Saturday, November 30, 2013

DIY Festive Holiday Lattes and Coffees

When the cold weather comes in, cafes know to break out the big guns - holiday flavoured drinks. It's almost a Canadian custom to grab a nice hot drink on the way in to work, something to keep you warm and get you ready for the day. One of the great things about winter weather is that the winter-only holiday flavours come out, giving us something delicious in addition to waking us up.

It's no secret that those drinks can be expensive though, national coffee shops regularly charge $4.00-$5.00 for beverages like Starbucks Holiday Drinks. Thankfully, many of them can be made from home - not only avoiding insane drive-through (or in-store) lineups, but also saving you beaucoup bucks. Costing an average of $0.50 per serving, these Flavoured Syrups from Torani give you the key to making your own coffee-shop style drinks right at home.

Pumpkin Spice Latte


Gingerbread Latte


Peppermint Mocha


Chocolate Chai Latte


Eggnog Steamer


Creme Brule Latte


With over 70 flavours available (plus 30 sugar-free), Torani syrups can make hundreds of different drinks that can help ween you off your reliance on cafes. The syrups cost a fraction (just 10%-20% sometimes) of what you pay at a coffee shop, adding up to hundreds of dollars per years in some cases.

Not only is it a money-saving way to enjoy festive drinks for yourself, but you can also serve the drinks to friends and family - offering the fully catered experience of a high end cafe over the holidays.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Health Benefits of Cacao Nibs as a Snack and Drink

Cacao Nibs are brokend own bits of cacao beans, which have been fermented and roasted to bring out the full flavour of one of nature's superfoods. They're typically added to protein shakes or smoothies, adding tons of antioxidants, but they can also be consumed as a snack food on their own or in trail mix.

The immediate pay-off from processed chocolate you buy in stores comes from it's high sugar content however - which provides an immediate mood boost until some of the more nutritious minerals and chemicals kick in. Real, unrefined cacao has a flavour of it's own - somewhat reminiscent of chocolate but more bitter than most expect on their first taste. Richer cacao beans such as the "Fine and Flavour" cacao at will have a smoother taste than commodity-grade cacao typically found in a grocery store.

It's no secret that chocolate - dark chocolate - has health benefits, and these healthy attributes come from the Cacao bean itself.  Cacao is loaded with minerals like Magensium and Iron, is high in fiber and contains a number of different chemicals like Theobromine that have a positive effect on your health. Theobromine, like caffeine, has a mild stimulant effect, but tends to be absorbed by the body over 15-20 minutes as opposed to caffeine, which is closer than 5 minutes. Combined with the fact that it lasts 3-4 hours as opposed to 1-2 for caffeine, you get a steadier stream of energy and avoid that "afternoon crash" most of us are so familiar with.

Raw Cacao vs. Roasted Cacao
All the cacao beans are imported as "raw" beans, meaning they've gone through the picking and fermenting process - which gives the cacao it's chocolate flavour. While most beans are shipped overseas slowly in bulk containers, specialty importers like BuyCoffeeCanada have it air freighted so that the beans are as fresh as possible once they're received.

The roasting process is the optional next step - hardcore nutritionists insist on raw cacao beans, whereas most people are likely to enjoy roasted cacao beans because the roasting process brings out more flavour. Very little of the nutritional value is lost in the roasting process, and some insist on it in order to help kill off any bacteria that may still be present in the raw beans.

Most of the cacao nibs sold at BuyCoffeeCanada are roasted due to a more palatable taste.

Brewed Cacao
More recently, cacao powder has also become popular as a drink that is similar to coffee. It contains all the nutritients that regular cacao nibs or beans do, but in a beverage format. We're not talking about sugar-infused hot chocolate you find from a grocery store mind you - we're talking about the 100% cacao ground down to a fine powder that's brewed typically in a french press or espresso maker. You also get that little kick to jump start your day in the form of Theobromine, instead of caffeine. Anecdotally, we've been told it's a great way to get off the caffeine for a while and give your body a break from it, and could make you more sensitive to caffeine's stimulating effects after just two weeks.

