Next week marks the release of our first Ethiopian Coffee from the west for this year, in the area of Limu Kossa - Ethiopia Tencho Organic.

This coffee has been a workhorse for us the last couple years. A stellar shelf life in its green form, and a coffee we look forward to each harvest. It has this profile of Honey and lily - really delicate and beautiful.

Look for this coffee in cafés that serve 49th to start. We may be roasting this as an SOE as well later on. Keep an eye out!

The cooperative’s history is still fairly fresh - It was Founded in 2008 by farmers working on family owned plots in the undulating mountain ridges of the area, between 1700 and 2000 meters above sea level. These farmers produce organic coffee near the birthplace of where Coffea Arabica was first discovered. The coffee is cultivated under the natural shade of trees surrounding the farmer’s land.


*Tencho is located in southwest Ethiopia, Oromia state, Jimma Zone, and Limu Kosa woreda (meaning neighbourhood). The Tencho washing station is 67 km from the city of Jimma and 8 km from woreda capital Limu Kossa.*

Through an unyielding commitment to increasing quality, and motivated by an opportunity to increase prices paid back to farmers, the Tencho cooperative decided to work towards producing specialty coffee. TechnoServe selection criteria was met, and the community was able to construct and operate a wet mill in 2010. Prior to the introduction of a wet mill, Tencho farmers produced lower quality coffee and sold it for decreased prices determined by private traders. In fact, the whole area of Jimma had maintained a reputation of producing coffee not quite fit for export. Success stories like the one from Tencho are so important, as they bring the entire area of Jimma to the attention of international buyers as viable and absolutely delicious coffee.


This year marks the ramp down of funding for Technoserve to support cooperative societies like Tencho in the west. This isn’t, luckily, going to be a “pull the plug” situation. Tencho, the neighbouring cooperative we buy from Welinso (and others), were part of a multi year program with support from Technoserve. The scope of the support is dependent on the needs of the cooperative. In Tencho’s case, with the business advice, and technical assistance, farmer training, and agronomic support - these farmers have been able to increase their production and the quality of the coffee we get to share with you next week.

Perhaps most importantly, Tencho farmers are able to actually make a living out of growing coffee - something that wasn’t necessarily true previous to the group building a wet mill and increasing the quality.

Look for this coffee next week. We are dialling in the roast profile now, and it's nearly ready. 


Thank You.

| by Nic Witzke

A panel of 18 food & beverages experts have decided, and the fine people of Vancouver Magazine have given us the title of "Best Coffee House" in their 2014 Vancouver Restaurant Awards.

We want to say thank you to Vancouver Magazine, and to all of our customers and all you coffee enthusiasts out there that continue to make 49th Parallel what it is today. You guys fuel our fire.

We love you!

See the rest of the goods here.

The 49th family..

| by Nic Witzke

Though the 49th Parallel product is well known, many of the people behind it are relatively unknown to general public.

We'd like to share with you the people that make everything happen behind the scenes, on the road, and at origin. 

Maybe you've placed an order with Tara, seen Kyle in the cafe, and tasted Mike's roasts.. But now's your chance to get to know them a little more up close and personal.

We are happy to introduce you to the 49th Parallel family.

Holiday Hours

| by Barrett Jones

The holiday season is around the corner; so we're going to publish the full holiday hours here. We'll update via Facebook and Twitter closer to relevancy - but here they are, plan accordingly.

We are closed at both locations on Christmas Day, so plan ahead, practice up, and dazzled them with your coffee making prowess.

4th Avenue:

Tuesday, Dec 24, 7am-6pm

Wednesday, Dec 25, Closed

Thursday, Dec 26, 7am-7pm

Tuesday, Dec 31, 7am-7pm

Wednesday, Jan 1, 8am-6pm


Main Street:

Tuesday, Dec 24, 7am-6pm

Wednesday, Dec 25, Closed

Thursday, Dec 26, 7am-9pm

Tuesday, Dec 31, 7am-8pm

Wednesday, Jan 1, 7:30-9pm



Christmas Eve - CLOSED

Christmas Day - CLOSED

Boxing Day - 9am to 1pm

New Years Eve - OPEN

New Years Day - CLOSED

Join us in celebrating the start of the holiday season, and learn how our Holiday Celebration blend is made - how it is roasted, and the story of the small holder farmers and people that made it possible.  

This coming Thursday December 5th beginning at 6pm, we are hosting an activity filled evening at our Main street Café (Main & 13th).

The event is made up of two parts (and you can do both!). All of the admission fees will go to East Side Boxing, a local not-for-profit gym that has recently been devastated by a fire.  

Try your hand at roasting a small batch of your own coffee to take home with the help of our Quality Assurance and Roaster Saša Stojanovic. You'll get hands on time with our sample roaster, with expert instruction from Saša, and learn about some of the reactions that happen during roasting, and how those reactions relate to the flavour profile of the roasted coffee. *This activity is meant for everyone. From absolute beginners to seasoned home roasters.

The Second component of the evening is a presentation from our Green Coffee Buyer about the producers we work with in what we affectionately call, the Beneficio San Vicente project.  

Here, you will get a chance to learn a bit of context around how we source our coffees, and how involved we are in collaborating on quality improvements and sustainability initiatives with small holder farmers in the Santa Barbara area of Honduras (a 66 hour non-stop drive from Vancouver!). 

There will also be treats! Sample the Holiday Celebration blend, as well as new holiday doughnuts by the fine folks at Lucky's Doughnuts. 

Advance sign up is recommended to secure your spot, especially for the roasting!

Looking forward to seeing you next Thursday evening,

The 49th Parallel Team

When we have a coffee in the morning, we are thinking about getting ready for our day, or maybe we are at our desk starting work, all the while enjoying having something warm, comforting and hopefully very tasty. 

Cupping, on the other hand, involves a lot of focus, because ultimately, it can mean a green coffee purchase equating to many thousands of dollars - So it's crucial for us to make a good choice.

We use a 100 point scoring system that coffee professionals around the world are also familiar with. This means that when we give a coffee a particular score, along with some key flavour and aroma descriptors, there is a level of understanding and clarity for both the buyer and the producer around what sort of quality the coffee sample is. 

One of the key objectives for cupping and using an agreed upon protocol is to build a common language that is helpful in communicating what good (great, outstanding) quality actually means. What we taste during cupping tells the story of how well the coffee was taken care of during growing, harvesting, processing, drying as well as precautions taken during shipping to maintain the quality the producer worked hard to achieve. Ultimately, higher quality means we can pay a higher price to the producer.

Our intention is that those tasting the coffee we source (that's you) will notice that it is tasty and feel it deserves a higher price.

Every Tuesday, we will be cupping a couple of new coffees on our menu, and we want you to join us.

Take a look at our facebook page for up to date information about each cupping. See you Tuesday’s at 2pm at our Café on Main st @13th.


The Return of Santa Barbara

| by Laura Perry

Today we are launching two coffees from the Santa Barbara region of Honduras. We have been working with La Benedicion (Ramon Rodriguez) and El Ocotillo (Natividad Benitez) for a couple years now and we are excited to share this year’s harvest from them.

Both Ramon and Natividad’s farms are located around lake Yojoa, about a 2 and a ½ hour drive from the main industrial city, San Pedro Sula.

Some of the best coffees out of Honduras are some of the more delicate and complex out there. They aren’t ‘loud’ in flavour, but rather, the complexity of acidity and sweetness is the main attraction. 

When visiting for Cup of Excellence this past April, these coffees were finishing the dry milling process and getting ready to be shipped to our roastery here in Burnaby, BC.


You can grab more information and try La Benedicion and El Ocotillo Here.



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