Top African Coffees for Canada: Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, Kenya AA, Uganda AA, Tanzania Peaberry

East African CoffeesEastern Africa is known for some of the top quality coffees in the world. Located in the coffee-belt, these neighbouring countries produce a unique combination of earthy flavours with hints of fruit. The differences in their geography, combined with the different cultures and growing and processing methods yield distinct coffees that share similar characteristics, and all deserve to be sample.

By popular demand, we’ve brought in Ethiopian Sidamo and Uganda AA, as well as bringing back the Tanzania Peaberry. The Ethipian Yirgacheffe and Kenya AA have remained some of our most popular and highest rated coffees. Prices for coffees in the African region didn’t change much compared to what we predicted earlier this year, making them all great deals.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Fair Trade Organic Coffee Beans

Ethiopian Sidamo
Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee Beans

Kenya AA

Kenya AA Coffee Beans

Uganda Okoro AA

Uganda Okoro AA Coffee Beans

Tanzania Peaberry

Tanzania Peaberry Coffee Beans

Did You Know: About 90% of the world’s coffee comes from small family-owned farms, not corporate conglomerates.

Skinny Latte Recipes (Sugar Free) for Cafes

Customers are seeking more and more lower-calorie options, opting for healthier, sugar-free options to better serve customers. Making that delicious low-carb drink that keeps your customers happy without feeling guilty is a great way to increase repeat sales and keep customers coming back.

torani-logoWith Torani, you don’t need to worry about the “artificial after-taste” associated with other sugar-free sweeteners. Sweetened with Splenda, it’s stable at high temperatures (well above the brewing temperature of coffee and espresso) which keeps it from breaking down – and Torani is artfully crafted to provide flavour without being overly sweet. There are of course the ever-popular Italian Soda Syrup Flavours for summer, but it’s also great to have some warmer options for cold-weather as well as holiday-themed syrup flavours.

Here are a couple recipes that we’ve had great feedback with from some of our cafes, which yield drinks comparable to the major coffee chains.

Skinny Sticky Toffee Latte

torani-skinny-hazelnut-mochaSkinny Hazelnut Mocha

* for bonus appearance when presenting, top it off with a little sugar-free chocolate sauce zig-zag.

Skinny Caramel Brulee Latte

Skinny Salted Caramel Mocha

It’s also worth taking a look at some unique, new Monin Syrups for even more choices and variability.

Have your own favourite recipe? Feel free to share it in the comments!

Green Mountain Adds Coffee-Mate To the Lineup

Eight Oclock K-CupsIf you’ve been adding Coffee-Mate creamer to your coffee after brewing a cup with your Keurig machine, you may be in for a treat. Nestle and Green Mountain announced plans to bring French-Vanilla flavoured creamer to the K-Cup line. Nestle also owns Nespresso, whose line of single-serve coffee line (Nespresso and Dolce Gusto) haven’t seen the same kind of growth as the K-Cups.

The move can be seen as a disappointment to consumers who’ve invested in the Dolce Gusto machines, which don’t have nearly the variety as the Keurig line. With only 6-8 real options being found in retail stores, consumers haven’t responded well and are likely to be upset that Nestle is diversify into other single-serve makers instead of bolstering its own offering.

Loss for Eight OClock Coffee

Eight Oclock coffee has been one of the top suppliers for the kind of creamy flavours that Nestle and Green Mountain will offer under the partnership. Shares of Tata Global Beverages (owns Eight Oclock coffee) dropped on the news. With an estimated 25% of coffee drinkers currently using Coffee-Mate flavouring, a slowing in growth or even decrease in sales for Eight Oclock coffee is expected.

 

Eight Oclock Shares

A Taste of Things to Come

There has been some high-level consolidating and partnerships being put in place recently, with Coca-Cola investing in Green Mountain to create a soda line and many large coffee roasters also signing onto the Green Mountain growth-train. In Europe, D.E. Master Blenders 1753 BV is combining coffee assets with Mondelez International Inc. – now a large European competitor to Nestle.

This is Your Brain on Coffee. And Beer.

Two of Canada’s favourite drinks (for very different reasons), beer and coffee affect the brain in different ways. While both help “facilitate” social interaction, many people intuitively understand how but don’t know specific channels.

Caffeine works by binding with receptors in your brain that would otherwise make you feel sleepy or drowsy. Instead, you become more alert and are able to work more diligently on tasks that would otherwise seem mundane and put you to sleep. Studies have shown that repetitive tasks with small cognitive overhead see the most benefit from caffeine, as opposed to reactive performance-based tasks.

