CHICAGO’S SIP OF HOPE | INSTANT SPECIALTY COFFEE | TORONTO COFFEE + TEA | BON MUA OREGON
Maypop St. Louis Coffee + Garden Shop PAGE 26
September 2018 » freshcup.com
Rev Up Your
New technology like Bext360 is letting coffee roasters revolutionize the future and get fully connected at origin. >> Page 32
T H E M AG A Z I N E F O R S P E C I A LT Y CO F F E E & T E A P RO F E S S I O N A L S S I N C E 1 9 9 2
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CONTENTS S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 | V O L . 2 7 . N O. 9 | F R E S H C U P M A G A Z I N E
D E PA R T M E N T S 10 Drink of the Month
Pistachio Baklava Latte by Torani
14 The Filter
Sip of Hope by Carrie Pallardy Golden Bean by Sean Edwards Maya Albert by Susan Johnston Taylor Jalinga Charity Run by Fresh Cup Staff
Specialty Instant Coffee by S. Michal Bennett
26 Café Crossroads
Maypop Coffee + Garden Shop by Luke Daugherty
66 The Last Plastic Straw
Florida cafés expand sustainable business practices. by Robin Roenker
F E AT U R E S 32 Every Which Way to Rev Up Your Roast
Roasters are endlessly driven to perfect their craft, whether switching gears from old to new equipment or ramping up production from small to large batch operations. by Brian Behrend
Toronto Tastes the Rainbow by Anne-Marie Hardie Toronto Café Crawl by Jana Eisenberg Tea is for Toronto by Anne-Marie Hardie
54 Bon Mua Oregon
Vietnam-via-Oregon coffee roaster/retailer business keeps three generations of coffee-farming family close. by Dan Shryock
10 12 58 62 64
EDITOR'S NOTE CONTRIBUTORS COUNTER INTEL C ALENDAR AD INDEX
SEPTEMBER2018 2018»»freshcup.com freshcup.com 8 8| |SEPTEMBER
PHOTO BY TR ADE COFFEE COMPANY
DRINK OF THE MONTH
EDITOR'S NOTE COME TO THE BEAN
Pistachio Baklava Latte INGREDIENTS ¾ oz. Torani Pistachio Syrup
alling all coffee roasters! Join Fresh Cup Publisher Jan Weigel and “Head Bean” Sean Edwards for the Golden Bean North America Coffee Roasters Competition—September 19–22 in Portland, Oregon. If it’s anything like last year’s gathering, attendees are in for an extended weekend of intensive coffee tasting, cultivating a coffee roasting community, creating new business opportunities, and picking up new tricks of the trade. For more information about this year’s event and why you—yes, YOU!—should attend and be a judge, turn to page 16 or stop by our booth #1614 at Coffee Fest LA and get the scoop straight from our team. The Golden Bean Awards night ceremony is a Medieval-themed gala, complete with dinner and dancing, so bring on your best “Game of Thrones” costume. Jan Weigel, a partner in Team Bean, says registration packets have been mailed. If you’re missing your packet, and for those of you who haven’t registered yet—what are you waiting for?! Get cracking over at www.goldenbean.com/entry-forms. To whet your appetite for Golden Bean 2018, check out Brian Behrend’s expansive overview of the latest, greatest discoveries impacting the roasting trade on page 32, while over on page 20, S. Michal Bennett profiles the rise and new shine on instant coffee. If you’re traveling to Toronto for the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show (Sept. 23–24), turn to page 44 for an in-depth look at the history of the city’s café culture and where the scene is at today. Brew strong,
PETER SZYMCZAK, EDITOR
¼ oz. Torani Honey Sweetener 2 shots espresso
ON THE COVER
8 oz. milk Garnish: pistachio crumbles
Bext360 founder and CEO Steam together milk, Torani Pistachio Syrup and Honey Sweetener. Pour into a mug and add brewed espresso. Spoon a thin layer of foamed milk over beverage. Garnish with pistachio crumbles.
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Daniel Jones at origin. Photo by Lauren Magin for Bext360
LATTE PHOTO COURTESY OF TORANI, EDITOR PHOTO BY CHARLES GULLUNG
FRESH CUP MAGAZINE | 11
CONTRIBUTORS With 14 years in the trade, he has worked for Quills Coffee, Kaldi’s Coffee, as an SCAcertified greens buyer, roaster, operations manager, and barista.
Puller of shots, roaster of beans, and father, BRIAN BEHREND sells coffee and coffee-related accessories for Beyond the Grind in Los Angeles, California. His passion for coffee culminated in owning
Buffalo-based writer and editor JANA
a café and coffee roasting company, then as a sales rep for a large Brazilian coffee importing company. He is a licensed Q grader and an SCA Level 1–certified green coffee buyer and coffee taster. Find him on Instagram @brew2brew.
EISENBERG enjoys eating, drinking, and telling and hearing stories. She’s a regular contributor to Buffalo Spree magazine and Buffalo magazine, where she’s written about waxing for men, kitchen makeovers, and cocktails.
S. MICHAL BENNETT co-owns Coffee Roboto, a mobile coffee cart that traverses the streets of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Besides slinging shots, she’s been actively putting pen to paper since she was 15, writing about food, health, and most things literary.
Freelance writer, editor, and long-time coffee professional, LUKE DAUGHERTY is currently based in St. Louis, Missouri.
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Toronto-based copywriter ANNE-MARIE HARDIE has been writing for the food, horticulture, and wellness industries for the past 10 years. Her work has appeared in CAA Magazine, Growers Talk, Spud Smart, Western Grocer, Western Food Processor Magazine, Canadian Grocer, and Tea and Coffee Trade Journal.
Ardent tea drinker and bookworm CARRIE PALLARDY is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago, Illinois. She
writes about a wide range of topics, from real estate and entertainment to education and global travel.
Lexington, Kentucky-based freelance writer ROBIN ROENKER has extensive experience reporting on business trends, from cybersecurity to real estate, personal finance, and green living.
DAN SHRYOCK enjoys coffee almost as much as riding his bike. The veteran journalist’s work covering travel destinations, cycle tourism, and the coffee industry has taken him across Italy and the West Coast. His work has appeared in NW Travel & Life, Oregon Wine Press, Cycle California! Magazine, and international coffee and tea trade magazines.
Full-time freelance writer SUSAN JOHNSTON TAYLOR covers personal finance, entrepreneurship, and lifestyle topics for The Wall Street Journal, Daily Candy, Parade, Entrepreneur, Boston Globe, Fast Company, and The Atlantic.
FRESH CUP MAGAZINE FRESH CUP FOUNDER WARD BARBEE 1938-2006 FRESH CUP PUBLISHING Publisher and President JAN WEIGEL email@example.com EDITORIAL Editor PETER SZYMCZAK firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor JORDAN JOHNSON email@example.com ART Art Director CYNTHIA MEADORS firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING Sales Manager MICHAEL HARRIS email@example.com Ad Coordinator DIANE HOWARD firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing Coordinator ANNA SHELTON email@example.com CIRCULATION Circulation Director ANNA SHELTON firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNTING Accounting Manager DIANE HOWARD email@example.com EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD DAVID GRISWOLD
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FRESH CUP MAGAZINE | 13
THE FILTER FOUNDER OF SIP OF HOPE Jonny Boucher (right), and manager Brian Kmiecik.
Sip of Hope Coffee Bar honors Suicide Prevention Month this September and all year long. The Chicago coffee shop gives 100 percent of proceeds to Hope for the Day. The mission: to break the silence that surrounds mental health issues.
By Carrie Pallardy
onny Boucher wants coffee to wake people up in more than one way. In May, he opened the doors to Sip of Hope Coffee Bar in Chicago’s Logan Square. Opening day drew quite a crowd, including Illinois State Senator Dick Durbin. Why all the fuss for a new coffee shop in a neighborhood full of them? Sip of Hope is coffee with a unique mission: break down the stigma surrounding mental health and do something to proactively prevent suicide.
