Transcend Coffee Rises Above the Ordinary
There’s nothing like a magnificently aromatic and flavourful cup of coffee, and the folks at Transcend Coffee strive to create just such an experience with every bag of beans they sell. To them coffee is not to be considered “a boring brown beverage with a jolt of caffeine”. To them coffee is meant to awaken the senses and broaden perspective. We asked James Schutz to teach us more about their perfect blends.
What kinds of coffees do you sell?
Whatever is fresh and in-season. Summer is a great time for fresh-crop coffees from Latin America. We will be releasing a number of amazing Costa Rican coffees in the next few weeks.
Where do the beans come from?
Just about any country near the equator can grow coffee. This year we’ve had coffee from Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Kenya, Ethiopia and Burundi.
Do you have a best seller?
Finca Vista Hermosa from Guatemala is a popular choice among market goers, I think because it is very balanced and suits many different palates and preferences. Also we have worked with this particular farm for five years running now, so it has come to be a coffee people can recognize and count on.
Do you have a particular favourite?
Genesis from Costa Rica is my current favourite. It has complicated floral aromas and comes from a biodynamic farm – which means the coffee is planted among other trees, plants, and flowers and the farmer uses very strict organic practices.
What really sets your coffee beans apart from other coffee beans?
We do a lot of work to ensure we get the very best quality green coffee and roast it in small batches here in Edmonton. Our founder Poul Mark travels to the countries where coffee is grown several times a year to work directly with the farmers, get to know them and get to know the farms and the coffee. We also pay much higher than fair trade prices to reward the farmers who take extra care and attention and to ensure that high quality coffee remains sustainable.
There are lots of little known facts. One is that coffee is actually the seed of a cherry. The flesh of the cherry is stripped off during processing and often returned to the field as fertilizer, however some producers are now drying the cherry flesh. It’s called Cascara and if brewed like an herbal tea, it makes a nice mildly sweet and fruit tea that is delicious but also highly caffeinated – somewhere between 2-4 times that of coffee.
What kind of feedback do you get from customers?
People really seem to be pleasantly surprised when they take a sip of our coffee and find that it’s not burnt tasting or bitter, but has interesting natural flavours of chocolate or fruit or caramel.
Do you have a unique, funny or interesting story about selling at the City Market Downtown?
There are so many interesting people at the market. I’m surprised at how many travellers and tourists that come to see the market.
Why do you like selling at the City Market Downtown?
People seem to be really interested in and receptive to the story of Transcend and what makes us different – our connection to coffee farmers, the pursuit for quality and sustainability. The market environment allows us to chat with people in a relaxed environment and share that story.
On which days will you be at the City Market Downtown?
Every week for the outdoor market!