry for around 2-3 weeks. Black honey beans take the longest, with yellow and then white the quickest. The high sugar content of the mucilage results in a sweet flavour profile.
Our latest batch of Nicaragua Red Honey is also a micro-lot pick and that's of growing interest to coffee buyers. Micro-lots are small yields of coffee separate from the rest of the crop, cultivated for specific characteristics and flavour; they might be from a single farm, estate or cooperative and they can represent the "cream of the crop".
Nicaragua is back on the coffee map. This is a mighty fine entry - sweet and flavorful.
V60 Pour Over, American roast profile
A fragrant, well balanced, flavorful cup; medium brightness and a very nice complexity. As anticipated, this is a sweet brew - yellow fruits and "hello" orange marmalade! We tried a darker roast but we missed the fruity fun; light is so nice for this one.
Region: Nueva Segovia
Altitude: 1320- 1450 masl.
Harvest period: January through April
Roast recommendation: Light is a delight. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
Beyond the CupOur Nicaragua Red Honey is sourced from finca la Samaria. The Samaria farm, in Nicaragua's northern Nueva Segovia region, is located in the Comarca Las Camelias community. Abundant in lush vegetation and wildlife, Samaria covers almost 85 hectares of land, much of which is natural mountainous forest; of this, 40 hectares have been set aside for the sole purpose of maintaining and improving the natural habitat.
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.