Something big is brewing at Fratello Coffee Co.

David Parker, Calgary Herald Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2007 It doesn't seem that long ago to me that a cup of coffee was something poured as an expected followup to any restaurant meal. Then came the coffee shops and over the last few years people in this city have followed the trend in lining up for a cappuccino, mocha, espresso, frappucino or any number of gourmet blends.Now, according to Chris Prefontaine, director of business development and one of the three brother owners of Fratello Coffee Co., we are entering a third wave.

Following behind the remarkable movement in Seattle and Vancouver towards serving unique, specialty coffees from high-quality, auctioned green beans that are served by a knowledgeable and well-trained passionate staff, coffee drinking is reaching new heights here.

Russ Prefontaine, left, Chris Prefontaine and Jason Prefontaine of Fratello Coffee Co. The company buys top-qualify coffee from 31 countries. Leah Hennel, Calgary HeraldHe should know -- the family has been in the business here since parents Cam and Barb Prefontaine began supplying offices with coffee from their home garage in Varsity Acres in 1974.

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Bring on the Guatemalan's Coffees!

Its auction time again, however this time it isn't Nicaraguan's, itsGuatemalan's. This Thursday we will be joining in on the Cup ofExcellence auction to try our best in getting another lot of theseexciting coffees.We just finished sampling all 19 of the farmers who qualified this year,and all of them were fantastic. The number 1 lot had an impressive fullround body and clean finish. Its wasn't as spicy as I like Guatemalancoffees to be, but the extremely large beans gave a visual impressionsimilar to the Maragogippe bean popular in the 90's. They were muchlarger then a screen 18, which is the largest screen, and could havebeen a screen 20-22 (if it existed).So wish me luck on Thursday as I hope to get us one of these 19 lots.

Can you say SLAYER!!!

The first time around was a tease, then it was gone. Much to our collective dismay... Now it's back and lets just say there may be bloodshed should someone try to take this one... You think I'm joking... See the name? Yeah that's right. You're wondering what I'm talking about.The "Slayer" is our newest creation, recreation, incarnation of the Espresso machine. In it's current existence, it's a La Marzocco that has been heavily modified. Things like PID, another boiler (yeah, I said that)... and those are the immediately obvious ones. So, with John and myself loitering ermm, I mean training ourselves. The beast came to life, and on the VERY FIRST SHOT, promptly knocked Jason's socks off with an unbelievable shot. After that (and a few elbows) John and I were next... Might I say that never in my life have I had an Espresso that had that perfect, lovely, rich, deep brown/red crema, with a hint of flecking, the texture and mouth-feel of silk, and the flavor, well the flavor was everything that Blackjack had promised to be, and more. Pleasantly acidic, sweet, bold, full, rich... So, satisfied on that, we proceeded to pull shot after shot after shot, all the while extolling the virtues of this new machine like giddy 10 year olds on Christmas morning, literally freaking out... It was almost embarrassing.

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2007 Nicaraguan COE Results

This was a long 5:30 hours today, but the auction is finally over. The top coffee sold for an astounding $47.06 / lb which is a record for Nicaraguans.Fratello Coffee has purchased its first lot of COE’s and are going to look forward to receiving this to product to offer to our clients. We assume that this will be ready to purchase with in 2 months time.The farmers in Nicaragua were astounded at the responses they received. It goes to show that the 3rd Wave of coffee drinkers will pay farmers for the hard work they put into their crops.Fratello Coffee Co chose from “Los Milagros” Estate, Jinotega.Please read more about this fantastic coffee below:

“Los Milagros” Estate, JinotegaDon Julio César Real, a peasant with deep roots, invites us to go down the narrow pass of the mountain where a colorful coffee mill and pulp processor rises.

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Cup of Excellence Cupping

Here are some more pictures of us cupping the Nicaraguan Cup of Excellence.

First 2007 Cup of Excellence

Auction Lot - NicaraguanWell tomorrow is the first Auction Lot for the 2007 Cup of Excellence program. It is a 6 hour online auction process, and after this is complete, Fratello Coffee Co. will be the proud owner of Nicaraguan’s finest coffee. We will be bidding on the top 7 (out of 34) farms who qualified this year, and we are gunning for #1.Guatemala is the next action taking place; however, this doesn’t happen until mid June. We will also be bidding on the top farms (out of 18) that qualified this year.For those of you, who don’t know about this program, please read the PDF attached out lining what this award is about. (more…)