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Boucher lost family members and a boss to suicide. So many people don’t know what to do when faced with that much tragedy, but Boucher decided to do something about it. In 2011, he founded Hope for the Day, a charity dedicated to suicide education and prevention. It is this charity that led to the birth of the Sip of Hope coffee blend and the bricks-and-mortar café in Logan Square. Why coffee? “It’s my theory about baristas, bartenders, and barbers. We see these people every day, sometimes
more than our own friends,” Boucher says. “Talking about mental health can be as easy as getting a cup of coffee.” In 2013, Boucher talked with Dark Matter Coffee in Chicago and founder Jesse Diaz. Together, they created the Sip of Hope blend under the Dark Matter brand. Hope for the Day got the blend on the shelves in Whole Foods and focused on doing outreach. Keeping his barista-bartender-barber theory in mind, Boucher started putting together a business plan for a physical location in 2016. By October 2017, the
charity had launched a funding campaign, which raised more than $150,000 in funding as of May. Before Sip of Hope became a reality, Boucher was faced with a frustrating search for a location. In the end, he found the ideal spot. Logan Square’s grocery co-op the Dill Pickle was picking up and moving to a bigger location, leaving behind an open space right across the street from the neighborhood’s library. To Boucher, it felt right to take over the community-funded co-op’s former space. Plus, the somewhat off-thebeaten path location on Fullerton Avenue gave the café a little distance from the neighborhood’s main drag, which has a booming coffee business. “Logan Square is known for coffee, but almost all of that is on Milwaukee Avenue,” he says. The location is allowing Sip of Hope to carve out a niche with a little breathing room between all of the neighborhood’s other coffee spots, but it also presents the perfect opportunity for more outreach. Not only will you find a wall of educational mental health resources in the café, Sip of Hope also hosts free mental health training right across the street at the library. Patrons can come in for coffee and take advantage of the resources on hand. If they want to talk to someone, everyone who works at the café is trained in Mental Health First Aid, a program designed to give people the tools to recognize the struggles of mental illness. Sip of Hope’s menu features its own signature blend, a rotating Dark Matter blend, and Dark Matter’s Chocolate City iced coffee blend on tap. The Sip of Hope blend is still sold at Whole Foods, as well as online and at other Dark Matter cafés. “Everyone’s life has been affected by mental health,” says Boucher. “For $5 you can get a great cup of coffee and contribute to a cause that is near and dear.” More info >> sipofhope.com
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SIP OF HOPE COFFEE BAR
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Golden Bean 2018 with Sean Edwards, Head Bean
bout 10 years ago, I had a vision about how we could showcase the unsung heroes of the coffee world. Coffee roasters are the heroes working at the back end of the coffee business. They are the ones who are developing the product that makes the face and flavor profile for the coffee company. Baristas get most of the glory for what’s essentially a team effort, which it takes to get green beans into the cup. They are an important part of the process, without a doubt, but I thought the story being told was one-sided. I thought we should reward the whole process of the coffee business, including the coffee roaster. With the help of the whole coffee industry, we could change the thinking of the coffee market and promote the skill of the coffee roaster by creating an independent coffee competition that involved all players. The key difference is that we’d have coffee roasters as judges. This has been happening for 100 years or more in the wine industry, so it could not be that hard to achieve… Or so I thought. The Golden Bean team has worked hard over the years to perfect all elements of the event based on feedback from past competitors. We’ve made changes to make it as fair and ethical as possible. Entries have grown annually by 20 percent, with thousands of coffees judged over the four days of the event. We utilize the latest technology and highest quality equipment to brew each category of coffee judged. This year is no exception, with Puqpress controlling the consistency of every espresso shot to ensure mistakefree tamping, and the latest technology in online booking, Award Force, will follow the coffee all the way from the entry to the judging table. I am also now very fortunate to have Jan Weigel as a major part of the Golden Bean team in North America. Jan has over 25 years of coffee industry knowledge through her involvement and ownership
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HEAD PIRATES: (from left) Sean & Kristine Edwards with Jan & Rod Weigel at last year’s awards ceremony.
PHOTOS BY HALEY AUSTIN PHOTOGRAPHY
MIKE PERRY, roastmaster/ green buyer for Klatch Coffee, took home several awards last year.
STEVE CUEVAS of Black Oak Coffee Roasters—the 2017 Golden Bean overall winner.
of Fresh Cup Magazine. She is a friend to all. Jan has made my life so much easier— organizing events, her understanding of the global coffee industry, and translating my Australian accent into English. Today, the Golden Bean Coffee Roaster Competition is the largest coffee roasting competition in the world. CALLING ALL COFFEE ROASTERS One of our biggest challenges, however, is getting coffee roasters to actually attend Golden Bean and be a part of the judging and conference format. To judge over 1,000 coffee entries, we need at least 100 coffee roasters in attendance. Roasters always say the same thing— that it is too hard to leave the business for so many days. The result we see, though, is that the roasters who do attend come back the following year. Once they’ve been to the Bean, they see the value and effort behind it. The Golden Bean is about the roasting community, and by attending, they can build a bigger, better network. After 10 years of national competition, we have networked hundreds of coffee products and service companies together, from green bean farmers and agents, to
foreign diplomats, machine manufacturers, and technology suppliers—all coming together over four networking days. Between judging sessions and over lunch, industry experts and suppliers talk about innovations and issues. Fun social events in the evenings let everyone get to know each another on a more personal level. Saturday morning is the Green Bean Zone, the place for green bean companies to cup their origins with coffee roasters in attendance. The Golden Bean is an amazing sales tool for coffee companies, with millions of dollars in sales generated. Affiliated businesses are also welcome to showcase their solutions at the Green Bean Zone, featuring the latest equipment available to coffee roasters and the smartest technology out there today. GOLDEN BEAN AWARDS GO WILD On average, we reward about one out of every four entries with medals, and we give feedback straight after judging. Awards Night, held directly after the event, is a way for everyone to cheer on the winners, and the theme this year is
“Medieval!” So let your hair go wild, put on your best “Game of Thrones” inspired outfit, and come have fun with the Golden Bean team. I am very proud of the Golden Bean team and for the achievements and growth of the competition. I invite all roasters to get involved and make some time to grow your knowledge base and participate in judging at the competition in Portland, Oregon. If you can’t attend, I urge you to enter your coffee. But most of all, we would like to see you there, September 19-22, 2018. Who will win Golden Bean 2018? More info >> goldenbean.com
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Hot Shot Maya Albert Joins Devoción LA
t age 25, Maya Albert already has serious coffee cred. While working as a barista at the renowned Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, she trained with roasting partners including Four Barrel, Blue Bottle, and Counter Culture. She also earned a degree in culinary arts and restaurant management from the University of San Francisco before joining Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan as the fine dining restaurant’s coffee director. Albert says her goal at Eleven Madison Park was to show that coffee doesn’t have to be an afterthought in a restaurant, and that coffee can hold its own with food and wine. She introduced a 10-ounce pour-over made with Wush Wush, whose price tag ($48) made headlines. She also forged a partnership with Colombian coffee roaster Devoción. Albert says she was drawn
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to the company because of “their story and the way they are handling their coffee,” which includes dry-milling the coffee in Bogotá and flying it directly from farms to the roasting facility in Brooklyn. Albert joined Devoción as its West Coast director in January of this year. Since then she‘s been training baristas, taking classes on how to repair espresso machines, and forging new partnerships for the company. “As a native Californian, I think there’s so much attention placed here on the quality of food and ingredients and everything we put in our body,” she says. “I would love for coffee to fall under that umbrella. I think there’s a new wave coming where people take more seriously the coffee that they buy and the companies they give their money to.” —Susan Johnston Taylor
SAVE THE DATE: November 16â&#x20AC;&#x201C;18, 2018 Jalinga Tea Estate Charity Run raises money for Assam tea workers and their families.
he first annual Charity Run at Jalinga Tea Estate, Assam will take place on November 16â&#x20AC;&#x201C;18, 2018, with 200 participants from 40 tea buyers from around the world already confirmed. All proceeds generated will go to the welfare of the Assam tea workers and their families. The gathering will incorporate tea tasting sessions, tea pairing with food and cheese, yoga, meditation, sporting activities, a music concert, and a pop-up exhibition showcasing handicraft work of local artisans of the community. The run will take place on the morning of November 18. Runners can choose from 1k, 3k, 5k, 10k, or 21k routes around the tea estate. Jalinga takes pride as the largest sustainable organic tea estate in India, producing black, green, oolong, white,
and matcha green tea powder, as well as organic herbs, spices, and flowers. It is the first and only carbon neutral certified tea estate in the world, registered with Atmosfair, Germany, as the first and only Carbon Credit project ever for a tea estate in the world.
With a goal of eliminating use of coal altogether, Jalinga is installing solar lighting in parts of the estate and by 2020 aims to be 100 percent solar powered, and all 1,500 workers receive a zero-emission cooking stove. FC More info >> jalingatearun.com
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#specialtyinstant Mass-produced foods have a reputation for being awful, cheap, and a last resort. But in 2015 and 2016, a few people within the specialty coffee industry began to ask themselves, “Does instant coffee really have to be so bad?”
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By S. Michal Bennett
PHOTO BY JOEL RINER
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF SWIFT CUP COFFEE
THE RISE OF INSTANT The instant coffee industry began as a progression of the Second Industrial Revolution into food and drink. Then necessity launched it into more widespread use during World War II. “It’s difficult in trenches to brew coffee, so having instant coffee was a big improvement,” says Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds. In 1965, Nestlé changed the world when it introduced its freeze-dried coffee brand Nescafé. And in 2009, Starbucks released Via, a micro-ground freeze-dried packet for the new generation. Instant coffee should be quick and easy, a pantry staple. It is also a gateway for tea drinkers, and a convenience for those who just need a quick fix of caffeine or who aren’t able to brew coffee fresh. Mass-produced foods have a reputation for being awful, cheap, and a last resort. But in 2015 and 2016, a few people within the specialty coffee industry began to ask themselves, “Does instant coffee really have to be so bad?”
