Birds and Beans Gives more than a Hill of Beans

Pine Warbler taken on the April 2016 Bird Walk Sponsored by Birds and Beans.

As a family owed small business, our donation history punches well above our weight class.  In addition to supporting the suppliers who provide us with products and services that embody our values, we also generously support initiatives that

    1. are aimed at preserving and restoring habitat for birds and other wildlife;
    2. add value to our community and are conducted within the immediate vicinity of the café.

We donate to Ontario Nature and Bird Studies Canada as a portion of sales of their special edition coffees.  While our coffee sourcing supports biodiversity in coffee growing regions, they preserve support wildlife habitat here at home.

In our local community, we donate generously to our long term partners: Mimico-by-the-Lake BIA, Citizens Concerned about the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront (CCFEW), and Lakeshore Arts  Their community building efforts are much appreciated and we enjoy long term friendship.

If you have a donation request, please tell us how we can become long term friends and let us know how your initiative preserves habitat, or how it builds community here in Mimico.

Birds and Beans are proud founding sponsors of Lakeshorts International Short Film Festival

Now Serving Cheese and Dill Scone!

We are proud to offer this unique scone made with all organic ingredients.  What a delicious and beautifully textured scone it is!  Great for breakfast or lunch.

The organic ingredients mean that it, like all of our baking, our great new scone is 100% GMO free and 100% cruelty free.  These important qualities are shared by everything we bake. 

We believe that honouring our core values results in better taste and better health.  

 

Cheese & Dill
Scone

*Flour,  *Butter, *Sugar, Honey, *Yogurt, *Eggs, *Cream, *Cheese, *Dill, Baking Powder, Salt

* Organic

Certified Organic Coffee is a Big Deal!

All our coffees bear the Canada Organic logo.

Certified by Ecocert Canada

Above shows how our packages display the Canada Organic logo with reference to our certifier, Ecocert Canada.  It is not legal to display the Canada Organic logo on a package without referencing the accredited certification body.

You can be confident about the legitimacy of products sold in Canada if the product label

  1. shows the Canada Organic logo along with the certifying body; OR
  2. it shows the organic logo of one of the CFIA accredited bodies (such as Procert or Ecocert)

From the CFIA FAQ: "[Understanding] these regulations enable consumer protection against deceptive and misleading labelling practices and claims regarding organic products." The CFIA vigorously defends the use of its logo and the certifying bodies are always willing to provide credentials for any product bearing their name as a certifier.

By the way, if you ever see a product with a Canada Organic logo without the certifier, you should report it to the CFIA. Such violations are rare, and sometimes inadvertent, but the integrity of the system relies on all of us participating and being vigilant.

Our 2016-2017 Organic Certificate

When we say our coffees are Organic, we mean all of our coffees are certified organic 1 by Ecocert Canada.

All our coffees are certified organic: we offer no conventional coffee. Many coffee marketers include some organic coffees in their line, while deliberately making no comment about the conventional ones, in hopes that the organic ones will "greenwash" their line. Others claim that their coffee is organic while not submitting to the costly and rigorous verification process of certification.  Sadly, in Ontario, due to a lack of commitment to the Canadian Organic standard from our provincial legislators,  this is not prohibited and leads to much confusion and abuse.

All of our offerings bear the organic Canada Organic Logo. And bearing the Canada Organic logo is a big deal!

Organic drying patio with our Nicaragua Wood Thrush

Organic certification is a rigorous process.  Obviously starting with certified organic beens is a prerequisite. Beyond that, we are required to keep accurate, retrievable records of all purchases, all roasts, all packaging, all spoilage and all sales of organic coffee.  Our practices must comply with the  Organic Products Regulations, 2009 as governed by the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA).  We are required to comply with Canada's Organic Labeling Laws, our trade documents are subject to strict regulation, and we are subject to inspection and regulation by an accredited Organic Certifier who is responsible to ensure our compliance.

Our certifier, Ecocert Canada is one of about 20 organizations in Canada accredited by the CFIA to bestow the Canada Organic seal on compliant organic products.  At our cost, Ecocert Canada conducts an annual audit in which they review our internal documentation, trade documents, practices and procedures, labels, and inventory and more, all to ensure our compliance with the Canada Organic Standard. In our annual audits, we must prove compliance with record keeping rules and standards.  We must demonstrate compliance with record keeping requirements.  Auditors conduct spot exercises to demonstrate completeness and accuracy of all of our records. They reconcile inputs, outputs and check that all inputs arrived with compliant packaging and with rigorous documentary credentials.

All of our sales must be likewise documented and packaged. All of our labels must be approved by Ecocert who ensure they meet labeling rules, that the package claims are correct, and that internal and trade documents are all in alignment.

The system works because all participants in the chain are subject to this scrutiny.  I trust that the inputs into my process comply with the organic standard because they too were rigorously verified by independent, 3rd party accredited bodies.

We at Birds and Beans are proud to support the chain of organic certification. We strongly believe in third party certification.  Certifications are a way for us to participate in a voluntary chain of trust while harnessing third party verification.

On certification, we are soaring above the crowd™.

 

1 Certified organic products are
  1. produced in compliance with published international organic definitions
  2. traceable throughout even global supply chains
  3. are verified for compliance by accredited 3rd party auditors

Now Shipping with New Bird Friendly Logo!

Smithsonian_BFH_Logo_Gold_Solid
The Bird Friendly Logo is Changing

Look for the new Bird Friendly logo on all of our coffees.  They are ALL certified organic coffees grown in Certified Bird Friendly Habitat!

Today we start shipping with the new Bird Friendly logo!  We are thrilled that the new logo now appears on both the front and back of all of our coffees.  

Bird Friendly is the only certification that takes organic coffee to the next level: It guarantees that our "shade grown" coffee is not just a claim on a label, but is certified to provide quality wildlife habitat.  

Bird Friendly coffee and quality habitat as far as the eye can see.
Certified Organic and Bird Friendly coffee cultivation looks like this!

When you purchase coffee that is certified organic and shade grown by the SMBC you have the assurance of the Smithsonian Institution that you are conserving wildlife and biodiversity.   ALL of our coffees have the seal... every cup of Birds and Beans coffee you drink is a gift of habitat to the world.  

 

/ Posts, Sustainability
Meet the New Bird Friendly Seal!

Meet the New Bird Friendly Seal!

The New Bird Friendly Seal The Smithsonian Seal appears in the new logo. We say goodbye and thank-you to the ... Read More...
/ Bird Friendly, Posts, Sustainability
What is Bird Friendly Coffee?

What is Bird Friendly Coffee?

Bird Friendly coffee is grown in a forest! ... Read More...
/ Posts, Sustainability
Bird Friendly® Certified Coffee according to Dr. Robert Rice

Bird Friendly® Certified Coffee according to Dr. Robert Rice

Quality habitat for as far as the eye can see! As we near the end of the summer, many of ... Read More...

