The coffee, At FARO

Fair Trade month is coming !

May is fair-trade month. Despite its initial popularity and its noble intentions, fair trade coffee has been less of a trendy product lately and has even come under criticism by certain coffee roasters. Indeed like any system, it has its flaws. The fair trade project is not an end in itself, but a living system that changes with time. The purchases that we make directly from the coffee farmers are more singular and more efficient from a marketing point of view. Despite the fact that a North-South trading axis is direct, everyone agrees that direct purchases cannot happen on 100% of the crops. The fair trade month of May is a way for FARO to claim that fair trade has its place in our purchasing system. It must and will evolve, like all business trading systems; the fairness factor that gave rise to this system is a part of our core values. Let’s ask our own Valérie Verhoef, barista and manager at FARO, to tell us more about fair trade. 

Maxime Fabi, managing director

Why fair trade ?

Fair trade exists because this type of trade is based on the theory that conventional trading is unfair and that we all need to look at the mark we leave as consumers and stakeholders. Imbalance in trade between the Northern and Southern countries has existed since the first industrial revolution.  For almost 20 years now, FARO has been preoccupied by this unfairness and holds fairtrade coffee in its product offering. Every year we visit many coffee producers in South and Central America. Although fair trade represents only 0.01% of all commerce worldwide, according to the Fair Trade Federation, we insist on doing our part. We believe in solidarity and respect for others in our trading practices.

The implications of buying fair trade products.

When buying fairtrade products we:

  1. Promote the development of good ethics in commerce. We respect the workers, while fighting against cheap labour and child work; we encourage equal treatment for women.
  2. Help in maintaining healthy commercial relationships. We redefine their terms and most of all we establish a direct rapport with all types of farmers and producers.
  3. Contribute to the broadening of the range of products being offered and their availability on the fairtrade markets. The stronger the demand, the wider the product offering.
  4. Help in the transfer of knowhow and skills that surely deserve to be passed on to future generations.
  5. Choose local producers. Whether from here or abroad… We work with people who are passionate about their craft, people who enjoy creating and offering quality products.

It is not our intention to hold a moralising discourse; we are merely craftspeople who specialize in roasting coffee. We are affected by the fairtrade aspect of economic development and we are proud to offer our patrons various fairtrade products.

 

 

 

The coffee

The process of decaffeination

What is caffeine?

Caffeine is a chemical and psychoactive molecule that acts to stimulate the mind and body. We often hear that caffeine increases focus, helps coordination and supports physical efforts. Naysayers will affirm that caffeine feeds anxiety, that it disturbs sleep and gives headaches. Contrary to rumors which mention that dark roast coffees contain less caffeine, we are now able to state that a multitude of factors influence the amount of caffeine contained in our cup of coffee: the nature of the bean, the roasting, the infusion, the water temperature or the amount of coffee used, among others. If you would like to know more on this subject, you can refer to this article of the SCAA, expert in the world of coffee.

How is coffee decaffeinated?

First of all, be aware that decaffeinated coffee will always contain a minimum of caffeine. As mentioned above, the caffeine molecule is tenacious! However, there are 2 well-known methods to eliminate a good deal of caffeine.

Swiss water process:

  1. The coffee bean is soaked in water. This step allows the bean to expand (it becomes waterlogged) and thus prepare the extraction of caffeine.
  2. The bean is then filtered with charcoal. This filter traps in caffeine.
  3. This process is repeated until coffee is decaffeinated to more or less 99%.


KVW process (chemical process):

  1. The (green) coffee bean is first placed in a high-intensity steam bath. The objective is to open the pores of the bean.
  2. Subsequently, the bean is rinsed in a solution of dichloromethane (methylene chloride, an organic solvent) where it will macerate during 10 to 12 hours.
  3. Finally, the coffee beans return to steam for several hours in order to purify from the residues of the solvents used in the previous step.

 

Watch this video if you want to learn more about the Swiss water process!

At FARO

A new roaster for a new year

What a thrill to FINALLY write this blog about our new roaster! It’s the best way to start the New Year. This baby is CLEARLY the most beautiful coffee roaster in the world, our dream machine! I’ll spare you all the technical details, but I have to say this: this roaster was custom built for our specific needs. It’s able to meet all our particular requirements regarding the quality of the beans we shove down its throat in massive quantities, indeed in much larger batches than before. You can tell we’re very excited about this new member of our family, can’t you?

 

A roaster that reflects who we are

The most beautiful roaster in the world !

The most beautiful roaster in the world !

In order to rejuvenate our roasting plant, we had to design and find a roaster that would be able to reflect who we are and our total commitment to quality, while increasing the production output we needed. The thing is, at FARO, one of our divisions specialises in private brands and is dedicated to supplying restaurant chains, food distributors and grocery stores. It was therefore important that we remain very competitive for our customers. Some of our clients even select their own green coffee beans.  Although our new roaster is a true work horse and looks tough, it is a gem of technology and regularity. This mechanical jewel allows us to adjust roasting curves and confirm roasting temperatures from a remote location - even from my own cell phone.