SPECIALTY COFFEE, INSTANTLY In its simplest definition, instant coffee is brewed coffee that is dehydrated into crystals. When you’re ready to be caffeinated, just add water, hot or cold, and it is instantly ready to drink. There are two basic methods of dehydrating coffee: • Spray drying is the most efficient and cost-effective method, but it also strips the aromatic compounds out of the coffee. It’s a substrate for caffeine made at a low cost to producer and consumer, but at the expense of flavor and quality. • Freeze drying preserves more of the nuances of the original brew and is a more moldable process. Although a little more expensive, this process is currently used by all the specialty instant coffee producers (consumer prices range from $1.75 to $3.25 per cup). “It is the best way of preserving anything, really,” says Nate Kaiser of Swift Cup Coffee, a specialty instant coffee company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “This is what pharmaceutical companies do to preserve DNA and blood and things that have a lot of volatility to them.” Traditional instant coffee hasn’t always been the bad guy, but progress and convenience have changed it. “I think it deserves to be frowned upon, because of what companies do to cut costs and make the cheapest product possible,” says Kent Sheridan, founder and part-time janitor of Voilà Coffee, a rising instant coffee producer in Bend, Oregon. “They use really low-quality coffee to begin with, then use
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technology and a process that doesn’t represent that coffee at all. In fact, it’s supposed to cover up the defects.” In specialty coffee, we are intimate with the volatility of producing a good cup. We have developed standards, apps, charts, wheels, tools, equipment, methods, and whole organizations around defining how to control the unpredictability of coffee, from production to transportation to roasting to extraction. And that’s all great, because it means that we are making more great-tasting cups of coffee than ever before. Yet, in a way, we are in danger of again making coffee elitist. In spite of all our grand intentions, a large percentage of the population in the United States still makes Folgers their morning staple or knows Starbucks as the only “local” coffee shop close to their house. But instant could change that. “Me and my co-founder Kalle Freese found a lot of personal enjoyment out of coffee itself and serving other people coffee,” says Josh Zloof of Sudden Coffee, based in San Francisco. “Yet, we felt limited by the fact that with a traditional café you have to have four walls, and you have to be at the café to experience the coffee. We wanted a way to make it more accessible.” The question is “How?” The main dilemma lies in keeping coffee fresh enough to yield a drink similar to the original brew, while also controlling or eliminating variables. Zloof explains: “With whole beans, there’s realistically a two-week shelf life, if you’re trying to get into grocery stores. And you don’t know if the customer is brewing it properly or drinking it as it was intended to be. With instant, we can take a coffee from Equator Coffee & Teas and introduce it to people across the world, and it’s preserved perfectly brewed as they would want it to be brewed in the café.” Kaiser puts it this way: “There has been this great divide between those who are interested in specialty coffee and those who are conventional coffee drinkers. I think instant coffee offers the ability to speak to a new consumer
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF VOILÀ COFFEE
base in a way that has been unapproachable in the past.” The rise of instant coffee within specialty parameters is also good news for travelers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts and professionals. You can now buy tubes of Sudden Coffee in a couple airports and their Equator collaboration at REI Co-op, and pretty much every camping gear marketing campaign has a shot of people drinking coffee around a campfire. “Throughout the industry as a whole,” says Sheridan of Voilà, “we’ve seen a big push for camp coffee and travel kits. So, I think there’s been a lot of industry awareness towards taking this really high-end craft product and making it more accessible.”
CONTROLLING THE VARIABLES Although instant coffee makes up one third of the global retail coffee market, there are only a handful of
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUDDEN COFFEE
specialty instant coffee producers on the market at the moment and a few entrepreneurial roasters. What sets today’s specialty instant apart from instant coffee of yesteryear are their sourcing practices, their use of Arabica beans instead of Robusta, and their desire to represent the coffees they brew. What differentiates them from each other is carefully researched and meticulously tested processes unique to each company that best exhibit that company’s tastes and values. “We start with the highest quality of coffees,” says Kaiser of Swift Cup, “then we had to develop a method both on the brewing side and the freeze-drying side that allowed us to have some sort of scalability while also preserving that quality.” Each company closely guards its “proprietary process,” but all have developed products that they believe in and drink regularly. They use phrases like “simplified flavors” and “similar to regular coffee.” They come in a range of origins,
from Colombia and Kenya, to Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. Some can resemble the complexities of a pour-over or drip coffee, free of any “instanty” or “metallic” taste. Instant specialty coffee companies may be secretive about their processes, but they are inclusive with their products. Each is working with roasters to source quality, sustainable coffee, as well as partnering with them to expand their brand and make their coffees more portable and extendable. “We were impressed by how much of the acidity, the body, the richness is preserved when Swift Cup processes our coffees,” says Todd Purse of Brandywine Coffee Roasters in Wilmington, Delaware. “I hope that instant coffee will play a major role in converting consumers from regular coffee drinkers to specialty coffee drinkers,” Sheridan says. “Instant, hopefully, will be a key player in making specialty coffee a household name.” FC
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803 Marshall Ave. Webster Groves, Missouri 314-764-2140 www.maypopshop.com Coffee Hours: 7 a.m.–5 p.m. daily Garden Hours: Sun.–Thurs. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Coffee & Garden Shop
pecialty coffee shops and roasters are cropping up across the USA, but few cities have sprouted one quite like this. Maypop Coffee & Garden Shop is exactly what it says it is—a coffeehouse with a garden center. Customers can relax for a coffee in the cozy café, nestled in a stately 19th-century brick four-square house in the picturesque St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves. While they sip they can venture outside and shop from a bountiful collection of plants and learn from the knowledgeable staff about any of their gardening needs.
MAYPOP is situated in an inviting 19th-century brick house (right), with plenty of room out back for the state-of the art greenhouse (left) and vast garden center. 26 | SEPTEMBER 2018 » freshcup.com
PHOTOS BY MADYSON WINN
BY LUKE DAUGHERTY
LEAD BARISTA Cher Denny (pictured) strives for quality, brewing local roaster Blueprint Coffee on their classic lineup of La Marzocco, Mahlkonig, Fetco, and Nuova Simonelli machines. Denny and general manager Laura Tetley are long time St. Louis coffee professionals.
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The hybrid concept stuck with shop owner Tammy Behm, a longtime gardener, after an international gardening conference in Paris last year, where she experienced similar cafés and heard of their successes from other owners. After months of consideration, she shared the idea with her friend and co-worker Laura Tetley, a seasoned St. Louis coffee professional who had been studying horticulture and working together with Behm at another garden center. The pair, along with fellow garden aficionado and marketing mind Laura Caldie, set to work and landed on the spot after a brief hunt. The team opened the shop in May following a two-month build-out. For Tetley, who would become Maypop’s general manager, the idea of linking the worlds of coffee, tea, artisan baked goods, and gardening was only natural. “Coffeehouses are one of those amazing places where people from all over find you, and it’s approachable to a lot of different people, whereas plants can be intimidating, especially for beginners,” says Tetley. “So our coffee is kind of that bridge into our nursery.” The concept goes deeper than simply combining gardening with coffee. For Tetley and Behm, these different trades all fit together under the umbrella of intentionality and care for the environment and community. The name Maypop comes from a nickname for the native passionflower vine and invokes this intentionality. The plant is ornamental and also produces edible flowers that can be used as a sleep aid, making it the perfect symbol for the types of plants they favor, what Behm calls “plants with a purpose.”
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PHOTO BY MADYSON WINN
CUSTOMERS CAN SIP THEIR COFFEE while strolling through an abundance of plants that are both beautiful and useful in myriad ways. General manager Laura Tetley (above) melds her passions for coffee, horticulture, and community through her work at Maypop.
“The classic or traditional garden is, that flower’s pretty, I’m going to plant a lot of them,” Tetley says. “We want to still have beautiful gardens, but we’re looking for beautiful flowers that also function as herbs, or as pollinator plants, or are beneficial to wildlife, so that we’re thinking about the broader ecological community and the human community, and sustaining it for the future.” This philosophy extends organically into the café. “We select these plants with intention, and with coffee and tea we’re doing the same thing,” Tetley says. “With specialty coffee in particular, you’re taking certain steps to make the flavor the best it can be. Those movements are also intentional.” Behind the bar, the menu and equipment list are kept simple. There’s a 2-group La Marzocco Linea Classic and Fetco brewer paired with Nuova Simonelli Mythos and Mahlkonig GH2 grinders. Coffee offerings are the basics: drip coffee, hand-brewed V60s, cold brew, espresso, and milk. “I think the coffee should shine,” says lead barista Cher Denny, another longtime St. Louis coffee professional bringing her expertise to Maypop. “We’re looking for vendors with a heart, thinking about their food or coffee all along the chain,” Tetley says. For coffee, she and Denny knew they wanted to work with St. Louis roaster Blueprint Coffee, known for their commitment to sustainable sourcing and intentional producer partnerships. They emphasize high-quality tea as well, which led them to Big Heart Tea. “She just had so much knowledge, intention, and background on each and every
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DENNY CURATES A SIMPLE MENU (above), adding seasonal offerings (bottom right) with herb-based simple syrups from the shop’s garden center. The team carefully selected its vendor partners to ensure baked offerings (above and bottom left) and tea were on par with their coffee.
one of her teas,” Tetley says. “She’s doing the same thing with tea that Blueprint does with coffee, and a lot of times tea gets overlooked, so we really appreciated that.” Maypop aims to go beyond straightforward retail to sharing knowledge as well, by offering classes on an array of topics related to gardening, food and drink, holistic living, and partnering with local non-profits. In all their endeavors, Behm says, they’re looking for ways to connect with and educate the community, consider-
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ing what a modern garden center should look like. “I think what we’re seeing is a shift everywhere around the world in retail, in how people want to make choices in how they spend their money,” she says. By combining the café experience with gardening, Maypop appeals to a broader range of people, and that ability to connect broadly is central to Maypop’s mission. It’s more than simply coffee or plants. “That’s where you’re going to have impact and change in this world,” she
says, “is when the kids come in and they pick out their butterfly gardens, and they go home and they want to protect and make sure that it’s healthy.” It’s this mindset that gives Maypop its own niche in St. Louis, as both a garden center and a coffee shop, and one they hope will make a mark on the city. “I think more businesses are trying something new, thinking outside the box a bit,” Tetley says, “and also considering how what they do affects the community around them and the global community as well.” FC
LATTE/SCONE PHOTO BY KIM DILLON, OTHER PHOTOS BY MADYSON WINN
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ILLUSTRATION BY JORDAN JOHNSON
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ou can roast everything you can sell, but you can’t necessarily sell everything you roast. Growing a coffee roasting business requires a finely tuned machine balancing sales, roasting capacity, staffing, cash flow, and much more. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself unable to keep up with demand for your delicious coffee, you’re on the road to growing a successful business. Improving efficiency while scaling up is one key to keeping pace. Many decisions factor into your plan and can affect your success before you’ve even started down that path. Improving or maintaining quality while growing is even more difficult. Many roasters have difficulty producing coffee that tastes the way they want it to on new equipment. It’s all too easy to get stuck in the trap of trying to transfer roast profiles that worked on your old equipment onto the new equipment and ending up with unexpected or subpar results.