Why we avoid Almonds at Birds and Beans

It might be impossible to always eat ethically, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try - National Post

"[Almonds] are also contributing to drought problems in California. Eighty per cent of the world’s almond supply comes from the state experiencing its worst drought on record. A report published by The Watershed Agricultural Council found that a single almond takes 1.1 gallons of water to produce. [...] California almond farmers are drilling thousands of feet down into aquifers to pump out water, threatening critical infrastructure like bridges, roads and irrigation canals, and even potentially triggering earthquakes." ~ National Post

We consider a lot of factors when choosing our products.  Being committed to health, community and sustainability requires balancing of many factors.  

We were pleased to see 2 recent articles (Toronto Star, and National Post) addressing decision making with more sophistication than considering a single factor.  

For example, is it better to purchase organic produce that has travelled a thousand miles and is packaged in clamshell plastic than it is to purchase uncertified product from a farmers market?  

Off hand, I don't know.  I would have to balance the factors and make a decision.  In my view, it is more meaningful to go through the process of weighing the factors than it is to "get the right answer".  Strengthening our ability to make fuzzy assessments with contrary impacts is itself meaningful.

So for me, there is no right and wrong.  There is trying and not trying. 

In our trying, we have chosen to remove our organic almonds from our baking.  We have replaced them with conventional hazelnuts.  

California's Drought May Be Worst in a Millennium ~ Scientific American

"Their analysis showed that a number of other droughts in California's history had less precipitation than the one the state is currently experiencing. However, the most recent drought stood out because of how exceptionally hot it was compared to other droughts over the past 1,200 years." ~ Scientific American

Why? Because we believe that the drought in California, where 80% of the worlds almonds are grown, is a factor that should be weighted very heavily.  

As for conventional hazelnuts, there is much to their credit. We prefer their flavour!  They are amazing in our breakfast cookie. 

Hazelnuts are native to Canada and grow here in Southern Ontario.  We have one in our garden at home (hey!  Maybe we should add one to our café garden!).  They offer Ontario growers a specialty crop that can reduce dependence on the forces of "Big Food". While most hazelnuts are grown in Turkey, market pressures are increasing demand for Ontario hazelnuts.  We are now part of that pressure.

And the health and nutritional benefits of hazelnuts rivals those of almonds.

So that's it!  We are off almonds and on hazelnuts.  Check our ingredient lists for them at the café.

Our Free Shipping Deal!

When birds migrate home, so does Birds & Beans coffee.
 
Celebrate spring migration with Free Shipping on Roasted coffee* orders over $45 for April & May - **** Extended to Sept 30! ****
 
And to make it even better, we’re extending the offer to all orders over $45 that contain at least 1 lb of Roasted Coffee.
 
For example:
An Aeropress + 1 lb of Roasted Coffee = Free Shipping
A 5 lb bag of green coffee + 1 lb of Roasted Coffee = Free Shipping

* Offer expires Sep 30, 2017 and applies to ground shipping to destinations within Canada only. Canada Post Air Stations excluded.

Roast your Own Green Coffee at Home

Coffee beans drying in the Sun in Nicaragua
Green coffee beans ready for roasting

As Coffee Roasters, we know green coffee beans. Green coffee beans are our raw material. Great roasted coffee can only come from great green coffee.

Our beans have been carefully selected so that we can offer a full range of coffees to sell online, serve in our cafe, and deliver to our wholesale partners. We’ve spent the past 15 years refining our choices of beans so that we have the highest quality specialty grade Certified Organic, Bird Friendly and Fair Trade Arabica beans available anywhere. These are the ones that we sell for for you to roast at home.  No old crop specials, no cheap or tainted beans. People often comment how clean and defect free our beans are when they first see them. You can see the quality as much as you can taste it.

 Our prices are competitive, especially when you consider the quality, sustainability and ethical values - and you can also order the same coffee roasted by us to use as a benchmark for your roasting. We ship across Canada from our Toronto area Roastery.
 
So whether you are roasting on your stove using a popcorn popper, on a BBQ or using a small home roaster, you can easily start with the best beans and feel good knowing that with every cup, you are helping to conserve vital habitat and supporting small family farms in coffee growing regions.
 
You'll spend a lot of time roasting your coffee, make sure you start with the best beans. To see our current selection and to place your order, please click here. For those of you near us in Toronto, we stock the 1 lb and 5 lb sizes at our Café

 

Meet the New Bird Friendly Seal!

The New Bird Friendly Seal
156px-Smithsonian_logo_color.svg
The Smithsonian Seal appears in the new logo.
We say goodbye and thank-you to the Old Seal

Have a look at the new Bird Friendly logo... the seal that represents the gold standard of forest habitat.

There are several things worth pointing out in this logo.  We love that it illustrates several aspects of good habitat, like a variety of species, varied heights, and dense coverage.

The change in phrase on the seal from "Bird Friendly" to "Bird Friendly Habitat" points to the "friendliness" of Bird Friendly coffee: that it is grown in forest and preserves that habitat (see our post "What is Bird Friendly Coffee").

Bees nesting in a fallen tree on a Bird Friendly Coffee Farm

We strongly support the refocusing on habitat:  Forest habitat is not just for the birds!  Forests are the lungs of the world.  Bird Friendly habitat is a functioning, biodiverse ecosystem that supports and is made up of a web of inter-connected creatures, like monkeys and butterflies and beetles and native trees and plants and... oh... our wintering migratory songbirds.

It is also great to see the seal of the Smithsonian Institution within the logo.  The Smithsonian Institution is one of the worlds most respected knowledge organizations.  It is world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 19 museums and the National Zoo.  The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) is a department within that most prestigious organization. It is the scientists at the SMBC who developed and who administer the Bird Friendly® certification.

When you purchase coffee that is certified by the SMBC you have the assurance of the Smithsonian Institution that you are conserving wildlife and biodiversity.  And ALL of our coffees have the seal... every cup of Birds and Beans coffee you drink is a gift of habitat to the world.  

After proudly displaying the old logo for 15 years on our coffees we hope you will join us in congratulating the SMBC on the introduction of their new seal.  We use it throughout this website and we will be transitioning our packaging within the coming weeks.

Fallen flowers in the dappled shade on a Bird Friendly coffee Farm
Baby hummingbirds on a Bird Friendly coffee farm.

Show us your Mimico Joe!

Show us your Mimico Joe! Use the hashtag #MimicoJoe to be entered in our monthly draw for Birds & Beans Gift cards and Mimico Joe T-shirts. 

Mimico is our home and we love it, which is why it deserves to have its very own coffee blend. Let’s celebrate it.

Share your pics of Mimico, Birds and Beans coffee cups, Birds and Beans coffee bags.  Be sure to tag them #MimicoJoe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to enter. All winners must be able to pick up their prize in person at our Café … in Mimico.

And the t-shirt! It’s a good one:  made in CANADA out of an Organic Cotton/Bamboo Blend and is available in Men’s and Ladies' styles for only 24.95 each! 

