49th Parallel Coffee & Tea by Caleb Savage

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters is a coffee and tea company founded in 2004 by brothers, Vince & Michael Piccolo. Now with three cafes, a tea sourcing program and a doughnut shop called Lucky’s, Vancouver’s 49th Parallel is an exceptional company valuing relationships with producers to ensure the they are able to serve the highest quality coffee and tea available. We spoke to Gianluca Zavarise about 49th, Vancouver, and 49th’s coffee and tea sourcing.

Photo courtesy of 49th Parallel

Photo courtesy of 49th Parallel

City & Cafe

Photo courtesy of 49th Parallel

Photo courtesy of 49th Parallel

Vancouver, British Columbia is home to an exceptional coffee community, and 49th leads the pack. Each 49th Cafe has its own Lucky’s Doughnuts and their downtown location currently serves breakfast, burgers, egg sandwiches, and more! But Vancouver is more than just a continuation of the Pacific Northwest’s coffee dominance.

If you make your way to Vancouver, the 49th team recommends a walk or bike ride along Stanley Park, A visit to Grouse Mountain, Lynn Suspension Bridge, and Kitsilano beach or Jericho beach for an evening sunset. For experiencing the city's urban culture, the team recommends checking out  Gastown, Robson Street for shopping, Mount Pleasant, Chinatown, or Yaletown.

The Source

Focused on “open communication and strong business partnerships with coffee producers”, 49th seeks to make “financially sustainable [decisions] for all involved – especially for those who make a living growing coffee.”

From their website:

“49th Parallel has two coffee buyers who travel throughout the year to Central America and Africa to source the highest quality coffees. The most cherished thing about the sourcing program is that 49th works with many of the same producers each year, building strong relationships. This not only guarantees the best coffee but also benefits the producers and their communities. 49th pays a premium for these coffees often paying producers 3 to 4 times the commodity market price.”

Coffee farmers in Honduras. Photo courtesy of 49th Parallel

Coffee farmers in Honduras. Photo courtesy of 49th Parallel

We’re serving Ecuador Gilda Carrascal and Ethiopia Mesina as well as a new green tea, Yellow Mountain Tip. It’s easy to taste the intentionality and care 49th Parallel puts into its offerings. Stop by the shop and try them before they’re gone!

Good Folks Coffee Roasters by Caleb Savage

“The best cups of coffee are usually when you aren’t thinking about tasting notes, brew method, and extraction, but you raise the mug to your lips for another drink and realize it is all gone. That’s our goal with every coffee.”

Good Folks Coffee Roasters

Founded as Argo Sons Coffee in October 2010, Good Folks Coffee Company was founded by Matt Argo in Louisville, Kentucky with a passion to make “a positive impact on everyone that is a part of our coffee chain.”

After travelling the world over eight years in the Army National Guard and several trips with his wife to Africa, Matt “developed a love for coffee -- particularly the social aspect and the economic impact it has in producing countries." He knew he wanted to start a business after his military contract was complete, and already loved to travel and work with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Coffee seemed to be a perfect fit.

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Coffee Travels

In the search for “sweetness, balance, and complexity,” Good Folks “traveled to Guatemala to cup and purchase some fresh coffees. Several unique coffees that we purchased are currently on the water between Guatemala and the US, and we are excited to share the stories of the farmers, as well as the coffees themselves. A few of the coffees are experimental processes and/or rare varieties, resulting in some very small lots.”

Coffee + Bourbon + Louisville

While Good Folks doesn’t have a Brick and Mortar store front, you can find their coffee in Louisville at cafes like Please and Thank You, North Lime DonutsPearl Street Game & Coffee House, and restaurants including Proof on Main, Butchertown Grocery, Bar Vetti, and Decca.

Beyond coffee, “The Louisville Slugger Museum and Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in downtown Louisville are must-visits. Keep an eye out at Evan Williams for a bourbon barrel aged coffee from yours truly. A quick stop at El Mundo for a house margarita (or two) and nachos with pork is a great option,” said Matt.

Now on Bar: Congo North Kivu

Good Folks Congo North Kivu is our first coffee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo this year! We’re serving Kivu on Espresso and Pourover and we’re really enjoying the nice pairing of sweet chocolate and bright peach notes in the cup! This coffee will only be on bar for a short time so stop in and let us know what you think!

