Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters: Ultra-Smooth in Calgary, Alberta
Artisan coffee roasters in Calgary, Alberta make super smooth coffee with a conscience.
What happens when a couple of Canuk engineers quit their job and start roasting their own coffee. If you’re Phil and Sebastian from Calgary, Alberta, it’s great coffee and I mean GREAT coffee. Back in 2005, these two unlikely coffee entrepreneurs realized that there was an exciting world of coffee happening in places like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, that their hometown of Calgary knew nothing about. They determined to change that and spent a couple of years traveling and learning all they could about roasting and brewing coffee. Today, they’re celebrating five years, a roaster, and three cafes and the distinction of making incredible coffee.
Phil and Sebastian are self-described “coffee fanatics” with heart. They care about how and where the coffee is grown. They care about the farmers that grow it. They care about how it’s roasted and how it’s brewed. Their message on their distinctive black and lime green coffee bags lists the variety of beans, a brief story about the grower, a description of the coffee’s characteristics (much like how wine aficionados describe different wines ), and the date it was roasted (and a recommendation to use within 30 days).
These young guys search far and wide for unique and distinctive beans to add to their coffee line. On their website, they write, “We travel and visit a number of coffee growing regions and establish, nourish and develop relationships with growers, millers and exporters.”
In addition to seeking out different types of beans grown in just the right soil and climate, these coffee gurus take a different tact when it comes to brewing. Rather than roasting the coffee to mild, medium, or dark, they roast each type of bean to “highlights all the natural characteristics (i.e. what makes it unique) of the coffee without introducing any roast remnants.” They custom roast each type f coffee to a light or medium level that doesn’t interfere with the natural flavor of the coffee.
When you look at any of Phil and Sebastian’s coffee beans, they look unimpressive. There’s none of that shiny, oily blackness many coffee fans (including myself) love. But, as they say, the proof is in the tasting and Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters coffee is some of the smoothest, most distinctive coffee I’ve ever tasted.
Like me, for brewed coffee they make pour over coffee, one cup at a time, so the coffee is as fresh as it can get. When I ground some of their Caturra and Columbia beans (which came from grower Abelardo Guzman from Columbia), and made myself a cup of coffee, it was light-flavored, silky smooth, and with absolutely no bitterness or acidity. Now that’s great coffee anyone can love.
Next time I visit Calgary, I’m stopping at one of Phil & Sebastian’s three coffee cafes. If they can make a cup of pour over coffee this good, imagine what they can do with an espresso. I can’t wait. — BH