The GOODS from Caffè Artigiano
Vancouver, BC | Caffè Artigiano’s Morgan Allen won the 2013 Western Regional Barista Championship held at Artigiano Roasting Co. on September 28 & 29. Morgan is a barista at Caffè Artigiano’s Hornby Street location, who will go on to compete at the Canadian National Barista Competition taking place October 20-21 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
The event welcomed baristas from all over British Columbia to compete against each other in a fun, engaging coffee competition as they vied for the title of “BC’s Best Barista”. The competition featured baristas preparing a series of espresso based beverages in a very tight window of time for a discerning panel of official coffee judges. Judges rated the competitors on taste, design, speed, showmanship and creativity. For more information visit http://baristacanada.com. Read more
The GOODS from 49th Parallel
Vancouver, BC | Starting next week, 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters is introducing free weekly coffee cuppings at their Main Street café, open to the general public. At 2 pm every Tuesday afternoon, coffee enthusiasts are invited to join the company’s staff to learn a little more about coffee sourcing and regions, and then do a comparative cupping with examples of 49th Parallel’s current offerings.
So what is “cupping?” Cupping is a process that green coffee buyers, roasting teams and quality control groups use to determine quality and viability of a coffee. Where “tasting” is a more casual affair, cupping is a protocol with a 100-point scoring grade that systematically helps coffee professionals judge the quality of a coffee. The team at 49th Parallel cup at the roastery each morning to evaluate current production roasts. They also cup at origin with producing partners, again when a pre-shipment sample of a purchased coffee arrives, and also when a new shipment of coffee is received at the roastery.
Themes for the first few cuppings include:
• September 17: In season offerings including some from Honduras, Guatemala, Kenya and Ethiopia that are fresh off the boat!
• September 24: Focus on Honduras, cupping two of our favourites, El Ocotillo and La Benedicion, and talking about the Honduran market and how we work with our exporting partner there.
• October 1: A rendezvous with Roya, also known as leaf rust. We’ll talk about how this disease is affecting cup quality, and then cup unaffected and affected beans side-by-side so you can taste the difference.
The weekly cuppings will be held at 49th Parallel’s Main Street café (2902 Main Street at East 13th Avenue) at 2 pm every Tuesday afternoon. Reservations are encouraged, and can be made via the 49th Parallel Facebook page. Info about upcoming cuppings will be posted on the page as well. Read more
A very good morning to you. Happy (first ever) Family Day! We hope you were able to sleep in a little, and suggest that you launch things with a long cup of the good stuff paired with this tasty Thrash Lab short Specialty Coffee: The Pursuit of Deliciousness. (hat tip)
The GOODS from Revolver Coffee
Vancouver, BC | We’ve built a Christmas pop-up dedicated to “Coffee At Home” next door to our space, and we did it all out of cardboard! Each product is displayed out of the box and a staff member will always be on hand to answer any questions or help you find exactly what works best for your own specific needs and wants. In addition to the coffee paraphernalia, we’ll be stocked with coffee’s best friend forever: books! Sons & Lovers has put together another collection of used book bundles, which will be available as well. Hours will (generally) be from 12-5:30 every day. Visits can also be made by appointment. Read more
by Andrew Morrison | Over the weekend I met up with two of the Giannakos brothers (George and Chris) next door to their cafe, Revolver Coffee, at 325 Cambie. They’ve taken possession of the space that used to be Pennyblack (a tattoo parlour) and aim to use it as a retail shop over the holiday season. So if one of your loved ones digs the art of the perfect cup of coffee, pencil this place in as an essential browse. It will open up at some point later this week.
Once the New Year kicks in, they are going to completely renovate the space and connect it to Revolver in order to give the always packed coffee house twice as many seats and more retail stuff. Word is they’re talking to Craig Stanghetta to reprise his role as designer. Expect the finished expansion to open its doors to the public in the early Spring.
