Sumatra coffee is one of many single origin, organic coffees that we source and serve. Coffees from Sumatra are well known for their distinct flavour characteristics influenced by volcanic terroir and a unique processing method. While the most famous and expensive coffee in the world comes from Sumatra, Lopi Luwak via the disgestive track of a Civet, there are many other superior Sumatran coffees of better value to enjoy. The particular varietal that we offer is from Takengon in the beautiful northern highlands. Get to know this exotic coffee, from crop to cup, in our profile on Sumatra.
The Island of Gold
Sumatra is a beautiful Indonesian island in Southeast Asia known in ancient times as the Island of Gold, because of its rich gold deposits. Coffee was introduced to Indonesia by the Dutch traders and colonialists in the 18th century. Today, Sumatra is the largest producer of Indonesian coffee with Indonesia being the fourth largest coffee producer in the world.
Coffee Farmers from Takengon
The organic Coffee that we source through fair trade terms, roast and serve is from the Aceh province at the northern tip of Sumatra. The coffee beans are cultivated at elevations of 850 to 1500 metres by various smallholder farmers around the town of Takengon on the shores of Lake Laut Tawar. The landscape is impressive with lush rainforests, dramatic valleys and undulating volcanic terrain. The people in this region are referred to as Gayonese people because of their proximity to Gayo Mountain.
Like the majority of Indonesia’s coffee production, coffee is grown at small family farms or home garden plots that are very traditional, and mainly farmed by women. Most farms average a hectare or less, with coffee being one of several crops. Very few coffee estates or cooperatives are found on the island.
Wet Hulled to Preserve Unique Characteristics
On Sumatra, Coffee plants (primarily Arabica) are organically grown on very fertile volcanic loam under the shade of trees. Then the coffee cherries are naturally processed with a wet hulling (also called semi-washed) method that is unique to the island.
In this process, after picking, the farmers remove the skin of the coffee cherry with handmade pulp machine. The skinless beans are placed in bags and left overnight to ferment and breakdown the fruit layer. In the morning, the remaining fruit (mucilage) is washed off by hand. The beans in their parchment are dried in the open sun to a 30-40% moisture level. The beans, still wrapped in their parchment, leave the farm at a higher moisture level. Once at the mill, the parchment is removed or hulled and the beans dried again in the sun to produce an opal-green appearance that is indicative of semi-washed Sumatra coffee beans.
King of Dark Roast: The Flavours of Sumatra Coffee
One of the main benefits of the wet hulled process is that it preserves the unique flavour nuances and richness of the coffee bean, producing a clean coffee with a fuller body and lower acidity.
Sumatra coffee lends well to being dark roasted and is sometimes referred to as the ‘king of the dark roast’. The roasted coffee delivers a bold and complex experience with a vibrant deep taste that is earthy, herbaceous, dark chocolatey, and smoky-musky (pipe tobacco), yet finishes with a sweet and smooth aftertaste. Subtle notes of berry and vanilla bean can also be detected.
The Trees Organic Sumatra coffee beans are dark roasted in small batches at our Granville Street café and roasting house. You can enjoy our roasted coffee from any of our coffeehouse locations in Vancouver. For home brewing, our Sumatra coffee is available for purchasing as whole or ground beans.
Don’t wait for summer to come to you! Summer begins now with the sunny flavours of our current feature – the Verry Berry Cheesecake! Bursting with bold and beautiful summer berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries – our cheesecake is filled with tangy-sweet satisfaction.
A Berry Kind of Wonderful
Jump-start that summer feeling with a taste of the Verry Berry Cheesecake. It’s a vibrant mixed berry dessert composed of layer upon layer of blended cheesecake with real berries, from strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry to a blueberry top, overlaid with studs and splashes of whole berries. This creamy-berry wonder will fill you with juicy, sun-kissed ripe flavours and a fine balance of sweet and tart. And, like the blushing colours of summer, our Verry Berry Cheesecake is rosy and bright. It looks and feels so summery, you’ll want to throw a garden party!
