Calgary is filled with creative people who love our city. Meet Dave Lieske (aka @davey_gravy). Davey is passionate about exploring our city and is quick to engage with local business and at the same time, connect into his community. Davey has gained over 11K followers on his Instagram account through showcasing the places he loves. We chatted with Davey about his love for Calgary, creativity and what inspires him. Check out the story below and a few of his images he has taken of the places he loves.
How long have you lived in Calgary?
I’ve lived in Calgary my whole life, 26 years. I am one of the rare ones born and raised in this city!
What inspires you to take photos?
Other people! I really got into photography through Instagram. I would see people portray the city I live in from new angles and in unconventional ways that it inspired me to do the same. I love the challenge of going some place I’ve been a million times and trying to capture it in a new light.
How have you seen the Calgary Scene emerged over the past few years?
You can keep up with Davey and see all the places he captures by following him on his Instagram @davey_gravy.
Meet Ali Sullivan- Lapp, our store manager for Analog on 17thave Sw. Ali moved to Calgary from Quebec and brings her infectious and vibrant personality to our coffee shop. If you come into the store, make sure to say hi and introduce yourself. We chatted with Ali about living in Calgary, the emerging coffee culture and more.
What brought you here from Quebec?
Every summer during University I came out West to work for the Learning Disabilities association of Alberta. We would spend our whole summer in Nordegg, but came into Calgary for our days off. I really loved everything about my summers here, so after graduating I didn’t put much thought into it, bought a plane ticket and headed West. My sister was living in Calgary at the time (and still is) and she—and her incredibly generous roommates—let me move onto their couch while I got my footing in the city.
How does the east differ from the west? What observations have you made?
It’s important to begin this question by saying how much I love the East! Montreal is a beautiful city full of culture and life, but I cannot get over how incredibly kind the people here are. Everyone in Calgary is so friendly and I suppose the biggest difference I’ve noticed is how much more welcoming they are here compared to the East. I do miss a lot of the culture from Montreal though, it is clearly growing in Calgary but the city has a much more ‘subtle’ personality compared to places at home.
What have you seen change within the last few years in Calgary?
Because I always came to the city for only a few months at a time year after year it has been incredible to see what a drastic transformation it has taken in only a few years. It seems like the city is starting to develop a new personality and people are trying to bring a greater focus to the art and music scene which is so wonderful!
Explain the coffee culture here in Calgary?
I am still so new to the coffee culture in Calgary but it has been incredible to see how people’s interest in coffee is growing in the city. The coffee culture here is based on community, which makes our job so much more fun. It is wonderful to see other coffee roasters and shops grow and succeed as it is truly an industry in which we can all benefit from one another’s success. It is a reflection of the cities growing interest in speciality coffee.
Talk about the atmosphere of Analog. What do you love most about it?
It is impossible to choose what I love most about Analog, whether it be the incredible community of customers on the other side of the bar, or the amazing, hardworking and particularly hilarious team behind the bar. Analog is a community that has created a small town feel out of Calgary—for me at least. I love seeing customers become friends within our doors and come in to meet each other day after day.The team working behind the bar truly makes Analog all that it is. They care about one another and always look to lend a hand whenever and wherever possible. It never ceases to amaze me that when the line is out the door and down the sidewalk they’re still smiling and laughing. It makes me love what I do!
For those new in the city, what are some things they need to know to fall in love with the city?
I think that the most important part is to always talk to somebody new. The most wonderful parts of Calgary are not always that well known – but if you are looking for it you will find a community of people for every passion. The people here are so kind that if you take the time to have a conversation with someone you’ve just met you’ll discover something new and exciting to do in the city.
Coffee can seem like a simple thing but there is so much work, knowledge and skill that goes into growing, picking and roasting the perfect bean. As the coffee culture emerges, many are learning and tasting the difference between what really goes into preparing your cup. We interviewed Fratello’s Head Roaster, Dave Schindel to learn more about the bean, the roasting process and how you can pick the coffee that is right for you.
Can you explain the difference between light and dark roast?
The simplest explanation is a dark roast is taken to a higher temperature than a light roast forcing the coffee to go through more chemical changes and darkening the colour of the bean.
What makes for the perfect bean?
