Closure to attend Climate Strike Toronto

As an expression of our sense of urgency for climate action, Birds and Beans will be closed between 10am and 3pm on September 27, 2019 to enable us to attend the Toronto Global Climate Strike.

We stand and clearly say that business as usual is a dead end.

We are aware that we are living within a system that has gone rogue.

We support action that acknowledges our impact on the future of life on earth.

For the greater good we are willing to

    • pay more,
    • work harder,
    • give up conveniences,
    • be mindful and
    • share.

We ask you to join us in Toronto or wherever you may be.

Celebrating 10 Organic Years with New Packaging

We are celebrating 10 years of organic certification!  We passed our first organic audit under the (then) new Canada Organic Regime in September 2009. 

We thought it was a good time for a packaging refresh!

We have always offered our certified organic, bird friendly coffees in biodegradable kraft packages with biodegradable liners.  Now, we have found a new locally printed bag made with compostable films and inks that looks and feels fantastic! 

Here is a teaser for what is to come.

Now Serving Morning People Earlier

New Opening Hours Starting this Weekend 

Starting on Saturday August 17, 2019 we will be ready to serve you at

🕡 6:30 AM Weekdays 
🕖 7:00 AM Weekends 

Grab a bird friendly coffee to go, or linger with an organic latté.  Maybe have a boreal smoothie and check out the flowers on the patio or grab your sustainable wrap for lunch.  Our breakfast cookies will be ready for you!

Grab and Go Wraps – Conscious Food!

Tuna wrap in the process of being assembled
How about our Egg Salad Wrap and Boreal Berry Smoothie for lunch?

We are delighted to introduce our new grab and go wraps!  We have 4 great hearty choices ready to eat in our retail refrigerator.  And of course they are consistent with all of our values: high quality and delicious; GMO free; palm oil free; cruelty free; mostly organic.  

We spent weeks testing recipes to ensure they are meal worthy and delicious!  Then we made sure the ingredients meet our commitment to our values.

The wraps are in delicious 11 inch Indian Life Tortillas. They are non-GMO verified and mostly organic. 

All animal products (cheese and eggs) are Canadian produced certified organic.  Since the Canada Organic Standard has a strict animal welfare provision we can be assured the animals were not factory farmed and were treated with care.   

And since we have ensured no ingredient contains palm oil (or sneaky palm derivatives), we withhold support from the appalling destruction of forests in Indonesia and the unimaginable suffering the palm industry inflicts on forest wildlife like orangutans.

Our tuna is Raincoast Wild Skipjack, the most sustainable tuna available in Canada according to the World Wildlife Fund market assessment.  It is fished by local Maldives fishers with pole and line, so produces no bycatch and no habitat damage.  WWF verifies 100% traceability from boat to package.

We make our own vegan Flax “Mayo” so that factory farmed eggs don’t sneak in via conventional mayo.  Most of our ingredients are certified organic and any that are not are otherwise guaranteed GMO free.

And we have thought this through to the end by serving our amazing wraps in old fashioned If You Care waxed paper:  No single use plastic!

We hope you enjoy our delicious real food and the convenience of grab and go!

Egg SaladTuna SaladCheese & Green AppleRoasted Pepper & Hummus
🥕
*Eggs, *Spring Mix, *Potatoes, Mix Veggies, Eggless Mayo, Salt, Pepper.Sustainable Raincoast Tuna, *Spring Mix, *Potatoes, Mix Veggies, Eggless Mayo, Salt, Pepper.*Cheese, *Apple, *Spring Mix, Eggless Mayo, Mustard.*Roasted Peppers, Hummus, *Spring Mix, *Chickpeas.

