Java Jive

Fernwood Coffee has been recently featured in Monday Magazine.

Talking shop with Fernwood Coffee

Is there a point when coffee geekiness becomes comical? The lads at Fernwood Coffee Company are proud to say “yes,” as the growing number of brewing and tasting contraptions they’ve acquired make the roasterie look more like a laboratory every day. Tucked away on North Park Street, in the same building as the Parsonage Café, this small-batch artisan roastery has a mission to bring the standard and quality of the best cafés to grocery store shelves.

Currently boasting a Fernwood Medium blend, West Coast Trail Dark, Strongback Very Dark, 1936 Espresso and Mile Zero Decaf—all of which are fairly traded, organic and climate-friendly—Fernwood Coffee can be bought at grocery stores around town, and ordered at a number of A-list cafés (including Lucy’s, the Blue Fox, Solstice, Urban Cup, the Tapa Bar and Lady Marmalade). Monday spent some time with FCC partner and Canadian Barista Championship fourth-place winner Rob Kettner to get the goods on the grounds and sniff out what it takes to make the grade as a true player in the Canadian “third wave” coffee movement.

Who are you?

Rob Kettner of Fernwood Coffee Company.

What’s on the menu?

Freshly roasted specialty coffee from around the world.

Best bet if I’m feeling adventurous?

Single-origin espresso.

What were you doing six months ago?

Hmm . . . roasting coffee.

Why this spot?

Have you seen our beautiful parking lot?

What’s the risk factor for the Fernwood Coffee Company?

Being the new kids in the best coffee city in North America.

Given a choice, who would you employ as your personal barista?

Dr. Ernesto Illy—the inventor of espresso.

Do you believe in over-caffination?

Let me jog around the block and get back to you.

What’s your favourite drink to serve?

The perfect espresso (a never-ending search).

What’s your idea of the perfect cup?

Today, Gerbichu Lela, Sidamo—brewed in a French press.

What’s the nastiest coffee you’ve ever had?

Nescafe in the Philippines—yuck!

Do you still enjoy the smell of freshly roasted beans?

It’s still our favourite smell in the world!