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're welcoming a new coffee to our selection. The Brazil Natural comes to us from a very large farm in the Cerrado region of the world's most famous coffee-producing country, and, as its name makes clear: this bean was dried naturally. The natural method of drying coffee is an ancient practice that involves leaving harvested beans to dry under the sun. Simple!
This process has been likened to red wine by some connoisseurs with a renewed interest in the natural method. Like red wine, more of the skin and the fruit is absorbed. Because the seed of the coffee cherry is imbued with more of the coffee fruit's sugars and nutrients, the final result can be flavour magic. You will sometimes hear the term "wild in the cup" associated with naturally processed coffees. This method provides more in the way of flavour brilliance as well as flavour quirks. Its inconsistencies is one of the reasons why the wet method of washing the coffee seed off the fruit became the preferred process of the two. But never discount the merits of risk, coffee lovers. And this pick pays off.
A sweet softie with a thick body. Our favourite Brazilian bean in stock right now alongside the Brazil Planalto.
Grown at a low altitude of only 800m on a large farm and harvested mechanically. These indicators do not suggest the favourable outcome a bean cultivated at a higher elevation on a smaller farm with hand pickers does but this natural Brazilian is a total pleaser. In a country without the growing altitudes of more elevated coffee-producing regions, the natural process can accomplish more fruitiness, more flavour, more complexity.
Our taste test: Brewed in a French press at a City roast profile, we enjoyed a soft, velvety body reminiscent of white chocolate, a medium brightness (acidity), with a caramel underlay and some fruity flair. A pour over brew enhances these fruit notes. A most enjoyable, sweet aftertaste which is typical of the natural drying process.
For those of us who prefer a darker roast, the Brazil Natural brewed in a French press at a Vienna roast profile made a memorable impression. The deeper richness did not overwhelm or undermine the cup's balance. Great espresso potential here.
Roast Recommendation: To preference. 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 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're 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. 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 bean
Coffee from Sumatra is typically light on brightness. A quality cup tends to offer rich notes and a sweet overlay - it's a laid-back brew. But not this one! By no means shouty, this bean is lively nevertheless.
What to expect
Not the usual Sumatran. We enjoyed a vivid aroma and a super fresh (cedar, spice) flavour enhanced by a medium brightness (acidity) that energized this coffee in the most enjoyable way. But like other Sumatras, and one of the reasons many of us are fond of beans from here, a Sumatran smoothness remained. A lighter roast offers a more complex cup. At a Full City+ roast profile, the fresh notes are overtaken by a strong earthiness. A City roast gave us the balance we were looking for but most, we suspect, will prefer to go darker, as is the Sumatran way.
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
In the coffee world, when you hear "peaberry" you think "Tanzania". Why? Nobody's quite sure! Peaberry is not unique to the country and Tanzania doesn't produce more peaberry than other regions. The instant brand recognition is thought to have been cemented during the early development of specialty coffee from Tanzania, perhaps at the expense of its other offerings.
Peaberries are remarkable in that only one seed is fertilized in the coffee cherry: twins are the norm for the coffee species, peaberries are an only-child exception. Do they taste different? Some say most certainly, yes. Tanzanian Peaberry is often described as light in the cup and rich in flavour (a combination of soft and bright notes).
The peaberry tends to invoke a lot of mythology (the single seed contains more caffeine; the flavour is more intense, etc.). Of the various claims, one point of interest does appear to bear substance: a single, rounded seed (more uniform in size), like the peaberry, makes for an easier bean to roast and should produce a more consistent roast.
A popular peaberry at a great price; a pleasant bolt for a morning brew.
We like a strong start to the a.m. and this peaberry is definitely a cup to build the day on. If you're thinking of going to Vienna, you might want to skip that roast profile (too bitter) and opt for a City+ or lighter roast. Brewed in a plunge-press or pour over, a City+ roast produced sweet notes (including sugar cane) and an excellent body: bright, piquant with a tangerine, caramel finish. Now, that's a good morning!
Roast recommendation: Medium to light. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
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.