IndianLife Tortilla🥕, *Organic Spring Mix​🥕(Organic leafy greens), Chopped Veggies🥕 (*Bell Peppers, Red Onions, *Green Onions, *Celery, *Dill), Flax Mayo🥕 (Sunflower Oil, *Flax seeds, Vinegar, Mustard, Honey) Made in-house, Classic Hummus by Sunflower Kitchen🥕

Palm Oil Free | Cruelty Free | GMO-Free | *Organic | 🥕Vegan 

Available August 9, 2019

Musing on Coffee Tasting part 2

Resting Coffee Period

Did you know that coffee needs to rest for at least a day after roasting before its flavours fully emerge?  Like red wine needs to breath after opening, coffee needs to rest for 

Tasting is very, very context sensitive

The sequence of tasting coffees has a remarkable impact on the perception of taste.  Just like in music, certain notes together can be dissonant while apart they can be beautiful, coffee flavours can clash or compliment.  We have learned to try coffees in various sequences to verify our experience of the coffee.

The Grind Setting is Remarkably Important

I am frequently amazed at the impact of the grind setting in the cup!  When we train new people to assist in preparing tasting samples there are 2 factors that regularly .  The grind is a bit too coarse or a bit too fine.  The the grind even in making infusion (drip, french press, vacuum…  coffees! 

The Brewing Temperate is Remarkably Important

We recently had a technical problem with the brewer at the cafe that caused it to brew to hot by about 5 degrees F.  It scorched the coffee to the extent that we held off launching a new coffee until the brewer was repaired and re-calibrated.  The coffee was over-extracted, unbalanced and somewhat bitter.  The same coffee brewed at the correct temperature (we use about 200F) is balanced, smooth and pretty.

At the other end of the spectrum, brewing at a lower temperature results in under-extraction that tends towards sour undeveloped flavours.

 

 

Coffee Roast-dating indicates un-rested coffee as well as staling coffee

Birds and Beans Café’s Curator’s Corner

A richer taste, a richer earth®.
Flow Water
Greenpeace Tuna Ranking
Bean to Bar Chocolate
Organic Boreal Fruit Smoothie
Sunflower Kitchen non-GMO Vegan Soups

As Birds and Beans Café approaches its 15th year anniversary we decided to celebrate by launching our Curator’s Corner!  

Over the last 15 years we have searched high and low for products that exemplify our values and compliment our certified Bird Friendly coffee.  We have assembled ingredients bursting with natural flavours, that are healthy and are genuinely sustainably produced.  

In the complexity of real world label claims, we have developed several purchasing criteria.  Some are hard rules and others weigh one aspect against another:

Steadfast, unwavering commitment to

    • Certified Organic and Bird Friendly coffee
    • No ingredients with GMOs 
    • No items with palm oil
    • No factory farmed animal products
    • No drinks in plastic bottles
    • No single use plastic service items 

Where possible 

    • Certified organic ingredients
    • Local 
    • Independent
    • Responsible packaging

In celebration of our 15th year, we are assembling a corner in the café where you too can purchase the items we have found.  Over the next weeks and months, we will introduce items and explain why they belong in the collection. We’ll describe some of our menu items too.  

So join Birds and Beans Café as we celebrate our 15th year as we explore our Curated Collection of offerings.

Revised Blends for the Daily and Breakfast Coffees

Coffee Flower

As with many specialty organic crops, flavour profiles change year over year with growing conditions.  The “terroir” or the particular flavour characteristics due to the unique combination of location’s soil, precipitation, ecology, and cultivation can be revealed through careful roasting.  So each crop year, we adjust our roasting profiles for each lot to maximize the terroir. 

This can result in the opportunity to improve a roast or blend.  Such is the case with the Daily, a house coffee and the Bird Friendly Breakfast Blend.  

So Tuesday next week, the Daily returns as the café house coffee and it will become generally available.  It is balanced, has brown sugar sweetness and is fruity. The Mimico Joe will shift back to a feature coffee in the café.  

We are delighted with the revised Breakfast Blend!  It is mild and has dominant honeyed sweetness with baking spices.  

We have learned a lot about blending over the years.  We have learned that what intuitively seems might be great can actually be quite nasty. “Oh lets put the chocolate of this one with the fruit of another one.”  Sounds like a plan until it ends up tasting of tobacco and little else.  We just never know until we try. 

