by Andrew Morrison | Following up on the success of their Chinatown pop-up, Lukes General Store is set to open a permanent location at 49 West Hastings on the Downtown Eastside. If the address doesn’t ring a bell, that’s because it’s the brand new glass, concrete, and steel mid-rise between the Acme Cafe and Save On Meats. It hasn’t fronted a tenant until now.
“Vancouver has been really great to us”, says owner Gareth Lukes, whose family has operated Calgary fixture Lukes Drug Mart since 1951.” We love being here. There is so much great energy in this city right now and great communities with a lot of interest in the products and experiences we offer.”
The move to the larger, fixed address will allow Lukes to broaden their retail offerings and table a cafe experience featuring donuts from nearby Cartem’s Donuterie and coffee from the Bay Area’s highly regarded Four Barrel. If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, it’s the outstanding stuff they brew at San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery. This will be the first time their beans will see retail action in Canada.
For the shop’s shelves, Dry Goods Manager Veronika Rezucha (formerly of Lark on Main) will be bringing in bars from Mast Brothers Chocolate and products from Malin + Goetz Apothecary, Baxter of California Shaving, Juniper Ridge, Pendleton Woolen Mills, and McClure’s Pickles (to name just a few). Music aficionado Shaun Cowan, formerly of Scratch Records, is on board to manage the store’s vinyl selection.
And speaking of music, it sounds like we’ll be hearing plenty of it at Lukes. From an imminent press release:
“We have a reputation in Calgary as a key part of the music and culture scene. Not only is it a cool spot to hang out and buy music, but we’ve thrown great events and free concerts there with artists such as Shad, Rural Alberta Advantage, and Ladyhawk,” says Aaron Schubert, who, in addition to setting up Lukes’ Vancouver location, has deep roots in the local music scene as manager of the the Pack AD as well as booking venues such as the Biltmore Cabaret and the Rickshaw Theatre. “We’re definitely looking forward to doing some similar music and art events at the new Hasting Street location. We’re really excited to become a permanent fixture of Vancouver’s exciting and diverse cultural scene.”
Construction is already underway. If all goes according to plan, the doors will open in September.
Here’s a challenge for design wonks who love their coffee: which local cafe stamps their take-out cups with the coolest branding? We have our favourites in no particular order above. They are…
Top, left to right:
Middle, left to right:
Bottom, left to right:
by Andrew Morrison | Residents and workers on the western stretch of Hastings-Sunrise will soon be getting a caffeinated kick in their collective butt with the coming of Pallet Coffee Roasters. The new coffee outfit is landing at 323 Semlin Dr. just off East Hastings, courtesy of coffee wonks Sharif Sharifi and Shane Dehkodaei. Sharifi learned the trade working at Caffe Artigiano, the Cafe for Contemporary Art, Prado Cafe, and Rocanini Coffee Roasters’ roastery in Mt. Pleasant, while Dehkodaei used to own the Zodiac art cafe in Yaletown some 15 years ago (he’s been in contracting and construction ever since).
Pallet will be a roastery as a well as a fully fledged cafe; the bean-to-bag (and cup) process being visible from the cafe floor through a matrix of steel framed windows. The 2,000 sqft space used to house a fish packaging operation, so it took some time for it to be cleaned up to the presentable point that I saw it the other day (they took possession in February). It’s an interesting building inside and out. Dig the wooden pallet hanging from the ceiling!
Pallet will seat 16 people and serve mostly single origin coffees; five roasts and one espresso. They’ll have drip coffee for quick relief, a slow bar for pour overs, etc, and they were just unpacking their La Marzocco “Strada” espresso machine when I arrive the other day, so it’s clear they mean business. They’re still in the process of nailing down the extent of their food program, but they do have a small kitchen, so customers will have the option of getting fed. Opening day is set for mid-July.
The GOODS from Doi Chaang Coffee Co.
Vancouver, BC | For most of us it’s important to understand everything about what we buy; what’s it made of? Who made it? Is it produced ethically? Vancouver’s Doi Chaang Coffee Company wants to make it easy for you when it comes to picking out the best coffee gifts – with Doi Chaang, not only are you drinking certified organic and fair trade – you’re actually going ‘beyond fair trade’ as half of the company is owned by its farmers, the indigenous Akha Hill Tribe of Northern Thailand.