FIND THE RIGHT ROASTER Coffee roasters are always working hard to maintain their skills, like sensory roasting, cupping, and brewing techniques. Thanks to advances in technology, roasters are able to fine-tune their approach and create the best roast via a variety of new means and methods. Take data logging, for instance. There are roasters out there who still rely on binders and graph paper to track all of their roasts, and others who rely on memory to track them. Thanks to technology, however, software is digitizing the process and making it easier than ever to track and ensure consistency in your roasting process. Typica (typica.us) is a free, dynamic software suite developed by Neal Wilson, who you may know as an SCA coffee skills class instructor. With minimal investment in a thermocouple or two and a digital interface, you can bring your current roaster into the modern age. Typica features an extensive toolset that enables you to track
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TYPICA was designed and developed by Neal Wilson (pictured above), coffee roaster and co-owner at Wilson’s Coffee & Tea in Racine, Wisconsin. A closeup of the screen shows two temperatures, profile translation (a feature that improves batch-to-batch consistency), rate of change, cooling timer (so you don’t have to stick your hand in the coffee to see if it’s cool), a multi-range timer that shows time since the most recent development milestone, and total roasting time. You can also see weight loss specification and integration with the Javalytics degree of roast analyzer.
ARTISAN (above) is an open-source software that helps coffee roasters record, analyze, and control roast profiles. When used in conjunction with a thermocouple data logger or a proportional–integral–derivative controller (PID controller), this software can automate the creation of roasting metrics to help make decisions that influence the final coffee flavor.
TYPICA PHOTOS BY NEIL WILSON, ARTISAN PHOTO BY MARKO LUTHER
inventory, remind you to order more green coffee, interface with various color measuring systems, and even keep track of roaster maintenance. Artisan (artisan-scope.org) is another free logging application that has taken off. Roasters such as San Franciscan include support for Artisan software right out of the crate. Various PID, Arduino, Modbus, and Phidget support is baked right in, so you can transform virtually any coffee roaster into a data logging powerhouse. Evaluate your profiles, store your cupping sessions, use that data to create new profiles, and even automate roasts through event or PID control.
by moving a portion of the supply chain onto a digital ledger secured with Blockchain technology. While there is still much debate as to the validity of this method, one thing is certain: people will continue to look to technology to solve problems. For example, Bext360 envisions a future where coffee is collected, graded, and sorted by a machine at origin. This would allow farmers to get paid more and faster. It would also allow the supply chain to be recorded all the way from grower to
Phidget 1048_0B digital thermocouple interface offers another affordable option for data logging that will bring any roaster into the digital era. This USB interface, coupled with one or two thermocouples, will allow you to use your computer to track roast profiles, schedule your roasts for the day, manage your inventory, and more.
THE NORMS FOR FINDING, SOURCING, AND TRADING COFFEE HAVE ALSO EVOLVED, THANKS TO NEW DIGITAL METHODS.
TRADE UP The norms for finding, sourcing, and trading coffee have also evolved, thanks to new digital methods. Several traders and technology providers are promising to create additional value and revenue for coffee farmers
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consumer. Ultimately, that consumer could tip the farmer for the cup of coffee they’re drinking—the same way they’d tip a barista for preparing their coffee.
CUP WITH CONFIDENCE KNOWING EACH SESSION WILL HAVE CALIBRATED WITH EXACT GRIND SETTINGS EACH AND EVERY TIME.
SAFE ROASTING The Do’s and Don’ts of roasting coffee are important to follow. Safety is priority number one, as important if not more so than roasting the best batch of coffee you can. The list below will help you achieve both.
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > DO < < < < < < < < < < < < < < Do plan for a fire. I remember my first roasting equipment lecture at a Roasters Guild Retreat. The instructor asked, “Who hasn’t had their first roaster fire yet?” At the time, I thought it was an odd way to phrase the question, but the reality is that every coffee roaster is likely to have a fire at some time, so
PERFECT THE CUP Digital grinding is now here with the new Mazzer ZM, featuring precise, to-the-micron grind settings and grinder-to-grinder calibration. Cup with confidence knowing each session will have calibrated with exact grind settings each and every time.
be prepared for it. Keep equipment in place for a fire, and train your entire roasting staff on how to properly respond when—not if—a fire occurs. Do install an emergency water suppression system. Also, consider using a tool like the Vortx EcoFilter, which uses atomized water to scrub the exhaust. This system makes chaff collector fires virtually impossible. Do keep your roaster and exhaust system clean as a whistle. Establish a protocol based on the number of hours your roaster is used. Making sure your ducting is easy to disassemble and reassemble makes this task much easier. Not only will your coffee taste better, but your likelihood of fire and the severity of fire will be greatly reduced. Do know how the airflow system works on your roaster. Cutting off oxygen is a cleaner way to stop a fire than having to use water or a fire extinguisher. Shutting down airflow will generally put a fire out or at least slow it down enough to make it manageable with water.
< < < < < < < < < < < < < DON’T > > > > > > > > > > > > > Don’t walk away from your roaster during a batch. Becoming distracted during a roast is a leading cause of roaster fires. Roasters left unattended are more likely to let a batch get out of control during the roasting process. Don’t rely on your roaster’s built-in alarms. Oftentimes, it’s too late by the time you’re hearing the screeching whistle and the gas is shut off. By then, the fire has started and you’re on to plan B. Don’t panic! We’ve all heard stories of people frantically pulling panels off
The IKAWA sample roaster enables hands-free sample roasting that practically fits in the palm of your hand. This tiny innovation from the UK has roasters sharing sample profiles with importers and producers. It’s small enough to take
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their roasters and introducing more oxygen to the fire, or dropping the beans—which are currently on fire—into the cooling tray and having the fire spread from the drum and into the cooling tray. Don’t let other people use your roaster until they are fully trained. This includes knowing your particular fire prevention protocol.
GRINDER PHOTO COURTESY OF MAZZER, ROASTING COFFEE PHOTO BY VLADIMIR PROSKUROVSKIY
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IKAWA: Gareth Jones, Head Trainer at Square Miles Coffee, demonstrating the IKAWA Sample Roaster.
to origin and robust enough to crank out 60 samples per day. Using your tablet or phone, you can profile roast your samples 50 grams at a time. Setting a profile is as easy as drawing
SETTING A PROFILE IS AS EASY AS DRAWING THE PROFILE ON YOUR DEVICE AND SENDING IT TO THE ROASTER VIA BLUETOOTH. the profile on your device and sending it to the roaster via Bluetooth. Once you’ve found a profile you’re happy with, you can easily share it with other partners in your supply chain and with the same roaster and same
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PHOTO COURTESY OF IKAWA
SAN FRANCISCAN: This roaster (the SF-75 is pictured below) features an energysaving afterburner with modulating controls, which cleans both hot and cool air.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SAN FRANCISCAN ROASTER CO.
profile—now you can be sure everyone is tasting the same coffee. Proudly made in the USA, the San Franciscan SF-25 is a 25-pound capacity roaster that can roast up to 100 pounds of coffee per hour with virtually no emissions, dust, or chaff escaping into the atmosphere. An afterburner comes standard on this model and is specifically designed to pass inspections in areas with strict air quality guidelines. You’ll also run into fewer problems with “sensitive” neighbors. When you’re ready to scale up even bigger, San Franciscan also offers a 75-pound roaster that offers the same environmental benefits, but you can roast 300 pounds of coffee per hour. You can also retrofit your roaster with the Vortx EcoFilter, a waterpowered cyclone that scrubs emissions while only using the electricity of a small toaster oven. It attaches
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to any coffee roaster, is available in different sizes, and promises to appease your neighbors. The EcoFilter cleans 100 percent of chaff, dust, and oil, reduces smoke by over 80 percent, and installs in less than a day.
NEW TRICKS OF THE TRADE
THE VORTX ECOFILTER uses the energy of a cyclone and the power of atomized water droplets to remove smoke, odors, dust, and chaff from coffee roasting exhaust.
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After you’ve invested in a great new roasting space, or purchased and installed a new roaster, even if you have all the latest, greatest gadgets, there’s still a chance your numbers will not rise to the level you’ve hoped for. This may lead you to wonder if you are doing everything you can to produce the best tasting coffee. Are you doing everything you can to increase my coffee sales? Interestingly enough, there is no connection between these two goals. Beyond simply roasting a great cup of coffee, there are other ways you can win mind share and increase sales.
