Espresso & Coffee Machines in Calgary and Edmonton

Since 1991, we have been importing Nuova Simonelli espresso equipment from Italy, as well as a selection of other commercial coffee equipment.   Our core business is roasting and supplying coffee houses and new cafes in Calgary and Edmonton with the training and consultation they need to run a successful business.  We are eager to work with people that share our dedication to coffee.

Aurelia Nuova Simonelli 2 group

We want to share our passion with you and help you learn to present coffee at its finest in your business.  Fratello has been roasting coffee for over 27 years, but we are more than just a coffee roaster. Our consultants are experienced professionals that will guide you in all aspects of your business.   From initial consultations around opening a new location to getting into the details of selecting products and equipment for your business, you will have access to our team of coffee professionals.

Fratello Coffee Roasters has made the choice to represent a select group of top quality equipment for your coffee hourse or restaurant.   In stocking brands we know and trust, we are able to offer expert service and advice as you look at setting up a new business and cafe, or replacing equipment as needed.

Fetco brewer

From your large equipment needs such as an espresso machine, coffee brewers and grinders right down to the details, we offer the right products.  Please browse our commercial equipment section to get an idea of the range of products offered.   We look forward to meeting you to offer a personal consultation.

We know the best coffee needs the best people and the right equipment. Call us today for more information.

 

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:

APPEALING TO THE AVERAGE CONSUMER
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.

SERVICE - STOP TALKING AND START LISTENING
Steve Leighton, Hasbean Coffee
Presentation on how the modern day coffee shop has forgotten to listen to its most valuable assets..

RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL BY-THE-CUP PROGRAM (Round-table)
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?

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

PRICING, PROFIT AND SUSTAINABILITY OF QUALITY (Round-table)
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.

Hario V60 pour over Coffee, a brewing guide

The Hario V60 O2 pour over dripper is our preferred method of brewing coffee at Fratello's Analog Cafe.

The manual brewing process allows our barista to have complete control over the brew speed and ensure proper ground saturation. The slower extraction time lends to a much sweeter and complex flavour in the cup than a traditional brewer.

It is very easy to use, so we put together this brewing guide to show you how you can use this in your cafe, home or work place. They are also VERY affordable.  You can find them on our store HERE.

Watch this short video that takes you through the steps to do this yourself.

An Education - Cupping 19 unique micro-lots

I recently had the please of meeting Ted Buracas of NewContent.  Ted Buracas is a writer, photographer, and film maker in Calgary, where he counts coffee as one of his many passions. You can find this article cross posted on the blog, NewContent.ca.  Ted got in touch with me as he knew I was going to be in the process of cupping 19 micro-lots from Nicaragua and wanted to join me.  Ted had never cupped coffee before but had a good back ground in wine tasting.  Needless to say, we had a very fun day talking about many different things relating to coffee and coffee cupping.

Primarily Ted wanted to know why we cup, the purpose of cupping and to educate himself if it really makes a difference in what we do.   The below information is taken directly from Ted's blog post:

coffee cupping tasting bowls

I’d like to try to address a gnawing question about coffee. If it were only for myself, that would be fine, but if it would also salve your conscience, and help you feel a little bit less guilty for the occasional extravagance, then so much the better, and my job would be done.

The question is this: why would anyone in their right mind spend five bucks for a cup of coffee?

The answer is at once simple but also complicated by a myriad of factors. There is an answer for those who would take some time to consider nuance. And for those who would invest a little effort to understand (or, at the very least, appreciate), I might even be able to to convince.

My own investment comes courtesy of Russ Prefontaine (@FratelloCoffee2) of Fratello Coffee Roasters. We spent four hours today cupping fresh Nicaraguan beans, and deciding which three or four Fratello would offer up for sale this year.

coffee cupping trays fratello micro lots

The simple answer is that some simply would not (spend the five bucks, that is). But then again, a four buck flank steak or a ten dollar bottle of red wine does quite well, thank you. And The Olive Garden is good Italian!)

And to be truthful, I am always looking for a drinkable $10 bottle of plonk.

But – and not to be snobbish here – there is a difference between good coffee and bad. And life is simply too short and too precious for coffee (or wine or food) that sucks.

It starts, of course, with the bean. Today we are sampling (cupping, to be precise) 19 different beans. They come from a single estate grower in Nicaragua, who grows several different  varietals of Coffea arabica spread out over two different growing regions. They (the beans) are all different, each unique. And it’s our job to pick just a few that will be presented to Fratello commercial clients this year.

fratello cupping table tasting micro lots

The first factor, then lays with the choice of the three or four beans that will represent an entire country. Three or four lots out of 19 on the table, from a single grower, a single producer among perhaps thousands. If you don’t care about sustainable farming practices, fair trade, pesticides, or shady business dealings (let alone harvesting practices, washing, processing, and drying) then it’s easy enough to choose a supplier from a catalog, and purchase from the cozy confines of Calgary in the wintertime.

