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Archive for the ‘New Products’ Category

Tanzania Peaberry Lunji Estate

In Coffee Projects, New Products on July 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Lunji Estate is located in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania’s Mbeya Region, at the foot of the Mbeya Peak; at 2830 m, one of the highest mountains in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. The area is of exceptional beauty and very diverse in flora and fauna. Best times of the year to visit are May to July and November / December.


About Lunji Estate:

  • 85 hectares of sandy loams to sandy clay loams
  • Bourbon-Arabica varietals of Tanzanian and Kenyan cultivars under shade of indigenous species
  • Various planting densities but distance between the rows is between 2.7 and 3 meters
  • Altitude range is 1500-1700 meters above sea level
  • Average rainfall of 1250 mm per year
  • Flowering usually occurs September to November, depending on irrigation and onset of rains
  • Harvest generally occurs between May and August

About 5% of the annual yield at Lunji Estate is Peaberry. Normally the coffee at Lunji Estate is fully washed and naturally fermented before rack sun-drying. In the case of our peaberry micro-lot, the coffee is dried inside the fruit (natural process) and hulled before storing in parchment.

Cup profile includes a balanced body, pineapple acidity, strong lavender / floral notes, and a persistently sweet aftertaste

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Kenya AA Othaya Microlot

In Coffee Projects, New Products, Product Reviews on June 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

Othaya originated from the words “on their own” which came about as the indigenous people were trying to defend their land, “on their own.”

The heart of the Aberdare National Park is home to numerous species, including the rarely seen Bongo Antelope. Other wildlife includes the endangered black rhino, elephants, leopards, bushbucks and many others. It’s also famous for safari lodges Aberdare Country Club, The Ark, and Outspan Hotel; a tree-top hotel famous for housing Queen Elizabeth II on the night of her coronation.

We are pleased to have aquired this spectacular Kenya microlot which is expected in the roastery mid-July (flavour notes of lychee fruit and blackcurrent acidity) Even better, Speakeasy will have a first access “relationship” opportunity on future lots.

Location: Nyeri district and on the western side of Mt.Kenya

Othaya co-operative society constitutes several factories

e.g. Kagere factory, Iriaini factory, Kagonye factory

Altitude: 1700 – 1800 metres

Nearest town:  5Km from Nyeri Town

Soil: Rich Volcanic Sandy Soil

Coffee Variety: SL 34 and SL 28

Flowering season: Between March and April

Harvesting Time: Between November and December

Fermentation: Fresh River Water from Mumwe River.

Drying method: Sun Dried

Organization: Small-scale farmers in well-managed central pulverises

Growing area: Central highlands mainly at high altitude

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The Golden Bean

In In the news, New Products on May 13, 2011 at 10:32 am

Speakeasy Coffee is very pleased to announce that we were the Grand Prize “Golden Bean” winner for best new blend at the 2011 International SIAL “Coffee Cup.” Long live the art of the blend!

There were 30 finalists representing 7 different countries. Results are as follows:

Single origin

“Gold Bean”


“Silver Bean”


Blends Category

“Gold Bean”

Speakeasy Roasteries (Canada)

Certified Category

Universal Caffe (Italy)

Story & Photo reprint courtesy of Gary Yokoyama @ Hamilton Spectator

Move over Tim Hortons, Hamilton just might have a new iconic coffee.

It’s called Kochere Gayo, and on Wednesday it was named the best blended coffee in the world at the SIAL competition in Toronto.

Kochere Gayo is the creation of Stephen Armstrong, owner of Speakeasy, a specialty coffee roasting and wholesale company on Ferguson Avenue North. “This win is fantastic,” he said Thursday. “It demonstrates our commitment to quality and is great for the Canadian coffee industry.”

SIAL is one of the world’s biggest food industry expositions, headquartered in Paris and held every two years in a different locale, drawing thousands of exhibitors from all over the globe. Armstrong isn’t sure exactly how many competitors he faced in the Coffee Cup showdown, but estimates it was in the hundreds.

There were three categories for coffee — blended, single origin and organic — and Armstrong says the blended category he won “really is the craft of coffee.” His prize for the victory? “The accolades,” he says “but of course winning a competition of this calibre will have a great affect on business for me.”