Perfection is always strived for and never achieved. The best answer I can give but when looking for high quality beans you are looking at varietal of the bean, soil type, elevation, harvesting methods and processing methods. Typically you are looking for a higher elevation bean because it gives the coffee cherry time to develop properly in a slightly lower temperature than coffee grown at low elevations which get rushed due to the higher temperatures.
When is the best time to use your coffee beans?
It is dependant what you are using them for, if you are using them for drip coffee, the fresher the better. I would buy enough for a week at a time to ensure you always have great coffee at home. For espresso I would recommend 7-14 days after the roast date for use, this lets the coffee de-gas properly and will pull a much nicer shot under compacted pressure.
Can you walk us through the process of roasting coffee at Fratello?
When coffee comes in to Fratello it has already been sampled at least once to make sure it meets our standards so once it gets in the door it has to be profiled. Each coffee is put through many profile roasts changing the amount of heat used as key times in the roast until we have a roast we are happy with how it performs, some times this can take months of profile roasting and some times it is achieved in the first day. Once we have it profiled it goes into production. A production roast starts by loading the green coffee into the hoppers above the roasters, once the roaster has achieved the temperature desired we release the green beans into the drum of the roaster, it is the job of our roasters to make sure the profile that was decided on during the profiling stage is achieved on a consistent basis, they do this by adjusting the amount of heat depending on how the coffee is reacting that day and making sure the timing on everything is acceptable, coffee roasting is aided by computer software to track the curve but the roaster should always rely on the sight, smell and sounds the coffee is making as it roasts.
Personal preference is huge here, I would recommend going to your local barista and seeing what they suggest based off of what you have previously enjoyed. There is really no wrong answer here some people prefer a very light floral coffee, while others enjoy the heavy bold flavours of a dark coffee. Find something you like and look for other coffee’s that are similar. But once again make sure its fresh. Life is to short for stale coffee.
We have an incredible team at Analog, with each person sharing different passions and having unique stories. Meet Sam Tolhurst, an Aussie living in Canada and is one of our great barista’s at Analog. Read our interview below on his thoughts towards Canada, coffee and Calgary!
My wife & I have called Calgary home for almost 3 & a half years. We moved here from Cronulla, a happening sunny beachside suburb just south of Sydney in March of 2012.
Weather, Wildlife & Landscape. I come from the Land Downunder, the sunburnt Land of Oz. When we first arrived I didn’t believe that -40 was even on the thermometer let alone reaching it but it happens eventually here every year, but with a thankful heart I look forward to Chinooks. Snow is still a novelty to me, having to go out & sweep the snow off my car & start it earlier than when I need it just so it warms up. From where I am from in Oz this couldn’t be further from normal. The winters can be long here & the beautiful summers never long enough. Crazy weather & all four seasons in a day is one thing I have come to expect from Calgary weather patterns – oh it says rain is forecast, give it 5 minutes it’ll change.
I do never tire of being one of those tourists who will pull off the road to snap a photo of a bear, moose, elk, deer, mountain goat, longhorn sheep, wolves, cougars, coyotes or even a prairie dog or ground squirrel. Although I do admit the difference in this fascination is the same for those who come to Oz & wonder at our kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, koala bears, emus, platypus, & of course our sharks, snakes, crocodiles & drop bears.The Great North is quite a sparse & varied country with most of the population living towards the border with the USA, with mountains, prairies, desert, rock shields & snow for as far as the eye can see but this diversity is a similarity not a difference to Australia with the majority of our population living closer to the coast & on the Eastern side, we have beaches, mountains & valleys, deserts & yes a few small snow fields. I am always in awe of the Rocky Mountains which are spectacularly magnificent my heart does belong to the ocean.
I have been excited to see Calgary grow over the past few years in its finding a passion for all things boutique. Whether that be fashion, coffee, food & wine. All of these areas have very much been huge growth areas in Calgary with a now booming number of ‘foodie’ places to try out on any budget. You can experience exceptional specialty coffee from many regions from around the globe prepared like a science project right here in front of you at many a cafe in Calgary. You can taste the farm freshness with many fine local eateries doing their best to source locally & know the hands & practices of those who have prepared it for them. Our feel like you are in a fashion mecca by having access to some wildly talented local designers who have come to call Calgary home.
My favourite thing about working at Analog is the community. It is actually the best & my most favourite thing about the coffee industry is community. Good food & great coffee will always bring people together. I love being a part of this community seeing & hearing the joys of people loving time spent together. Analog has an incredible team that I love working with & a vast number of brilliant regulars. We love having that quick couple of minutes conversation to hear about the daily happenings in their lives.
