Recently we had the pleasure of taste testing a number of the very excellent coffees from www.TerraCaf.ca in Montreal. Fortunately they do mail order. We also did an in-depth interview with Aimee Granito, their Customer Service Director. To order coffee from the company, just visit their site www.Terracaf.ca.
In roasting, is it about temperature or length of time in roasting beans?
Temperature and time always vary. There are many contributing factors; bean density, bean size, quantity of beans in comparison to size of roaster, etc. During roasting, it is necessary for a well-balanced heat and airflow to pass through the tumbling beans in the roasting drum. Air moving too slowly in ratio with the temperature increasing too rapidly will result in scorched beans that are burnt on the exterior and under-roasted on the interior. Air moving too rapidly in ratio with the temperature increasing too slowly inside the chamber will bake, not roast the beans, resulting in a dull, lifeless brew.
Some consumers complain that certain chains (Starbucks) taste ‘scorched’or burnt? What is that about?
Certain chains do over-roast their coffees, whether intentional or not. When roasted dark, beans undergo a carbonization of their sugars creating some; smoky, tarry, oaky and spicy flavour notes. Their body fades and they end up containing less caffeine than light roasted coffees. This is why we created our TAG roast. Torrefazione Artigianale Granito is unique to Terra. TAG roasting can only be accomplished by a Terra trained Master Roaster. The Master Roaster has to know the particularities of each of the origin coffees and adapt the roasting procedures to reach that perfect caramelization of the bean’s sugars in order to attain the best flavor, each origin can deliver.
Do different beans roast differently? (different countries or harvests?)
Absolutely! Different origins, growing environments (soil, climate, and altitude), bean densities, bean sizes and preparations all influence roasting. It’s a question of learning how to control all of these factors in order to attain the desired outcome of the origin coffee.
Which countries do you import from?
It varies from one year to the next as we're always discovering new delicious coffees. At this current time, here is what we have;
Australia Bolivia Brazil Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Dominican Republic Ethiopia Galapagos Islands Guatemala Hawaii India Indonesia Kenya Nepal Nicaragua New Guinea Peru Reunion Island Tanzania Vietnam Yemen
How old is Terracaf? TERRA COFFEE AND TEA LTD
The company was founded by Carlo Granito in 1978.
Where did the owner/master roaster get trained?
Carlo Granito was self-thought. His passion for quality and his constant search for perfection drove him to understand in depth the differences in origin coffees and develop a roasting method that would bring the best out of high quality coffees he imported. This is what influenced the creation of his TAG roast (Torrefazione Artigianale Granito)
How old is the boutique/retail part?
At first, we only had the roasting plant. We were a wholesale-only business. In the 1980's, other manufacturers in our area suggested we do some retail like they did ... they really wanted to have a place they could buy great coffees straight from the manufacturer. We decided to open an outlet / showroom that showed all the products we manufacture and import for retailers and consumers. Even if we are only opened weekdays, the quality our products, service and support have made it the place in Montreal for all coffee and tea enthusiasts to shop and learn.
What are your three leading single bean roasts? (Popularity)
TAG is our leading roast profile. TAG roasted coffees can be used for all filter and or espresso makers. There are many other roast profiles we use when we want or need to create specific tastes or blends to satisfy different and diverse consumer palates.
What are the three leading blends (popularity)
1. Espresso Goccia d'Oro 2. The Montreal Blend 3. Espresso Virtuoso 4. Americano Blend
Are blends better (more nuanced and balanced) or is a single bean roast equally satisfying ? (In your view)
Seeing as our TAG roasted single origin coffees do not cover taste profiles like smoky, tarry, oak, etc, we created blends to meet specific needs through expert blending of different taste profiles. I personally enjoy drinking different coffees every day, because it’s a constant reminder of all the taste profile possibilities.
What coffee makers (aside from an espresso maker) do you recommend ? (Melitta, drip makers, Chemex, Hario, Bodum?)
Standard drip coffee makers often lead to over-extractions due to the water being in contact with the grinds for too long and the temperature of the water often being too hot.
Some of the best ways to extract coffee are with Vacuum coffee makers like Siphon or Cona coffee makers. These procedures take more time, but produce the perfect cups of coffee.
Where in Montreal can people find your coffee?
We can now be found in most METRO's and IGA's, as well as many specialty shops. Consumers can also buy from us online at www.terracaf.ca
Is there a coffee club i.e. if consumers order frequently – any specials, or promotions?
At Terra we created many reward and fidelity programs ie: *Terra Community Card* Every month you receive a 7.50$ discount on the purchase of 500g of coffee or 11.16$ off the purchase of 2 prepack coffee bags (min. 600g). It only takes 3-4 months in savings to regain the 25$ paid for the card and you can save over 100.00$ a year.
*Merit Card* 10% off all products for those aged 60 years and up.