SUBMITTED BY SALT SPRING COFFEE
It was all the way back in 1996 that Salt Spring Coffee opened its first roastery café on McPhillips Avenue in Ganges. Now, 25 years later, the company is still going strong with a recently renovated café and a well-deserved reputation for brewing some of the finest coffee on the West Coast.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary and reinforce its commitment to sustainability, the company is launching a limited-edition collection of single-origin coffees grown using regenerative organic agricultural practices. Each coffee in the collection is made from the same beans, but processed differently allowing coffee drinkers to appreciate how each method changes the coffee’s flavour.
“For our 25th anniversary, we wanted to create a collection that exemplifies Salt Spring Coffee’s dedication to producing coffee of the highest quality and acting as a force for positive environmental change,” says Mickey McLeod, Co-Founder and CEO of Salt Spring Coffee. “When we started out, we were one of the first to roast organic coffee in B.C. and, with this new collection, we are proud to champion regenerative organic coffee in the province.”
Regenerative organic agriculture is a set of agricultural practices that allow for the cultivation of crops in a way that has minimal impact on the environment and even helps return it to a healthy state.
Over the years, Salt Spring Coffee has developed a track record of being a trailblazer in the industry. In addition to being one of the first to roast organic coffee in B.C., it was also one of the first ten companies to be certified by Fair Trade Canada and the first in B.C. to become a certified B Corp.
July of last year saw the company reopen its newly renovated café in Ganges – allowing Salt Spring Island residents and visitors alike to enjoy the company’s coffee as well as meals crafted with locally sourced ingredients from on-island producers like Harbour Farm Organics and Salt Spring Island Sprouts and Mushrooms. The interior walls of the café are also used as an exhibition space for local artists.
“Reopening a café in the middle of a pandemic was never going to be easy, but we are so grateful for the support and encouragement that we have received from the Salt Spring Island community,” says McLeod. “We wanted to make this café a nexus for the local community, something that could support and showcase the amazing producers and artists that we have here on Salt Spring Island.”
Visitors to the café will be able to purchase the three coffees in the 25th anniversary collection, which are made from the same beans, but processed using different methods (washed, natural and honey-processed).
Washed coffee removes all of the pulp from the bean before drying, allowing the true character of the regional terroir and growing conditions to shine through in the flavour. Natural coffee leaves the pulp intact allowing it to infuse the beans with intense fruit notes and give it a more dynamic character. Honey-processed coffee leaves only a thin layer of pulp on the bean, which eventually turns brown and sticky and provides sweet, fruity notes that are subtler than natural coffee.
“With this collection we wanted to show how changing the processing method can greatly affect the flavour of coffee made from the same beans,” says Jessie Gullett, Director of Coffee Quality & Production at Salt Spring Coffee. “It’s not often that most consumers get a chance to taste and compare differently processed coffees side-by-side. This is an exciting opportunity for coffee drinkers to experiment and expand their palette.”
In addition to being available for sale at Salt Spring Coffee’s Ganges café, the 25th anniversary coffee collection can also be purchased online at saltspringcoffee.com.