Alcohol on the other hand inhibits short-term memory and lets you focus on being creative. With top-level thinking and focus inhibited, people are more readily able to make connections between two non-obvious topics, and move on to new topics without lingering too long.

Here’s a little infographic:

Beer vs. Coffee Infographic

Vanilla Syrup for Iced Coffee

Iced coffee is a quintessential summer drink, perfect for cooling off on a hot summer afternoon with enough caffeine to kick you back into work or play. It can be difficult to re-create a great cafe-style iced coffee at home though, so we’ve compiled some syrups recommended by some of our cafes, who swear that Vanilla is their secret ingredient for adding sweetness and flavour.

There are a couple options from brands like Torani for Vanilla Syrups:

Vanilla Syrup

The standard Vanilla syrup is a classic and a great base for other flavours. Vanilla is almost neutral, but complements many flavours including straight coffee.

Vanilla Bean Syrup

Less processed than standard vanilla, the Vanilla bean syrup imparts all the unique flavours and characteristics of the plant that derives the vanilla flavour.

French Vanilla Syrup

While technically more of a hot-drink flavour, the french vanilla syrup imparts creamy twists with the classic vanilla taste. Iced French Vanilla coffees are sweet and delectable, a great way to make a cafe-quality drink at home.

Honey Vanilla Syrup

The honey vanilla syrup offers a honey-based sweetness to your iced coffee while the vanilla offers a unique twist, making something that most coffee shops can’t even replicate. This one is a top-seller at one of the shops in a small town.

What Is The Best Vanilla Syrup For Iced Coffee?

There isn’t a “best”, as everyone has their own tastes and preferences. For an earthy, true vanilla taste we usually recommend the Vanilla Bean syrup, but for an all-around mix-with-other-flavours choice we’d go with the “Vanilla” Vanilla flavour (hah!).

The regular Vanilla packs a good taste and has the bonus of being great mixed with other syrups – chocolate milano, hazelnut or caramel it imbues an aromatic, almost creamy flavour.

Taking that diversity a step further, the Vanilla syrups works well with any number of fruit-flavour syrups when making Italian Sodas, giving you multiple options for iced beverages in the summer months. The creaminess provided by the Vanilla is an alternative to using actual dairy in an Italian “Cream” Soda.

Coconut Syrup for Coffee

Summer is here and tropically-inspired flavours are in! Torani’s Coconut Syrup is ideally suited for coffee, with the fresh taste of tropically grown coconuts and a liquid consistency that blends perfectly into coffee or espresso-based drinks.

Torani Coconut Syrup

 

Also available for the low carbers, diabetics and those on a diet is the Sugar Free Coconut Syrup.

Best Chocolate Syrup in Canada

There are dozens of manufacturers of chocolate syrups and sauces in Canada, but which is the best? How do you define the best? Everyone has their own criteria, whether it’s cost, taste, how it’s used (drinks vs. topping) or how natural the ingredients are – there’s no one answer-fits-all. We’ll take a look at a couple products here at BuyCoffeeCanada and what we recommend for which application.

Best Chocolate Coffee Syrup

The best chocolate coffee syrup based on reviews from our customers is Torani’s Chocolate Milano Syrup. You’ll get 25 servings out of a $11.95 bottle, getting just under $0.50 per serving. Torani’s chocolate syrup is the best for drinks because it’s thin, making it mix easily in milk and coffee and has a delicious crafted taste. If you’re in Ontario you can use the coupon LOVECOFFEE for an additional 10% off your first order.

Smooth dark chocolate flavour. Delicious in a latte or steamer. My son likes 1/2 shot of Chocolate Milano mixed with a 1/2 shot of Salted Caramel in his steamers, requests it all the time!
– Customer

Best Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup

Not surprising is that Torani’s Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup is the most preferred of the sugar-free chocolate syrups. Labeled a “syrup” again because of the thin consistency, this mixes perfectly in drinks. Being sweetened with Splenda means that it is safe to use in hot drinks, and doesn’t leave any residual after-taste associated with other sweeteners.