We usually recommend people start by infusing their coffee with the cacao powder to become accustomed to the taste, which is entirely unique in itself. A straight cacao beverage doesn't taste like espresso or hot chocolate, and some people may be thrown off by it. Nevertheless, we've found most people develop a taste for it over time and take advantage of the numerous health benefits. For the true health-nuts, our cacao is organically grown according to organic practices, but does not yet have the certification to be officially labeled "Organic" by an agency - it's something being worked on at the moment.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

About Colombian Arabica Coffee Beans

Colombian coffee is one of the most well-known types of coffee in the world, and the third most popular, behind only Brazil and Vietnam. Coffee became the main export in Colombia in the mid-1800s and has remained a strong economic force for the country.

The Colombian Coffee Bean
Arabica is the coffee bean traditionally grown in Colombia, and today varietals such as Bourbon, Caturra, Typica, and Maragogype are grown. Subtle differences in flavor, such as sweetness, and fruity and floral hints and tones can be detected based on the region of the country in which they are cultivated.. Colombian coffee is a rich, aromatic, heavy-bodied beverage.

With altitude, some coffee varietals increase significantly in quality but production suffers as less fruit is produced. Plants flower almost year-round in Colombia due to the frequent rainfall, which results in two distinct harvest seasons, determined by the highest and lowest periods of rainfall. The use of mechanical dryers is necessary because of the moist environment.

Coffee Growers
The coffee growing regions in Colombia are mostly situated in the area of three north-south Andes mountain ranges that cut across the country. Most of the coffee is grown on small family farms, rather than in large industrial enterprises. However, the coffee industry in Colombia has an association that works on behalf of these small farmers to market the Colombian coffee bean worldwide, the Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC).

The FNC is behind the infamous "Juan Valdez", a fictional Colombian coffee grower used in advertisements and marketing materials to put a face on the small Colombian coffee farmer.

In more recent years, the FNC has promoted fair-trade, which has benefited the farmers and given them a better price for their harvest. Not all farmers are under the umbrella of the FNC. There are well over 30 independent cooperatives, at least half of which are also Fair Trade certified by the Fair Trade Labeling Organization.

The Future of Colombian Coffee
There are several factors currently hampering the coffee industry in Colombia, not the least of which is climate change. Coffee will only grow in certain conditions, and those perfect growing conditions are being threatened. With the rise in temperature and the changing climate, pests such as the coffee berry borer and diseases such as coffee rust fungus are taking hold in areas which previously were immune. Environmental issues such as pesticide overuse and deforestation are also taking their toll on this rich industry.

Looking for Colombian Coffees? Check out our selection at

Monday, September 2, 2013

Avoid the Pumpkin Spice Shortage in Canada

Every year there's some new coverage about how there's a Pumpkin Spice shortage, with coffee shops and online retailers running out of the much-loved fall flavour because of the spike in demand. It shouldn't be questionable to anyone why there's a huge demand, the spicy, warming flavour of pumpkin spice is ingrained in the memory of nearly all Canadians thanks for national coffee shops like Starbucks.

There are of course some tutorials online for making your own pumpkin spice simple syrup with ingredients like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin puree. That may be attractive to some of the do-it-yourself crowd, but it takes trial and error to get the flavour just right and may end up costing more in the form of unusable syrup.

pumpkin spice syrup
Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup
The much simpler solution is to purchase the syrups online and have them delivered right to your door in Canada. By purchasing from a Canadian company directly, you avoid the expensive tariffs and duties that you would get from ordering from the U.S. It's never too early - as soon as September rolls around it makes sense to grab a couple bottles, which also make a delicious gift for anniversaries and birthdays.

Having the syrup at home is a great way to save money on expensive cafe pumpkin spice lattes, while allowing you to indulge more often. Heavier milk and even cream tends to bring out the subtle nuances of this complex drink, allowing you to enjoy every little bit of the flavour that has been carefully crafted over the years.

