Coffee Consciousness

Too many of our fellow humans go through their lives drinking bad coffee. But the rest of us can make more informed choices, for example: Canada’s own Salt Spring Coffee.

The Salt Spring Island, BC–based company sources its fairly-traded, carbon-neutral, organic beans direct from farmers in Nicaragua, Peru, and elsewhere. They offer single origins and blends. And from earthy-smoky Sumatran to smooth, balanced Latin American, they offer a variety of beans, and do all the roasting on Salt Spring Island.

Salt Spring Coffee roasting facility. Photo by Kris Krüg.
Salt Spring Coffee roasting facility. Photo by Kris Krüg.

Every Tuesday, SSC offers brewing tips on its blog and social networks. Here’s a taste of their eye-opening advice:


article continues below

-Place your beans in an airtight glass or metal container (not plastic!), and make sure the container is away from heat and light. Don’t refrigerate or freeze your beans as this will negatively impact their flavour and character.


-Use a coarser grind for brew methods that don’t use a paper filter (i.e a French Press) and a slightly finer grind for those that do (i.e a Chemex, Pour Over or automatic drip machine). A coarser grind = longer brew time. For example, when using a French Press, the grind will need to be coarse the brew time longer than other brew methods. Try a Hario Skerton Hand Grinder. It’s compact, perfect for home and travel, and it also provides a consistent grind.

By Method

-Chemex: pre-soak grounds with 2oz of hot water for 30 seconds before pouring water over them.

-French Press: the ideal brewing temp for your water is 92 – 96ºC (195 – 205ºF). The fuller body of medium to dark roasted coffees comes to life in a French Press. Try their Blue HeronSumatra, or French Roast.

-Pour Over: be sure to use 26g of coffee and grind it medium-fine, similar to the consistency of table salt. When doing a Pour Over, pre-soak grounds with 1oz. of hot water for 30 seconds, before pouring water over grounds.

Photo by Jai Gabbard. Courtesy Salt Spring Coffee.
Photo by Jai Gabbard. Courtesy Salt Spring Coffee.


Bitter-tasting coffee is generally a result of over-extraction and sour coffee a result of under-extraction.

General Inspiration

Clean tools= a clean cup of coffee. A clean carafe, filter basket and other accessories is essential to proper flavour extraction.How to perfect your brew technique: practice and be consistent. Once you have the basics, you can then work on experimenting.

Salt Spring Coffee is a member of 1% For The Planet