Chocolate all the way. I have used in coffee, tea and hot chocolate and my frozen egg white protein snack for the recipe. It is very chocolate tasting and makes all of my food take on a great chocolate flavor!
– Customer

Best Chocolate Sauce Topping

Another popular application for chocolate syrups or sauces is as a topping for either cappuccinos, ice creams or pie. Torani’s Chocolate Sauce is thicker than the syrup and designed to be used as an accessory to drinks or desserts, instead of mixed into them. The 64oz bottle gives you 64 servings for just $23.21, or almost $0.35 per serving. Again, the LOVECOFFEE coupon will get you 10% off your first order.

I thought this chocolate sauce was amazing. I used it to make incredible hot chocolate. I was able to make hot chocolate at home that far surpassed those that you buy for $5.00 at a coffee shop.
– Customer

Best Organic Chocolate Syrup

From a natural, organic perspective, it doesn’t get much better than the Monin Organic Chocolate Syrup. Made from:

  1. Organic Cane Sugar
  2. Water
  3. Organic Caramel Colour
  4. Natural Chocolate Flavour

The pay-off comes at a price of $14.95 per 25 servings – not a huge difference versus the Torani Chocolate Syrup if the best quality ingredients is the most important aspect to you. The Monin Organic Chocolate Syrup is certified Organic by Quality Assurance International, Vegan, Kosher, Gluten-Free and GMO-Free.

Other Chocolate Syrups

There’s a huge variety of chocolate syrups and sauces – from white chocolate syrups to combined chocolate flavours, we recommend you check out all of them on our chocolate syrups page.

Fontana Syrups Canada

Fontana SyrupFontana Syrups are essential Starbucks syrups with a different brand, keeping the Starbucks experience distinct from home. While available in the U.S., there aren’t many options for buying the syrups in Canada, and most people will tend to gravitate towards Torani or Monin, both of whom make a comparable product.

Fontana’s Flavouring Syrups are used to add flavours to coffees and lattes. With flavours ranging from Vanilla to Hazelnut and Cinnamon, there’s an option for just about everyone. In addition to the standard flavours, Fontana has a small line of sugar-free syrups that taste identical, without the calories. All the syrups come in 1-Liter (1000 mL) bottles, and there are pumps specifically designed for compatibility with the bottles of that size. Regular pumps used in other syrups won’t work either due to the neck size on the bottle, or the fact that they won’t reach the bottom and will leave syrup that can’t be used. Pour spouts are not recommended, as air will cause the flavour to degrade quicker.

Where syrups really shine over flavoured coffee is in their ability to flavour a single beverage, instead of forcing you to buy an entire pound of a single flavour. With syrups, you can buy a pound of premium roasted coffee and add Vanilla flavouring to only the drinks you want, without forcing everyone else in your household to drink Vanilla-flavoured coffee. Those who enjoy Vanilla can use that syrup, those who enjoy Cinnamon can use the other syrup, and everybody is happy.

Fontana Syrups

Fontana Syrup Ingredients

The ingredients in each of the Fontana syrups vary, based on which syrup you’re looking for. For example:

  • Toffee Nut Syrup: SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SALT, PRESERVATIVE: SODIUM BENZOATE, CITRIC ACID.
  • Caramel Syrup: SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID, COLOR: CARAMEL.
  • Vanilla Syrup: SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL FLAVORS, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIM SORBATE, CITRIC ACID, COLOR: CARAMEL.
  • Raspberry Syrup: SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, COLORS: CARAMELĀ  AND RED #40 , PRESERVATIVES: POTASSIUM SORBATEĀ  AND SODIUM BENZOATE , CITRIC ACID.
  • Hazelnut Syrup: SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE .CITRIC ACID.
  • Peppermint Syrup: SUGAR, WATER, NATURAL FLAVOURS, PRESERVATIVE: SODIUM BENZOATE, CITRIC ACID.

Fontana Syrups generally contain anywhere from 18-22 grams of sugar per 1-fl-oz serving (30 mL). This is roughly the same as any other brand of syrup on the market. The exception to this is their line of sugar-free syrups, which include:

  • Sugar Free Vanilla: WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, MALTODEXTRIN, CELLULOSE GUM, CITRIC ACID, SUCRALOSE, PRESERVATIVE: SODIUM BENZOATE, COLOR: CARAMEL.
  • Sugar Free Caramel: WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CELLULOSE GUM, CITRIC ACID, SUCRALOSE, PRESERVATIVE: SODIUM BENZOATE, COLOR: CARAMEL
  • Sugar Free Cinnamon Syrup: WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, CELLULOSE GUM, CITRIC ACID, SUCRALOSE, PRESERVATIVE: SODIUM BENZOATE, COLOR: CARAMEL
  • Sugar Free Hazelnut Syrup: WATER, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MALTODEXTRIN, CELLULOSE GUM, CITRIC ACID, SUCRALOSE, PRESERVATIVE: SODIUM BENZOATE.