Decaf Peru Royal

This decaf was commissioned from a blend of Peru Norte and Peru La Florida, both Bird Friendly® coffees. The La Florida offers a good clean cup while the Norte adds lovely maltiness and nuttiness. It is slightly tart with a pleasant finish.

All of our decaf coffees are decaffeinated using a chemical free water decaffeination process.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Decaf Espresso Blend

Bird Friendly Decaf Espresso

This coffee has been recently reblended and is now the world's first decafeinated Bird Friendly espresso!!!! We are so proud!

Of course it is also certified organic (a prerequisite of certified Bird Friendly) and is certified Fair Trade.

We can't get over how great this coffee is! It makes a great drip coffee, and americano, espresso and latte to rival most every example of "full-caf" that I've had out in the last year! It is dominantly sweet and smooth with a beautiful long deep sweetness. Look for hints of pecan and raisin. Great for an evening espresso, cappuccino or even regular brewing.

All of our decaf coffees are decaffeinated using a chemical free water decaffeination process.

Brew this full strength for best effect.

Decaf Honduras Howler Monkey

We are delighted to offer the first DECAF certified Bird Friendly® coffee from Honduras! It is grown at 1100-1800 meters by a coopertive of 100 small growers. Their crop contains bourbon, tipica, catuai, varietals as well as the less common icatu, pacamara and cafe-90 varietals.

Having experienced the disappointing ecconomic and eccological impact of conventional growing through the 90's, these brave and growers decided to make change. They faced many challenges, but persevered becoming first organic and fair trade certified, and now also Bird Friendly. They relearned the old ways and supplemented them with innovative organic techniques.

This is a wonderful bold coffee with dominant chocolate notes. It is full and smooth with a long deep sweetness. It has a deep fruit middle with raisin and pecan. There is an enduring aftertaste with chocolate and mint.

All of our decaf coffees are decaffeinated using a chemical free water decaffeination process.

Brew this full strength for best effect.

Ontario Nature Decaf.

This decaf was commissioned from a blend of Peru Norte and Peru La Florida, both Bird Friendly® coffees. The La Florida offers a good clean cup while the Norte adds lovely maltiness and nuttiness. It is slightly tart with a pleasant finish.

All of our decaf coffees are decaffeinated using a chemical free water decaffeination process.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

The Messenger Blend

For our second Special Edition coffee - The Messenger Blend - we've partnered with The Messenger Documentary and Bird Studies Canada. When you purchase this coffee, you are not just helping to protect crucial Migratory Songbird Habitat in coffee growing countries but you will also be supporting the work of Bird Studies Canada. This organic coffee is only sourced from certified bird friendly coffee farms. It is small batch roasted in Toronto.

Birds and Beans will donate 10% of the sales from each bag sold to Bird Studies Canada to support its work.

This coffee is can be brewed regular or 3/4 strength. This is a lovely balanced coffee with flavours throughout the spectrum. It is a pretty coffee with milk chocolate on the nose, accented with a hint of flower. We found some lovely spice, perhaps cardamom or white pepper. Look for maple syrup as the cup cools.

Great For Nature
Great for Farmers
Great for You

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Ontario Nature Blend

This organic, fair trade coffee is only sourced from certified bird friendly coffee farms. It is small batch roasted in Toronto.

Birds and Beans will donate $1.50 from each bag sold to Ontario Nature to protect wild species and spaces in Ontario, including the birds we share with the people of South and Central America.

This coffee is can be brewed regular or 3/4 strength. It has a lovely honeyed aroma, with balanced tones of chocolate and tropical fruit. It is a lovely smooth coffee with a long sweet aftertaste that rings pleasantly in the pallet after the cup is gone.

Great For Nature
Great for Farmers
Great for You

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

the Daily, a house coffee

The Daily, a house coffee

A house coffee should be approachable and enjoyable for everyone. The daily is a medium coffee with lots of flavour, so it will not blow away mild coffee drinkers, while at the same time offering interest to bold coffee lovers.  

We preponderantly found honeyed sweetness and toffee.  The aroma of coconut is complimented with sweet fruit.  There are undertones of dark chocolate in the cup and found it nutty towards almond. A lovely, balanced coffee.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Peru Norte

Bird Friendly Peru Norte

This coffee is grown in Northern Peru on small farms in the Cajamarca and Amazonas regions at 1800 meters above sea level and are 90% Typica varietal of Arabica, the balance being Bourbon and Caturra.

The farms are in remote areas where technification has not taken hold and where traditional growing techniques are being rewarded with organic and Bird Friendly® certifications. The farms belong to a cooperative that provides consulting and training to its member farmers. The cooperative also provides quality control ensuring that the training results in the cup.

This is an interesting yet mild coffee. It is an aromatic bean that translates into the cup. We find dominant brown sugar! It is smooth and honeyed with tree fruit flavours, perhaps peach or pear. We find wafting hints of chocolate and nut, particularly coconut.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Nicaragua Wood Thrush

Bird Friendly Nicaragua Wood Thrush

This strictly hard bean coffee is grown at elevations over 4500 feet in the province of Madriz in Northern Nicaragua. This area of Nicaragua is of particular importance to our scientific advisor, Dr. Bridget Stutchbury. She has been tracking individual wood thrushes from her woods in Pennsylvania through their migration to Central America with an ingenious tracking device of her invention. Recently she established that almost 50% of Wood Thrushes return to Nicaragua and Honduras each year. She loves the beautiful, haunting song of the wood thrush and tells us that the most important thing we can do to preserve our populations of them here in Canada is to drink certified Bird Friendly® coffee. We named this coffee in honour of her good advice.

Variety: Typica and Caturra
Species: 100 % Arabica
Grade: Strictly Hard Bean, European Preparation

This coffee is bold yet balanced in its complexity. We noticed earthy fruit on the wet grounds that comes out as dark chocolate in the cup. We found deep fruit, perhaps plum or rasin, a dryness of citris rind, and a hint nutmeg. As the cup cools a dark honey aroma grows. It has a long aftertaste of bitter chocolate balanced by sweetness on the tongue.

Brew this full strength for best effect.

Honduras Howler Monkey

Bird Friendly Honduras Howler Monkey

We are delighted to offer the first certified Bird Friendly® coffee from Honduras! It is grown at 1100-1800 meters by a coopertive of 100 small growers. Their crop contains bourbon, tipica, catuai, varietals as well as the less common icatu, pacamara and cafe-90 varietals.

Having experienced the disappointing ecconomic and eccological impact of conventional growing through the 90's, these brave and growers decided to make change. They faced many challenges, but persevered becoming first organic and fair trade certified, and now also Bird Friendly. They relearned the old ways and supplemented them with innovative organic techniques.

This is a wonderful bold coffee with dominant chocolate notes. It is full and smooth with a long deep sweetness. It has a deep fruit middle with raisin and pecan. There is an enduring aftertaste with chocolate and mint.

Brew this full strength for best effect.

