Celebrating 10 Years!

Saturday November 30th

Celebrate with us as we sample out our seasonal Nutcracker coffee, collection of holiday cookies, decadent cheesy shortbread and housemade peppermint marshmallows.

*Complimentary refreshments all day*

*Free Velvet Sunrise mug to the first 100 customers*

And introducing Coffee Crack – an addicting, crunchy combination of caramel brittle, milk chocolate, coffee beans and toasted almonds.

Café Startup Convos – Tara of Lighthouse Café

We had a chance to sit down with Tara from Lighthouse Café and learn about her startup journey.

Tara studied in the culinary world before moving into an admin role after school.

Her dream became to open up a Café that would be engrained in its community. To create a place were people from the community could come together.

When an opportunity to realize this dream came in the form of a location in Mount Albert, a small town east of Newmarket, she jumped at it.

Find out more about Tara’s journey in this episode of Café Startup Convos.

Where we dive into if Lighthouse Café has been a success in business, & becoming a part of the community over its first 10 months.

Plus stay to the end to find out Tara’s advice for people chasing their dream.

Café Startup Convos with Oliver from Main Street Bakehouse

When Oliver and his family took over Main Street Bakehouse & Eatery less than a year ago, it was struggling to find it’s form. Since then they’ve turned things around and the Stouffville location is thriving.

It’s become a place that’s gone above and beyond great coffee & food, it’s become a thriving community hub.

With their success in Stouffville, they had an opportunity to open a second location. One in Markham, across from the GO Station. A location that many GO train riders will be thankful for once they open up shop.

Even though it’s still under construction, Oliver welcomed us into their new location. We sat down with him to find out why they decided to take on this challenge. And also learn more about their new journey.

Update: Now they’ve opened and are in the early stages again. If you’re in the Markham Main St. area stop by and say hi!

Café Startup Convos with Jeanne from 60Beans

Jeanne was a private consultant before she. joined her sisters to open 60Beans.

Their family had previous ties to the coffee world as they were growing up, so a coffee shop made sense to open with each other.

Their desire was to have something that would have longevity, a place that the family can grow old together having together.

It took a few months, but they found a home in the Junction/Roncesvalles area in Toronto.

It’s a small shop by design as they knew they didn’t want a huge place to take care of, but one that would still take the time to connect with it’s community.

Find out more about Jeanne’s journey in starting up 60Beans in our most recent episode of Café Startup Convos.

Cold Pressed Espresso

I see questions on R/coffee and Quora asking about ‘cold pressed espresso’ or ‘cold brewed espresso’.

Most of the answers, and the YouTube videos seem to recommend a recipe using either a) espresso that has been brewed hot and cooled or chilled (yuck!) or b) using espresso beans to make cold brewed coffee concentrate by steeping with water for 12 or more hours.

Let’s step back a bit to review what is espresso. It’s a brewing method – one that involves high pressure and finely ground coffee to produce a concentrated coffee drink in a very short amount of time.

The industry standard is as follows: for a double it’s +/-25 seconds, & the preparation and brewing time is within a minute. With the expectation that it’s served for immediate consumption.

How can we respect the fine tradition of espresso and still make a cold brewed bevvy to quench our summer thirst??

Well, we set our sights to finding out. What we discovered, is amazing. It’s not only possible (with a couple of tricks and tips) but also delicious! Here’s the recipe:

-18 to 20grams of espresso, ground Turkish (tip – if your grinder can’t grind fine enough for Turkish, you can borrow the grinder at your friendly neighbour, neighbourhood grocer or coffee bar)
-with your espresso machine off (and cold) tamp the espresso into your cold double portafilter basket
-lock the handle into your espresso machine
-turn on your espresso machine and without allowing it time to warm up, brew your double shot into a shot glass
– prepare your ‘cold pressed espresso’ drink in your favourite way
– our fave is to fill a glass 2/3 with ice, pour the espresso over, add 3 pumps (3/4 oz) caramel syrup, and top up with almond milk or cow milk

Give it a try, and feel free to contact us with any questions or comment.

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Victoria Day Long Weekend

Wishing you a happy safe Victoria Day Long Weekend.

