It is a great time to be drinking coffee in Calgary!
Over the last 4 years the number of independent quality driven cafes has grown from less than a handful to over 20 to choose from, with multiple locations opening for some companies. We have seen a greater dedication to sourcing exceptional coffee, hiring and retaining baristas that are passionate about coffee and educating the public.
One of the key distinguishing qualities in a great coffee house, is the sense of community between the customer and the employees. Baristas working in great coffee shops see their role as a sort of guide for the customer to what coffee has to offer; and by extension the customer becomes excited and engaged with the experience. Independent cafes and progressive chains are opening up to their customers and inviting them to learn about the whole seed to cup journey of coffee.
3rd Wave Cafes : 14 different Seattle cafes in 1 day
What does it take to be a "3rd Wave" cafe? Read this post and find out what some of the best in Seattle are doing.
On December 6th, a group from Fratello Coffee and Slayer Espresso met in Seattle for 1 day. In this 10 hour day we visited, reviewed and tasted a lot of amazing products. When originally planning this trip to we had 2 goals. The main purpose of this trip was to visit the Slayer Espresso's studio to witness their break through in brewing technology and to experience their ability to develop new characteristics in its espresso brewing techniques. It is too new for me to talk about this, so I won’t......
Our second purpose was to educate ourselves with a few of the great Seattle “3rd Wave café’s” and to bring this knowledge back to Calgary to help our café’s in elevating their skills in offering excellence to their customers. With the knowledge of new competition coming to our back yard we felt that this was the best way to help prepare our clients for what the new standard of running a café will be, and what it will take to compete on these new levels. We know that many people don’t have the time to fly to Seattle/Vancouver them selves, so we decided to bring Seattle to them. My next plan is to do the same thing for Vancouver.
14 cafes were chosen, all different and all excellent in what they are doing. This tour consisted of Chris and Jason Prefontaine, Eric Perkunder, Trent Breitkreutzt and my self. I decided to document this trip, but please keep in mind that I am not a journalist, I am a professional coffee cupper and roaster, who simply loves coffee. The views below are my opinion only!!
Below are some notes and observations I made while visiting these great cafes. I hope that this will be helpful in setting a new direction for those cafes that are looking to improve with what they are currently doing everyday.