Guatemala Santa Rita

Bird Friendly Guatemala Santa Rita

This coffee originates from the around the beautiful Lake Atitlan. Lago de Atitlán (Lake Atitlán) is a large lake in the Guatemalan Highlands and is recognized to be the deepest lake in Central America, though its bottom has not been completely sounded. The lake is volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. In 1955, the area around Lago de Atitlán became a national park.

The lake is surrounded by many villages, in which Maya culture is still prevalent and traditional dress is worn. The Maya people of Atitlán are predominantly Tz'utujil and Kaqchikel.

Altitude: 3,500 – 4,500 feet above sea level
Coffee Varities: Bourbon, Typica, Mundo Novo, Maragogype, Guexa
Processing: Traditional wet mill (fermentation tanks, water running) and dry mill process

This is a lovely balanced coffee with flavours throughout the spectrum. It is a pretty coffee with milk chocolate on the nose, accented with a hint of flower. We found some lovely spice, perhaps cardamom or white pepper. Look for maple syrup as the cup cools.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Guatemala Jaceltenango

Bird Friendly Guatemala Jaceltenango

We're delighted to offer our new crop of this triple certified coffee for our second year. This wonderful coffee is certified Organic, certified Fair Trade and certified Bird Friendly®. Drinking as little as one cup a day supports 1250 sq ft of certified Bird Friendly biodiversity!

The coffee is grown under lush shade canopies that reduce erosion while creating a natural habitat for native and migratory bird species. This area had been deforested but is now, 40 years later, a wonderful example of the regenertion of habitat possible by returning to traditional coffee growing techniques.

Altitude: 3250-5250 feet
Variety: Typica, Bourbon, Caturra and Catuai
Processing Method: Washed
Grade: Strictly Hard Bean
Species: Arabica
Harvest: December-March

This coffee is wonderfully rich, with notes of chocolate and a lovely long finish. It has an aroma of almond, with tantalizing hints of mandarine orange.

Brew this full strength for best effect.

Guatemala Huehuetenango

Bird Friendly Guatemala Huehuetenango

Grown in traditional shade, this Guatemalan Arabica coffee is Strictly High Grown (SHG) above 4500 ft. The coop is spread over 30 small villages by the Cuchumatanes Mountains and the Maxbal forest reserve. Most of the members are indigenous Mayan that speak the dialect Q'anjob'al.

Varietals include Typica, Bourbon, Caturra and Mondo Novo and are wet processed (washed).

The coffee is mild with a peachy aroma and a hint of white pepper. With medium complexity it develops a honey nose and long sweetness towards lemon candy that becomes more prominent as it cools.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Commit an espresso blend

This wonderful coffee is blended from single origin, strictly hard bean, high altitude coffees. Each is roasted individually to bring out the best in each bean, then blended to enhance and balance the characteristics of each for a phenomenal espresso. Each origin is certified Organic, certified Fair Trade and certified Bird Friendly®. The Bird Friendly certification ensures that the coffee is grown in the traditional manner in rustic shade, conditions similar to those in which coffee evolved. It requires extra care and hand picking, all of which contributes to its high quality. As in so many food items, traditional cultivation results in better taste! And because it is Bird Friendly, drinking an espresso a day supports 1750 sq ft of certified biodiversity! 

It is balanced, sweet, somewhat bright with good body. It has dominant Mandarin orange on the aroma, with nutty sweet toffee. It is clean and smooth in the cup upon an earthy cumin base and dominant chocolate. Oh yum! Want some?

Try this espresso alone, in a latte, as an Americano, or even as brewed coffee. Take the time to brew it right, sit quietly, and really taste it. Commit. 

Prepare as espresso or brew  full strength for best effect.

Colombia Condor

Bird Friendly Colombia Condor

This coffee is grown in microclimates on Colombia's highest snow peaked mountain Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta at altitudes between 4500 and 5500 ft. This mountain range is located at the northern edge of Colombia bordering the Caribbean Ocean and extended 300 miles into the plains. The certified Bird Friendly habitat provides habitat to our migratory songbirds and various wildlife prospers. The coffee is a mix of specialty grade Typica and Caturra cultivated by Arhuaco and Kogul tribes. Their isolation has resulted in preserving the precolonial agricultural practices: they have never exposed their lands to agrochemicals.

This is a lovely, mild coffee with a toasty coconut aroma. It is clean, bright and somewhat spicy, with a light, slightly sweet, finish. The nutty flavour is offset with plummy fruit.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Bird Friendly Medium

A medium blend with lots of flavour, so it will not blow away mild coffee drinkers, while at the same time offering interest to bold coffee lovers.   

We preponderantly found honeyed sweetness and toffee.  The aroma of coconut is complimented with sweet fruit.  There are undertones of dark chocolate in the cup and found it nutty towards almond. A lovely, balanced coffee.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Bird Friendly Espresso

This wonderful coffee is blended from single origin, strictly hard bean, high altitude coffees. Each component is roasted individually to bring out the best in each bean, then blended to enhance and balance the characteristics of each for a phenomenal espresso. Each origin is certified Organic, certified Fair Trade and certified Bird Friendly®. The Bird Friendly certification ensures that the coffee is grown in the traditional manner in rustic shade, conditions similar to those in which coffee evolved. It requires extra care and hand picking, all of which contributes to its high quality. As in so many food items, traditional cultivation results in better taste! And because it is Bird Friendly, drinking an espresso a day supports 1750 sq ft of certified biodiversity!

It is balanced, sweet, somewhat bright with good body. It has dominant Mandarin orange on the aroma, with nutty sweet toffee. It is clean and smooth in the cup upon an earthy cumin base and dominant chocolate. Oh yum! Want some?

Try this espresso alone, in a latte, as an Americano, or even as brewed coffee. Drink it, enjoy life's simple pleasures, feel good about your contribution to bio-diversity and a better life for coffee farmers.

Brew espresso or full strength for best effect.

Bird Friendly Decaf

Bird Friendly Decaf

This decaf was commissioned from a blend of Peru Norte and Peru La Florida, both Bird Friendly® coffees. The La Florida offers a good clean cup while the Norte adds lovely maltiness and nuttiness. It is slightly tart with a pleasant finish.

All of our decaf coffees are decaffeinated using a chemical free water decaffeination process.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Canopy Blend

Bird Friendly Canopy Blend

Our own blend of 100% Bird Friendly® arabica coffees. These strictly hard bean coffees are grown at high altitudes above 4500 feet and contains several arabica varietals including Bourbon, Mondonovo, Caturra and Typica. The beans develop under the multi-tiered shade of more than 50 species of trees that provide food and shelter for a huge variety of migratory birds and other wildlife. 

This is a strong coffee with balanced, rich flavours. It is earthy with a milk chocolate and date aroma that emerges as dark chocolate and smoke in the cup. We noticed a candied-sweet aroma and nutty flavours as it cooled. The sweet aftertaste goes on forever! Complex, delicious, rich. 

Brew this full strength for best effect.

Mimico Joe

We are delighted to introduce a coffee inspired by our Mimico neighbourhood! A coffee that is approachable and unpretentious, while displaying depth of character and promise... Just like Mimico. 