Blueprint Coffee Roasters by Steve Willingham

Mike Marquard, Mazi Razani, Andrew Timko, Nora Brady, Radames Roldan, Kevin Reddy, Jamie Levine, Brian Levine (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

Mike Marquard, Mazi Razani, Andrew Timko, Nora Brady, Radames Roldan, Kevin Reddy, Jamie Levine, Brian Levine (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

Blueprint Coffee was founded in 2013 by the efforts and vision of Kevin Reddy, Andrew Timko, Mike Marquard, Mazi Razani, Brian Levine, Nora Brady, and Aaron Johnson to “consciously connect joy and livelihoods through coffee excellence.” With a passion for creating and sustaining a series of “mutually beneficial relationships” between their producers, partners, and customers, Blueprint brings quality coffee and care to St. Louis, and this week, to us! We talked with Mike Marquard about coffee and the city they love to learn a little bit more about Blueprint Coffee.

St. Louis & Blueprint

Roy, Ashley, and Garrett (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

Roy, Ashley, and Garrett (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

In designing their original cafe, Blueprint “wanted to break down the intimidation factor of specialty coffee bars. Our staff is very driven and directed to engage guests as quickly as possible and recognize the hesitancy and intimidation of our first-time guests.” Their second cafe, while smaller, will have more room for outdoor seating, 6 taps for non-alcoholic drinks, and deliver the same menu and transparency their friends have come to know and love.

Mike recommends checking out Forest Park for its “beautiful trails, green space, and free museums and a zoo,” city icons like the “City Museum, the Gateway Arch, or a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium,” and “breweries….we’ve got so many great ones, but be sure to hit 2nd Shift, UCBC, and Side Project.”

Beauty in Precision

Mazi Razani (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

Mazi Razani (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

The ideal Blueprint coffee “tastes like the best expression of all the work and passion that went into producing it.

"We try to find the best coffees that are in season and produced by mutually beneficial relationships. Often, we will sacrifice a point or two on the cupping table if it means we are supporting producers that align with our principles and we see that we can grow together to achieve those additional points in the cup.”

This commitment to the people of coffee first comes through in all areas of Blueprint’s DNA. “We are attracted to partners that share our values. This may mean that the company we choose to work with for our janitorial products treats their employees well and their team is concerned with our success and we are concerned for theirs as well. At a coffee level, we are working with more and more producers that share our concern for healthy soil, covering a fair cost of productions, and striving for quality. When we are able to support these great producers, we find we’re more excited about their coffees and they look forward to working with us year after year.”

We’re so excited to be able to serve Blueprint’s Ecuador La Papaya and are thankful for the work Blueprint does to build relationships in coffee that lead to a stronger and more vibrant industry.

We’re tasting sweet citrus and dark chocolate in La Papaya, so grab a cup and let us know what you think!

Lemma Coffee Roasters by Caleb Savage

We’re excited to introduce to the shop a new roaster out of Denton, Texas: Lemma Coffee Roasters. Lemma was started by Daniel Baum in August of 2017 with a desire to roast and serve exceptional coffees to their community and beyond. We’ve loved their Ethiopia Guji on espresso and hope you’ve had a chance to try this sweet, sun-dried coffee as a shot of espresso or with a little bit of milk. We were able to hear from Daniel about Lemma, Denton and their approach to coffee.

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Home Barista Beginnings

Daniel got his start in coffee in high school playing with home espresso machines and making hazelnut lattes while cruising Flikr and Myspace. After a few upgrades to the home espresso setup, Daniel and his wife Shelby decided the next step in making coffee was roasting. After some trial and error on a small 500 gram roaster, Lemma was born!

“Lemma exists to educate, support, and excel our partners, customers, and coffee enthusiasts alike in the journey to the perfect cup of coffee. We do everything in our power to play our part in the process from the coffee being planted to you taking that first sip.”

Denton’s Courthouse Square

“The square is basically everything to Dentonites. There are plenty of local restaurants (Boca 31 is our favorite) and plenty of good craft beer or cocktails to be enjoyed. All of this revolves around the courthouse square. And don’t forget the live music!” If you’re interested in picking up some coffee while you’re there, order ahead and use the local pickup option. It “typically results in a tour and a free cup of coffee.”

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Experiential Coffee

“The ideal coffee from Lemma provides an experience while consuming it. Our goal is clean coffees with easily identified flavor characteristics.” Instead of trying to make each coffee resemble each other, Lemma sets out to find the different flavor profiles each coffee has to offer instead of trying to manipulate a coffee into tasting a certain way.

We’ve got just a little bit of Lemma’s Ethiopia Guji left! Be sure to experience this coffee on espresso before it’s gone! If you’d like to try it in a Cappuccino or as a Pourover, let us know!