This partnership means the farmers are paid in excess of the price recommended by the Fair Trade Organization for their green beans, and since 2006, the Tribe has had continuous access to running water, electricity and improved infrastructure as a result. When it comes to our coffee – there is plenty to choose from:
Doi Chaang Coffee blends: The latest edition; we’ve taken our famous Thai coffee beans and have paired them up with certified organic and fair trade beans from Nicaragua, Peru, Brazil and more. There are four blends to choose from in bright, 340g bags: Social Medium (a medium roast), Hardwired (a dark roast), Espress-Yoself! (an Espresso) and Chillin’ (a light roast). Social Medium and Hardwired are also available in biodegradable, Keurig®-compatible aroma cups – perfect for the single serve coffee lover. For more information on our blends and biodegradable single serve options, visit our site here.
Doi Chaang Single Estate roasts: With six delicious roasts in total, there’s something for everyone. Among the roasts is our Single Estate Dark, Medium, Signature and Peaberry. Take a look at our shop, here, to learn more about the rest of our Single Estate selection.
And for the coffee lover who has everything, we offer a cage-free Wild Thai Civet Coffee; for more information on how we collect our civet coffee beans and why it is a must for any coffee fan, take a look here. Doi Chaang Coffee is available in major retailers such as: London Drugs, Safeway, IGA, Costco, Quality Foods and more. Take a look at our store locator for details and our online shop, too. We wish you happy holidays, and an even happier New Year! Read more
The GOODS from Revolver Coffee
Vancouver, BC | We’ve entered the danger zone. We’re less than two weeks out from Christmas and things are about to get serious. Trying to find a gift your someone will genuinely enjoy and use is extremely tough, but that’s why we’re talking right now. Just last week, we opened a brand new room right beside Revolver, codenamed ‘Archive’, and it’s loaded with coffee equipment and a staff member on hand to help you with any questions you may have (accessed through the front or right through the wall at the rear of Revolver). That said, there are some essentials that every coffee lover will love, so without further ado, we present to you a concise gift guide for the coffee lover in your life. Bonus: we’ve got it all in stock!
1. The Aeropress | We love these guys and though they look ridiculous and like anything BUT a coffee brewer, any barista will tell you that it makes a fantastic cup of coffee. It’s quick, easy and extremely durable, making it the perfect camping, travel, and daily coffee companion. It’s become such a cult item that the ‘World Aeropress Championship’ is actually an annual event. $36.50 (+tax)
2. A Burr Grinder | One of the first things you’ll read about when looking to take your home coffee brewing to the next level is getting a proper grinder. That’s where/when the word “burrs” gets thrown around a lot. Basically, there are 2 types of grinders: ones that use “blades” and ones that use “burrs”. Burrs are important because they provide a uniform grind that enables your coffee to be extracted evenly (as opposed to under- or over-extracting). We carry a hand grinder and 2 electric grinders. $70-150-600 (+tax)
3. A Temperature Controlled Kettle | Just like in our bodies, water is an overwhelmingly large and important component of coffee. You want to have the water you use to brew at the proper temperature to ensure the proper extraction. (Think of it like when you’re cooking chicken – you don’t want to undercook it do you?) We carry the Bonavita Kettle, which has the added bonus of great pouring spout, a built in timer, and the ability to hold any given temperature stable for an hour at a time. $100 (+tax)
4. A Scale | We just barely dodged that tomato you hurled at us along with accusations of snobbery and hurtful names like “nerd” – but hear us out. Yes, it is true. You can make great coffee at home without a scale. With a scale, however, you’ll be able to make consistently great coffee at home and it will be much easier for you too. We promise. As a bonus, you’ll never have any wasted coffee as you’ll only use what you need, every time. Plus, it’s just super fun to geek out and go all mad scientist on your coffee. $25-40 (+tax)