This blend originates from the mountain forests of Central America where the people work hard and enjoy their natural surroundings. Here in Mimico, we too value our natural surroundings, made even more beautiful each spring by the return of our migratory birds... Birds who's winter homes are preserved by these coffee growers. 

The coffee is solid, flavourful and unpretentious while offering interest for those who choose to go deeper. Baking spices like cinnamon and nutmeg blend with memories of buckwheat honey and tropical fruit. 

This is lovely at 3/4 strength and kicks ass at full strength

 

Coffee of the Month

Try our Coffee of the Month subscription and get both convenience and variety delivered right to your door! We'll send different coffee each month from our complete line of Certified Organic, Bird Friendly, Shade Grown, fairly traded coffees.  

Our coffee of the month club is flexible! Click the "Repeating Pattern" link on your order preview to set it up. Choose a prepaid series of installments or  "pay as you go"

You may change the coffee, quantity or frequency any time.  If you receive a coffee you absolutely love and want to receive it every month - just let us know. It happens all the time! You may cancel pay as you go orders any time. 

Enjoy the convenience and variety and the incredibly great taste of our certified Bird Friendly coffees throughout the year!

Dark Blend

Bird Friendly Dark Blend

We have recently reblended our Bird Friendly Dark coffee. Each year, as new crops arrive, we tweak the roasting process to bring out the best of each bean, and sometimes that requires a change in the blend. Well, in this process a really great coffee emerged and we are now offering it in our boutique line.

This coffee is rich and complex. It is smooth with a nice spine. The aroma is sweet with hazelnut. The dry grounds show dominant chocolate while the wet grounds have definite roasted red pepper. In the cup is dominant chocolate with nut and fruit. And, oh heavens! When we brewed the coffee 5 days after roasting, with the Hario pour over, and using 8.3g coffee for 8oz water, and ground a bit finer than for a regular drip filter, we found the elusive blueberry!!! Yay!

Brew this full strength for best effect.

Breakfast Blend

Bird Friendly Breakfast Blend

Blended from our specially sourced Bird Friendly® coffees, this strictly hard bean arabica coffee is grown at high altitudes above 4000 feet. Several arabica varietals such Bourbon, Mondonovo, Caturra and Typica are represented. Because the beans are grown in rustic shade that mimics virgin rainforest, they develop naturally and present the best flavour while also functioning as a biodiverse ecosystem.

The multi-tiered "agro-forest" contains more than 50 species of trees that provide food and shelter for a huge variety of migratory birds and other wildlife while also sequestering carbon.

This is a mild morning coffee that is smooth and balanced with a lovely sweet aftertaste. It is fruity like jam. A great Bird Friendly® choice for medium coffee fans.

Brew this 3/4 strength for best effect.

Introducing Mimico Joe

A muskrat in Humber Bay Park.
About 15 years ago, we established Birds and Beans on the shores of Lake Ontario in Mimico.   Although at that time Mimico was rather down on its luck, battered by the loss of its industrial base and suffering from the lure of malls and big box stores, we fell in love with soul of Mimico.
The now demolished building has become the site of Mimico Square.

We saw a diverse neighbourhood full of hard working, long term residents who shared a connection with the lake, a pride in what had come before, and vision of the future. So we set down our roots and began working towards that future. And then around us, slowly at first, then more and more, Mimico began to thrive! The neighbourhood feels energized by life in the new condominums, and the residents are enjoying the ever improving Mimico waterfront, new storefronts, and Mimico's evolving character.  

We are expressing our love of Mimico by introducing a coffee blended and named for our 'hood!  Perhaps the first coffee to celebrate its home neighbourhood, Mimico Joe is approachable, unpretentious, authentic, solid, and full of interest... just like Mimico.

We also offer Mimico Joe t-shirts for those of us who are proud Mimico Joes.

A great shot of the cafe by photographer Justin Blathwayt.

Café by the Lake Menu Choices

Sunflower Kitchen Soups

Come in to Birds and Beans Coffee and treat yourself to something special! Our coffees are all certified organic, bird friendly,  and fairly traded, boutique coffees. We use Organic Meadow Milk in our latté and cappuccino. Treat yourself with 100% shade grown shaved chocolate on your specialty drink. Even our milk table offers organic milk and sugar. We're the real deal!

Choose one of Four Freshly Roasted Brewed Coffees

Every day we offer four brewed coffees. Our menu board identifies the coffees on brew and their roasted dates — always within the last few weeks.

Our house coffee, the Daily, is a certified Organic-Bird Friendly® coffee with enough interest for every coffee lover.

You can also choose from our daily Organic-Bird Friendly® bold coffeefeature coffee or decaf.

100% Bird Friendly, Organic Specialty Coffees with Organic Milk

screenshot-2016-12-07-10-44-53We offer the best espresso, latté, cappucino and americano in the city made from the only Bird Friendly espresso in Canada! We blend our espresso to compliment the flavours the organic milk in a latté or cappucino. Our baristas are trained to pour espresso perfectly every time so it has the great great crema and aroma with flavours of chocolate and malt from the approach to the finish.

Cruelty Free GMO Free Treats

We bake all of our treats from scratch daily using organic eggs from happy hens (see Chicken Out!), organic dairy from happy cows,  and 100% GMO Free ingredients. Our breakfast cookie is a daily favourite in the neighbourhood with rolled oats, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, honey and cranberries.  

Our chocolate chunk cookies are absolutely without rival! We use our shade grown Plantations Chocolate. We offer a the cookie with either milk or dark chocolate. What a treat!

Cruelty Free Light Lunch

For lunch we offer simple wraps and sandwiches with hand crafted Sunflower Kitchen GMO free vegan soups.

All are certified organic and, so cruelty free! No factory farmed product allowed. We use Raincoast tuna in our tuna salad, the highest ranking  sustainability grade from Greenpeace. Our egg salad is homemade from fresh certified organic cage free eggs so it is always fresh and tasty. Our sandwich slices are locally raised cruelty free from Rowe Farms. Even our cheddar cheese is certified organic from Quebec, and so produced from well treated animals.

We offer spinach empanadas from the Empanada Company in Long Branch and biscotti from More than Pies. We love to keep it in the "hood".

 

Share the Café you Love

giftcard

The link for cardholders to check balance and transaction history is here.

Many of you know that Birds and Beans café has offered gift cards for 12 years, but this year they are even better!  Our new gift cards have grown up from being administered manually, to an electronic debit card with great new features.

The gift card has the look and feel of gift cards from major retailers. This ensures your recipient will feel confident using the card, and you will be proud to give it.

Once activated, the card can be used at the cafe like a prepaid credit card.

The cards are reloadable, and a 10% discount applies to reloads. So your gift will extend throughout the year!

The card is secure, and transparent. The cardholder can view their current balance and historical transactions online. The cardholder simply enters their card number and their current balance is presented and a link is presented to access to the historical transactions.  The link for cardholders is here.