 

The ideal machine from Diedrich

It is a hot-air and gas-fired piece of equipment. For our private brands division, it’s the ideal machine; you see, with ordinary roasters the amount of beans being roasted at one time has to remain the same if we are to obtain constant roasts. With our new beast, we can roast the amount of coffee we need for a particular batch since it adjusts its roasting curve according to the amount of beans it contains. We can therefore continuously obtain perfect batches of coffee with all the specific aromas, every time, all the time, whatever the amount of beans poured in the beast’s belly. This is quite a benefit for our type of production!

The challenge was to find a roaster capable of meeting the financial requirements of our private brand division while being able to reproduce FARO’s quality products in greater quantities. Given the increase in demand for such superior products, we needed to deliver the same FARO quality to large food chains.

Believe me, this machine does the job exceptionally well. It is a more precise, greener, steadier, tougher machine, and a highly praised piece of equipment in our industry. But still, it allows the artisan touch, where the art of coffee roasting prevails. Here are a few pics of OUR OWN best looking roaster in the world! 

The coffee

The coffee

 

Organic Fair Trade

This coffee line is certified by Transfair Canada and Ecocert Canada. Stringent measures are followed by systematic audits. This product line, such as Transfair explains, is key to the farming communities. "Fair trade is an equitable  and healthier way to trade, so that all members have access to a better quality of life. By creating stable and sustainable trade conditions, it empowers producers and their community to have a better future and to determine their needs and priorities. 


 

Our Faro Classics.

Coffee is a world to discover and rediscover. These coffees offer incredible value, they are our benchmark, roasted and carefully selected by our team, to offer you a great coffee experience .  Each selection has a unique taste profile and deeply developed flavors.


 

Limited roast.

Humidity, density of the bean, input temperature, "delta dot", ventilation are all factors to master during the roasting process. By having developed this expertise, it enables us to offer complex coffee roasts and maximize the flavor profiles. This product line purchased from specific farms is exclusively roasted in our smallest ovens thus offering incredible value


What makes a good coffee? What’s the best coffee in the world?

These are the two questions we have been asked most often in the last 30-plus years. From day one, our answers have always been the same. There is no right answer . . . but we’ll try.

Good coffee is a simple matter of taste. The quality of your beverage depends on the farmer, the importer, the roaster — and yourself, for its ultimate preparation.

 As for what’s the best coffee in the world, the classic response is, "The one you like." We will expand on that, by saying, “The one you love . . . well brewed!”

 So here’s a quick overview of an infinite world we’re also learning about and discovering every day.

 To better understand the culture of coffee, it is important to remember that every fruit or berry of coffee — every coffee bean — was grown by a farmer. That means it’s normal for the product to evolve or change from one year to the next. Changes in the amount of rainfall and sunshine, variations in soil, temperature and production techniques (harvesting, washing, drying, etc.) will affect the quality of the coffee bean. These parameters are referred to as “terroir”, like in the wine-making industry.

With this in mind, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) is working with many producers in different countries to improve the entire production and harvesting process.

To stay up to date on our discoveries, our experiences and especially our team, follow us on our Facebook page or our Instagram and Pinterest accounts. 

For more information on the essential role of the ICO in the production of coffee, visit http://www.ico.org/fr/mission

For a botanical view, visit the following links:

http://www.coffeeresearch.org/agriculture  
http://www.comitefrancaisducafe.fr 
http://www.comitefrancaisducaferenouveau.fr


Roasting

Roasting is also a world in itself. The quality of the equipment and the skills of the master roaster are largely responsible for the quality of your coffee.

To better understand this process and learn about the 800 aromatic molecules involved in the development phases of the bean during roasting, and the reaction of proteins, sugars, and volatile and chlorogenic acids, visit the following links:

http://www.diedrichroasters.com
Flavor wheel: http://www.scaa.org 

Preparation: How to maximize the quality of the brew in 6 steps

# 1. Buy freshly roasted beans

            Freshness is paramount. Freshly roasted coffee will release more aromas and flavors than a 3- to 4-week-old coffee. Ideally, buy whole coffee beans and transfer them into an airtight jar, or buy coffee packaged in sealed aluminum foil with freshness valves.

# 2. Keep the beans fresh 

             Store coffee in an airtight jar, away from light and moisture. Avoid freezers, refrigerators and hot places such as above the oven.

# 3 Buy the right coffee for your preferred infusion method 

            Some coffees are ideal for certain types of infusion. For example, dark roasts are less recommended for espresso infusions. It is important to choose a roast according to its characteristics (humidity, bean density, etc.), but also depending on the infusion type for which it will be used. 

# 4 Grind the coffee just before brewing 

              In an ideal world, we suggest people grind the coffee just before preparing and infusing it, since the flavors are at their maximum potential just after grinding. Ground coffee will age much faster than whole-bean coffee. 