The GOODS from 49th Parallel
Vancouver, BC | Tuesday, December 4th sees the kick-off of what will be a regular education and event series at the Main Street 49th Parallel Café. A free holiday event, “A Coffee Carol” will combine a lesson on single-cup preparation, a tasting of the new Holiday Celebration Blend, and discounts for holiday shopping. It starts at 6:30pm and is led by 49th Parallel’s Barista Trainer Kyle Straw and Green Coffee Buyer Mette-Marie Hansen. You’ll not only learn more about how to make a perfect cup using the Kalita brewing system and about how the company sources it’s beans, but the experts will also stick around to answer whatever questions you might have. Discounts will be offered on select retail items for those participating in the event, making it a good opportunity to check a few people off your Christmas list. Read more
The GOODS from 49th Parallel
Vancouver, BC | Handily side-stepping the problem of sizes without resorting to socks, a gift from 49th Parallel is guaranteed to fit the bill this holiday season. Shoppers can easily order online or pick up select items at cafes serving 49th Parallel coffee. Stock up on the roaster’s annual Holiday Celebration Blend which easily works as a stocking stuffer, a gift for your dinner party host, a present for your Uncle Joe, or wrapped under the tree for that unexpected Christmas guest. The company’s unique Coffee Subscription program keeps giving all year, while gift sets make holiday giving a breeze. Details after the leap… Read more
Bummer that Revolver Coffee just stopped making their awesome Cold Brew coffee, right? And it won’t be back until the summer. But don’t spazz out just yet, because this bad boy buzz-slaker from Portland’s Stumptown has is now available at Vicino, Meat & Bread, The Salty Tongue and The Everything Café, and there was much (temporary) rejoicing.
The more things change, the more they et cetera. (via)
Methinks the joke’s on us.
I’d like to have the even-keeled, super-mellow Kyle Glanville make me a double the next time I’m in Venice, CA. Wouldn’t you? The guy’s demeanor makes me question if the beans he uses aren’t grown by faeries, consumed and shat out by unicorns and ground by forest elves high on mushrooms. Make it a triple.
Now that I regularly drive the 1.5 hour journey from the Similkameen to Kelowna to teach my wine classes I have had to create a coffee route to keep me fueled along the way. One of the most important things for me in any place is to find out where to get the best latte. It’s easier said than done up here, but over the years in the Okanagan (and now Similkameen) a number of decent coffee houses have popped up in the towns along my new path.
The first stop as I head north is Penticton. There are now two very solid stops to be found. If you are heading up the hill towards the Naramata Bench, a visit to the Bench Market is essential for good coffee and panini (and you can pick up some Vij’s curry for dinner). The second stop in Penticton is a new entry, the Bellevue Cafe. This little spot on Main Street makes for a perfect break as you browse your way through the farmer’s market in the summer months, and with free wireless it is also a good stop en route from which you can send a few emails.
After jumping back in the car and heading north, you are probably just finishing one coffee as you roll into Summerland. The Beanery at the end of Main Street makes a pretty decent latte and I am visiting this place a lot more as the roadwork between Summerland and Peachland causes many unplanned delays.
By Peachland, you can drop into Bliss Bakery for a coffee or sandwich and kill some time by staring out over the lake, but it is the next stop that is probably the most exciting for me.
Now, in one of the many large strip malls that have popped up in Westbank, you can find the Okanagan’s first Caffe Artigiano. This is the now the best coffee in the Okanagan and a forced stop on any journey through the big-box storeland of Westbank. I was there on opening day a couple of weeks ago and was pleased to see the new staff just making latte after latte until they’d reached the expected perfection. It is nice to see such commitment to product quality.
The only challengers to the Artigiano crown are the two Bean Scene cafes in Kelowna (Bernard Ave and Ellis Street). The coffee they call the “Traditional Cappuccino” is actually a small, strong powerhouse with perfectly textured steamed milk and intense flavour. The Bean Scene food is very ordinary, but for coffee they were the first ones here who were really committed to training staff to make it properly.
I have yet to explore in-depth the caffeine scene of Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos, or the north Okanagan around Vernon, but at least, for a good length of the Okanagan and Similkameen, we can be sure of finding a great cup of coffee now, another sign of the improving food scene in the Okanagan.
Rhys Pender is a wine educator, freelance wine writer, wine judge and consultant to the industry. Visit his company Wine Plus+ online at www.wineplus.ca.