Inspiration

Let's talk about coffee, shall we?

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It’s about time we start to let you guys know how we source our coffee. Whad’ya say? After all, everything begins at the farm 🚜

The moment we decided to launch Station, we knew that the way we source our coffee was important to us. We wanted to ensure that we were sourcing the highest quality coffee from farms that valued ethical and sustainable growing practices and at the same time ensuring that the farmers were treated well and compensated accordingly. When we met the guys from Hale Coffee, we knew they were a great partner to help us achieve these goals and provide us amazing coffee 👍

Both our brand and our company are rooted in craftsmanship, quality and authenticity. Our goal is for this to shine through in our people, our products, our packaging and the coffee we source is no different. So, let’s talk about the journey that our coffee goes through from farm to fridge, shall we? It starts with our friends over at Hale Coffee ☕️

Hale is a sustainably focused micro-roaster based in Toronto who are focused on Direct Trade sourcing practices to ensure transparency and traceability. It’s clear that transparency is important as soon as you walk into their flagship cafe in Toronto you can see their roaster sifting and picking through the coffee beans.  The aromatic smell of the freshly roasted coffee fills the room. It really is a glorious sight to see 🙏 Ramzi, one of the owners of Hale, and his team have traveled all over the world to create, maintain, and build personal relationships with the farmers that they work with. It’s these relationships that give us tremendous confidence in the coffee we’re using for our lineup of Cold Brew Coffee ❄️ 

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what’s the difference between Direct Trade & Fair Trade sourcing? 🤷‍♀️ 🤷‍♂️

Fair trade is a term I’m sure you’ve heard thrown around for years. It was developed to help protect farmers in case of market fluctuations 💸  As much as this can support farmers it has also caused the focus to become more on the quantity of product they are producing rather than the quality. Don’t get us wrong, there are many pros to Fair Trade Coffee, especially when comparing it to Conventional Free Trade sourcing but Direct Trade takes it to the next level.

Direct Trade is a term used by roasters who buy straight from the growers and farmers, cutting out traditional middlemen buyers and sellers. Direct Trade models build mutually beneficial and respectful relationships with individual producers or cooperatives in each individual country 🤝 Using Direct Trade sourcing allows us to have more control over the quality of the coffee we source and even more importantly, how the farmers are treated and rewarded for their hard work 🎉

The many benefits of Direct Trade help us to craft the robust, and full-bodied coffee that you taste today 👅 Our team (specifically our Brewmaster Mike) works with Hale Coffee to provide feedback to farmers directly and source incredible coffee. The result is a significant improvement in quality and the relationships that are built with the farmers become about more than just coffee. We are thrilled to be a part of a community that values the importance of sustainable coffee and it’s our goal to continue to be as transparent as possible while producing the best possible Cold Brew we can ☺️

Did you know that the coffee we use in our New Orleans Style, Mocha & Coconut Cold Brew are all different? They’ve all been hand selected by Brewmaster Mike for very specific taste profiles. Let’s take a look at them individually:

New Orleans Style

(a perfect blend of coffee sourced from Brazil & Ethiopia)

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Origin: Brazil 🇧🇷

Region: Altamogiana also known as ‘The High Mountain’ ⛰

Farm: Santo Antonio

Ramzi visited 18 farms, over 10 days, and tasted 100’s of cups of coffee to find our perfect bean bean. This fourth-generation farm is made up of a 20% untouched forest (the best coffee can be found right next to the forests because it is shaded from the sun) 🌳 This bean is one of the most approachable flavours in our coffees - great for the average cold brew drinker.

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Origin: Ethiopia 🇪🇹

Region: Yirgacheffe

Farm: Kochere

Known as one of the oldest countries to produce coffee, Ethiopia maintains ancient ways in farming their coffee. These beans give off a floral, fruit forward & bright coffee. They retain their brightness from being farmed at the highest elevation (the slower the coffee matures, the better the coffee is).

Organic mocha

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Origin: Honduras (Organic) 🇭🇳

Region: Vallecillos

Farm: Las Quebaditas

The best Honduran coffee is the Strictly High Grown Grade - which is where our Mocha Beans come from. 1500 meters above sea level, these beans have a more delicate flavour while giving us Dark Chocolate and Chestnut notes 🍫 The high altitude allows the coffee to grow slower, while being able to develop a fuller, more robust flavour of coffee (which is also Organic).

Organic Coconut

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Origin: Peru (Organic) 🇵🇪

Region: Cajamarca

Farm: El Palto also know as ‘Avocado Tree’ 🥑

Microclimates have the biggest impact on how coffees taste. Our Peruvian blend comes from a very mountainous region. The farm name actually refers to what lies between the coffee trees. Avocado trees protect the coffee trees from disease and pests, agriculturally they are BFF’s (apparently coffee trees are hard to get along with). It shades the coffee tree (in a nice way), and doesn’t intertwine with its roots or branches. 

So - there ya have it!

A little bit of information about where our coffee comes from and what makes each of these places special to us.  If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us, we always love to talk coffee 👊 

 

Let's start a Cold Brew Coffee Company

Crazy right? Well, we did… and 3 years in, so far so good.

Some of you might know Steve. This all started back in 2013 while Steve was visiting the Centre for Social Innovation in New York. Being a self-driven guy, he made the trip to be inspired by people who were changing the world. But I don’t think anyone could have guessed it would be a bottle of Grady’s that would change his. 

So instead of bringing home an I❤️️ NY shirt, he brought back his new found love for Cold Brew Coffee and the passion to share it with his community. And if you know Steve, you know he quickly realized an opportunity. In 2013, no one was making cold brew in Toronto, other than independent cafes.

After some googling and youtubin’, he made some of his own cold brew recipes but learned quickly he needed someone with the right expertise. A good leader knows where their skills lie, then surround themselves with people who can compliment them. So his search for a brewmaster began where all great stories do - Craigslist (pre-Bunz age).

Applications poured in from home brewers to baristas, and even a couple scientists. Steve invited a few of the ones that stood out to a group interview at one of Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation locations. Mostly all the applicants showed up with their cold brew to test, except Mike.

Mike had been in the coffee & restaurant world for a while and was already a lover of cold brew.  What set him apart at first wasn’t his sample brew, it was his passion for quality coffee. After meeting, it became clear that both Steve and Mike shared the same vision, to share premium, crafted cold brew to their communities.

PSA – that day Steve learned a very valuable lesson – overcaffeination is a real thing.

Fueled by the same passion, Steve & Mike started that fateful journey together. Testing different recipes with an array of regions & blends and drinking all the cold brews. Luckily Steve recognized that in the CSI community, they had access to a perfect test market to start with. Not only that, but during the sampling, the very first order was placed by BOOM! Breakfast on College St. 

First customer without a brand, a name or packaging…that’s where it began!