All made from scratch at our in-house bakery, our Verry Berry Cheesecake is ready to brighten up your day and set you up for the best summer ever. Like all our other cheesecakes, it can be enjoyed by the slice or as a whole cake in 3 sizes – 6”, 8” and 10” as a treat at home, office or party. Get your summer started now, at any of our café locations in Vancouver, with a cheesecake that is verry berrylicious!
In honour of Mother’s Day, we’re pleased to offer a special on our Trees Organic Gift Card from now until May 8th, 2016. Buy a $25 gift card for just $20 at participating Trees Organic Coffee locations.
Whether you’re a mother or wanting to celebrate a mother, the gift card is a versatile gift that provides you with ample choices. Let mom be spoiled by whatever she wants with a gift card that she can enjoy for coffees, cheesecakes, teas, baked goods, lunch and more. You can use the gift card to spoil mom with a whole cheesecake in her favourite flavour. Or, take the opportunity to make mom feel special with some sweet together-time enjoying coffee and tasty treats at any of our cafes.
Trees Organic cards have no expiry dates and can be reloaded and reused. Don’t forget to register the Trees Organic Card for balance protection in case of loss or theft and extra perks. This time limited Mother’s Day Special is valid on new card activations only and cannot be combined with any other promotional offers. Participating Trees Organic Coffee locations are Downtown (Granville Street), Yaletown (Richards Street) and Kitsilano (Arbutus Street).
This Mother’s Day, don’t be lost for what to get the mothers in your life. Give a fun thank you with our gift cards and take advantage of our special offer. Happy Mother’s Day!
Seah Maister, Jenna Earle and Karli Rose MacIntosh formed their band in 2009, but their friendship and music started much earlier. They grew up in the Kootenay region of B.C. Karli and Seah have been friends since they were in their early teens, while Jenna and Seah went to Selirk College for the Contemporary Music and Technology program. After various projects together and separately, they wrote their first song in 2006 and decided to relocate to Vancouver where they started to develop their unique musical style and their band, now known as Sound of the Sun.
Today, you’ll find Jenna as the lead guitar, Seah on the keyboard and rhythm guitar, and Karli on percussion and drum set. They refer to their music as West Coast Art Rock which is a fusion of rock, folk and blues, alternating between acoustic and a full electric sound. Since moving to Vancouver, Sound of the sun has been busy writing music, attending festivals and performing their original material (and some covers) in Canada, as well as in the U.S. Their second home base is Santa Barbara, where they spend time at the Jasmine’s Alternative Music School, named in honour of Jenna’s cousin, Jasmine, who passed away at age 9. While in California, they played benefit concerts and ran clinics, as well recorded their first EP entitled World’s Smallest Front Yard (2013).
Other projects also fill their time. Because of their harmonies, they’ve provided background vocals for multiple projects including Jean Michel Byron (former lead singer of TOTO), local Vancouver project’s Trailight, and Kathy Frank’s blues review. Currently, they are focused on writing material and preparing to record their full length album with Garth Richardson (Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Biffy Clyro) at his new studio in Gibsons. A tour in B.C. is also in the works for this August; but before that, you can catch their live, acoustic performance on April 29 at Trees Organic Coffee on Granville Street.
Photo Credit:James Randall Smith.
In conversation with Sound of the Sun
TO. What is the story behind the name of the band? Sound of the Sun. Originally we started out with a different name, Sometime After Sundown. But after a few years of people never remembering our name – calling us things like Something About a Sunset etc. – we decided we needed to find something more memorable. When we were trying to come up with different names (and had written down a slew of different words and phrases) our former bass player, Tim, looked at the list and just said, ‘what about Sound of the Sun?’ And it just kind of made sense, so we went with it!
Over the years we’ve had many comments about how our music is like musical reiki, or that it’s healing and has gotten a few people through some tough times. Recently we discovered that the actual recorded sound of the sun resonates at 432 hz (the sound of ohm) which is the frequency that the earth and universe resonate at. So all of a sudden the name Sound of then Sun gained new meaning for us.
TO. How would you describe the band’s signature sound? Sound of the Sun. Harmonies!! We are all about the harmonies. We choose to layer them over a groovy west coast art rock style. We are heavily influenced by bands like Crosby Stills and Nash, The Beatles, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Fleet Foxes, Beach Boys, and The Doobie Brothers. We get crazy amounts of inspiration from these bands, not only from their amazing vocals but from their songwriting, and ability to tell a story in 3 minutes. Our signature sound is a combination of that and our modern heavier influences, including Queens of the Stone Age, Opeth and Tool.