5. The Kone 3 by Able | The Kone is a permanent filter made out of stainless steel, 100% designed and manufactured in ‘Murica. It is cut by sharks with frickin’ lasers on their heads. Ok, sharks no…but lasers, yes. Basically, it’s a permanent coffee filter that replaces the need for paper when brewing in a Chemex or Hario pour over. If you’ve been to Revolver, you’ll have seen them on our brew bar. It’s our default way to make every single cup of drip coffee. And we’ll give you our brew ‘recipe’ as well, just to show you what it’s all about. $60 (+tax)
6. 33 Coffees/Wines/Beers/Whiskies | A great way to learn about your likes and dislikes is through the age old process of keeping track through the written word. Based out of Portland, Oregon, ’33 Books’ makes small, pocket-sized journals designed to help you keep track of your next 33 Cups of Coffee, Bottles of Wine, Bottles of Beer, or Drams of Whiskey through various flavour wheels and descriptions. $5 (+tax) or 3 for $12 (+tax)
7. Coffee | There’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned bag of coffee to light up someone’s morning. It’s the first thing every coffee drinker does after waking up and cursing their iPhone alarm; using great coffee is the best way to guarantee a successful life. That may be an exaggeration of sorts, but really, it’s a great gift! It’s like wine for morning people. We bring in coffee from all around, and most of it is exclusive to us – so you can treat your special someone with a bag of something special. $16-22. Read more
John M. Darch – Co-Founder
John A. Darch – President & CEO
Tanya Jacoboni – VP of Business Development
Anand Pawa – VP of Marketing
Sanja Grcic – Sales and Merchandising
Danika Speight – CFO
Jacquelyn Kingston – Research and Development
Katharine Sawchuk – PR Manager
About Doi Chaang
Doi Chaang Coffee’s story is as rich as the coffee itself. Locally owned by a father-son team, John M. Darch and John A. Darch, the Canadian Doi Chaang Coffee Company first opened its doors in 2006 with one requirement; that its farmers in Doi Chang Village, Northern Thailand, own 50% of it.
The partnership created the “beyond fair trade” business model – 50% of the profits flow back into the village. In more than six years, the farmers have been able to have access to running water, electricity, improved infrastructure and even Internet. Doi Chaang focuses on the well-being of the farmers; sending medical supplies to the village, educating the farmers on coffee cultivation and doing it all as sustainably as possible.
All of our coffee is certified organic and fair trade, as well as 100% Arabica – which is the highest quality of coffee plants. We have six Single Estate roasts – Decaf, Medium, Dark, Peaberry, Signature and Espresso – as well as four blends – Espress-Yoself! (espresso), Chillin’ (light), Hardiwired (dark) and Social Medium (medium) – and biodegradable, single serve, Keurig-compatible aroma cups in Social Medium and Dark. We also sell Wild Thai Civet Coffee – totally wild and cage free.
We don’t have our own shops, but you can find us in major retailers like Safeway, IGA, London Drugs, Costco and more. You can also find us through our online shop.
PRESS & ACCOLADES
“Delicious without any bitterness . . . this coffee is good.” – Jane Goodall, Conservationist.
“In terms of balance and versatility (on its own or blended, espresso or brewed, medium or dark roast), the Doi Chaang offerings are comparable to the best Kona beans.” – Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds.
“Critic Ken Davids, whose ratings in Coffee Review have become the Parker Points for the beverage, tells me that Doi Chaang Coffee is in the top 10 percent of coffees he has “cupped”, rating around 89-91, where your typical cup of Starbucks is 83 to 84, and Folgers instant crystals come in around 60.” – Timothy Taylor, “Comparing Vancouver’s Coffee Beans”, Vancouver Magazine.
by Andrew Morrison | The coffee wonks of the Giannakos family, owners of Cambie’s kickass Revolver, have been in possession of the vacant space next door for a long time now, humming and hawing about what to do with it for many months. They recently settled on a coffee-centric retail store that will also offer Revolver customers a further 20-25 seats. It’s to be called Archive, and they hope to have it complete and open to the public before Christmas.
Inside, we can expect brewing equipment, books, magazines, cups, mugs, filters – basically everything a hardcore coffee nerd would get excited about (they’ll even help customers design home coffee set ups). For seating, there’s a long communal table (a lovely-looking one at that) running the length of the space parallel to a stand-up bar. For those who take their Honduran Los Manos with a little work, there will be complimentary wireless.