If Lattes aren't your thing, you could always check out Pumpkin Spice Flavoured Coffee - quick and easy to brew in a conventional coffee maker, or Keurig with a My-K-Cup attachment.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

- 1 ounce Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- 6 ounces Steamed Milk
- 2 Shots Espresso (or 4 ounces strong coffee)

Simply mix the syrup in with the milk and steam them together, then drop in the espresso or coffee! You can optionally top with whipped cream and some spices.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rooibos Red Espresso in Canada

Red Espresso is a Rooibos tea that has been formulated and ground to a consistency for use with Espresso Machines - it is "Espresso", but it isn't made from coffee. Unlike traditional coffee-bean espresso, this Red Espresso contains zero caffeine, making it ideal for a late afternoon or night time espresso or latte.

Latte? Yep. Everywhere that you can use a regular espresso, you can use Red Espresso. That includes lattes, cappuccinos, Macchiatos, Americanos and Iced drinks. The crema is present from the brewing process, giving you the full flavour of the drink.

What does it taste like? Well, generally sweeter than your typical espresso. There is still some of that earthy taste, but with more woodsy undertones. It tastes just like Rooibos tea because that's what it is - but at a much higher concentration. A standard shot will give you about 10x the anti-oxidants of a standard cup of Rooibos, and 10x the flavour.

There is a 1000g Red Espresso (1kg) package available for bulk purchases - coffee shops, restaurants and cafes in Canada (or someone who REALLY loves it), priced at about $47 per 1kg bag.

There's also a smaller, 125g Red Espresso bag available for those who are interested in trying out the premium tea-turned-espresso priced at just $8.00.

Preparing a shot of Red Espresso
  1. Ensure your espresso machine is clean
  2. Use a double filter basket
  3. Fill your double basket with red espresso (14g)
  4. red espresso expands in hot water so do not overfill the basket!
  5. There is no need to tamp
  6. Express a double shot (60ml/2oz)

Red Espresso Cappuccino Recipe
  • Prepare Red Espresso using instructions above
  • Heat and foam milk
  • Serve with honey and cinnamon
  • May also add vanilla, caramel or cinnamon syrup

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Torani ButterBeer Recipe

All muggles secretly wish Harry Potter was real. Well, we may not have leaping chocolate frogs, but we can enjoy a Butter Beer!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Espresso-Based Drinks

People possess enjoyed coffee for centuries as the perfect drink-hot, steamy, and the ultimate eye-opener that will help you begin your day, but in recent years, deluxe espresso drinks have become even popular. Some of the trendiest drinks are made with java, which is famous by the majority of coffee drinkers to become a high-octane chance of caffeine-a real jolt when you need it most, but not all drinks that contain espresso tend to be strictly with regard to coffee junkies. In truth, they could be enjoyed by almost anyone, and they are the ideal treat to either start your day, enjoy a quiet moment to yourself, or to talk about with a special someone on a chilly night.

For individuals who don't such as the jolt associated with straight-up java, they have other choices. Two of these drinks are incredibly popular within trendy coffee houses all over the country: the latte and also the cappuccino. The latte is simply one or two shots of the strong coffee combined with steamed milk along with a layer of steamed foam on the top. Some lattes are created with a level mixture of both. The cappuccino is similar to the latte, only there a great deal of foam in it instead associated with milk. When individuals want additional milk within their cappuccino as well as the espresso bottom, it is called a cappuccino moist, whereas 1 with steam is known as a dry cappuccino. Many people enjoy adding more milk to their latte to cut down on the powerful taste from the drink. Some baristas visit a wet cappuccino to be very similar.

For dark chocolate lovers, one handcrafted coffee drink that is very popular at a number of coffee houses all over the world is the mocha. This is the espresso drink for those with the sweet teeth, as it is made along with steamed milk, chocolate, and generally includes whipped cream and sometimes thin but delicious dark chocolate shavings to top this off. The chocolate cuts down the powerful taste of the bold coffee as the chocolate causes it to be sweet, creating an irresistible combination. There are also different flavors of mocha that are usually obtainable, such because peppermint or even vanilla. These drinks would be the perfect choice to have an after-supper treat, especially when the weather is actually cold. No matter which espresso drink you select, you will discover a wide variety of delicious flavors and mixes that are sure to thrill the coffee fanatic inside a person.

Find a selection of premium espressos in Canada, roasted fresh when you order at