We also want to tell you about Coffee Beans from the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is our featured coffee:

Kilimanjaro Tanzania

Victoria Day Long Weekend Hours

Here are our hours for the Victoria Day long weekend:

Saturday – Open – 9am to 4pm
Sunday – Closed
Monday – Closed

We’re always happy to answer any of your questions about your home brewing technique’s and coffee choices.

Barista Movie

What does it take to make the perfect cup of coffee?  Four passionate National Barista Champions from the United States (Kyle Ramage), Ireland (Niall Wynn), Germany (Chloe J. Nattrass) and Japan (Miki Suzuki) represent their countries and their craft in an attempt to win the World Barista Championship in Seoul, South Korea.  The film places particular emphasis on the Japanese Champion, Miki Suzuki, as she attempts to become the first female World Barista Champion in history.  You can check out the trailer here:  Barista Movie Trailer

 

go to the website here:  Barista Films

see it on iTunes here:  Barista Movie – iTunes

follow on Instagram:  Instagram – @baristafilm

How Coffee is Made

How Coffee is Made

If you’ve ever wanted to know about how coffee is made, we wrote this just for you!   Visit our award-winning coffee roasting plant for coffee beans, espresso, and the best coffee equipment available today – from Aeropress, Hario V60, Chemex, Clever Dripper, French Press, Yama Vacuum Siphon, Breville espresso machine and Baratza Encore grinders.

How Coffee is Made - Green Coffee

Green (Raw) Coffee

It starts with the freshest beans. Imported directly from the farmer and stored in cool conditions away from other products, green coffee can have a shelf life of up to 12 months before the flavor and intensity starts to fade. Green coffee is high in chlorogenic acid, an anti-inflammatory, which can reduce blood pressure, and if you have ever heard of green coffee extract, it’s the chlorogenic acid being sought out and promoted as a weight loss aid.

Fun Fact:  Finland consumes the most coffee per capita.

Everyone recognizes a roasted coffee bean. Before it is roasted, the green coffee bean is the seed of the coffee cherry after it is picked, de-pulped, and dried. Coffee cherries grow in bunches along the branches of the coffee shrub.  After the flowering of the fragrant, white blossoms, it takes nearly a year for a cherry to mature . Because it grows in a continuous cycle, it is not unusual to see flowers, green fruit, and ripe fruit simultaneously on a single tree. The best terroir for coffee is rich, volcanic soil and high elevations with mild temperatures, frequent rain and shaded sun. The best coffee is hand-picked, constantly turned as it is dried, and carefully sorted for quality. Green coffee has a shelf life of 6 to 12 months.

How Coffee is Made Home Roasting

Home Roasting

Roasted daily for peak flavour and aroma. Coffee starts to lose aromatic compounds starting the day after it’s roasted, even in a sealed bag, eventually becoming flat and lacking in complex aromas. Over the time of about 6 weeks, oxygen starts to creep into the bean and oxidize it. This causes the increase in bitterness associated with store shelf coffee. Oxidation destroys anti-oxidants, which one of the major health benefits of fresh coffee.

Fun Fact:  During roasting, coffee pops a little like popcorn, twice.

Home coffee roasting is easy! It only takes 7 to 15 minutes and your reward is the freshest coffee around. Green coffee is half the price of good roasted coffee. We have a huge selection of green coffees, each carefully chosen for quality. Coffee can be roasted in many ways, from home coffee roasting appliance, to the oven, on the stove-top, in a popcorn popper, with a heat gun, or even on the gas grill.

How Coffee is Made Roasting Coffee

Roasting Coffee

The craft of roasting coffee is a highly developed skill.

Fun Fact:  Espresso beans and Coffee beans are not different, only the brewing method is.

Whether your goal is to experience the best light roast Colombian coffee, or to savor a bold, dark roast in the french press, coffee has the potential to offer one of the most complex sensory experiences of all the foods and beverages. As green coffee is roasted, acids and sugars react with heat, turning the coffee brown, caramelizing sugars and creating hundreds of aromatic compounds that contribute to a vast array of smells, tastes and textures. Our artisan roasting team is constantly developing and tasting, driven by a passion to bring out the best aspects in every coffee that we source. Every country of origin, every harvest and every lot has different potential and our roaster develops roast profiles that allow the coffees to speak in their own unique voice, creating a pleasing experience in the cup for our customers.

