First of all, if you’ve got an Indie Coffee Passport you still have until April 30th 2014 to use it.
I’m especially happy to confirm this because we haven’t been out to a cafe this month (okay, I went to The Abbot alone, but I’m not sure that counts.) With our trip to California, and work, and everything else, a lovely urban coffee exploration just hasn’t happened.
Last week we drank 12 ounces of Ethical Bean Coffee: Rocket Fuel French Roast. The beans are organic, fair trade, from Peru & Bolivia, and roasted in Canada. Ethical Bean Coffee is based our of Vancouver, BC, and this package promised “a strong dark roast, full of body, balance, and a cocoa-laced finish.”
It also features a QR code you can use if you want to get a bit more information about when the coffee was brewed, where the beans were from, etc. Or alternately you can enter the number into their website and get the same info. So I did, and found that my particular package of coffee was roasted on January 30th, 2014.
The one distinct benefit of mostly getting coffee from small producers is that we get the coffee almost always within a week of roasting. I’m not sure how long most supermarket coffee beans sit on the shelf before sale, this might still be exceptional – we bought it on March 16th, so it was on the shelf or in transit for a bit over a month.
We bought this primarily because we were in a supermarket, it was Sunday night at 10 pm and we were completely out of coffee for Monday morning. It’s important to me that coffee we purchase is fair-trade, direct trade, or horizontal trade. As an added bonus this was on sale and was even cheaper than some of the non-organic, non-fair trade coffees.
So did it deliver?
The resulting brew was fairly bold but not very bitter. Strong and definitely dark roast. We all liked it. I’m still very into supporting my local coffee roasters, but for a brand widely available at supermarkets, this was a solid option for me and disappeared accordingly in a short period of time.
While they do have a special espresso blend (Sweet Espresso), we didn’t see it at the store, and used these beans (the Rocket Fuel French Roast) through our espresso machine which may have impacted the end flavour result. But since I feel pretty positive about that end result, I imagine if you were to grind these beans up and use them in drip coffee, the result would still be quite nice (of if like me, you only have an espresso machine, you could also happily use the beans in the machine as well.)
I liked that Ethical Bean has tasting notes readily available on the website. I like the little video they have related to the coffee with their “Director of Coffee”. I also like that Ethical Coffee is a certified B-Corporation, and has a score well beyond the bare minimum (119 as of this moment).