We are very excited to bring you some of the great El Salvador coffee’s that will be arriving in July, we recently visited 3 producers in El Salvador, two that we have worked with before, Mauricio Salaverria and the Dumont family, and one producer that will be brand new to Fratello, Café Pacas. Though this is new to Fratello this is by no means a new producer as the Pacas family has been cultivating coffee for over 150 years. If the name sounds familiar there is a good reason for it, they were the ones to discover the Pacas varietal, a natural mutation of the bourbon. Known for it’s slightly larger bean and tastes similar but generally brighter than bourbon it is a fantastic coffee. This was also one of the varietals that were combined to make the Pacamara varietal, along with the Maragogype. And that brings us back to what we have coming this year, we are very excited to offer 2 Pacamara’s this coming year, one a fully washed 5 Bag lot from Malacara B and one a 3 bag Fully natural lot from Finca Himalaya. Although both are fantastic lots we are particularly excited for the Full Natural lot.
While we were visiting Mauricio’s drying patios we came across a fully natural coffee (pictured below) that smelled liked dried blueberries, as luck would have it this coffee had just finished drying and both Mauricio and I were very excited to try it. Mauricio took a small plastic bag of it, had it processed and roasted so we could try it. Although it was a blind cupping there was no mistaking this coffee on the table, as soon as it was ground it filled the room with the fragrance of blueberry candy, and that delicious fragrance carried right through to the taste, even beside other very good natural coffee’s this one stood out with the sweet caramel and blueberry taste a full rich body and a slight tangy tartness of blackberries on the aftertaste. This was just an experiment of Mauricio’s which is why it is such a small lot but we are thrilled to be the exclusive roaster of this coffee.
Watch for this coffee in Mid-July I am sure it will not last long!
We also have another rather interesting pair of coffee’s that will be coming from Finca Joaquim of the Pacas family , We have a Red bourbon from there which by itself is great but we are also getting the Peaberry selection of the very same coffee!
A Peaberry is a slightly mutated bean, it is still a Red Bourbon but instead of having two beans growing in a cherry the Peaberry is a just a single bean in the cherry. This allows it to soak up all the deliciousness of the cherry giving it a generally sweeter taste with more intense characteristics. This is another very small lot (2-3 Bags) but if you get the chance we would definitely recommend trying the Red Bourbon alongside the Peaberry to really experience how even the smallest change can vastly affect the taste.
Fratello has a brand new coffee in the works and you’re about to get the inside scoop. The Nicaraguan Java, sourced by Fratello’s head roaster David Schindel, is on its way to being in a coffee cup near you! I sat down with David to learn a bit more about his recent trip to Nicaragua and how this coffee travelled from farm to Fratello.
Kwin Dean: Hey David, sounds like your recent trip to Nicaragua was pretty productive! How many farms did you visit while you were there?
David Schindel: I visited 5 farms total on my trip to Nicaragua; the Mama Mina farm, the Los Placeres farm, two other smaller farms and finally the Limoncillo farm, where I found the Nicaraguan Java, or Nica Java for short. Finca Limoncillo was probably one of the most beautiful places that I visited on my entire trip, as you can probably tell from the pictures.
KD: What stood out to you about this particular farm?
DS: The huge waterfall right in the middle! And the large size of the farm…it’s 171 manzanas; or close to 300 acres. The Nica Java lot made up only a few acres of the entire farm.
KD: Tell me a little bit about the background of Finca Limoncillo and Fratello’s relationship with the farmers.
DS: This farm is owned by the Mierisch family, whom we’ve been working with for 6 or 7 years now. They also own the Mama Mina and Los Placeres farms that we’ve gotten some really nice coffees from in the past. The Mierisch family is pretty well established in the coffee community. They have 9 farms, with some in Honduras as well. Their website, fincasmierisch.com, is a really good source of information on each farm and can give people a broader idea the coffees that are grown there and the teams that work there.
KD: What are the working conditions like at Finca Limoncillo?
DS: In comparison to the quality of life that most Nicaraguans lead, I’d say the working conditions there are definitely above average. The farm workers live in the area and have access to school facilities and an on-site medical care office year round, even though the harvest is seasonal; usually December to February.
KD: How are the coffees picked and milled at Finca Limoncillo?
