2012 Prairie Coffee Show and Barista Competition

We are very proud to announce the 2012 Prairie Coffee Show - July 13th to 16th.  This year, Fratello Coffee Roasters, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters and Transcend Coffee are taking the event to the next level.   We listened to the feedback from last year and will be expanding on the very popular customer workshops.  We also took a big step and will be taking the opportunity to bring industry folks from across the prairies and creating a forum for sharing of ideas and collaboration.

We are proud to announce that Steve Leighton of Hasbean Coffee (all the way from Stafford, UK) will be leading our industry forum.  Steve is one of the most respected coffee guys, and besides running a successful coffee roasting business, he also has a great blog (www.hasblog.co.uk), a fun and informative video coffee tasting blog called “In my mug” (www.inmymug.com) and is one of the co-creators of Tamper Tantrum - a series of on-going talks by various industry members - recorded and made public for everyone’s benefit, see more atwww.tampertantrum.com.  We are extremely grateful that Steve made time out of his busy schedule to come and lead our industry forum.   The details of the Forum are as follows:

Brent Fortune, Coffee Common
Discussion on Coffee Common's approach to reaching customers, what's worked, what hasn't.
Focus on connecting with customers and engaging them on an approachable level.

Steve Leighton, Hasbean Coffee
Presentation on how the modern day coffee shop has forgotten to listen to its most valuable assets..

Phil Robertson, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters
Russ Prefontaine, Fratello Coffee Roasters
Poul Mark, Transcend Coffee
Discuss various perspectives of what works and what doesn't.  Try to answer the question: can it be done?

Steve Leighton, Hasbean Coffee
A presentation on what "real" innovation is in the specialty industry, and not the elephants in the room.

Steve Leighton, Hasbean Coffee
Sebastian Sztabzyb, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters
David Crosby, Caffe Rosso
Chris Prefontaine, Fratello Coffee Roasters
Pricing retail can be tricky: incumbents have setup price barriers and the cost of top quality green is increasing, so how to we create sustainability?

Finally, in an effort to build and strengthen the prairie region barista community, we will be hosting barista workshops led our past two Canadian Barista Champions: Rob Kettner 2010 and Josh Hockin 2011.

We are also honored to be welcoming back Brent Fortune of Coffee Common for the very popular coffee workshops, except they will not be workshops.  Instead of class-style demonstrations, we are going to have hands-on brewing and tasting stations, allowing you to brew your coffee alongside an experienced barista.  This interactive hands-on style worked very well in the Coffee Common NYC Pop-up this past January.

Congratulations Joel May - 3rd place in Canada

fratello slayer mazzer

This is a quick post to say congratulations to Joel May, one of our barista trainers at Fratello Coffee, for finishing 3rd place over all in the National Canadian Barista Competition.  This is a HUGE accomplishment for Joel & Fratello.  The competition was very steep this year and to even move on to the Canadian finals was great, let alone the top 3!!

This is Joel's 3rd year in a row finishing in the top 6 in Canada.  We hope he is proud, because we sure are!

2010 Prairies Regional Barista Competition

On August 7th, Come and watch as the top baristas in Alberta and Saskatewan compete for a chance to represent the region at the Canadian Barista Competition in Toronto.

Get involved behind the scenes or just come out to cheer on your favoriet baristas.

This is open to all of the public and is being held at:

Fratello Coffee Roasters

4021 - 9th Street SE

Calgary, Alberta

Tickets are available for $5.00 at the door.   Entrance also gives you the ability to win the 50/50 draw at the end of the evening.


Bolivian Cup of Excellence Coffee - Cafe Central Lot #6

Fratello just won another Cup of Excellence coffee Lot.  The auction just finished and was one of the longest bidding wars I can remember.  After it was all said and done, the #1 lot was sold for $35.05/lb (green) which is a new record for Bolivian Specialty Coffees.

This stretched on for almost 7 hours!  Fratello chose to puchase Lot # 6 which was also given a Presidental Award.  A Presidental Award is given to any coffee which scores over a 90.00 in the Cup of Excellence compitition.

Lot#: 6 Luis Huayhua Chiji - Café Central - Jury Score 90.71

Below is information on the coffee that we will be sharing with all of our friends/clients in the new year.

Luis Huayhua is father of three children. He is married to Zenobia Charca, a coffee producer for over 20 years and winner of the Cup of Excellence 2008. He arrived in Alto Beni from Achacachi in the Bolivian high plains (the altiplano) with her parents when he was 10 years old. Luis learned about coffee production as a child, while working alongside his parents, but he had never processed coffee. For this reason, de-pulping, fermenting, washing and drying there coffee to participate in the competition presented a challenge for him. (more…)

Canadian National Barista Competition

What a crazy day!  15 of Canada's top barista's competed today with the closest results today.  We have yet to be given any scores, but the judges mentioned that these were the most talented barista's to ever compete in Canada.