Fontana Sauces

White Chocolate Sauce, Similar to Fontana

There are a couple of choices for thicker sauces, which can be used as toppings instead of blended into drinks and desserts. Toppings are typically added to mochas and cappuccinos where they flavour is complimentary to the drink, instead of blended into the drink. Drizzling a bit of sauce on top of whipped cream is a little bit of heaven that you can enjoy at home now as well as out at cafes.

All syrups and sauces come in plastic containers that are recyclable in Canada and the U.S.

Storage

The syrups don’t need to be stored in the fridge once opened, but it is recommended that a cap is left on the bottle if a pump isn’t being used to prevent air from freely entering the bottle. Both the regular syrups and the sugar-free syrups contain preservatives that keep the flavours spoiling.

Syrups typically come with “Best Before” dates as opposed to “Expiry” dates. For more information on the difference, see: http://buycoffeecanada.com/best-before-vs-expiry-dates

Sauces vary depending on whether they contain dairy or not, with some requiring refrigeration and others being OK left out for some time. Typically sauces should be consumed within 4-6 weeks of opening for optimal taste. Make sure to follow manufacturer recommendations on the bottle.

Peach Refresher

Spring is here! With the weather warming up, we’ll start sharing some of our favourite recipes for refreshing, summer drinks that you can make at home with Torani.

Torani Peach Iced TeaTorani Peach Refresher

Simply combine all the ingredients, stir, and enjoy! Peach is a very summery flavour, and goes well with just about any tea – whether you’re a fan of black teas, green teas or white teas. For a low carb option, check out Torani’s Sugar Free Peach Syrup.

Coffee Prices Set to Rise on News of Droughts

We’ve enjoyed relatively low prices on coffee over the last couple years, with production increasing and a relatively uninterrupted supply. The world’s second most traded commodity has seen steady prices, even dropping to fairly low levels over the last decade, but that’s about to change.

Brazil, the world’s largest coffee exporter, is anticipating the worst drought in decades and anticipating a small and weak crop of coffee beans including Brazil Santos. Because Brazil is the world’s largest grower, even small changes in the supply affect the industry as a whole. Over the past year for example, prices have nearly doubled, but this increase in costs has yet to be reflected in the market.

That’s because most coffee importers and roasters buy their coffee in bulk, in advance. With a couple months of inventory on hand, temporary surges in the coffee bean prices can be avoided, as long as they come down again before it needs to be re-ordered. With the way the market is trending and predictions from the coffee exporters, we’re not likely to see a drop any time soon and prices will begin changing over the next couple months. On the flipside, drops in price can take an equal amount of time to be reflected in the market, if for example there’s a higher-than-expected crop yield.

We’ve started seeing signs of the higher prices from suppliers, with notices being sent out and price lists updated.

The news is coupled with an expected extreme El Nino this year, which is linked to extreme weather and droughts throughout the world.

How Much Will The Price Change?

It’s difficult to say right now. When going through with a price increase, coffee bean wholesalers and roasters typically absorb some amount of losses up until the market as a whole starts increasing prices. When it looks like the change will be long-term (12 months+) instead of a temporary blip, most companies will try to issue a single increase that accounts for any anticipated further increases, instead of multiple increases as time passes.

Some analysts are calling for price increases of up to 25% by mid 2014 according to the WSJ. While current prices having gone from about $1.25 to $2.15 recently amount to an almost doubling, the change to the retail price will more closely reflect the absolute dollar-value. While it’s just about a dollar difference currently, as recently as May 2011 the price hit a high of around $3.00 and it could repeat or even exceed that time period. In the end, coffee prices could rise by as much as $2.00-$3.00 per pound for consumers – in line with the predicted 25%.

Part of the increase in costs will be from higher prices for the coffee commodity, and part of the increase in costs will come from buying competition, as the demand remains relatively constant and supply dwindles.

Here at BuyCoffeeCanada we like to stay open and honest, and will inform our existing customers of price increases instead of simply applying them and hoping no one notices. While we can’t accurately predict what will happen (a lot depends on the harvest starting in mid-May in Brazil), we will remain competitive in the market and countinue offering only the high quality Arabica coffees that we’re known for.