With tongue not so firmly planted in cheek, I like to jest that I am powered by caffeine and Wi-Fi.
It’s partly true, really, because my day just doesn’t feel right if it doesn’t involve a cup of coffee and I really do make my living on the Internet. All kidding aside, a great cup of coffee is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Metro Vancouver has a very strong coffee culture and, as much as some people might like their Starbucks, many gravitate to smaller, more local shops. A lesser known example of this is Connected Minds, located out on Clarke Road in Coquitlam.
They source their beans from all sorts of places across the global coffee belt and they roast their own beans too. If you don’t see a bag of beans ready to go on the shelf, though, they’ll roast them for you right then and there. From Kenya to Brazil, you’ve got plenty of options and I opted for a quick tasting (by way of a gifted Groupon) to sample a few different brews.
Several years ago, I made the decision to drink black coffee at home. While I have since backed out of that decision (I usually take my coffee with a splash of milk these days), I figured the only way I could suitably sample these coffees was in their pure, black form.
In chatting with owner Lynn Hearn, she told me that while the sample jars of beans were each roasted to a certain level, she could just as easily take what would normally be a medium roast from Colombia and offer it as a dark roast, if that’s what I preferred.
I ultimately opted for the Ethiopian coffee in its default dark roast form. It has a tremendous deep, rich complexity that I really enjoy. While I hardly consider myself a coffee connoisseur, I will say that I prefer “earthy” flavors over “citrus” notes. The beans were roasted immediately while I waited; it took about 15 minutes.
The cafe doesn’t have much seating — only three or four tables — so you may have a hard time finding a place to lounge if Connected Minds gets busy.
Lynn told me that since the beans were freshly roasted, I should leave them alone in their bag for two or three days. It has something to do with the chemistry of all, something about the diffusion of carbon dioxide. Of course, I couldn’t help myself and I brewed up a cup the next day using my AeroPress. She was right. It didn’t quite taste right, but that fixed itself after the three days she recommended.
Coffee has several benefits and life is far too short for a bad cup. If you’re tired of buying stale beans at the supermarket, do yourself a favor and head on over to Connected Minds for “coffee as unique as you.” Do the tasting too. You really do notice the difference when you taste several brews back-to-back.