We have learned to try things that are not intuitively obvious and to be very methodical in our approach.  We have noticed that a coffee with a 1:1 blending ratio may be unpleasant while 3:1 is delicious.  We have learned that a mild coffee blended with a bolder coffee can taste bolder with less of the bold coffee in the mix.  Very counter intuitive.  

We are proud of our approach mixing up some luck, some intuition, some art, some methodology and some science.  We think you’ll enjoy the results in the new Daily and the new Breakfast Blends. 

Boreal Organic Fruit Smoothie with a Paper Straw

This year we kick it up a notch with Ontario’s Boreal Organic and Biodynamic Fruit and a Paper Straw!

If you’ve tried our organic fruit smoothie you know it is fabulous!  We had no idea we could make it even better until we were contacted by borealwinery.ca  Check out their website.  These folks are amazing!  And their fruit is phenomenal!

We now offer 2 options:  Banana Berry with organic bananas (obviously not from Boreal lol) and Boreal’s organic blueberries, organic strawberries, organic Saskatoon berries and organic peaches. We add certified non-GMO coconut milk, water and ice. 

And now our second option has 2 Ontario native berries in it: Haskap & Saskatoon berries!  It has Boreal’s organic Haskap (a tart native berry), Saskatoon berries (a sweet native berry), organic blueberries, and organic strawberries, and organic peaches.  We add certified non-GMO coconut milk, water and ice.   The colour is incredible!

$6.95/20oz

We are happy to top it off with a paper straw.  

Enjoy this great summer offering made with quality ingredients that exemplify our values:

100% organic fruit, sugar-free, vegan, non-GMO.

Oh! …and in case you haven’t heard, all of our cups, lids and paper straws are biodegradable. 

Cool Creek Artisanal Honey

Birds and Beans Café is excited to present our latest offering: Cool Creek Apiaries Honey in a 500 gram jar. We’ve been using Cool Creek Apiaries’ unpasteurized, pure and unfiltered bulk honey in our breakfast cookies for years. It is delicious!

While industry standard is to extract honey once per year and blend across wide regions, Cool Creek Apiaries extracts honey 6 times a year and preserves batches from each of their 10 bee yards in Mount Pleasant, Ontario.  Each batch has its own flavour and character and thereby exhibits the “terroir” of the specific yard.  If the bees are collecting nectar from late blooming summer wildflowers, that is what you’re going to taste!

Honey serves as another example of why labels and certifications matter. Honey with a label reading Canada No. 1 Grade Honey can have as little as 10% honey in Canada and it may be blended with honey from anywhere in the world. Ontario No. 1 Grade Honey is produced strictly in Ontario. In order for honey to be certified organic, it requires that all land within 3 km of the hives and bees must be non-agricultural or all certified organic agricultural – very difficult to do in Southern Ontario, so this one is not certified organic.

Most honey sold in grocery stores doesn’t contain any pollen, which means it isn’t real honey.  It may be made with other ingredients, like glucose and GMO corn syrup, and it is artificially flavoured like honey.  Honey that has no pollen cannot be traced to any particular region.  Here is one of many articles about fake honey.

By contrast, here is a beautiful photography exhibit of Roy Allemann and his bees. We know where Cool Creek Apiaries Honey is sourced – and we can taste it!

Earth Day 2019

Howler Monkey on a Bird Friendly coffee farm in Nicaragua

This morning on Earth Day I awoke to an inbox full of “Earth Day” emails, all of which in one way or another trying to entice me to buy something from the sponsor.  

Is it just me or is this the opposite of what Earth Day is supposed to be?

As for us, we will continue making our incremental changes, continue to stand up for biodiversity, continue to stand up for habitat protection and continue to help in the climate change by supporting Bird Friendly coffee farmers.  

 

Climate Change and Bird Friendly Coffee

Bird Friendly® coffee is not just about birds!   Coffee cultivation is also entwined with climate change.  According to a recent paper by Dr. Robert Rice of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center,  Bird Friendly® coffee farms

    1. are better equipped  to withstand the effects of climate change than are conventional coffee farms, and
    2. help in the global fight against climate change through carbon sequestration.

