The Story Behind Our Fresh Roasted Coffee. Contrabean. Kitchener.
Our goal is to help you explore and experience the world of specialty coffee from the comfort of your home. We roast in small batches so our customers experience the freshest coffee possible.
Our coffees are sourced through relationships with a handful of select coffee importers who buy direct from the farm or co-op. We've also established some of our own direct trade relationships with farmers, and have started visiting the farms and meeting the growers. Through these relationships we are able purchase very high quality specialty coffees that are traceable to their origin. We buy coffees that demand a premium price, which in turn allows farmers, co-ops and growing regions to improve their social (e.g. gender equity), environmental and coffee infrastructure.
Coffee is like wine. Coffee varieties (Bourbon, Caturra, etc) like grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, etc.) have their own flavour characteristics. And like wine, a variety grown in one country will taste different than the same variety grown somewhere else. Even within a country, a coffees' flavour can be affected by local terroir. Add to this the way climate, coffee processing (washed, natural, honey, etc) and roasting can develop / emphasize different flavours, and today's specialty coffee offerings have become very exciting.
Coffee, like other agricultural products, is also a seasonal crop. Coffee from different countries ripen at different times of the year. As a result, our coffee offerings will change throughout the year. Whenever we can, we will honour our relationships and return to regions, co-ops or farms. This way we can revisit our favourites and help producers establish a reliable customer base.
The back story...40 years ago I had a great cup of coffee. I was a teenager and was billeted on a farm in Sweden. Each morning I awoke to fresh baking and a pot of fresh brewed coffee...very special coffee. Coffee that was roasted fresh weekly and enjoyed daily.
Returning home and for the next few decades, coffee for me was from a can. Often it was strong and bitter or very weak. Cream and sugar was the order of the day. By the mid-90s whole bean coffee started showing up in the supermarkets and coffee started to taste better, but it wasn't fresh. It was roasted very dark and was often very bitter. Coffee changed for me in the mid-2000s when a friend brought me some freshly roasted, whole bean coffee that was roasted on a hot air popcorn popper. Here was the flavour I remembered from so long ago. This is when my coffee paradigm shifted. I rushed home, ordered a small hot air coffee roaster and a book on home coffee roasting. Coffee as I knew it would never be the same.
For almost 15 years we have been exploring the world of specialty coffee; buying small quantities of green beans from around the world, and roasting them weekly. Fresh roasted coffee brewed in a mocha pot, french press or as an espresso became our morning ritual. In 2016, what was a hobby became a small business. The hot air roaster was replaced by a much larger (though still pretty small) roaster.
We hope you enjoy drinking our coffee as much as we have enjoyed discovering and roasting it for you.
Thanks for your support.