So isn't it a good time to introduce your friends and family to your favourite café?

Bird Friendly® Certified Coffee according to Dr. Robert Rice

Quality habitat for as far as the eye can see!
As we near the end of the summer, many of us will be shifting our focus towards new routines at work or school. Similarly, many species of wild birds will shift their focus away from breeding and will put all their energy into reaching their wintering habitats in Central and South America.  Our migratory birds spend their winter months in the lush forests that provide the food sources and protection from predators that migratory birds need to thrive during our harsh winters.
 
In a recent interview available here, Dr. Robert Rice of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre (SMBC) describes the importance of forest grown coffee to migratory songbirds.  Dr. Rice points out that under the pressure of unsustainable agriculture, traditional forest coffee farms are often the last viable habitats available for migratory songbirds, monkeys, butterflies, reptiles and other organisms.  
 
The SMBC has characterized healthy functioning forest environments and they offer the Bird Friendly® coffee certification to coffee grown within them.  Dr. Rice notes the small proportion of world coffee that bears the Bird Friendly seal.  He humbly recognizes that as scientists the SMBC has created the certification, but do not have the marketing skills and channels to increase demand.  He asks that we, individually and collectively,  notice the opportunity to preserve and restore forest ecosystems in Central and South America by asking for coffee Bird Friendly® seal.
 
Or you can just buy it from us 😉   All our coffees are certified Bird Friendly.
bb_newlogoweb
Your source for Bird Friendly coffee
 

What is Bird Friendly Coffee?

Bird Friendly Habitat for as Far as the Eye Can See

We are frequently asked: “What exactly is Bird Friendly® coffee and why does it matter?”

Bird Friendly coffee preserves habitat for forest creatures in Latin America including our migratory songbirds. Coffee that is certified Bird Friendly grows in an agro-forest.  The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) certifies that these forests provide good habitat for wildlife.  

All Bird Friendly coffee is first certified organic, and then goes much further adding standards for shade cover, plant species diversity, canopy structure, required buffer zones, leaf litter cover and much more. These are all necessary for wildlife to flourish.  

Read more on Bird Friendly criteria here.


In Latin America, where most of our migratory songbirds spend their winters, deforestation for agriculture is happening at an alarmingly fast rate.  Forests are mowed down for monoculture and the impact on wildlife is devastating. Huge declines in our migratory songbirds are noticeable to those of us old enough to remember the plentiful songbirds here in Southern Ontario only 20 years ago.  You can help slow the rate of deforestation by purchasing Certified Bird Friendly coffee.  This supports those growers who valiantly maintain the front-lines of the resistance to this overwhelming destruction.

Bird Friendly farms provide habitat for a wide range of species, not just birds!
A hooded warbler finds a grub in a coffee forest
Indigo Bunting
Indigo Bunting migrating from Latin America to its breeding ground in Ontario

By choosing Bird Friendly certified coffee, we support the growers who steward forest ecosystems.  Beyond preservation of ecosystems and diversity of species, Bird Friendly stewardship also results in soil conservation,  pest control, pollination, water storage, carbon storage and climate change mitigation.  Preserving expansive and diverse forests in central and south America are necessary to world climate and the well being of global systems.  They have been called the lungs of the world and they mitigate climate change. Read more on ecological benefits here.

Sometimes the phrase "Shade Grown" is used on coffee labels as if it were equivalent to Bird Friendly.  Unfortunately, this is like accepting "natural" as equivalent to "organic".  While Bird Friendly coffee is indeed "shade grown", we need to go a bit deeper if we want to ensure our good will hits the target. It isn't the shade that provides the habitat but the fact that Bird Friendly farms are functioning, biodiverse, forest ecosystems.   The SMBC developed the Bird Friendly coffee certification so we can confidently choose to support produces who grow their coffee in harmony with forest dwellers...  Forest dwellers like this troupe of howler monkeys David saw on a Bird Friendly coffee farm in Nicaragua.

Sales of Certified Bird Friendly coffee also help to fund the research performed by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. This research advances the understanding of migratory birds that we need in order to preserve them for future generations. Look for the seal on the bags when you buy your coffee.  You will find this seal on all of our bags.

Why is Boxed Water Better?

At Birds and Beans we are forever expanding and deepening our commitment to sustainability. As we learn about issues and find solutions, we weave them into the fabric of what we do. Some years ago, we were struck by a beautiful impactful art project by Chris Jordan that beautifully exposed some consequences of thoughtless plastic waste. We posted this and never ordered water in plastic bottles again.

albatross-ocean-gyre-birds-pictures-04
The remains of a baby albatross and the contents of its stomach.

Birds and Beans is proud to be free from plastic bottles since May 2012.  The life cycle of a plastic bottle has harmful effects to the environment throughout every step of the chain: from formation to disposal. For more information on the life cycle of a plastic water bottle, check out this Ted-Ed video.

We are an official Quench Water Re-fill Location. Bring your reusable water bottle and we are happy to fill it up with filtered tap water. We offer a pitcher of iced water with glasses for customers to enjoy in the cafe. We also offer a bowl of water for the four-legged bunch.

Despite all of these options, people still want to buy water to go. We want to make you happy, so we investigated options to provide a take-out water option without contributing to the Garbage Patch, harming animals who mistake micro plastics for food or degrading the quality of the soil that supports us.

Boxed Water
Boxed Water is Better

The Boxed Water folks in Michigan came up with the great idea of offering water in boxes. Boxes are made from trees, which is a renewable resource. Conservation is important to them, so the trees being used come from well-managed forests. The cartons are 100% recyclable. Less resources are used when shipping the boxed packaging to the locations where water is filled compared to plastic bottles because boxes can be shipped flat. The water inside is purified with UV, carbon and reverse osmosis filtration. As a bonus, know that 1% of Boxed Water revenue is being donated to reforestation and world water relief.

Please enjoy our free filtered water. If you need to, enjoy Boxed Water knowing that it is a more sustainable option than anything packaged in a plastic bottle.

Paris Climate Change Agreement – a Moment of Truth

2 ways to grow coffee
Coffee grown upslope provides habitat versus downslope sun coffee farm.
Many of the world’s companies pay no attention to how their supply chains are damaging forests, the Prince of Wales has warned as he urged action to stop deforestation.
At Birds and Beans our founding mission to preserve biodiversity directly supports climate objectives: preserving habitat is preserving forests.
https://www.killthekcup.org/single-post/2016/02/19/Is-there-a-serious-problem-with-coffee-capsules

 "It is my deep conviction that we have come up with an ambitious and balanced agreement. Today it is a moment of truth.”

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius spoke these words as he declared that the Paris Climate Change conference known as COP21 had reached an historic multilateral agreement. It is our sincere hope that he is right and that people of all countries see this as a call to action — It is the beginning of a process, and not the end.