# 5 Water 

            Obviously the temperature and quality of the water will influence the quality of your infusion. Avoid water that has a smell or contains added chlorine; also avoid distilled water, since naturally occurring minerals in water promote the exchange of coffee flavors. 

# 6 Use the right amount of coffee 

           Obviously, the amount you use will influence the taste of your cup of coffee. Make sure you add the correct amount for the type of infusion and flavor profile you want.  Here are approximate quantity suggestions: in general, for a single espresso, allow approximately 8-10 grams, and for a filter coffee, one to two tablespoons per infusion of 12 ounces. 

Finally, maintenance of your equipment is crucial for high quality coffee. For infusion coffee, filter coffee, espresso or French press, there are again a wide variety of factors to consider in order to arrive at a perfect product. 

scaa.org
Specialty Coffee Association of America website 

coffeegeek.com
Blog focusing mainly on equipment

baristamagazine.com
Site for people who serve coffee

coffeetalk.com
Focus on the global market, science, economic and business aspects. Serious matters! 

sprudge.com
Focus on marketing, trends, shops, baristas

facebook.com/BruleriedeCafedeQuebec
To follow our flagship store and see our own premium products sold there

At FARO

Bean, the free fundraising tool. Three FAQs to David Fabi co-founder of the platform.

 #1. Where did the idea of a fundraising tool come from? 

FARO, a business owned and operated by members of my family, has been in the specialty coffee business for many years. I started working with them last year and shared my desire to bring my own creative touch. I became aware of a question that was often raised by our customers. We indeed had a great deal of requests to participate in fundraising activities. So, we decided to find a way for help our clients raise funds. We were looking for a user-friendly approach that people could use to provide financial help to the cause of their choice. With our solution, practically anybody can create his or her fundraising campaign in less than 5 minutes, whether it’s for a sports team, a school activity or a well-established organisation in your area. Our goal was to make the fundraising campaign readily accessible for as many people as possible using an original approach.

 

#2. Why BEAN? 

We wanted to develop a very effective fundraising tool. Indeed, people have less and less time to organise old-fashioned fundraising campaigns. Handling the money, managing delivery, dealing with delivery errors, going door-to-door, supervising inventories are all steps that we will handle for you, the fundraiser. With Bean, all you have to do is create a campaign and then get in touch with your contacts via email, social networks or even by phone, which could yield better results. We also believe that our concept is safer for kids who no longer have to walk through the neighborhood after school. In addition, the Bean platform is embedded in today’s world of communications as it uses technologies that everyone can access nowadays. Let’s compare the old and the new methods of fundraising: if you were to knock on 10 doors and be lucky enough to sell 5 chocolate bars, you would raise all of $12.50 (based on a $2.50 profit on each bar), while you would have spent upwards of 30 minutes selling door-to-door and following-up on inventory and money management. With Bean, selling only one package will yield a donation of $15, with no deliveries and no inventory management on your part. This is what I had in mind when developing this fundraising tool.

 

#3 What makes your product unique?

At FARO, we make sure to deliver freshly roasted, gourmet, biological and fair-trade coffee; these are four value-adding factors in the equation. The added values that are associated with these certifications are in line with today’s consumers’ desire to make responsible purchases. We strongly believe that today’s consumers are mindful of the quality, origin and processing methods inherent to the products they buy.

 

For more information : www.beancommunity.com

Infusion

The French press

Making a cup of coffee using the French press method requires a plunger-type coffee maker such as a Bodum, a thermometer, a scale, a simple timer and, first and foremost, freshly ground coffee.

Step 1:

Grind coffee beans to a rather coarse grind using beans roasted to your taste. We recommend using medium roast coffee beans, or even a lighter roast; this is entirely up to you and your taste buds. The suggested coffe-to-water ratio (in no way absolute) is ¼ ounce (7 gr) of coffee for 4 ounces of water (115 ml). With the plunger pulled out of the coffee maker, put the ground coffee in the bottom of the glass or stainless steel pot.

Step 2:

Boil water to 200 degrees F or 93 degrees C. If you don’t have a thermometer on hand, remove the water from the heat source as soon as it starts to simmer. Pour the water over the ground coffee resting at the bottom of the coffee maker, making sure to leave about one inch of free space at the top of the pot. Make sure that the coffee is completely submerged.

Step 3:

Wait one minute, then delicately stir the coffee. Place the plunger over the rim of the pot and push it down slightly in order to close the lid of the coffee maker. Wait an extra 3 minutes to allow the grinds to release their flavour; that means a total of 4 minutes, which is called the infusion stage. To obtain more acidity and a lighter brew, reduce the infusion time. On the other hand, if you prefer a more intense cup of coffee and more bitterness, let the coffee infuse up to 5 minutes.

Step 4:

Apply a gentle pressure on the plunger until the filter reaches the bottom of the pot. Pour the coffee in your favourite cup and enjoy!

Simplicity is good.

Coffee infusion with bodum, french press