Vancouver’s 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters unveiled one of Ethiopia’s rarest — and most expensive — coffees yesterday.
Twelve-ounce bags of Sidamo Nekisse Micro Selection beans will go on sale today for $30.
Vince Piccolo, 49th Parallel’s founder, has partnered with Shannon and Chip Wilson, the founders of Lululemon and the non-profit imagine1day foundation, in the fundraising campaign. All proceeds from the fair-trade coffee’s sales will go toward Ethiopian schoolchildren.
“We take what God gives us in terms of this bean,” said Piccolo, who described the coffee’s flavour as a blend of bitter and sweet, with accents of berry and chocolate. The beans come from an extremely rare crop, grown at high elevation and in volcanic soil in the Sidamo region.
At yesterday’s special tasting session at Piccolo’s Kitsilano café, the coffee was brewed using the siphon method, which is distinct from the more common French press. The apparatus involved includes a flask, a beaker and two hot plates.
“(The siphon method) really allows us to highlight the nuances of the coffee, and gives it a clean acidity,” said Piccolo.
In Canada, 49th Parallel is the exclusive supplier of the Sidamo Nekisse bean.