How Coffee is Made Brewing Coffee

Brewing Coffee

Brewing coffee should be easy, fun and tasty.

Fun Fact:  Forty percent of a coffee bean is soluble in water. Only the first 20% tastes good.

There are dozens of ways to enjoy your fresh roast coffee at home. All involve the same basic steps: grind, steep, filter, enjoy!. Starting with a quality grinder, filtered water, a scale and your brewer of choice, spending a little time learning to make a beautiful, aromatic and complex cup of coffee can be a rewarding experience. Whether you enjoy a delicate, floral, citrusy cup or a bold, syrup, dark brew – there is a coffee and a method for you. From french press to drip, aeropress to espresso, siphon to moka pot, we have you covered with a coffee and the tools to do it up right.

How Coffee is Made Cafe

Cafe

Sometimes it’s good to let someone else do the heavy lifting!

Fun Fact:  65% of coffee is consumed at home.

We provide only fresh, roasted-to-order coffee to your cafe. Along with coffee, our wholesale customer gets our expert guidance on the best method and techniques for brewing, along with hands-on training, and all of the cafe supplies needed to keep first-rate coffee your passion. We are obsessed with making the best possible cup of coffee, so don’t shoot us if the coffee tastes better at the cafe. It’s what we do!

Green Coffee - Coffee Roasting - Coffee Brewing - How to Start a Cafe

Brewing Recipes

cold brew coffee

Here are a few of our Brewing Recipes. Brew like a Pro!

Clever Dripper

23g medium grind (#21H Baratza Preciso)
350g @ 205°F water
Start timer. Pour in 80g of water and gently stir and let bloom for 30 seconds. At 30 seconds in, pour remaining water in, submerging grounds as you pour.  At 2:30, gently stir the top in a clockwise circle. Place on carafe and allow to drain. 3:30 total time

Hario V60-02

20g medium fine grind (#12H Baratza Preciso)
350g @ 205°F water
Start timer. Pour in about 40g of water. Stir to saturate grinds. Bloom for 20 seconds. Slow continuous pour until ratio is reached. Final stir. 3:20 total time

Chemex

42g medium fine grind (#18H Baratza Preciso)
700g @ 205°F water
Pour in about 50g of water. Stir to wet grinds. Start timer. Bloom for 20 seconds. Add 350g water. Pulse pour 100 g every 20 seconds until ratio is reached. When the coffee level reaches the belly button, remove the filter, even if some slurry remains. 4:00 total time

ESPRO Press

22g medium fine grind (#18H Baratza Preciso)
336g @ 200°F water
Start timer, pour in about 40-50g of water. Bloom for 30 seconds. Pulse pour until ratio is reached. 3:30 total time

Kalita Wave 155 series

21g coffee medium grind (#18-22H Baratza Preciso)
350g @ 200°F water
Start timer, Pour in about 50g of water. Bloom for 30 seconds. Pulse pour water in a slow circle until water ratio is reached. 3:00 total time

Kalita Wave 185 series

30g coffee medium grind (#18-22H Baratza Preciso)
450g @ 200°F water
Start timer. Pour in about 60g of water. Bloom for about 30 seconds. Pulse pour in a slow circular motion until ratio is reached. 3:15

Aeropress

18g medium fine grind (#10H Baratza Preciso)
220-240g @ 200° water
Start timer, pour in 220-240g of water. Bloom until timer reaches 1:20, stir. At 1:30 stir again, cap and plunge. 1:45 total time

Cold Brew (Ready to drink)

100g medium grind (#20H Baratza Preciso)
200g @ 202° water
800g @ cold water
Start timer, pour in 200g hot water. Bloom for 1 minute. Slowly pour in remaining 800g of cold water and cover. Let sit for 12 hours. Filter and keep in the fridge

Flash Brewing Mod- Japanese Style Cold Brew Over Ice

Use any above recipe and split the water in half so that half is ice. Place the ice in the carafe or cups and brew the coffee directly over the ice. Note: Brew time will be shorter.