Speakeasy is a direct-buy wholesaler, meaning Armstrong travels to coffee-producing countries to purchase raw beans directly from the growers, roasts the beans and blends them here, then sells to numerous restaurants and cafés. However, you can buy his coffees, including the Kochere Gayo, online at and arrange delivery (free in Hamilton & Wndsor-Essex) or pick it up.

Armstrong explains the Gold Bean winning coffee is a blend of Kochere Yirga Cheffe and Amaro Gayo Sidama (washed) coffee grown in two different regions of Ethiopia. He describes Kochere Gayo as a rich blend that is balanced and fruity, and has citrus, chocolate and pipe tobacco characteristics. It sells for about $19 a pound ($42 a kilo).

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Speakeasy ist eine Leipziger?

In Coffee Projects, New Products on November 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm

So why Germany for a new Speakeasy roastery? Michael Ballack thinks it’s a good idea. You’re not going to argue with Ballack, are you???

My recent location tour took me through 6 different countries in 13 days: the US, Denmark, Ireland, England, Holland, and Germany. Almost every country I’ve travelled to has it’s own “apostles” of coffee…Wendelboe, Square Mile, La Boheme, Intelligensia, Coffee Collective – the list of quality driven coffee roasters & retailers seems to grow by the day. The Germans are a different sort altogether; definitely with a reputation for coffee consumption, but not so much for coffee production. Pick a country and I could suggest a handful of quality, micro-roasted brew spots. When I think of Germany I think…Probat? I’m sure to get a barrage of email suggesting one place or another, but off-hand nothing immediately comes to mind.

I was suprised to discover that one of the oldest coffee houses in Europe (and the longest in continuous operation) can be found in Leipzig, Germany. Surprised, because I lived in Leipzig for two years shortly after German re-unification, and had no idea that this place even existed. To my defense, I wasn’t “in coffee” then, and the cafe space remained closed throughout most of the 90’s (during my tenure as “Leipziger”)

In 1694 Heinrich Schütze opened the “Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum” and gave out free coffee. The sandstone sculpture above the doorway to “Coffe Baum” is especially famous. An ottoman offers cupid a cup of coffee; a meeting of the Christian western world with the Islamic East. None other than Augustus the Strong was supposed to have donated this sculpture as a way of saying thank you to the landlady, who had taken exceptional care of him.

At first, coffee was considered a beverage of the nobility. The middle and lower classes were not introduced to coffee until the early 18th century, and it was much later that it came to be prepared and consumed at home. As coffeehouses were the domain of men, women of status established their own “coffee clubs.”

Over the following three centuries, many notable personages met here and enjoyed the popular drink. Gottsched, Klinger, ETA Hoffmann & Wagner were often seen going in and out. Goethe, Lessing, Bach, and Grieg were also guests there.

In the Schumann Room situated on the ground floor, Robert Schumann would meet with friends at his regular table between 1828 and 1844. Revolutionaries such as Blum, Liebknecht and Bebel also made “Coffe Baum” their second living-room. In 1990 Helmut Kohl and Lothar de Maizière discussed the possibilities of reunification here.

Between 1993 & 1998 the vacant building was purchased from the federal government by the city of Leipzig, and underwent extensive restoration. A coffee museum was added to the original restaurant and cafe spaces, and officially opened in 1999.

The exhibit showcases coffee grinders, Meissen porcelain, coffee cups (including one used by Napoleon in 1813), hand roasters, vessels used for making coffee, coffee house codes of conduct, coffee substitutes, coffee house music, and a modern Probat sample roaster. The more than 500 items on display give insight into more than 300 years of Saxon coffee culture.

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Brew Sessions @ Arts Crawl

In Coffee Projects, New Products on November 8, 2010 at 5:22 pm

The Hamilton Arts Crawl happens on the second Friday of every month, all-year-round. Starting at around 7pm, the local galleries and shops along James Street North open their doors late for all to explore! Fun for all & free to attend. This is quickly becoming an event not to be missed!

Join us on Friday December 10th at Hamilton’s only independant art shop Mixed Media (154 James St. North) for a special edition of Speakeasy Brew Sessions. We will be on-hand to answer all your coffee questions and serve up a fresh brew of our exclusive 2010 Cup of Excellence Nicaragua Linda Vista prepared in the Chemex.