DS: The coffee cherries are hand-picked, then milled and dried about one hour from the farm. This is also where the cupping lab is.
The Mierisch family has adopted a new parabolic drying chamber which is in its first year of use at the mill. Essentially it consists of African raised beds that are stacked on top of each other in a green- house-like environment that controls humidity as the beans dry. The beans start at the top of the stack and are lowered down level by level as they dry. This allows for a slower drying time, which helps to close up the cell walls of the bean more consistently and leads to a harder bean that is better for roasting.
Once dried, the beans are sorted by density, then sorted again by hand to ensure that only the best beans make the cut.
KD: You ended up choosing two different coffees from this farm to import to Fratello. How did you go about choosing these coffees?
DS: I did an extensive cupping over the course of two days. I tasted about 40 coffees each day for a total of close to 80 different coffees. This farm is pretty large with around 3 full containers, or about 900 sacks, produced each year. This means that there is a wide variety of coffees to try in the cuppings.
In the end I chose two coffees: the Nica Java natural and the Nica Java pulp natural. This is the exact same coffee bean, just processed in two different ways. In this case, Java simply refers to the varietal of the bean. It is characterized by being a little bit more elongated and oblong-shaped than some other varietals.
KD: What is the difference between a coffee that is naturally processed and a coffee that is processed using the pulp natural method?
DS: A naturally processed coffee means that the coffee is dried with the coffee cherry still on the bean. This type of processing generally gives the coffee more fruity flavours.
A pulp natural is dried with the mucilage or pulp still on the bean, but NOT the full coffee cherry. So this type of processing supplies a bit less fruit flavour to the coffee than the natural processing does.
KD: What sort of tasting notes made you choose these coffees?
The natural had a fruity berry note. I could taste a bit of strawberry and blackberry. It was much heavier on the palette.
The pulp natural had notes of lemon and black tea, a citrus acidity and a nice natural sweetness.
In general, I was looking for a coffee that had a little something different, or a unique-ness about it. A lot of coffees have chocolate or nut flavours and they aren’t necessarily bad coffees; they’re just plain. At Fratello, we want a coffee with personality.
KD: What would be considered a bad tasting note, or something that would cause you to low-score a coffee?
DS: These could be things like: carbon flavours, which might indicate an issue with the roasting; metallic flavours, which might indicate a hard bean defect, or simply just a bland, uninteresting taste on the palate.
KD: Once you chose these two coffees and had the lots shipped to the Fratello roastery, how did you go about developing the profile of the coffees?
DS: The idea was to use roasting techniques to try to re-create those amazing flavours that I had tasted at the cuppings in Nicaragua. I’m working with the pulp natural right now. So far I’ve tried about ten different profile roasts and I think I need about one or two more just to refine the final profile.
I started by trying to highlight the acidity. To do this, I tried speeding up the first crack stage with higher temperatures at the beginning of the roast. I was still missing the lemony-ness, so I continued to play with the development times and bean colour. Eventually I made a happy mistake…I was trying for a 9 minute crack time; however the roaster was cold since it was the first roast of the day. I ended up with a crack time of just over 10 minutes, so I tried the same development time afterward and ended up finding the lemony notes I had been looking for! Now it’s just a matter of lightening up the roast a bit without losing those flavour characteristics.
KD: What flavours are you aiming for in the final cup?
DS: I’m looking to fine-tune the profile to a smooth lemon tea flavour with lots of brightness.
KD: What is the expected release date of the Nicaraguan Java?
DS: This coffee should be profiled and ready for distribution by the beginning of next week, so around September 22, 2014.
KD: How do you think this coffee ranks among our other Fratello coffees?
DS: Personally, I’d say it ranks among our top two coffees right now, along with the Costa Rican Gamboa Pastora. When I was cupping in Nicaragua, I scored these coffees around an 87 out of 100, which is pretty high.
KD: How long can we expect these coffees to be available?
DS: In terms of green beans, we brought back 2 sacks of the natural and 16 sacks of the pulp natural. This translates to just under 1200 2 pound bags of roasted coffee, so I’d say this will last us about 3 or 4 months. Hopefully less if everyone likes it as much as I think they will!
Well, there you have it! The Nicaraguan Java should be available for purchase any day now. Stop by our roastery location or either of our Analog cafes in the next couple of weeks to give this unique coffee a try…it may not last long! Happy drinking!
– Kwin Dean