TO. What is your songwriting process? Sound of the Sun. We all write individually, and together. A lot of the time, someone will come to the group with an idea, and either two of us, or all three of us will sit down and build off that original idea. Every now and then, someone will come with a completely finished song that we all get to add our Sound of the Sun spin to. The songwriting process in our band rocks! We all take turns taking the lead, and we get do most of our writing in a blanket fort these days! We write about what we like – Sunshine, the ocean, trees, mysteries, whiskey, tequila, and happiness.
TO. What type of music will be featured on the new album? Sound of the Sun. This album is going to try to capture our signature sound as best as we can. We are working on living room recordings for half of the album to capture our more organic acoustic side. And for the other half, we plan on working with producer Garth Richardson. With his help, we will hopefully end up with a record that is equal parts acoustic and electric. Heavy and beautiful, distorted and ethereal. Just like us. The songs featured on the album are a collection of our favourites written over the last six years. These songs feature stories about love, California, music, pirates, “rulers of the mountain villages kickin’ ass”, and Tequila.
TO. For the next 1 – 3 years, what are the main goals for the band? Sound of the Sun. Our main goals are finishing the album and start touring. As far as we possibly can. We hope to do a full Canada tour as well as tour down the California coast. We also hope to play more festivals! We got our feet wet in the festival circuit a couple summers ago and can’t wait to get back on it.
For coffee enthusiasts who want to brew a better cup of java at home with our organic coffee beans, here are six popular manual coffee brewing methods to consider using, beyond the household automatic coffee maker. Your preferred method will boil down to your personal taste, time and technique!
There is a wide acceptance that manual brewing methods allow for better quality control and a superior coffee experience. For many, it’s more fun and fascinating to have a hands-on approach with their brewing process rather than hitting a ‘brew’ button on a machine. The growing trend or movement for gourmet-type coffee making has resulted in a staggering range of gadgets and differing opinions. While we support all styles of coffee brewing, our focus this time will be to touch on six of the more crowd-pleasing manual coffee making options that could complement our single origin, organic coffee beans, available at any of our coffeehouse locations.(more…)
Nothing rules the cookie world quite like the beloved Oreo! Twisters, splitters and dunkers alike can now rejoice in the return, this April, of our standout Oreo-inspired cheesecake. Complete with the quintessential crunchy-creamy-chocolaty cookie yumminess, Oreo Cheesecake is simply irresistible!
The Wondrous Oreo Cookie
The Oreo has reigned as the world’s bestselling cookie for 104 years. This simple, yet most satisfying biscuit has become a cultural icon, considered the original fun treat with a range of amusing eating practices. People can’t get enough of it and have been craving Oreos in countless forms, from Oreo Truffles, Oreo Pancakes to Oreo S’mores. But for cheesecake fans of Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House, Oreo Cheesecake is the show-stopper and has been requested time and time again. (more…)
What better way to welcome the coming of March and celebrate the timeless tradition of Easter than with a marvelous Almond Marzipan Cheesecake! A smooth blend of marzipan with almond morsels works harmoniously in our applaud-worthy cheesecake. So delicious, it will be nibbled up quickly like a bunny! (more…)
Breakfast may jump-start your workday, but lunch will power you through the rest of it! So, don’t give up on your midday meal as it could affect your productivity. Instead, escape your desk and lunch up on some tasty options at Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House. Whether you`re dining in at our cafes or on-the-go, there are plenty of hot and cold lunch choices to look forward to all morning, from healthy salads, fresh sandwiches and hearty soups to savoury quiches. (more…)
For over 11+ years, Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House has been offering live coffeehouse music entertainment at our flagship Granville Street café in Downtown Vancouver, along with your favourite coffee and cheesecake. Like you, we love supporting local talent, and from time-to-time we highlight a standout artist in an upcoming Friday night performance. For our latest coffeehouse musician profile, we’re pleased to introduce you to young, up-and-coming local singer, songwriter and musician – David Alexander, performing on February 26! (more…)