Follow it up with a full “Brew Session” at the Speakeasy Hamilton Coffee Lab on Saturday December 11th, from 12 noon until 3 pm when we will be using a range of “to-the-cup”  brew methods and tasting some of our favorites: Panama H2, Colombia Finca La Ceiba, Ethiopian Amaro Gayo (washed & natural), our Cuban Serrano Levado Microlot, and a Kenya Peaberry. The brew is always free and our world-class beans are always freshly roasted.

Location: Speakeasy Hamilton: 445 Ferguson Avenue North, L8L 4Z1

Google Map

Come out to the Speakeasy Cupping Lab for a unique coffee experience.

Every Saturday from 12 – 3; we open our roastery / cupping lab doors to the public, and offer a taste of some of the best that the coffee world has to offer.

We are Canadian exclusive roasters of NinetyPlus coffees, as well as a breadth of Cup of Excellence winners & Direct Trade microlots. Our list of world-class coffees changes on an almost monthly basis, so don’t miss out!

Demonstations of single-serve brew methods (french press, aeropress, siphon, pourover, chemex, and espresso) keeps the presentation interesting and animated.

For both the aficionado & casual coffee drinker

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Celebrate Speakeasy Hamilton w/ Panama H2

In Coffee Projects, New Products on October 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm
Come out to the grand re-opening of Speakeasy Cafe & Roastery in Hamilton on Friday October 29th (7 – 9 pm) @ 445 Ferguson Ave. North, Hamilton
After a two-year absence, we are only days away from re-opening our Hamilton, Ontario north-end location
To celebrate, we will be hosting a public tasting of Panama Hartmann Honey (H2), Ethiopian Amaro Gayo (washed & natural) 2010 Cup of Excellence Nicaragua Linda Vista, Colombian Finca La Ceiba, and Cuban Serrano Levado Superior
To add a little dimension of fun, we will also be demonstrating a wide selection of single-brew methods: french press, aeropress, ceramic pourover, vacuum pot, and of course espresso.
Our “spotlight” coffee for the evening is our newest addition, Panama H2
“H2” refers to the family “Hartmann” and “Honey Processing”
The Hartmann family worked closely with Joseph Brodsky of Ninety-Plus to develop a multi-varietal coffee that is “honey-processed;” some of the pulp is left on the bean during the stringently controlled drying process. 
Farm Finca Hartmann
Habitat Finca Hartmann has been embracing biodiversity for decades. Their natural shade farm has been studied by Smithsonian & other wildlife organizations.
Labour Seasonal employees of the indigenous Gnobe tribe
Lot Size 50 bags
Mill Milled at Finca Hartmann
Process Honey Processing, a semi-washed method where some mucilage is left on the beans while they dry on raised drying beds.
Altitude 1600 – 1750 masl
Soil Volcanic
Varietal Caturra & Catuai
Region Volcan / Ojo de Agua


Don’t miss your chance to sit in on this “once-in-a-lifetime” cupping table!

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Everything you wanted to know about Cuban coffee (but were afraid to ask)

In New Products, Product Reviews on September 17, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Our Serrano is a rich, full bodied, well-balanced spicy-cup (black pepper, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon), with an incredibly long finish; making for a great single origin espresso.

Location: Cuba

District: Sierra Maestra

Varietal: 100% Typica

Certifications: Organic

Altitude: + 1,100 masl

Average temp: 24-26C

Relative humidity: 76-90%

Yearly rainfall: + 1,900 mm

Process: washed & sun dried

It is believed that coffee found a home in Cuba thanks to a man named Jose Antonio Gelabert; who introduced the plant to the island in 1748.

By 1790, Cuba was a one of the primary exporters of coffee to Spain. Not long after, French coffee farmers fleeing the Haitian revolution established themselves in Cuba.

By the 1820s, coffee was one of the largest industries in Cuba’s growing economy. Prior to the revolution in 1956, Cuba was exporting 20,000 metric tons of coffee and producing a yield of over 300 pounds per acre.

Following 1956, migration into the cities weakened the labour force available to coffee growers. In an effort to strengthen the industry, the government attempted to develop a coffee growing belt outside of Havana using a volunteer labor force. The replacement of skilled coffee farmers with volunteers (who knew nothing about coffee) aversely affected the industry. Production levels during the late 60s and 70s dropped. In the early 80s, the industry saw some recovery, only to be hit again  by the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990.

Cuba continues to struggle to maintain coffee production as a viable industry; environmental disaster, outdated technology, and massive rural-urban migration have all contributed to its ongoing problems.

