In my travels, when I find the time of day to be – first thing in the morning, I enjoy a cup of coffee. When I take that first sip, I compare it to my standard brew at home. And it never really stacks up.
We don’t do anything super special at home. Wait a minute, as I write this, we do practice a few special rituals.
We have a conical burr grinder which is evidently the best of home grinders. We had to move up to this model because all the other kinds burned out after a few months of use. The process of squeezing and crushing the beans releases the coffee’s oils, which are then more easily extracted during the infusion process with hot water, making the coffee taste richer and smoother.
I buy “shade-grown” coffee. Here is why:
A canopy of assorted types of shade trees is created to cultivate shade-grown coffee. The traditional shade-grown coffee farm resembles a forest because it consists of several layers of trees, such as fruit and hardwood trees, epiphytes, and other assorted bushes and plants. As a result, up to 40 species of trees can be found on these farms, and contribute to the maintenance of soil quality and habitats for numerous species of animals and plants. One of the main arguments in support of shade-grown coffee is that it houses many species of birds. More specifically, shade-grown trees house two-thirds of the bird species found in natural forests in the same geographic areas.
Sun-grown coffee requires numerous chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides to be added to promote growth. This also contributes to toxic water runoff and lack of habitat for many species. In contrast to the previous information regarding birds, sun-grown coffee provides shelter for less than one-tenth of bird species. –Wikipedia
Finding this type of coffee is not as easy as you would think. The following coffee brand references are Canadian companies that buy beans responsibly, transport to Canada and roast.
- B Corporation – not all companies will seek this certification, but it is a sure sign of trust for the consumer.
- ethical bean
- Salt Spring Coffee
- Kicking Horse Coffee
And that brings me to the ultimate brew.
Kicking Horse Coffee is located in Invermere, B.C. I had the pleasure of stopping in there last week for a perfectly brewed cup of coffee in a Japanese Hario Syphon. It is a rather complicated procedure and takes time to “learn” the art of using the device. But, as my Dad said, “it would be great for a dinner party”.
The coffee was sublime. It was the first cup that was, not only better than what we make at home, but the best cup I have ever tasted.