Fresh roasted beans in Vancouver?
I have recently bought an espresso machine from craigslist and am loving it. I have been experimenting with lots of different beans and would like to get freshly roasted espresso beans. Any recommendations?
Thanks in advance!
49th Parallel - "Epic Espresso" You can get this at various places - not just at 49th's Cafe.
JJ Bean - "Espresso JJ" and "Espresso Nero"
EspressoTec's (Richmond) Espresso Blend
JJ Bean Coffee Roasters
3010 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T, CA
49th Parallel Coffee Roasters
2152 W 4th Ave, Vancouver, BC V6K, CA
Highly recommend Milano - their roasting facility is at 156 west 8th and they have limited supplies of freshly roasted custom blends for espresso. Here you'll find their espresso "tasting bar" so you can sample before you buy. They also have a store (Turks) at 1276 commercial - but the roasting facility is the place to go for guaranteed fresh beans. I'm a coffee aficionado, home roaster, coffee-geek and this is the best I've come across in town and I've tried them all. Stumptown at Mr. Lees comes a close second...
I have become a huge fan of JJ Beans for their espresso beans. Every time I try a different brand of beans I go back to JJ Beans. Their single origins are especially good.
I have also tried 49th Parallel beans on numerous occasions but can't seem to find happiness with them. Too bad as they are the cheapest and most convenient for me to buy. I have tried and liked organic espresso beans from Agro and also Black Cat Intelligensia from Elysian on Burrard. Both were very nice.
I think half the fun is in trying the various beans. I only buy beans where the roasting date is stamped on the package. Most serious contenders in this game will do this.
1207 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B6K3, CA
Just for the record here, there really is no such thing as "espresso beans" as espresso is a method of coffee extraction, not a kind of coffee. Beans sold as "espresso" represent a recommendation from the roaster that their particular mix will be good for use in an espresso machine. With pre-ground coffee, "espresso" normally refers to the fine level of grind, which makes the coffee suitable for espresso machines. Sometimes, dark roasted beans are marketed as "espresso" because in some people's minds there's an association between the expectation of acidity in espresso and dark coffee beans. Most serious "third wave" coffee shops disagree with using dark roasted beans for espresso because they tend to result in too much acidity and not enough body. In the end, any beans (or combination) can be used for making espresso; the skill is in finding the right grind of each type of bean - this is why many serious home coffee geeks consider the espresso machine to be an accessory to the grinder, not the other way around. And the final key to great espresso is fresh beans, which guarantee precious crema production, so I would make freshness the top priority and look for roast date labels on coffee for sale.
I'm in a similar boat, bought a new espresso machine from Craigslist about a month or so ago and have been experimenting with freshly roasted beans ever since.
I recommend Moja: www.mojacoffee.com Their house espresso is delicious but their Imara espresso blend is AMAZING. They roast locally (they have a beautiful cafe attached to the roasting facility) in North Van but you can pick up their beans at Whole Foods. I suggest making the trek out to see them in North Van, their baristas are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable and you can take a peak at their roasting facilities, plus they give you a free cup of coffee when you buy your beans which is a nice touch.