PHOTO COURTESY OF VORTX ECOFILTER
MINI ROASTER, BIG MISSION The Behmor 1600 Plus is capable of roasting one-pound batches and features a patent-pending smoke suppression system that allows you to roast in the comfort of your own kitchen—or at origin. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to get started with five pre-programmed roast profiles. Features such as adjustable drum speed and manual control of key roast settings let you perfect the roast. Joe Behm developed the unit after seeking to discover everything he could about coffee. At origin, he discovered that many coffee farmers haven’t even tasted the crops that they grow, which inspired him to provide Behmor roasters to various community co-ops and training centers, where producers could learn to roast and taste the coffee they are producing. Having that knowledge directly impacts their ability to earn a better living with their crops. Through these efforts, Behmor has donated more than 300 roasters to national coffee associations and toured and donated to associations in El Salvador, Costa Rica, Burundi, and Guatemala. Behmor plans to expand this program with a goal of impacting 100,000 people worldwide.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BEHMOR
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The new Specialty Coffee Association Coffee Skills Program is comprised of six modules ranging from an “Introduction to Coffee and Barista Skills” to “Roasting and Sensory Skills.” With these modules and other classes offered at all levels, there is a program that can be tailored to any interest and skill level. Another approach is by strategically using social media to leverage interest in your brand. Every roaster has fretted over a bad review posted anonymously online or a negative comment left on your Facebook feed. In this day and age of instant feedback, customer service, coupled with a strong social media presence, is more important than ever. What does your Instagram account say about your business? Many companies enjoy using Instagram casually, posting an occasional photo or offering comments sporadically. However, by employing a more targeted approach to your Instagram profile, you will find there are opportunities to increase
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your business for relatively little money or effort. Just like you strive to maintain the quality and character of your coffee roasts, you must achieve consistency in your posts. Keep your photography sharp and focused. Respond and engage with geotagged posts to get people excited about posting from your shop or about your brand. Having a great Instagram account may not be enough to create the lifestyle brand you’re after. That’s when a marketing consultant can help you increase your outreach and gain new customers. Firms and agencies are available to contract work with social media influencers, create content for various social media platforms, and most importantly, give you the analytical tools necessary to see how well your investment is paying off.
SALES = SUCCESS Have you ever wondered how certain roasters from certain cities are selling
coffee to wholesale accounts all over the country? Is it because of name and brand recognition? Is their coffee really that much better than everybody else’s? Actually, no surprise, it’s because they are going out and actively selling their coffee. If you’re at the shop cupping coffee, chances are you’re not out selling coffee. Consider hiring an outside sales manager or perhaps even have your staff rotate out on sales calls. App-based services deliver freshly roasted coffee right to your customer’s doorstep without having to trek all the way to your favorite neighborhood roaster or café? If you ask some people, they will pay for this convenience. As much as we all strive to have a warm, welcoming spot, sometimes customers or potential customers can’t or don’t want to leave the comforts of their own home. Offering your menu on some or all of the delivery platforms in your area is a good way to grow your business.
TRADE COFFEE CO. ensures that customers receive only the freshest product possible—coffee is only roasted after an order is placed.
And if you can’t beat them, join them. There’s a new service called Trade Coffee Company (www. tradecoffeeco.com) that sells over 50 of the most prominent specialty coffee roasters in the country. Adding your brand to this service will certainly increase sales and reach.
Successful businesses balance an excellent product with an emphasis on marketing and sales. Without brand recognition, your roaster, café, or whatever will be difficult to sell. Remember: the goal is to get your product in the hands of loyal customers. If you fail to produce a consistent, quality product, you won’t keep growing. Smart marketing and technology can only help so much to grow a successful coffee or tea business of any kind. FC
PHOTO SOURCE: TRADE COFFEE CO.
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REUNION ISLAND Coffee Bar in the Roncesvalles area of Western Toronto.
oronto’s coffee scene is “world class,” says Adam Pesce, director of coffee at Reunion Island Coffee. “The baristas are super engaged and interested in making coffee better every day, while roasters are invested in making Toronto a coffee destination.” One of the earliest to enter the roasting scene was Adam’s dad, Peter Pesce, who wanted to up the quality of locally roasted coffee. He launched Bourbon Coffee in 1978, one of the first speciality roasters in Canada. Kraft Canada took notice, offering to purchase the thriving company in the late 1980s, with Peter joining the corporate ranks for a brief period.
In 1995, once his non-compete agreement expired, Peter returned to his roots and opened a new roastery, Reunion Island Coffee. Primarily operating as a B2B company, Reunion Island Coffee has helped to change the face of coffee across the region. Adam joined in 2005 and has expanded the sustainability efforts of the company. “We take a wide holistic approach to sustainability. We are not focused on one method or one farmer, but how do we make the whole process more sustainable?” All of Reunion Island’s Coffee are traceable, and most are certified. Reunion Island’s café is located in the Roncesvalles area of Western Toronto.
The bar offers washed and natural processed coffees, with an aim to educate customers about the differences that processing can make in the coffee. “Our patrons began to understand the impact that processing had on the beans,” Adam says. “It started a new conversation about the possibilities of coffee.” Customers can order a flight of espressos including both processing methods and milk on the side. “Coffee consumers in Toronto are broadly more aware, educated, and engaged,“ Adam says. “It is forcing us to continually push the limits, to discover the next cool and interesting thing that will help push the Toronto coffee industry further.”
DETOUR COFFEE: The café is located in Dundas, about 45 miles southwest of Toronto.
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PHOTOS ABOVE COURTESY OF REUNION ISLAND COFFEE, PHOTOS BELOW COURTESY OF DETOUR COFFEE
MISHI MUNDI COFFEE: Brothers Andy (left) and Michael Perez source their beans from Satipo, Peru.
aelin McCowan and Crystal Asher, cofounders of Detour Coffee, delved into the roasting industry with a hope of highlighting lighter roasts they experienced during travels abroad. “There was nothing really good at home, they were roasting really dark,” McCowan says. “New Zealand was talking about all of these experiences in coffee. I dove really deep into barista culture with the hope of bringing that culture home.” McCowan actively begin researching roasting, and eventually purchased a small Dietrich roaster of his own. “We installed this roaster in a real tiny space in the back of the building,” McCowan says. Toronto café Dark Horse Espresso Bar became one of Detour’s first big clients, which helped them to grow exponentially. In 2011, the roastery was relocated to a 1500-square-foot location in Burlington, which allowed both the expansion of the roastery and the opportunity to fulfill Asher’s dream of a Kiwi-inspired café. Detour also offers a subscription service, delivering roasted beans right to the customer’s door. McCowan and Asher value their connections with producers and strive to source quality coffee. “We wanted to make a contribution to the industry in terms of quality. We wanted to make sure that we shifted the needle in terms of quality, which included sustainable choices,” McCowan says. He visits
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TORONTO TEA AND COFFEE EXPO
producers to see their living conditions and how the coffee is produced. “The innovation of coffee is coming from the oddest of places, from home brewers experimenting with new processes to small little pockets in the world,” McCowan says. “Coffee offers such a varied experience.”
s awareness of the possibilities of beans continues to grow, there is a segment of consumers seeking unique, exotic, coffee experiences. Mishi Mundi Coffee roasts and sells beans sourced from the province of Satipo, Peru, where Michael Perez and his brother, Andy, grow and harvest fruit, vegetables, and coffee cherries. The land serves as a rescue center for coati which has indirectly led to a source of highly coveted coffee. Coffee cherries are fed to the coatis, who instinctively select the best Peruvian beans. The digested beans are then retrieved, cleaned, dried, and shipped to Toronto for roasting. “Initially, I bought a second-hand roaster that I practiced with until I achieved the right roast for the highly aromatic Mishi coffee,” Perez says. “I wanted to make sure that the flavor was preserved.” Most sales are made online, and a portion of the proceeds is used to help protect the coatis.
Lucan Woods, founder of the Toronto Tea and Coffee Expo, which took place April 14–15, 2018. The expo connects passionate Torontonian coffee and tea entrepreneurs with consumers. “It’s an entrepreneurial city, which is why we have this amazing café culture. It is extremely business friendly, the economics are here, and people are willing to explore the café culture,“ Woods says. “If you start with a neat idea,” shares Woods, “there will be Torontonians lined up to try it.” FC LUCAN WOODS
he scene in Toronto is super progressive and diverse,” says
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TORONTO CAFÉ CRAWL Toronto is a beautiful, bustling, and broad city spread over almost 250 square miles, but with a terrifically condensed downtown spanning shopping, restaurants, museums, universities, green spaces, and history galore. Neighborhoods like Little Italy, Little Portugal, Chinatown, the Kensington Market, and Distillery District are charming and full to the gills with all manner of cafés. BY JANA EISENBERG
MANIC COFFEE: Tony Souphanthong (below, at left) behind the bar at his shop. Acorn and squirrel symbols in the café carry through a playful homage to the brand’s inspiration.
MANIC COFFEE The name Manic Coffee arose out of a problem—specifically, a squirrel problem. But, instead of getting angry at the energetic critters who were digging through their used coffee grounds outside, owner Tony Souphanthong says he and his team embraced the mascot and based their entire brand on it. And it works memorably in the cute acorn graphics and signature china in the store. Manic, located on an unprepossessing block near Kensington Market, has simple décor and an almost single-minded focus on quality. As Souphanthong says, “The primary goal at Manic Coffee is to create high-quality coffee with a consistent taste. My ‘from scratch’ philosophy fuels a strong artisanal focus as well. I
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also want to ensure that the customer experience and service are good.” Souphanthong believes that coffee brings the community together. “We are one of the very few coffee shops without wifi. We focus more on having people coming in to mingle and chat,” he says. A steady flow of customers including families, hipsters, and neighborhood regulars attests to the fact that Souphanthong has reached his goals. He’s created a friendly, welcoming place, where he pulls a beautiful espresso and makes a pretty cappuccino. He uses the La Marzocco Linea PB espresso machine and appreciates the consistency of the results. And, for the high volume of business he’s doing, he’s got a Mazzer Robur grinder.