Coffee producers are already experiencing the effects of climate disruption, including rising temperatures, distorted rain patterns and increased problems with pest and disease. Make no mistake, if left unchecked, all of these factors threaten your morning cup of coffee!

While the response of Big Agriculture is to engineer new coffee varietals that are hardier or more resistant to pests, it turns out that that coffee grown in a traditional agro-forest (aka Bird Friendly certifiable coffee) is already protected from much of the climate disruption challenge.  The forests protect against sudden temperature changes keeping the coffee trees cooler on warmer days and warmer on cooler days.  They protect the plants from damage caused by heavy rains by acting as an umbrella, prevent landslides after heavy rains and attract birds that help control pests.

But not only do Bird Friendly agro-forests provide resilience to climate change, they also mitigate it through carbon sequestration. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lists agro-forestry as a land use strategy to mitigate climate disruption. Although the level of carbon sequestration may be higher in other options, Bird Friendly coffee farms additionally preserve biodiversity and provide stable living income to growers. 

With benefits in both climate change mitigation and in resilience to climate disruption effects, Bird Friendly coffee is an excellent part of the climate change solution.  You can choose to support Bird Friendly growers by purchasing our certified Bird Friendly coffee!  It’s a way to treat yourself and do some good.

Wholesale Ordering around Easter Weekend

We are closed for the holiday Good Friday.  Couriers are operating on Monday, so what we ship on Thursday will arrive to GTA destinations on Monday.  

Production cycles begin at 2PM on regular business days.  Orders received before 2PM will be shipped the next business day and arrive the next business day after that.

If you missed your deadline and you will face a business impact, call us to negotiate a solution.   We have never let a customer run out of our coffee!


Orders
Placed On

Order by 2PM
Arrives on (GTA)
Order after 2PM
Arrives on (GTA)
Monday Apr 15Wednesday Apr 17Wednesday Apr 18
Tuesday Apr 16Thursday Apr 18Monday Apr 22
Wednesday Apr 17Monday Apr 22Tuesday Apr 23
Thursday Apr 18Tuesday Apr 23Tuesday Apr 23
Friday Apr 19Tuesday Apr 23Tuesday Apr 23
Saturday Apr 20Tuesday Apr 23Tuesday Apr 23
Sunday Apr 21Tuesday Apr 23Tuesday Apr 23
Monday Apr 22Wednesday Apr 24Thursday Apr 24
We give all of our customers the Royal Treatment!

Proud Signatories

We humans share collective responsibility to protect the natural health of Ontario, Canada and the planet.

We are proud to join a group of distinguished Canadians: Indigenous groups, environmental groups and progressive businesses in signing a joint statement in response to the Ontario Government’s review of the Endangered Species Act.

We signed this for the Forests, and for the wetlands; for the wolves, the cougars and the caribou;  for the barn owls, the golden wing warblers and for the wood thrush with its beautiful haunting song. We signed for the monarch butterfly, the rusty patch bumble bee and the magnificent ancient snapping turtle. We signed for the long list of other plants, fish, reptiles, insects and mammals – all threatened or endangered by our actions. We speak for them and for the unborn generations of people who deserve to know the life that we love.

We need to act.  Now is not the time to look away.  Please join us.

Coffee Factoids

Flavour

  1. Coffee likes to rest after being roasted.  Flavours develop over 1 to 5 days after roasting and then fade slowly over the next 4-6 weeks.
  2. The oils in coffee are not oils… they are soluble and flavourful organic compounds.  
  3. Delicious coffee flavours turn rancid and taste bitter after between 8 and 12 weeks.  That is why we have always roast dated our coffee!  We were the first roaster in Canada to roast date our coffee back in 2003. 
  4. Bold coffee is not necessarily Dark.  Roasting coffee very dark can destroy the delicious flavour compounds and render them all towards charcoal.  Why use specialty grade coffee only to char the interest out of it?
  5. Coffee absorbs aromas! It should be stored away from other “smelly” things like onions and perfumed soap.  The fridge and freezer are full of random smells that can ruin your coffee.