The agreement is significant - nearly 200 countries have committed to a goal of limiting temperature increases to no more than 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, rather than the 2 degrees that appeared to be the target just two weeks ago. The agreement is the product of a lot of hard work by many people.  From where I sit it seems that much credit is due to French President Hollande and UN Climate Chief Christiana Figures. As Canadians, we are delighted to see a change in the position of the Canadian delegation from obstructionist to constructive.

Local Children try birding
Delighted children try birding on a Bird Friendly® coffee farm.

As important as this agreement is, it is just the beginning.  The work lies ahead and we will face many obstacles and difficult choices in pursuing it.  To achieve the goals set in Paris, we will need to use the agreement as a framework to help us maintain our collective resolve as we face the challenges of necessary change together. As consumers, we have a big impact on carbon emissions - we make choices with far reaching consequences when we spend our dollars. Consumers reward the behaviors of everyone in the supply chain with every purchase we make:  Participants in the supply chain do what the monetary rewards incent them to do.  To curb extreme climate change, we will have to change deeply embedded common practices by changing the influence of monetary rewards.  Taxing carbon will help with this and it can work more quickly and more effectively if we understand it and if we consciously support behaviors we want to encourage in supply chains.

At Birds and Beans our founding mission to preserve biodiversity directly supports climate objectives: preserving habitat is preserving forests.  And preserving forests has been identified in Paris as a critical component to achieving climate objectives.

Sadly, during the decade and a half that we have offered this climate and habitat friendly coffee, we have seen an explosion in demand for unrecyclable plastic single serve pods containing unsustainable sun grown coffee. Single use coffee pods are the source of a great deal of profit (coffee offered in pods nets out to about $50 per pound!) while convenience brands ignore adverse environmental impact of their coffee and other unsustainable food offerings.

We maintain that using a grinder, a kettle and a drip filter holder is just as convenient a method of brewing a single cup of coffee, but has the merit of supporting an entirely sustainable supply chain.  And the superior flavour in the cup is incomparable!  This is one example of the kind of change that we as citizens can make as climate objectives are pursued.  

Our government reached an agreement because they believed it to be an expression of our collective will.  As policy changes result in choosing sustainability over convenience, waste and unchecked growth, we will have to demonstrate our support.  Let us make sure that our commitment runs deep and that no future government will be tempted to break the agreement for their own short term political gain. 

We are the citizens of the world at a the moment of truth.  Collectively, the future is in our hands.

The Messenger

We’re delighted to introduce our second Special Edition coffee: The Messenger Blend, produced in association with The Messenger Documentary - a film by Su Rynard. While the full length documentary explores the impact of our activities on birds around the world, it also offers solutions and inspires its audience to become more “Bird Friendly”. The Messenger Blend is an important part of that program.

Coffee drinkers can make one simple and easy change that will help both birds and coffee farmers - choose to drink Certified Bird Friendly organic coffee. This will guarantee that vital winter habitat is preserved for our migratory songbirds and the other creatures inhabiting those forests. It does so by paying a premium to the farmers who steward the forests for the coffee grown within them. You can support them just by changing the brand of coffee that you drink, and, if you already purchase specialty coffee, it won't cost more.

The Messenger Blend is sourced exclusively from Certified Bird Friendly Shade Grown Organic farms. Every bag you buy helps to preserve vital forest habitat for future generations. Since we here in Canada share these migratory birds with the people of Latin America, we’ve increased the impact of the Messenger Blend by donating 10% of all sales to Bird Studies Canada - Canada’s leading science-based bird conservation organization. Every bag you purchase will also be helping to promote conservation here at home.

The Messenger documentary is being released more widely and we encourage you to see it. 

For more information, visit songbirdsos.com

Grow a Tree in Your Cup

One of the best parts of my job is speaking to passionate people - people who are passionate about coffee and also people who are passionate about the environment.  Some people are passionate about both.

A few months ago, I had one of those conversations with Elaine Munro of Progressive Nutritional Therapies. They had been purchasing Birds & Beans Certified Bird Friendly coffee for their office and were using it to raise funds for a tree planting near the source of the Rouge River in North East Toronto.

In the office, they charge by the cup and were also selling jars of beans for brewing at home - and called it "Grow a tree in your Cup". They are pretty big coffee drinkers over there because when it came time to plant - they had raised enough money to plant 513 trees!

In early May,  24 members of their staff along with family members turned out to plant a selection of native trees and shrubs that were selected to be appropriate for the river side site by Ontario Streams.

This is amazing - through this simple, yet creative program, they were able to both protect habitat in South and Central America by supporting Bird Friendly coffee growers, and improve habitat here at home in the Rouge River valley. Congratulations to all involved!

For the complete story see the Progressive Nutritonal Therapies Blog and for more information.

Coffee Bird Photo Post

As spring returns and our beloved migratory songbirds make their way back to Canada from their wintering grounds in Central and South America, we urge you to support them by purchasing certified Bird Friendly® coffee!

American Redstart
American Redstart

 

Our friend and supporter Vincent Falardeau would like to remind us of the beauty of the birds.  He has a permanent show of his photographs in our café.

Indigo Bunting _web II
Indigo Bunting

 

And we would like to remind you of the beauty of the coffee.

Black-throated Green Warbler_web
Black-throated Green Warbler

 

Lets do one simple act that sustains these beautiful birds and enriches our lives with a simple pleasure.

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

 

Help us help the birds.  Buy our certified Bird Friendly® coffee.

Black-throated Blue Warbler_1_1
Black-throated Blue Warbler

 

A Delicious Way to Support Ontario Nature!

We are excited to announce the introduction of our first Special Edition coffee, “Ontario Nature” Blend.  This is a special blend in many ways.  It is Triple Certified: Bird Friendly, Fair Trade and Organic, and like all of our coffees, is is roasted and packed using 100% green energy from Bullfrog Power. And, if that isn’t enough, we are taking it over the top, by donating $1.50 from the sale of each bag to Ontario Nature!  Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters and 150 member groups from across Ontario. They will use the funds to protect wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement.

Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler stopping in our Etobicoke backyard on its return possibly from our Bird Friendly Nicaraguan coffee farm.

By choosing to drink certified Bird Friendly coffee, our customers have always supported conservation of the neotropical forest ecosystems in which our coffee grows. Now, through Ontario Nature, you can support conservation of habitat in Ontario too – by simply changing the coffee you drink.

Picking at Gaia Estate
Pickers pick only the ripe red coffee cherries at Gaia Estate. They allow the green ones to ripen and return for them another day.


And what a wonderful coffee it is! It has a lovely honeyed aroma, with balanced tones of chocolate and nuts. It is a lovely, smooth coffee with a long, sweet aftertaste that rings pleasantly in the pallet after the cup is gone.  

We are so excited to launch our first Special Edition coffee that, for a limited time, we are offering FREE shipping of the Ontario Nature Blend any where in Ontario for orders over $25.

By making this one purchase, we collectively support ecosystem and biodiversity conservation in coffee growing countries and here in Canada.  Do it now

ONnature340Back

Help Monarch Butterflies by planting Milkweed

A Monarch Butterfly visiting a Bergamot plant in our patio garden.