Another motivation for opening the shop was his roast preference. “It’s harder to find a quality lighter roast with all the flavors,” he says. “Our coffee beans are freshly roasted from Social Coffee & Tea, based in Richmond Hill, Ontario. We carry a variety of singleorigin from Brazil, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and Colombia.” Beverage options also include french press tea and nitro cold brew, and Manic won’t just get you buzzing—you can also get a bite. Lunch items include freshly made sandwiches on locally baked focaccia bread, matcha chocolate cookies, and protein-packed, vegan, gluten-free breakfast goods. More info >> maniccoffee.com
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MANIC COFFEE
DINEEN COFFEE’S flagship Yonge St. location evokes an earlier era, while bringing a modern attention to service and amenities.
the past decade in intensified barista training, Young notes, baristas must be dedicated experts in calibration and how to maintain the machines. With classic dark wood and tiled décor, the full-service coffee bar is a destination for tourists and locals, business people, and the ubiquitous lap-topper. The airy, high-ceilinged space has options for standing, sitting at an elevated bar, plus table and counter seating. Details, like green bankers lights hanging in homage to the business community, and gorgeous hand-painted tiles add touches of glamour, juxtaposed with modern lighting. “Coffee bars need places where people can sit and do work, read a contract, or the paper,” Young says. “We really wanted to offer a variety of ways to enjoy the experience. There’s a different character and mood when you’re enjoying a coffee at a high-top table, in a low-slung chair, on a stool, or bench.” More info >> dineencoffee.com
DINEEN COFFEE CO. The brainchild of folks involved in entertainment, branding, and content, this elegant café just off Queen Street has a rich history and strong message to convey. First, the name: Back in the late 1800s, the story goes, an Irish immigrant named William Dineen operated a bustling furrier business in the locale. Riffing from there, co-owners Ivan Schneeberg, David Fortier and John Young traded and expanded upon the Dineen family history to create their café. “As coffee drinkers ourselves, we thought about what the approach should be. We loved the product quality
PHOTOS COURTESY OF DINEEN COFFEE CO.
at independent cafés, but not always their service model,” says John Young. Attention to detail and a bespoke nature has enabled Dineen to link the story and design of each of their shops—there are three now—with the area or building where it’s located. “The Yonge St. Dineen is inspired both by what we imagined in a turn-of-the-century retail shop and a European café, like those found in Paris or Dublin,” Young says. Dineen’s beans are sourced from small farms in Central and South America. Behind the bar, there are La Marzocco espresso machines. Staff preparation is another important element. With the trends over
Customers entering this gorgeous space find themselves inside a glowing wooden jewel box, like a secret drawer in an antique desk. The exterior wood doors are framed by green moulding that sets the stage for the magical interior, dark and serene—a space where beautifully prepared food, from pintxos to desserts, and tasty beverages are delivered by friendly and efficient servers. A foresty feel was the intention. The bar features laser-cut, hand-finished mahogany and lighting that creates organic shapes on the ceiling, walls, and bar. The goal was to create an entire experience, according to co-owner Robin Goodfellow. “The wood design and the bar and coffee programs are inseparable. We designed the space and menus so that people can enjoy it throughout the day, regardless of what meal or drink they’re having. We knew we were going to do pintxos, and we also knew that we wanted to put a lot of thought into each element of the food and drinks we serve.”
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BAR RAVAL: Coffee drinks are well made and served simply, any time of day or night.
“Coffee is the final thing that is generally offered guests after a meal—at the same time you’re asking them for money,” Goodfellow says. “It’s usually the most overlooked and under-thought element in restaurants.” Raval truly emphasizes the entire experience, from design to décor, cocktails, food, and coffee programs. Drinks are presented in simple cups, beans come from Toronto favorite Sam James, and shots are pulled on La Marzocco semiautomatic espresso machines. “The model is ‘manual’ enough that the baristas have to dial in when they’re setting up in the morning, but in the evening, when the bartenders are creating the coffees, they don’t have to,” Goodfellow says. “We selected it for all-day success. It’s as nerdy as we want it to be, while suiting the restaurant as a whole.” More info >> thisisbarraval.com
REUNION ISLAND COFFEE BAR While Reunion Island has been roasting and distributing coffee since 1995, its eponymous coffee bar has only been in operation since 2015. The Roncesvalles
hotspot combines a fertile marketing, testing, and training ground for the coffee company to engage with its busy clientele. Making sure that the company stays relevant is one of Director of Coffee Adam Pesce’s main areas of focus. The shop is where he can see how coffees perform, whether consumers like them, and he can continue to respond to trends and put forth new ideas. “In our flagship store, we can control the process as much as possible. We selected the equipment carefully and train our staff to be extremely knowledgeable and capable,” Pesce says. “We made some intentional choices about keeping some things minimal, like the food menu and the shop design, since we really want the focus to be on the coffee. We use a Modbar system, so there’s no big espresso machine between customers and our staff.” Food service is provided by awardwinning restaurant The Federal. Recently, a mini-sandwich shop was added within the coffee bar, called The Gold Standard. The company has begun a program called “Small Lot Series Single Origin Coffee,” which they are serving in both
washed and natural processes. “We thought naturally processed flavors were fun and taste good in milk-based drinks,” Pesce says. “Now, working with suppliers who source the beans from a segregated lot, or use small lot varietals, we made the decision to make espressos and americanos with the washed roast, and our milk-based beverages with the natural. Our customers now know more about it, what the taste profile is, and they have started to seek it out.” The café’s overall design is inspired by a Scandinavian aesthetic, with clean lines, a lot of white, and art on the walls to help warm it up. The shop is open daily until early evening, and afterwards it is available (and often in use) as a rental space for events, meetings, and so forth. Roncesvalles offers many café choices, so Reunion Island works hard to stand out. “Our staff is very friendly and welcoming,” Pesce says. “We’ve built up a base of regulars who keep coming back. I’ve always believed that the best cafés are great community hubs.” FC More info >> reunionislandcoffee. com/coffee-bar/
REUNION ISLAND COFFEE BAR: A modern feel was the goal, with minimal separation between barista and guest.
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PHOTOS ABOVE COURTESY OF BAR RAVAL, PHOTOS BELOW COURTESY OF REUNION ISLAND COFFEE
TEA is for Toronto BY ANNE-MARIE HARDIE
hen Shabnam Weber, president of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, first entered the tea industry, the tea options and cafés in Toronto were extremely limited. “How was it possible that there were so many coffee shops, even specialty olive oil, but only a few tea shops?” Weber wondered.
SHABNAM WEBER in Malawi in 2016.
As global coffee chains appeared on the streets of Toronto, customers eagerly explored this new world of coffee, but for tea lovers the choices were limited. Mindful of this gap in the industry, Weber opened the first Tea Emporium in 2000 in Toronto’s Leaside community
as an outlet for consumers to explore the world of tea. Weber recalls customers wandering into the shop uncertain if it was a new type of candy shop or even an apothecary. “The customers were so open and hungry for something like this,” Weber says. “People would come in looking for a green tea and they were shocked when we responded, ‘Absolutely, which one?’” Weber says her true role is as a tea educator and advocate to help consumers expand their knowledge of speciality, premium tea products. “When I got involved with the Tea Association as a member,” Weber says, “I made the conscious choice that you can’t influence the tea conversation if you’re not a part of the conversation.” Weber lobbied from the retailer position, stressing that the tea industry in Canada was changing and it was critical that the Tea Association of Canada responded to this shift. Weber began writing the tea sommelier program for the Tea Association of
TEA DRINK COURTESY OF PLUCK TEA, SHABNAM PHOTO COURTESY OF SHABNAM WEBER
Canada, which eventually evolved into the Academy of Tea.
ealish founders Michael Rachmel and Laura Chodola also saw opportunity in Toronto’s specialty tea industry. They opened in 2005 and offered an alternative to the traditional Asian and British tea shops in the region. “We were two world travelers who had gotten to enjoy some really nice looseleaf tea,” Rachmel says. “Back at home, tea was still stuck in a bottom corner in most menus.” The shop, which initially offered over a hundred teas and serves tea only, was instantly embraced. “We were trying to give a whole new interpretation of tea to the area,” Rachmel says. “We wanted to blow consumers’ minds with the unique things in tea. When we opened, we didn’t offer an earl grey as we thought it was too normal, too inside the box.” However, Tealish quickly learned that offering unique teas didn’t have to mean neglecting the foundational products,
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TEALISH TEA AND ALL ITS SPLENDOR: Raelene Gannon (above) at the Tea Guild of Canada’s meeting in May 2018.
and so they extended their tea line to include not one variety, but several variations of earl grey. “We made the experience fun and engaging,” Rachmel says. “We encouraged customers to ask questions, to sniff the tea, and truly create an experiencedriven interaction at the retail level.”
s Canadian consumers of tea broadened their palates and knowledge base, so grew the number of entrepreneurs seeking out certifications in the industry. In fact, it was a course at George Brown College that inspired Raelene Gannon to open her wholesale tea company, Tea and All Its Splendour. “I knew from the first class that I was in trouble,“ Gannon says. “However, it
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was the food pairing course that propelled me into providing wholesale tea and educating chefs across Toronto.” Gannon began showing chefs across the region how to integrate tea into the entire culinary experience. Chefs were actively seeking pairing recommendations and ways to integrate tea into dishes, due to increased consumer interest based on tea’s flavor and health attributes. “Today, it doesn’t surprise me when I go to a bakery and see an earl grey scone,” Gannon says. “I feel that I sparked the revolution.” In 2008, Toronto’s specialty tea scene expanded again with the introduction of Montreal-based David’s Tea and Teavana shops. However, the tea experience at most high-end restaurants still lagged behind.