What we do know is that Joel May from Fratello Coffee has made it to the finals, and is ranked in the top 6 of Canada.

Tomorrow we will find out who will be the 2009 Canadian champion.  It is going to be a very tight competition!!!

Stay tuned, and join us on UStream.com to watch this event live.

National Canadian Barista Competition

On October 14th, Fratello's Joel May will be competiting again in the National Canadian Barista Competition.   Last year Joel finished 3rd overall in Canada, so this year we are all cheering for him to become #1.

This is a very challenging competition that takes a lot of work and constant practice.  Joel will be competing with barista's from around Canada who have each earned the chance to compete for the chance to go to London England next year with hopes of becoming the World's top barista.

Over the past few months barista's have been competing across Canada in Regional Competitions and only the top 3 from each region are guaranteed a spot in the Nationals.   Shaw TV did a feature on the Prarie Regional's held at Fratello Coffee early September.  Please watch this video which helps explain what the competition is about.

2009 Prairie Regional Barista Competition

The top baristas in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Yukon will gather in Calgary on Saturday, September 12, 2009 to compete in the the 2009 Prairies Regional Barista Championships.


The second annual event, held this year at Fratello Coffee Roasters in Calgary, will feature 11 competitors from the prairies region. Each competitor has 15 minutes to prepare and serve 12 coffee beverages—four espresso, four cappuccino, and four signature drinks. Four sensory judges, two technical judges and one head judge evaluate each performance, including the taste of beverages served, cleanliness, creativity, technical skill and overall presentation of the competitors.

The top three scoring competitors earn the right to compete at the Canadian National Barista Championship, October 14 & 15 in Vancouver, as well as travel bursaries and a prize package. The public is invited to attend the event free of charge and enjoy beverages prepared by competitors at the complimentary espresso bar. The event will be broadcast live on Ustream. A link and further details can be found on the event website at http://2009prbc.com/

Also - this Friday September 11 is a Barista Jam - Open to all Professional Barista's and coffee enthusiasts. We'll be hanging out, pulling shots and warming up for the competition. There will also be a Latte Art Throwdown, $5 buy-in winner take all. P.S. beer will be served 😉

See you guys this Friday & Saturday !

Here is a Schedule of Events for all compeditors

Colombian Cup of Excellence 2009

I have just returned from Pereira Colombia after judging the 2009 Cup of Excellence competition.   Although tired, I'm thrilled about this experience.  It is so exciting going through the cupping process and seeing the award ceremony's on the final day.

COE #1 lot winner

 The Cup of Excellence competition is the most thorough and competitive screening process a coffee farm will put their coffee through.  The goal of COE is to bring out the best coffee a current region has to offer in the current crop year.  After the competition is over, the COE award is given to the top farmers who represent the best coffees that this region has to offer.  These coffees are then put in front of the world on an on-line auction which rewards these farmers for their focused attention to improving quality coffee, and puts a spot light on this region show-casing their excellence.


Stage one Involves the submission from the farmers current crop of coffee.  Of the 512,000 families growing coffee in Colombia, only 374 submissions were sent in this year, which was relatively low do to the fact that Colombia's crop forecast is 30-40% lower than the year before.

All of these coffees are cupped and analyzed in Colombia by local cuppers.  All coffee scoring an 84 or higher (out of 100) move on to the second National Cupping jury.  The National Cupping Jury is chosen from the pool of local cuppers.  They are chosen for their cupping skills in the first stage.



Honduran Cup of Excellence 2008 - Las Amazonas

Yesterday was the online auction for the 2008 Honduras Cup of Excellence competition, and Fratello Coffee is happy to say, that we have won another Lot of coffee, and are the ONLY Canadian company to win one.   This is always an exciting process, and is particularly long, when you are also one of the 26 judges from around the world to actually participate in the competition at origin.

The judging process is a 4 day cupping extravaganza that allows you to taste the best coffees that country has to offer.  It starts out with the national cupping jury to taste all the entries and separate all the coffees that score an 84 or higher.

The next event bring the international jury into to rank all of these coffee to pick the final farms that qualify as a Cup of Excellence coffee (again anything over 84).  Every coffee gets tasted by each judge from 4 - 12 times and will be scored, and described each time.  Very tiring, but very rewarding.

When you walk away from the competition, you have experienced the best of this country as well as had the opprotunity to discover many different micro regions that had never been descovered until this time.  (more…)

Brazil Sete Cachoeiras Estate wins first place at SCAA 2008

I wanted to let you all know that the Brazil Sete Cachoeiras Estate - Rainforest Alliance coffee was given an award at the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) this year to recognize their quality among all the Rainforest Alliance Coffee produced.

When I went out for dinner with Renato Farhat Brito and his father Marcel Renato Brito, the owners of this estate, they had mentioned that when they entered this contest, they entered the exact same Lot of coffee we chose to import.