On a related note - we add our voice to support the proposed changes to Ontario's Weed Control Act that would remove Milkweed from the list and make it legal to grow. About time! 

http://www.farms.com/ag-industry-news/ontario-proposes-an-amendment-to-the-weed-control-act-560.aspx 

Although it doesn't have anything to do with coffee or birds, we are happy to see the David Suzuki Foundation's current #GotMilkweed program aimed at planting more Milkweed to act as host plants for Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. We like it because it points out that helping to save a species (and in this case the phenomenon of the Monarch Migration) is all about habitat.

Milkweed plants are an essential part of the Monarch's lifecycle but it has been eradicated from much of the butterfly's range - in cities and in the country thus destroying the butterfly's natural habitat. The #GotMilkweed campaign's goal is to replant a milkweed corridor in Toronto to help these insects increase their numbers. If the project succeeds, we would see patches of milkweed plant around us in the place of dull, boring grass.  A new generation of children will learn the pleasure of playing with Milkweed pods and releasing the seeds and we will see more of these beautiful butterflies in the summer and fall.

It is a small thing that can make a big difference - we see a future where we look for places to plant milkweeds and other plants to provide habitat and food for insects and birds. Imagine, for example, how nice it would be to drive down a highway and see milkweeds and other wildflowers making the scenery much more beautiful than the boring grass monoculture that has become the standard road side treatment.  In the same way, we see a future where people ask for their Fair trade coffee to be Bird Friendly too, so every cup provides habitat for Migratory Songbirds in addition to providing a fair deal for farmers. 

More information: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2014/04/got-milkweed/

 

A Different Cup of Coffee

More than 10 years ago, we set out to create a different kind of company - one that would give consumers a way to use their purchasing power to make the world better rather than worse. We wanted to provide a product that was green at its core - not something that just looked green or came out of a "green" facility with a super duper recycling program. We wanted to create a true "triple bottom line" company that produced tangible environmental and social benefits.

Coffee was the perfect product for our experiment - for one thing, we love really good coffee and had a hard time finding a consistent source. And, most importantly, traditionally cultivated coffee is grown in a way that preserves habitat for wildlife - including Migratory Songbirds. Coffee is increasingly being grown in partial shade or full sun, transforming what was once a thriving forest ecosystem into "Eco Deserts" capable of supporting little life: Where there was once a thriving forest ecosystem, the only living thing is the crop being cultivated.

A few years before we started Birds and Beans, The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center had developed the Bird Friendly Coffee Certification.  Its aim is to identify and certify farms that provided good habitat for migratory songbirds - or more accurately are functioning ecosystems.

So, having identified the problem and the solution, Birds and Beans was born. We bought a small Commercial Roaster, some green Bird Friendly coffee and started developing our roast profiles. After about a year of development, we were ready to launch.

We sold our first coffee at the Guelph Organic Show in January 2003. Now we are a Certified Organic Roaster and have 2 much larger roasters and a full line of Certified Organic, Certified Bird Friendly, Fair Trade and Direct Trade coffees. We offer the World's first and only Triple Certified Espresso – Commit, an espresso blend.

A decade later, we can declare our experiment a success. Birds and Beans is a going concern where every pound of coffee sold is helping to protect valuable habitat as well as contributing to a decent life for the farmers and their families. About 5 years ago, we were joined by Bill Wilson and his colleagues from New England, who wanted to use the Birds & Beans name in the USA - and out of that has grown a valuable partnership that is spreading the word to an even wider audience. Our coffee receives rave reviews from all who try it. Together, we are building a different kind of coffee brand.

This month we are undertaking a 'bird survey' in Nicaragua on the 450 farm co-op, UCA San Juan del Rio Coco, co-sponsored by York University and Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. We buy a good deal of coffee directly from the co-op. The conservation biologists conducting the survey reported 21 species of migrant birds present in the first few days of field work.

Supporting this kind of work is unheard of for companies of our size as it doesn't have a commercial payoff. So why do we do it?  Simple.  Its because we have aligned our business with our true values and our business expresses them just as we do. It isn't a ploy or a marketing gimmick.  It is what we care about.  We founded this company as a vehicle to promote conservation and this is an opportunity to do just that.

The study represents new work in this region and so the findings will add to the body of knowledge of how that ecosystem functions.  This will help our growers to make better decisions on how to manage their farms in the future.

Thanks to all of you who have supported us and have enjoyed a different cup of coffee....

The Christmas Gift for Coffee Lovers

Our coffee of the month is the perfect Christmas gift for coffee lovers lovers!   Send a different pound of our delicious Bird Friendly® of coffee every month.  Or the same one each month if you prefer.  Or every other month.  Start the first shipment on the date you set so it arrives just before Christmas or in January.  Its flexible!  Pay in advance or pay as you go.  Read more details here.

As an added bonus this year, when you purchase a coffee of the month subscription of 4 shipments or more, we will send your recipient our beautiful 2014 Coffee Songbirds Calendar with the first installment (December or January) and one to you too!  

calendar front page
Neotropical Migrants from Bird Friendly Coffee Plantations of Central and South America

Our December coffee of the month offering is our 2013 Christmas Blend… A rich, smooth, delicious coffee with a festive label.

Christmas Blend 2013

Now isn’t Christmas easy this year?

Coffee Songbirds, 2014 Calendar

Our new Coffee Songbirds Calendar for 2014 is Available Now!  This beautiful Calendar speaks for itself.  Each month a different migratory songbird with text by Pulitzer Prize nominee Scott Weidensaul and a map of summer and winter territory courtesy of Cornell Lab or Ornithology.  A great Christmas gift for the coffee lover, bird lover or conservationist!

calendar front page
Neotropical Migrants from Bird Friendly Coffee Plantations of Central and South America

 

Calendar cack cover
Back Cover with samples

 

Seeking a Compost Partner

About us:

We are the cafe part of Canada’s leading roaster of Certified Bird Friendly coffee. Our location is unique – unlike any other we’ve seen. Out back we have a lovely patio with a  view of Lake Ontario and a Native wildflower garden. The purpose of the garden is to provide habitat for birds and pollinators and to provide a beautiful backdrop for our patio.

Behind our wildflower garden is a huge composter – where we compost our coffee roaster chaffe, grinds and kitchen scraps. Since we don’t fertilize or water the wildflowers, we really don’t have a great need for the end product but we’re pretty sure someone out there really needs some great organic compost.

Our composter
Our onsite composter at Birds and Beans Café-by-the-Lake

About you:

You are reasonably local to us and are in need of some beautiful rich organic compost. You are willing to do some of the work required such as turning the piles and able to give direction to us on the adjusting the mix of inputs if required.

We’d prefer that you are a Community organization or perhaps involved in community garden but we will consider any one willing to help, You will have to agree to bag and remove the compost at your expense.

So, if this sounds like a match made in heaven to you, drop us a line and we’ll get dirty together….

To contact us, leave a comment here or call 647-439-3294.

Our Wildflower Garden
Our Wildflower Garden