Jennifer Commins, founder of Pluck Tea, joined Gannon’s mission to change that. Working as a marketing manager for a German furniture manufacturer, Commins had spent a lot of time entertaining at some of the top restaurants in Toronto. “Coffee had come such a long way, with restaurants offering beautiful lattes and coffee cocktails. But tea was still a pot of boiling water, a mug, and a tea bag on the side,” Commins says. “I looked at the industry and realized that Toronto is in the fruit belt,“ Commins says. “There were so many incredible ingredients that could be used in tea.” Appealing to the foodie locavore trend, Pluck Tea offered blended teas with local ingredients including dried ice wine grape skins from Niagara, Muskoka
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEALISH (LEFT); PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEA GUILD OF CANADA (RIGHT)
PLUCK TEA: Jennifer Commins with Bill Redelmeier, owner of Southbrook Vineyards. Pluck Tea’s Southbrook Berry Blend uses dried grape skins from Southbrook, which is an organic, biodynamic vineyard in Niagara, Ontario.
cranberries, Quebec maple syrup, and Prince Edward County lavender. “One of my core ideas was upcycling ingredients, diverting a food product that would have been composted into an ingredient for an incredible tea,” Commins says. She developed partnerships throughout the region, including Chaser Juice, where Pluck Tea installed a drying facility to collect citrus peels, and local chocolate maker Chocosol, which sends their cacao shells to Pluck. To ease the transition into a new tea line and make it financially feasible, Pluck Tea purchases back any existing inventory from a new partnership, donating it to local charities and food banks. “It was a great tool for us to help remove the barrier for change,” Commins says. “We have been doing this since the beginning, and it has
PHOTOS COURTESY OF PLUCK TEA
helped develop a vibrant tea marketplace that is great for everybody.” Education is a standard part of the Pluck Tea partnership, which includes training servers to use a tea box with loose versions of the tea to spark a conversation with patrons. “The conversation immediately changes from, ‘Are we going to have tea?’ to ‘What tea are we going to have?’ ” Commins says. Today’s tea consumers are seeking new varieties and ways to experience this beverage. According to Gannon, membership in the Tea Guild of Canada has steadily risen, thanks to several sold-out tea-focused events held in Toronto throughout the year.
ea entrepreneurs continue exploring new ways to take the tea conversation
to the next level. “The city of Toronto is very diverse,” Rachmel says. “There are amazing Asian teas that you can get in Chinatown, wonderful English traditions, and some modern tea concepts. Toronto is really a great tea town.” The influence of “Third Wave” specialty coffee is starting to spill over on to Toronto’s tea scene. Pluck Tea recently released their “Founder Favourites,” looking to appeal to this growing segment of tea-savvy Torontonians. Weber, who has 18 years and counting in the industry, has seen the palate of the Toronto consumer evolve. “When we began, we were in the infancy stage of tea,” Weber says. “Where just over a year ago, people were coming in and asking about Gyokura and dragon pearls. It is definitely an exciting time to be a part of the industry.” FC
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LAN NGUYEN tends his coffee plants in the Daklak Province of Vietnam.
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BON MUA COFFEE
LAN MARBERRY next to bags of Bon Mua Oregon coffee at a local retailer.
LAN NGUYEN on his farm with blossoming coffee plants.
on Mua Oregon is a small-lot coffee company driven with enthusiasm by Lan Marberry in the United States. She is quick to point out, however, that her business really starts in Vietnam’s Daklak Province, in the tiny village of Hoa An. Coffee production in Daklak Province accounts for nearly half of the nation’s total coffee production, according to the Vietnam Coffee-Cocoa Association. That’s where Lan Nguyen, Mayberry’s father, has been tending coffee plants since 1978, first producing Robusta cherries on a small plot of land slightly more than 300 square meters in size. For years, Nguyen labored through hot, humid seasons tending his bushes and waited out the rains to begin his harvest each October to December. His processed beans then were sold through cooperatives to large brokers and shipped to destinations unknown. “My father was one of the very first coffee growers in southwest Vietnam,” Marberry says, sitting with him in a Salem-area coffee shop during one of his recent visits to Oregon.
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BERT ORTIZ (left) and Lan Nguyen check the processed coffee beans ready for roasting.
Nguyen worked his Robusta crop for nearly 20 years, gradually increasing the size of his farm. He planted black peppercorn vines, growing as high as 8–10 feet in a manner similar to hops, alongside the coffee bushes. “Bugs don’t care for the pepper so much, so they lay off the coffee,” Marberry says.
VIETNAM’S COFFEE REPUTATION Then, when trade barriers fell in the late 1990s, the Vietnamese government flooded the world market with its already burgeoning supply of Robusta beans, thus pushing prices down. The move left a bitter taste with exporting countries. Vietnam was saddled with a reputation for producing less-thanquality beans. Government officials responded by giving growers more freedom to plant new crops. Nguyen took the opportunity to plant Arabica at Hoa An’s 5,000foot elevation. “People like my father, who have been with the soil, understood we need to be more innovative and more creative to maintain Robusta and also work on
Arabica,” Marberry says. “The government encouraged farmers like my father to work independently.” Four years later, Nguyen was producing quality Arabica coffee beans. “With 40 years of growing, coffee has become a part of my heart and my mind,” Nguyen says. “I don’t differentiate between growing Robusta or Arabica. To me, it’s coffee and it’s something I live with. The Arabica is very good, very good taste and has very distinctive flavors to me.”
BIRTH OF A BUSINESS It wasn’t until 2016 that the idea of starting an American-based company began to take form. Marberry and her eight-year-old son Kevin were visiting Hoa An when Nguyen posed a memorable question. “Father asked, ‘Do you know who has been drinking our coffee?’ ” Marberry recalls of the conversation that sparked a business. “At that moment, I think deeply about my father,” she says. Marberry, who was attending Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management at
FAMILY CROP: Nguyen with his grandson, Kevin, then age 7.
the time, began developing a plan. She would export the family crop to Oregon, roast it, and sell it by the bag. Then, she thought, her father would know who drank his coffee. The family farm, now about 20 acres in size, produces more than 8,000 kilos of green beans a year. About 90 percent of the crop is Arabica beans and the rest are Robusta as a backup crop. Once the beans arrive in Oregon, Marberry contracts Salem-area roaster Bert Ortiz to prepare most of that inventory. It is then bagged and sold in grocery stores, including Rosauers, Market of Choice, Thriftway, and Roth’s Fresh Markets, and co-ops across the Pacific Northwest. (Black pepper from the farm’s peppercorn vines are stocked as well.) Ortiz roasts Bon Mua beans in 50-pound batches when not producing his own Tico’s coffee. Working with Lan and her team, Ortiz has refined several roasting profiles for what eventually is bagged as light medium, medium, and dark roast coffees. And while Lan Marberry refers to Ortiz as “our hero,” their work together means “more than the coffee itself,”
Ortiz says. “It’s the relationship that goes along with it. What I’ve done with the product is my interpretation. It’s consistent.”
SAMPLING REACTIONS Lan Nguyen, now 61, still maintains his farm in Hoa An with a nephew’s help. He and his wife visit Marberry and her family twice a year but return home in time to oversee the harvest and processing. Marberry, meanwhile, is routinely found in grocery stores offering cold brew samples to curious shoppers and then encouraging them to try something hot. She takes time to speak with each customer. In one moment, she attentively listens to recollections of an American Vietnam War veteran. In another, she bends her knees to gain eye level and tell her family story to children. In a scene frequently repeated during a two-hour sampling session, a hesitant shopper sips the medium roast. It may be the notes of chocolate, nuts, caramel, lemongrass, or perhaps even five-spice that grabs the attention.
“Where does this come from?” Vietnam, Marberry proudly says. The shopper now looks puzzled. “Can I buy this here?” Yes, she says, handing the shopper a bag. “And this is my father. He grew the coffee.” To the side is Lan Nguyen, watching the scene unfold time and again. And, he sees who is drinking his coffee. FC
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Fresh Brew Plus Brewing flavorful coffee is easy with the 10-cup Fresh Brew Plus Thermal Carafe Coffee Maker (EC-YSC100), which comes with a permanent stainless mesh coffee filter. The vacuum insulated stainless steel carafe keeps coffee hot for hours with no burnt flavor, while the removable water tank makes filling easy and is fully washable. BPA-free. zojirushi.com
Super Bites Tosiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Super Bites cashew bars are perfect for on-the-go customers who want tasty protein-packed snacks without extra sugar or a messy chocolate coating. tosi.com
Whole Foods Tea All it takes is one minute of steeping to reach foodie nirvana with the new tisanes from Star Tree Tea, featuring wholesome ingredients like apple, hibiscus, beetroot, and raisins. Serve hot or chilled. startreetea.com
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fresh businesses & products
Controlled Kettle Control your pour over with the new Brewista Smart Pour Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle. Press the control button and set your exact temperature with the digital controls. A keep warm feature even maintains temperature up to one hour. Tap the power button and water preheats precisely in seconds. mybrewista.com
Sleek Steeper The stylish Libre Tea Infuser is our go-to for making tea to-go. Loose-leaf, fruitinfused waters, and more are easy to steep. libretea.com
Hygge Mug Give your cafĂŠ the hygge treatment with Viva Scandinavia Minima Balance tea mugs. vivascandinavia.com
Free Parfait Accommodating dietary restrictions for customers need not be difficult. Parfaits with grain-free granola from Julieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Real and dairy-free coconut yogurt from So Delicious are tasty, vegan-friendly, and free of soy, gluten, and GMOs. juliesreal.com / sodeliciousdairyfree.com
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Sheer Serviceware Insulated glass cups from Joco’s Hardware Lane line let your beverages be the star of the show. jococups.com
Brews-All Bottle Pour over, cold brew, tea—the new Brew Bottle from Soma Water handles them all. The double-wall glass keeps beverages at the perfect temperature while your hands stay cool and comfortable. drinksoma.com
Create refreshing cold sodas
From orange pekoe to pu-erh,
and set your café apart with
tea guru Sebastian Beckwith
the natural flavors of Pearl
condenses his vast knowledge
Soda Company’s new botani-
of tea in this wonderful pocket-
cal tea syrups. Flavors include
sized guide to all the tea
Vanilla Rooibos, Sarsapa-
essentials—from leaf to label
rilla Puerh, and Jasmine Rose.
and everything in between.