And we haven’t even looked at the roasting process (which for these 19, has been kept controlled and is the same for all).

But garbage in, garbage out, as they say. And as I’ve said elsewhere, life’s too short…

None of these offerings are garbage. Not even close. All of them score 80 or higher, which in the considered opinion of an expert (like Russ) qualify as premium beans. Some are in the high 80s $30 to $40 dollars per retail kilo. 89 was the best score on a Java bean.

To choose from among today’s selection will take three or four hours. It’s an involved ritual akin to wine tasting. There’s lots of sniffing, swirling, stirring, and more sniffing. And then there’s the slurp. There is nothing sexy about the process; your nose is deep into the cup, and there is something undignified to the inward slurp.

The sounds involved are… interesting, and slightly off-putting. Not to be done in mixed company, for the self conscious.

But in performing the ritual, you begin to learn, and to appreciate differences. I am led to put words to the nuance I can smell – citrus, dark chocolate, strawberries, paper, among many. And there are  others still that I haven’t the vocabulary to describe.

But they’re there. I smell them, and later, I taste them.

cupping bowl ground tasting

There are some for whom taste and quality does matter, and I am one. This isn’t to say that a five dollar cuppa is a daily occurrence for me; I might spring for one a couple times a month. This is an indulgance, but a modest one; there is worse in the coffee world (let’s not even consider Kopi Luwak, for instance).

Is [the process] worth it? Russ says so: “It’s the people with the biggest mouths that can tell the difference.”

But when it comes down to final choices, it is about personal preference. There is no garbage here, remember; just preferences based on a qualitative score. It’s for the expertise (among other things), borne of 20 years of experience, that you are paying.

Would the average coffee consumer be able to tell the difference between Fratello coffee and, say, a Co-op house brand bean? I honestly don’t know, but it’s an interesting experiment that I shall try with both sets of my own parents when they come to call.

They say they like coffee.

notes cupping score sheet

But even if most would not appreciate the love and dedication that goes into this premium coffee, is it still worth the effort that folks like Russ put into the choice? He says it is: “It’s the people with the biggest mouths that can tell the difference.”

So just why would you spend five bucks for a cup? One simple reason; it just tastes good.

If you want to try something singularly amazing, drop into the Fratello Analog Cafe at the Calgary Farmer’s market. Order a premium drip coffee. It will take some time – nothing is rushed here – but it may well be the best cup of brewed coffee you’ve ever tasted. It was for me.

———————————

Fratello Coffee Roasters is located at 4021-9th St. S.E., Calgary, where they will sell you fresh beans or brewing paraphernalia, and offer up advice. You might even get a free bevvie. Tell them Teddy sent you.

Chemex coffee maker, a brewing guide

Using a Chemex is my personal favourite way to brew filtered coffee.  The slower extraction time lends to a much sweeter and complex flavour in the cup.  I find a more syrupy mouthfeel.  It is very easy to use, so we put together this brewing guide to show you how you can use this in your cafe, home or work place.

These are available to purchase on our store.

Watch this short video that takes you through the steps to do this yourself.

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It is a great time to be drinking coffee in Calgary!

caffe crema coffee barista training Slayer barista training fratello

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.

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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.

coe4

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.

coe5

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Barista Training

The Canadian Barista & Coffee Academy will be offering two days of barista training at Fratello this May 26th and 27th - following the Barista Competition.

This special training academy for barista (espresso machine operators) and those interested in learning more about coffee and espresso presents its 2008 Educational Program. The hands-on training workshops are lead by Canadian and international expert trainers and professional baristas. They are for those new to the industry or those who want to perfect their coffee skills and include: Basic Training, Advanced Training and Expert Barisa workshops.

Please refer to the schedule below for details and click here to register.

Location: Fratello Coffee

4021 9th St. SE Calgary, Alberta

403-265-2112

Monday, May 26, 2008

9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Barista Level I: Beginner Barista Workshop

2 p.m. - 6 p.m. Barista level II: Advanced Barista Workshop

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Level III: Expert Barista & Latte Art Workshop

9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Opening a Successful Coffee Business Seminar

2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Coffee Cupping Workshop

Buying Trip to Brazil

Russ & I had the pleasure of taking some of our staff down to Brazil last month on an educational buying trip. We met farmers committed to more then just quality coffee, but also who were committed to making a difference in the environment and to the lives of people who worked for them on their farms.

We look forward to bringing to Calgary some of these special coffees and the stories of the families who put so much heart into producing them. I want to give a special thanks to Schieder and the good people of Tristao Trading for hosting our Fratello family while in Brazil. It was a fantastic trip!