Espresso

  1. There is no X in espresso 🙂
  2. Espresso is not a roast level, nor a kind of coffee.  Espresso is a method of preparation in which the hot water is pushed through the grounds under pressure.
  3. Crema in espresso decreases as coffee stales.  Robusta species of coffee creates more crema.  
  4. Espresso crema often has different taste and aroma characteristics than does the liquid.

Coffee Growing

  1. Commercially grown coffee is either Robusta or Arabica.  Robusta coffee is low quality and is bitter and unpalatable.  Quality coffee does not contain robusta coffee.
  2. Arabica coffee grows in equatorial mountainous regions.
  3. Specialty coffee is a technical term used in grading green beans.  
  4. Coffee is a shade loving understory tree.
Shade Grown Coffee at Gaia

REUSEit Travel Mug

Enjoy our great new reusable ceramic travel mug.  They are handsome and practical.  They hold a 16 oz beverage. The double insulating wall protects your hand from burns and insulates both hot and cold drinks.  
 
They are dishwasher safe.   And we have a pool of REUSEit travellers at the café so you can swap the used one in your car for a clean one in the cafe!  Or not.  
 
Birds and Beans writes the REUSEit Equation like this:
 

Wholesale Ordering Guidelines

We give all of our customers the Royal Treatment!  For you to benefit from our amazing service, here is the way we work:

We roast and package to order.  Your coffee is not sitting on our shelf staling while we wait for order.  Instead, when we receive your order, it goes into the next available production cycle.  We guarantee that up to 2 cases of retail coffee and up to 20lb of foodservice coffee for any customer will be serviced in the next production cycle.  

We reserve production slots each week for larger weekly orders.

Production cycles begin at 2PM on regular business days.  Orders received before 2PM will be shipped the next business day.  GTA customers will receive the coffee the next business day.

If you missed your deadline and you will face a business impact, call us to negotiate a solution.   We have never let a customer run out of our coffee!


Orders
Placed On

In before 2PM
Ships on
In after 2PM
Ships on
MondayTuesdayWednesday
TuesdayWednesdayThursday
WednesdayThursdayFriday
ThursdayFridayMonday
FridayMondayTuesday
SaturdayTuesdayTuesday
SundayTuesdayTuesday
We give all of our customers the Royal Treatment!

Introducing our New Organic-Fruit Smoothie!

Introducing our new smoothie made with certified organic fresh fruit.

We have developed the recipe and WOW is it fabulous!  

Made with organic blueberries, strawberries and banana, we add only certified non-GMO coconut milk, water and ice. $6.95/20oz

Enjoy this great summer offering made with quality ingredients that exemplify our values:

100% organic fresh-frozen* fruit, sugar-free, vegan, non-GMO.

Oh! …and in case you haven’t heard, all of our cups, lids and straws are biodegradable. 

* Fresh Certified Organic fruit portioned and frozen on-site

Ottawa Valley Blend

While enjoying your next cup of coffee, why not support the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre?  We donate $1.50 from each bag sold to OVWBCC  who care for ill, injured and orphaned wild birds found within the community and releases them back into the wild.  Of course the coffee is certified Bird Friendly, because caring for the birds extends to conserving their habitat in Central and South America.

Enjoy this coffee at full or 3/4 strength.  It has a lovely sweet aroma, with tropical fruit and chocolate in the cup. 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 or full strength for best effect.

Regular Coffees

Decaffeinated Coffees

Gift Note

Grown in natural forest.
Expertly roasted to reveal hidden flavours.

Strength without bitterness,
Mellow without weakness.
 
~ Birds and Beans

  

Look, See the Bird!

Look, See The Bird!

 
$16.50

by Bill Wilson (Author and Birds & Beans USA Founder), Katie Fallon  (Author), Leigh Anne Carter (Illustrator).

Look, See the Bird! is a beautifully illustrated children’s book which seeks to not only promote curiosity in children about the natural world around them, but also to establish the universal quality of having a connection with nature.

Look, See the Bird! follows children in a variety of locations, all of whom are learning about local birds and their habits.  One of them is nearby our café in Toronto.