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Vicarious Tea The world’s most gorgeous tea estates are captured brilliantly in The Life of Tea by Michael Freeman Photography. Virtually journey and get a taste of tea cultures in China, Japan, India, and Sri Lanka. michaelfreemanphoto.com
Onesie for All The One Touch Teapot by Kinto features a combo lid and large mesh filter that stays snug while pouring. The round pot provides ample space for tea leaves to steep, and a large handle makes handling easy. kintostore.com
Spirited Away Spirit Tea takes its name from the Latin spirare meaning “to breathe,” believing that making and tasting tea with intention is like taking a deep breath and tasting the wind, sunlight, and clouds that make the miracle of flavors in the cup. spirittea.co
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TRADE SHOW & EVENTS CALENDAR SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER 3–5 TEA & COFFEE WORLD CUP Birmingham, United Kingdom tcworldcup.com
SEPTEMBER 6–8 FLORIDA RESTAURANT & LODGING SHOW Orlando, Florida flrestaurantandlodgingshow.com
SEPTEMBER 8–9 MIDWEST TEA FESTIVAL Kansas City, Missouri midwestteafest.com
SEPTEMBER 15–17 CAFE SHOW CHINA Beijing, China www.cafeshow.cn
SEPTEMBER 19–22 GOLDEN BEAN Portland, Oregon goldenbean.com
SEPTEMBER 20–23 LET’S TALK COFFEE Huila, Colombia letstalkcoffee.org
SEPTEMBER 23–24 CANADIAN COFFEE & TEA SHOW Toronto, Canada coffeeteashow.ca
SEPTEMBER 24–27 PIR EXPO COFFEE Moscow, Russia pirexpo.com/en
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SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER 29–OCTOBER 1 ATHENS COFFEE FESTIVAL Athens, Greece athenscoffeefestival.gr/en/
OCTOBER OCTOBER 10–12 COTECA Hamburg, Germany coteca-hamburg.com/en/
OCTOBER 16–17 CAFFE CULTURE London, United Kingdom caffecultureshow.com
OCTOBER 18–22 CHINA XIAMEN INTL. TEA FAIR Xiamen, Fujian Province, China teafair.com.cn/en
OCTOBER 25–27 TRIESTESPRESSO EXPO Trieste, Italy triestespresso.it
NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 7–9 INTERNATIONAL COFFEE WEEK Belo Horizonte, Brazil semanainternacionaldocafe.com.br/en/
NOVEMBER 7–9 WORLD LATTE ART CHAMPIONSHIP Belo Horizonte, Brazil worldlatteart.org
NOVEMBER 7–11 SINTERCAFE San Jose, Costa Rica sintercafe.com
NOVEMBER NOVEMBER 8–9 ALLEGRA WORLD COFFEE PORTAL CEO FORUM Los Angeles, California allegraceoforum.com
JANUARY 2019 JANUARY 17–19 CAFE MALAYSIA Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia cafe-malaysia.com
FEBRUARY 2019 NOVEMBER 8–11 CAFE SHOW SEOUL/ WORLD COFFEE LEADERS FORUM Seoul, Korea cafeshow.com
NOVEMBER 9–18 KONA COFFEE CULTURAL FESTIVAL Kona, Hawaii konacoffeefest.com
NOVEMBER 11–12 HX: THE HOTEL EXPERIENCEROOMS TO RESTAURANTS New York City, New York thehotelexperience.com
FEBRUARY 7–9 MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL COFFEE EXPO Melbourne, Australia internationalcoffeeexpo.com.au
FEBRUARY 13–15 AFRICAN FINE COFFEE CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION Kigali, Rwanda afca.coffee/conference
MARCH 2019 MARCH 1–3 AMSTERDAM COFFEE FESTIVAL Amsterdam, Netherlands amsterdamcoffeefestival.com
DECEMBER DECEMBER 1–2 COFFEE & TEA FESTIVAL VALLEY FORGE Valley Forge, Pennsylvania coffeeandteafestival.com
MARCH 3–5 INTERNATIONAL RESTAURANT & FOODSERVICE SHOW New York City, New York internationalrestaurantny.com
DECEMBER 3–7 INTERNATIONAL COFFEE & CHOCOLATE EXHIBITION Riyadh, Saudia Arabia coffeechoco-expo.com
MARCH 3–5 COFFEE FEST New York City, New York coffeefest.com
DECEMBER 5–7 INTERNATIONAL COFFEE & TEA FESTIVAL Dubai, UAE coffeeteafest.com
MARCH 13–15 COFFEE & TEA RUSSIAN EXPO Moscow, Russia coffeetearusexpo.ru/en
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Go to freshcup.com/resources/fresh-cup-advertisers to view the Advertiser Index and the websites listed below.
Alchemy Golden Turmeric Elixir
Barista Pro Shop
Café Femenino Foundation
Fresh Cup Magazine
Gosh That’s Good! Brand
Grandstand Glassware + Apparel
Malabar Gold Espresso
Maya Tea Co.
Monin Gourmet Flavorings
Mountain Cider Co.
Tea Trade Show
Theta Ridge Coffee
US Roaster Corp
Your Brand Café
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29 37, 42
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THE LAST PLASTIC STRAW Replacing plastic straws is just one small step toward broader sustainability. By Robin Roenker
eattle has banned them. San Francisco is poised to do so. As the national movement to eliminate plastic straws keeps gaining momentum, these cafés have found that the simple step often opens the door to other, more wide-ranging sustainability practices.
DANDELION COMMUNITY CAFÉ Owners Cheryl and Chris Blanc have been using Vio brand biodegradable straws at their fully plant-based café and tea room in Orlando, Florida, for several years. They’re also investigating adding Aardvark brand paper straws to their mix.
They compost their tea leaves and coffee grounds and work hard to portion correctly, so there’s hardly any food waste. They offer discounts for customers who bring their own reusable cups, including “Tumbler Tuesday” where guests can get a free fill-up of the tea of the day. They successfully fought a local food delivery service’s attempts to use plastic bags when delivering their food. “We use paper bags only. Our customers would not have been OK with plastic,” Cheryl Blanc says. And, the café has begun partnering with Keep Orlando Beautiful to co-sponsor clean-up nights, where café customers and staff, along with public volunteers, help spruce up a nearby park. “To bring it all full circle, we pick up a lot of straws,” she says. The café is committed to staying on top of the ever-changing sustainability market. “We have to constantly keep updating our knowledge about it,” Cheryl Blanc says. “The type of products you can buy today is so insanely different than what was available five years ago.” More info >> dandelioncommunitea.com
But their preference is for customers to drink straw-free. “We rarely hand out straws,” says Cheryl Blanc, the café’s general manager. “We have them at the tea station for people to take as needed.” The café has also adopted sustainable, plant-based packaging, including Platewise bamboo plates and bowls and Greenware PLA-based plastic cups for iced drinks.
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Well before Seattle’s citywide ban against traditional plastic straws went into effect this summer, Caffè Umbria’s three Seattle locations had already switched to compostable, plant-based straws. The same is true at their Portland and Chicago locations, and also their new location coming this fall to Miami Beach, Florida. Danica Copus, Caffè Umbria’s retail district manager, says the cafés may eventually make the move to paper straws. But Copus feels the real success has been the cafés’ efforts to reduce straw use entirely. “We don’t put a straw in anyone’s drinks,” says Copus. “We have them available, but we don’t actually hand anyone a
straw. They’re on the counter, and if they would like one, they can use it.” The café has also worked hard to reduce single-use products across the board, including stir sticks. “Instead of a throwaway item, we offer spoons,” Copus says. “We have several locations where stir sticks are simply not available.” Similarly, for onsite guests, Caffè Umbria uses only washable, reusable vessels. “We use so much porcelain and glassware in our cafés,” Copus says. “And we offer discounts for guests who bring their own, reusable take-out cups. I think as we move forward, we may want to increase those incentives.” In the months ahead, Copus says Caffè Umbria’s cafés will continue working toward a common goal—using less plastic and less waste overall. “Our baristas are socially aware and really involved in wanting to make the planet better,” she says. FC More info >> caffeumbria.com
PHOTOS (ABOVE LEFT) COURTESY OF DANDELION COMMUNITY CAFÉ, PHOTO (ABOVE RIGHT) COURTESY OF CAFFÈ UMBRIA