Calgary is Awesome! Great Coffee Makes for a Great City

It’s like a chicken or the egg thing; what came first – the great coffee house or the great city?  At Fratello we’re obviously biased, but we believe that you have to have great coffee houses to make a great city.  And just look around, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Vancouver and Seattle – they all have remarkable cafes.  Take it a step further.  How many movie sets or TV shows profile coffee shops?  Tons of them, and there is a reason for that.  Because great coffee houses bring out the very best in us.  They allow us to appreciate the good things in life; things that often get missed in the hurly burly of our daily existence.

In a great coffee house we socialize, we think, and we somehow become instantly gracious and appreciative.  Perhaps it’s the magic aroma of magnificently roasted coffee, or the professional skills of your barista, but somehow a good coffee shop ‘brings you inside’ and gives you as much value from the experience of the place as from the taste of the product.

At Fratello we understand coffee because it has – literally – been our passion for over a quarter century!  Hundreds of thousands of people have tasted our coffee without ever knowing it!  With the opening of the Fratello Analog Café in the Calgary Farmer’s market in early 2011 we took the plunge into retail, and we’re delighted we did.   We continue to learn new experiences each month which empowers us with new knowledge to better train/coach our wholesale clients.   Our brand has become more recognized in this city as the leading quality coffee roaster and has enabled us to have a "voice" in the street (away from business to business).

With the upcoming fall 2012 opening of our flagship store on 17th Ave and 7th Street we’ll be in the heart of the action, helping to sustain the pulse of that vibrant part of town.  Again, great café help build great cities.

What makes a great cup of coffee?  Simply put, pride!  Pride in how we source our product, by knowing our producers and knowing our regions, and not being afraid to always make the call that quality is more important than quantity.  Attention to perfection then continues back here in Calgary, where we use our many years of roasting/training experience.   Lastly, the magic plays out in our cafes, Analog Coffee, where our amazing staff – who all understand and live the Fratello philosophy  - bring you the perfect cup of coffee every time you order it.

Coffee should be all about the people.  The people who produce it, the people who roast/find it, the people who serve it and most importantly at Analog Coffee, the people who come in to enjoy it.  And, great people make a great city!

Ethiopian Konga, Wote Cooperative

It is not typical of us to introduce 2 coffees from the same growing region at once, but this is something new for us starting this year.  We have 2 (soon 3) Costa Rican's and 3 El Salvador offerings coming in the next few weeks.  We find it's such a great opportunity for you to discover different flavour characteristics a country has to offer when you are able to taste different farm/cooperative offerings, from the same growing region, side by side.

Ethiopian KONGA

Before we made this decision, we would often have to decide not to purchase an amazing coffee because we already had an offering negotiated from that region.  Well luckily, not anymore.  What we have to show you from Ethiopia this year are 2 coffees from Ethiopia's Yirgacheffe growing region.  Our first offering is the Ethiopian Top Lot ECX which is a fully washed coffee and we're pairing this with a natural processed Typica from the Wote Cooperative which we are calling Ethiopian Konga.

This coffee is from the Wote Konga Zone of Yirgacheffe. Yirgacheffe is a major town in the central southern Ethiopia, located in the Gedeo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region.

This particular coffee is naturally sun-dried on raised drying beds, separating it from some of their other washed varietals.  Extra care is taken to select only the ripest/reddest cherries for this project.  Careful hand sorting of these cherries happens during the long drying time.  This extra care is what makes this coffee so remarkably clean and uniform in the cup.

The very respected Wote Konga Cooperative produces approximately 900 bags of coffee a year from the 600 farmers who grow them.  Some other important information about this coffee:

Upcoming Direct Trade Micro-Lots from Fratello.

This is a big year for Fratello and the coffees we are bringing in.  We have never had quality this good, nor have we had this selection of Direct Trade micro-lots.   We have been giving lots of updates over the last few months of these new relationships and we assumed that these coffees would have been in by now.  It has been a very challenging year getting our coffees out of the regions we have been working with.   Mills have been busy and shipping vessels have been late, but we do assure you that these coffees are coming, and will be here SOON.

Check out the offering list below of coffee which are arriving any time.  This isn't the complete list, but this does give you some good ideas as to what we have been busy doing.

Guatemalan - All Direct Trade and single estate micro-lots.

Nicaraguan - Direct Trade and single estate.

El Salvador - All Direct Trade and single estate micro-lots.

Costa Rica - All Direct Trade and single estate micro-lots.

Panama - Single estate micr-lot


On top of these which are arriving any day, we are still choosing our lots from Kenya, Colombia, Bolivia,  Sulawesi and Sumatra.