The graphic design work is being sorted by the clever peeps at Post Projects, who are currently working with designer Craig Stanghetta on a wall installation based on the Dewey Decimal System, a sneak peek of which is tabled above (for our younger readers, the system is used in libraries to catalogue books). I’m also told that the stain of the wood – currently a light amber – will end up being a little darker.
There is talk of the two businesses – Revolver and Archive – becoming umbilically joined by way of a new door punched through the wall that currently divides them, but that likely won’t happen for a while yet. In the beginning, we’ll probably have to grab our coffee at Revolver, exit (because it’s full, natch) and go next door.
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
by Andrew Morrison | A new cafe called Timbertrain Coffee Roasters is opening soon at 311 West Cordova (the old Dream boutique space in the heritage Petrina Block building across from Old Faithful). It’s owned by three young friends who love coffee and were looking for a change of career. They are Jeff Shin, an ex-Toyota salesman; Min Shin, a former currency/precious metals traderl; and Peter Kim, a former accountant with Deloitte & Touche. Their cafe will offer 16 seats, a small selection of pastries and coffee retail, plus coffee (using the Kalita method) and shots pulled from a La Marzocco Strada espresso machine. They’ll be using signature beans, which will be roasted at their own facility out in Langley, which – crossed fingers – should start production later this month. I can’t say much about the design at this point aside from the fact that they have the architects from Simcic + Uhrich on board (the folks who did Brassneck), and that their contractor is Harmony Pacific. Opening day is slated for some point this Fall (October at the earliest).
The new 1400 sqft combo/location of 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters and Lucky’s Doughnuts is opening – fingers crossed – this Saturday in the old Kits Coffee Company spot (2198 West 4th). In other words, the staff at the original 49th Parallel cafe down the block will lock up for good tomorrow evening and then unlock the new doors the following morning (again, fingers crossed). The new high quality coffee and doughnut joint will offer 45 indoor seats – that’s bench seating along the windows with tables and chairs – plus another 45 on the expansive patio that should open later this summer (hopefully within a month). Like the popular Main St. location that opened a year ago this week (see our shots of it here), all of the doughnuts will be made fresh on site, and we all know the coffee as some of the very best in town.
Bonus: there will be a kitchen window looking out onto the street. “When it’s open you just know this stretch of Kitsilano is going to smell terrible,” said nobody at all.
Fraser St.: 639 East 15th Ave. | Vancouver BC V5T 2R6
Georgia St.: 213 East Georgia St. | Vancouver, BC V6A 1Z6
Web: www.matchstickcoffee.com | Twitter | Facebook
Hours: 7am – 9pm seven days a week
About Matchstick Coffee Roasters
At Matchstick Coffee Roasters, we believe that all too often we place common things into categories that they need not belong. Too many of us go about our daily routines, experiencing daily products and services, while subscribing to the underlying premise that that which is familiar must also be mundane. Common becomes status quo. Common becomes trivial. Common becomes commodity.
At the core of Matchstick is our desire to take that which is common, like a daily mug of coffee, and produce it with the highest level of care and attention. We believe that something familiar can still be special. Perhaps we would go so far as to say that it must be special; for it is the everyday, simple, common experiences that tie together the rest of our hectic, fumbled, and unpredictable lives. We celebrate the craft of common products, for the very reason that they are common. If the one thing we can offer as a company is a brief escape from the chaos, to an everyday, commonplace, predictably outstanding mug of coffee, we believe we’ve done something worthwhile.
We have a very simple, and yet impossible goal: we want to serve the absolute highest quality coffee that we can imagine. And we have big imaginations.
An essential component in achieving this goal is to roast our own coffee. Roasting allows us to control and influence a level of production that most companies cannot. It gives us an avenue for experimentation, and room to push the envelope, where others cannot. We are constantly striving to elevate each coffee’s roast profile to one of the highest calibre.
We brew each coffee by the cup, simply because it’s the best coffee we’ve ever tasted. We have more control over when and how the water is introduced to the coffee, and this gives us a noticeable advantage in ensuring a quality extraction. The coffee is freshest this way too. Brewing by the cup also gives us the ability to offer a broader and more diverse range of single origin coffees, rather than having a large vat of “coffee of the day” behind the counter.