Health and Coffee – Mycotoxins Myth

The Myth about Mycotoxins in Coffee
Is your morning cup doing you more harm than help? Study after study has been done on the health benefits of coffee, but not everyone agrees that the benefits outweigh the consequences. Some claim that commercial coffee is contaminated with dangerous mycotoxins, which can cause people to perform badly and have a higher risk of disease.

What are Mycotoxins?
Mold, which is a type of fungus, is found almost everywhere in very small quantities. Mold can grow on edible crops and produce by-products called mycotoxins. There are hundreds of different mycotoxins with different functions. For example, mycotoxins are used to create the antibiotic Penicillin. We’re mostly interested in the two mycotoxins that are found most commonly in coffee: Aflatoxin B1 and Ochratoxin A. Aflatoxin B1 is a known carcinogen and is also commonly found in peanuts, corn, tree nuts, and dairy. Ochratoxin A hasn’t been studied as much, but it has been associated with kidney disease, and it is also commonly found in grains. However, it’s important to remember that “the dose makes the poison.”

Mycotoxin Prevention and Regulation
Generally speaking, high moisture content, high humidity, and high temperatures can promote the growth of mold and related toxins. The standards of processing and storing green coffee can reduce the growth of mold by regulating these factors, and studies have found that the roasting process can destroy up to 80% of mycotoxins. Additionally, the FDA has regulated mycotoxins in food and drinks for years, and the amount that they allow is far below the amount you would have to ingest to cause yourself harm. If you’re really worried about mycotoxins, you can buy single origin coffee from regions at a higher elevation that has been wet processed. Higher elevation reduces the chance of a high moisture content, and wet processing discourages the growth of mold in green beans compared to dry processing.

Bottom Line
Mycotoxins are by-products of mold that can be found in many things, including coffee, grains, and tree nuts, but they are only harmful if they’re ingested in large amounts. FDA regulations only allow a very small amount of mycotoxins in food and drinks, and most coffee is processed with the intention of reducing mold growth. If you want to reduce your exposure to mycotoxins in coffee, you can buy high mountain grown single origin coffee that has been wet processed. At the end of the day, the health benefits of coffee outweigh the negatives, so feel free to enjoy your pick-me-up without worry.

Beans and Genes

Beans and Genes

How does coffee really affect our bodies? It turns out the answer is more complicated and unclear than you might expect. Studies upon studies have been done on the long-term health of regular coffee drinkers, with mixed results. Some conclude that daily consumption is linked to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or heart disease. Others say that it’s linked to an increased risk of gastrointestinal problems, anemia, or heart disease.

First of all, these studies indicate correlation, not causation. What this means is that regular coffee consumption is linked to these problems and diseases, but it doesn’t necessarily cause them – there could be a third common factor that causes these effects. But one factor that most studies don’t take into account is genes.

Nutrigenomics is the study of the interaction of nutrition and genes. Nutrigenomics says that the health effects that you experience from consuming certain things can be determined in part by your genetic makeup. So let’s apply this to caffeinated coffee and its effect on a person’s risk for heart disease and Parkinson’s.

Heart Disease

A gene called CYP1A2 signals your liver to make one of two enzymes: CYP1A2 fast or CYP1A2 slow. If you have the gene that makes CYP1A2 fast, your liver is able to process and eliminate caffeine quite quickly, leading to a decreased risk of heart disease. If you have the gene that makes CYP1A2 slow, your liver processes and eliminates caffeine more slowly, leading to an increased risk of heart disease.
Isn’t that fascinating? One gene can determine whether your daily coffee habit helps or hinders you.

Parkinson’s

A gene called GRIN2A can affect your nervous system in one of two ways. If the gene acts one way, coffee can decrease your risk of Parkinson’s by up to 60%. If the gene acts another way, coffee doesn’t affect your risk of Parkinson’s.

So can my daily caramel latte be good for me?