Ironically, Miami-based Café Pilon generates more than $70 million in annual sales, selling their version of Cuban coffee in the US as “the one to use when you want authentic Cuban coffee.” However, due to legal restrictions, Cuban coffee consumed in the U.S. is made of beans from everywhere but Cuba.

Today, Japan and France account for 70-80 percent of Cuban coffee exports. Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, Canada, Switzerland and Netherlands are also sizeable importers.

Traditional Cuban Coffee Drinks

Café Cubano…one teaspoon of demerara sugar moistened with coffee into a sugar paste. Pull an espresso volume shot of Speakeasy Cuban Serrano into the sugar and whisk during the pour

Cafe con Leche…two parts Cubano, one part steamed milk

Cafe Cortadito…Café Cubano with a tablespoon of steamed milk

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Colombia “Finca La Ceiba”

In New Products on August 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm


Past Awards:
2005 Cup of Excellence
8th Place / 86.39 points
100% Typica
Wet milling
Jury Descriptions:
Cherry candy, grape, almond, plum, balanced, vibrant, elegant, crisp, creamy
Adriano is the representative of a group of three coffee growers: Adriano Delgado, Jose Vargas and Ignacio Delgado. They are small producers of shade grown coffee. All the families live on the farms, and also produce sugar cane and citrus fruits. They practice ecological wet milling, shade grow crops, and use organic fertilizers.
Annual Production: 30 bags
Soil Type: Franco Arcilloso
Precipitation: 1,300 millimeters
Elevation: 1700 meters
Certifications: Shade Grown & Organic
Main Crop: October to January
Colombia Finca La Ceiba

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Ethiopian “Amaro Gayo”

In New Products, Product Reviews on June 26, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Our newest coffee addition at Speakeasy Roasteries  is the Ethiopian Amaro Gayo. We will be offereing the Amaro Gayo in both Washed / Sun-dried or Natural / Sun-dried process options.


A thick bodied coffee, with predominant notes of chocolate, dried banana & blackberry. This clean and consistent cup has a sweet rich chocolate aftertaste and finish.
Asnakech Thomas is the only female coffee producer and exporter in Ethiopia. Asnakech is the head of Amaro Gayo Mill in the Amaro region in Ethiopia within the boundaries of the Nechisar National Park. She inspects her drying tables and leads with a fervor never before seen in southern Ethiopia. She pays great prices for the ripest of cherry from surrounding smallholders and employs the best techniques in selecting and drying her coffee cherry.
 Growing area: 800 Hectares
Variety: Ethiopica
Processing: Natural & Sun Dried
Drying method: Raised drying tables
Certifications: Organic natural canopy
Altitude: 1800-2000 meters
Average temperature: C: 26 (F: 75)
Annual rainfall: 2400 mm
Type of soil: volcanic rich loamy-sand

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2010 Cup of Excellence “Linda Vista”

In New Products, Product Reviews on June 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm


Coffee Variety

100% Caturra

Processing System

Washed & Sun-dried @ Las Segovias

Top Jury Descriptions

Flavour: milk chocolate, honey, apricot, vanilla, butter, raisin, cherry

Acidity: sweet citric, juicy, lemon

Other: Creamy mouth-feel 

Speakeasy Roasteries is very pleased to announce that we are one of the auction lot winners at the 2010 Cup of Excellence Nicaragua competition.    

We are honoured to represent Cup of Excellence and the extraordinary coffee Linda Vista as exclusive roaster / supplier.    

This was our first experience with the Cup of Excellence judging / cupping / auction process; it was thoroughly exciting and gratifying from start to finish.    

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity….quantities are limited. Visit  for more information.    

Managed by Francisco González Avilez, his wife and their four children, “Linda Vista” is located in the community Las Nubes, municipality of Dipilto, department of Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua.    

This 7-hectare farm is 1386m above sea level and has an average rainfall of 1650 mm / year. The average temperature is between 18ºC – 27ºC.  The farm’s coffee output is about 83% Caturra, 17% Bourbon; but also produces a variety of citrus fruits, musacia (a type of banana palm) cheyas (a leafy perennial that’s cooked  and eaten like spinach)  and malangas (a tropical tuber that is eaten like potatoes)    

Linda Vista has arrived at the roastery and is ready to be roasted & shipped! Contact to place your order today.

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