Finally, we believe in establishing deep roots in our community. Coffee has an outstanding capacity to connect people. We value this connection as much as we care about the quality of coffee that facilitates it. We are proud to play a part in this.
by Andrew Morrison | Chinatown will soon be home to another cafe, only this time it’ll be a retail hybrid with a motorcycle fetish. “The Shop Vancouver” is the work of T.J. Schneider and Brett Beadle, two young locals who met at a bike event in California last year. The fast friends very quickly envisioned a place where they and fellow bike-lovers could hangout, have a couple of snacks, drink good coffee, check out some custom parts, browse some curated merch and talk about life and presumably bikes. What they’ve come up with at 432 Columbia St. (yes, it’s that block) will seat 12 and offer a range of retail items for those deep-steeped in motorcycle culture. As you can see from the shots below, it’s still something of a work in progress, but they’ll be doing an open house this Sunday while Duchesse Vintage next door throws down with their grand opening shindig. Expect them to open properly shortly thereafter with full stock and espresso blazing.
by Andrew Morrison | Good news. The new location of 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters at 13th and Main passed all of its inspections earlier today and will open ahead of schedule tomorrow at 7am. I took a quick look at the hive of activity this afternoon, and it’s looking especially sharp. The coolest thing about it – other than the fact its packaged together with Lucky’s Doughnuts (OMFG!) – is the long, communal table with its bespoke, swing-out tools. It even has a hand crank that elevates it to bar height for special coffee lectures/cuppings. I’ll have more on the new cafe in the Westender next week, so in the meantime, feast on the shots below and head down tomorrow to welcome them to Main.
by Andrew Morrison | We’ve been sitting on this for a while (construction began three months ago), but with the new neon sign going up yesterday, the cat’s out of the bag. 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters is opening a new location on the southeast corner of 13th & Main (formerly Pinky’s Drycleaners). Does Main St. need another coffee shop? Sure it does! And one with Kees van der Westen machines, a 16 seat cupping table, 2 garage doors leading out to a patio, a fireplace, a wrap-around booth, and plenty of tasties aside from coffee (namely 13 different ringed wonders from Lucky’s Doughnuts). It’s a big space – much bigger than the original in Kitsilano – and D-day is penned in for the first week of June, with crossed fingers. Here’s more from a press release that will be making its way into the media ether next week:
FORTY NINTH PARALLEL COFFEE ROASTERS TO OPEN NEW MAIN STREET LOCATION
May 2, 2012; Vancouver, B.C.: Local boutique coffee roaster, 49th Parallel has announced that it will open a second café location next month, located on Main Street at the corner of East 13 th Avenue. The new café will also be home to a Lucky’s Doughnuts counter, representing the company’s first foray into food.
The 2,800 square foot café joins the company’s original West 4th Avenue location in showcasing 49th Parallel’s own range of small-batch roasted coffees. In addition, the much bigger new location will include expanded space for single-cup preparation, a 16-seat communal table that can be used for group cuppings, a 30-seat patio on the East 13th Avenue side, and garage-style doors that create an open-air space during warmer weather.
“It feels good to get back to our East Vancouver roots,” says owner Vince Piccolo, who grew up not far from the new café location. “We’re really looking forward to the extra space giving us the ability to offer cuppings and educational sessions for the general public. We’re excited to share our passion for coffee with the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.”
Bringing together the classic pairing of coffee and doughnuts to the Main Street café is the launch of Lucky’s Doughnuts. Authentic, hand-crafted and genuinely delicious, Lucky’s Doughtnuts are made fresh throughout the day using the highest quality natural ingredients. With all components made from scratch including jams, glazes and fillings, the company also strives to source locally and seasonally. A selection of 13 different doughnuts—six yeast varieties, six cake varieties and a French crueller, will be available each day, with varieties changing with the seasons. More information about the doughnuts will be available at www.luckysdoughnuts.com.
The new 49th Parallel Café is located at 2902 Main Street (@ East 13th Avenue), and is slated to open during the first week of June. Hours of operation will be Monday to Saturday, 7 am to 10 pm; and Sunday, 8am to 8pm.