Many people around the world will not go a day without a nice cup of coffee. With a simple Google search for “coffee near me”, you will likely find hundreds of results for cafes, roasters, or other shops making sure you get your daily dose of caffeine from this delicious bean. However, just because there are many options for you to select your drink from does not mean that anyone can - or is qualified - to offer you the best.
Most people don’t realize that the gap in quality when it comes to coffee can be enormous. That’s why at Portfolio, our professional coffee roasters and baristas make sure to source only the highest grade beans from top farms all over the world. With years of experience and certifications, they are able to extract the best out of green beans to make sure your coffee experience is nothing short of excellent.
Buy specialty coffee in Toronto
What is specialty coffee?
Specialty coffee is the term used for the highest grade of excellence that exists when it comes to coffee quality. Coffees are usually graded in the Coffee Review scale and must score a minimum of 80 points of 100 total to be qualified as a specialty.
This level of distinction is only achieved through a combined effort that starts with the coffee producer perfecting the conditions for farming, the green coffee buyer with their training and experience to analyze beans as sommeliers are able to analyze wines, and the roasters who mastered the craft of extracting the best out of each coffee by manipulating heat transfer, thermodynamics and coffee chemistry.
How to know if the coffee beans are good?
There’s a lot that goes into defining coffee beans as good, and part of it is subjective or up for your personal taste but generally speaking high quality coffee beans will give you a drink that can balance acidity, sweetness, and bitterness.
One way to separate specialty coffee from common coffee is to check if you can notice complex and nuanced flavours. Good coffee should not taste burnt, charred, or raw. It should leave you wanting another sip and while there are a lot of factors that influence the quality of your cup it is important to know that coffee that has been sitting on a shelf in a big box grocery store will hardly compare to beans masterfully crafted by your local coffee roaster just a few days before you consume them.
Where to buy fresh roasted coffee beans?
The reason you can notice the difference between fresh roasted coffee beans and coffee that has been sitting on a shelf for a long time is that the beans start to develop as soon as they are roasted. Different beans mature at slightly different times, but in general you can expect most coffee beans to be at their peak flavour within 5 to 7 days of roasting.
Portfolio coffee is brought to Canada from their farm of origin within 3 to 4 months of a given coffee harvest. The beans are then roasted in Toronto no longer than 4 days in advance of bagging and shipping to your door, which means you get to experience the best of fresh roasted coffee beans.
Where do the world’s best coffees come from?
Lucky for us, there are a lot of countries in the world that produce top quality coffee beans. Climate, altitude, and type of soil are a few factors that help produce premium coffee and make them more suitable to certain types of coffee plants.
Brazil is the largest coffee producer, responsible for a whole third of all the coffee consumed in the world. The country is covered by miles and miles of coffee plantations, mostly located in the southeastern states where the natural conditions are ideal for consistent conditions for coffee production. Brazilian coffee is sophisticated and elegant, usually with low acidity.
Colombia is another powerhouse of coffee beans in South America. While its neighbour Brazil produces a great variety of coffee strains, Colombia is famous for Arabica beans grown in its excellent climate, perfect soil, and the exact right amount of sunlight and rainfall resulting in authentic Colombian coffee beans with rich flavours.
We couldn’t leave Ethiopia out of this list as the country is largely regarded as the birthplace of coffee. Famous worldwide, Ethiopia is able to produce excellent coffee thanks to the high altitude growing conditions and attracts interest from all coffee enthusiasts.
Can I brew specialty coffee at home?
For the longest time specialty coffee wasn’t readily available. People would get to enjoy high quality coffee from the experienced hands of baristas while visiting coffee shops where they could have access to sophisticated coffee beans. Nowadays you can buy specialty coffee from your phone with just a few clicks and brew an excellent cup yourself.
Some people might choose to keep it simple and buy specialty coffee online to elevate their home brewed experience - while also saving money by skipping the retail markups. While more passionate coffee enthusiasts can go as far as their interest desires and start a collection of coffee gear from espresso machines to french press to extract very specific profiles from their coffee.