The short answer is just what you would expect: no. Even if your genetic makeup is favourable when it comes to the possible health benefits of coffee, those benefits are based on the consumption of black coffee. So have your coffee however you want, but know that most health benefits are negated when you start dressing it up with milk, cream, sugar, and syrups.

about velvet sunrise coffee beans

At Velvet Sunrise Coffee Roasters, we carefully craft our fresh roast coffee beans for wholesale and retail customers. Our single origin coffee sourcing and roast profile development program that puts fine quality espresso and coffee within reach. Wholesale customers take advantage of our flexible roasting program to develop custom roasts and blends, private labels, and toll roasting. Extensive cafe support, consultation and training for staff and management are an integral part of our wholesale program.

Mark Hayward claims his recent transition from civil engineer to full-time coffee roaster was the easiest thing in the world. Not to say that he didn’t enjoy his previous job – in fact, quite the opposite. He loved his job as a project manager. “Every project was like climbing up a mountain. It was difficult getting up there, but once you reached the other side, you got to look back and appreciate all the hard work you had done.” He claims that running a business is essentially the same thing, but on a larger scale. When asked how he became interested in the coffee business, he said “Interested? I’m a fanatic, I’m a raving lunatic about coffee!”

He recollected his first encounter with home roasted coffee beans quite fondly. A woman had been roasting coffee near one of his sites downtown, and the smell was so potent that his curiosity was piqued. Turns out, her boyfriend was a green coffee merchant, a person who specializes in sourcing and importing green coffee beans. He started buying green beans from them, and from then on, he could be found roasting coffee under the exhaust hood every Saturday morning. It wasn’t until twelve years later that he decided to start his own business, Velvet Sunrise. “The difference in taste between freshly roasted coffee beans and the stuff that’s been sitting on a shelf for months was so dramatic that I thought everyone should get a chance to try it,” he said.

Established in 2009, the business has grown and flourished. Small shops and cafes, all the way from Port Perry to Hamilton, serve and sell Velvet Sunrise coffee beans, including The Village Grocer and The Mad Bean. Currently, Mark is roasting thousands of pounds of coffee every week.

Velvet Sunrise opens to the public Tue – Sat from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. While it’s mainly a wholesale business, the inside of the store is warm and welcoming, the walls decorated with a few pieces of art that complement the orange, green, and brown walls. The big roaster hums away in the background, and the air constantly smells of freshly roasted coffee. “I love what I do, and I love the relationships we’ve developed with our customers. It doesn’t even feel like work.”

go cubes – the future of coffee?

go cubes

Sweet, portable, convenient, affordable, and better than a cup of coffee. These are a few claims made by Nootrobox about Go Cubes. Go Cubes are chewable gummy squares made from cold brew coffee, designed for an on-the-go energy boost when you don’t have time to sit down and sip. Each cube contains 50 mg of caffeine, which is equivalent to about half a cup of coffee. Sounds like a dream come true for busy caffeine addicts, right?

Go Cubes aren’t just coffee, though. They also contain nootropics (supplements that boost cognition) such as L-theanine, vitamins B3, B6, and B12, glucuronolactone, inositol, and folic acid. You can read more about this here. Most of these supplements have been proven to enhance cognitive function, although one review points out that inositol is only effective in much higher doses than Go Cubes contain. L-theanine in particular is a green tea extract that serves to counteract the jitters that some people experience when they have caffeine.

Reviews so far have been mixed. While everyone seems to agree that Go Cubes are convenient and effective, there have been some complaints about the taste. One reviewer said that it was “sweet… but after a couple of chews the taste instantly turned bitter.” Another likened the aftertaste to “drinking nothing but coffee for a week while not brushing your teeth.” Out of the three flavours – pure drip, mocha, and latte – the lighter latte flavour seems to be most popular. However, reviewers have pointed out that it’s very difficult to tell the flavours apart. There’s a mix in each package of four and they’re all varying shades of dark brown. Others complained of upset stomachs and bad coffee breath.

Odd taste aside, most reviewers agreed that the cubes simplified their morning and pre-workout routines, and helped them keep track of their caffeine intake. Are Go Cubes the future of coffee? Maybe not, but they’re certainly another fresh, innovative way to get your fix.