COFFEE. Let's do it.
Posted on January 24 2018
Our development permit is now approved and we are getting closer to making some announcements about opening our roasting business and then our Caffè/shop and other coffee and records related ideas. We are fairly excited about all of this and looking forward to seeing hard work pay off. This excitement is not only for ourselves and the folks we work with, but also the Edmonton creative scene in general. We have plans to make our Caffè a home for visiting artists and the local community as well. We’re opening a coffee & records business a block from the new art school in a downtown core that is changing every day. It’s a good time to get in there and stake some claim for the people working to make Edmonton interesting.
Over the last two years, we have been shaping an initially wild vision into something that will sustain itself and our creative aspirations. We love DIY music and art. We believe in the power of independent business and people. Coffee is the largest human produced commodity on earth. How and where you get your coffee reflects and affects everyone from you, to the person who served it, to the person who grew it and everyone in between. We own our roaster, and our potential is to exist as little as one step away from the producers who grow the coffee. This means we have the ability to control our production costs as well as our access to the highest quality offerings, and bring them in line with a people and art forward business model. Is there anything more punk than developing equitable economies to confront predatory monopolies? (Yes, releasing records from around the world to sell as you do it).
In order to make this real, we cashed in 10 years of accumulated travel points and went to Florence, Italy. Over several weeks, we learned to roast coffee in a Tuscan villa by day, drinking espresso and chianti in bars around Florence at night. A trip to Carnival in Venice allowed us to cross the Rialto Bridge and experience the first coffee houses in Europe. It was something of a magical time.
After years of working in international punk rock circles across Canada, Cuba and elsewhere, we have made a bunch of friends. Some of those friends happen to be really into the permaculture and punk movements in Mexico. This summer we went to Oaxaca State, Guadalajara and Mexico City on both the coffee and music ends of our project. With many introductions made, we are setting out to solidify networks and eventually start importing our own coffees directly, while facilitating creative exchanges. This allows us to use our business aspirations to support independently organized production farmers and collectives, while re-investing into our own communities. For now, we’re importing the highest quality coffees we can through folks who are focusing on equitably sourced beans, and aiming to support those same kinds of business practices at all levels.
With new friendships and wise council at the ready, we are now expanding on what we have learned. The art of blending is something which must be approached with creativity and understanding of subtilties, flavour profiles and local customs. This summer will be all about developing our own blends and finding balance among the coffees we select. This is a central point to our process and it is something we will undoubtedly improve and refine as we move ahead.
We have been fortunate enough to travel and taste a lot of what is happening in the world of Coffee. In the last year alone, we have tasted as much as possible in a couple of regions in Italy, across Canada from Montreal to Victoria, throughout Mexico and down the US west coast with a couple of Washington State visits. Between now and our opening we have a lot of work to do to get the shop ready, but also more coffee knowledge coming from Chicago, NYC, Toronto, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Oaxaca. We are not simply retailing a product, we are setting out to understand the scientific and cultural aspects which define coffee around us. We are deadly serious about espresso.
Our 12KG custom made hand built Datgen Roaster comes from Datgen, Germany and is currently sitting in a storage space waiting to be installed. This roaster will enable us to prepare fine coffees for the people of Edmonton and beyond. Edmonton is a working-class city. We grew up here in the 80’s when it was the City of Champions. We believe that working class people deserve better coffee, and that the people serving it are a vital part of the fabric of our city. Fine coffee doesn’t need to be intimidating. In our world, everyone involved in our business; from the producers to the consumers, are working class heroes. We can’t wait to open and share this with you.
COFFEE SOUNDS GOOD!