How is the Decaf coffee processed?
We use only 100% chemical free, water decaffeinated coffee that was prepared by the Mountain Water Process. Their process uses water to remove the caffeine from the coffee. The result is coffee that is delicious and 99.9% caffeine free.
Do you sell green coffee?
No, we don’t sell green coffee but if that’s what you’re looking for, we recommend Sweet Marias.
How should I store my coffee beans?
Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it.
Coffee fresh from the roaster is in freshness free fall. The sooner that you can brew and enjoy the coffee, the better. There is a legacy of suggested storage etiquette with coffee: “that it lasts for x number of days after being roasted or that you can lengthen its lifespan by storing it in the [blank]”, these might make you feel better but are best ignored.
Buy it. Brew it. Use it. Repeat.
Where can I find the roasted on and best before date on your whole bean and ground coffee bags?
Two places. The first is on the back label, below the QR Code – Best before: year, month, date. All of our coffee has a one year shelf life so the coffee was roasted exactly 1 year before the “best before” date.
The second is by scanning the QR Code with the Ethical Bean iPhone app or any QR code reader. Ta-da, the very first section below the image and description of the coffee you just scanned indicates the “Roasted On” and “Enjoy by” date.
Those of you who eschew the iPhone way of life can see the same information by entering the Lot code, located on the bag just below the QR Code, on our website here.
Please note that your coffee will be much tastier if consumed closer to the roast date.
Can I recycle my empty coffee bag?
Not currently. We’re all looking for solutions in the coffee industry. We’ve done research in-house and have been involved in studies for some new and alternative coffee bags that maintain the integrity of the coffee to the same level that our current bags do while being more sustainable. So far nothing has met our food safety and quality standards. This is a high priority for us. We want to incorporate an environmentally sensitive bag solution just as soon as we can. In the meantime, we run a bag-return program where you can give us back your used foil-lined coffee bags – ours and those of our competitors – and we’ll have them recycled through TerraCycle.
If you send us 12 empty Ethical Bean Coffee bags, we’ll give you a free fresh one! You can drop off your empty bags at our cafe or mail them in to us.
Is your coffee shade grown?
The question of coffee being shade grown is a tricky one. There are different definitions out there of what would qualify as appropriate in terms of shade-grown requirements – layering of the canopy, height and the mix of trees, etc – but there is much more grey to the reality of things. The fact that the coffee we buy is certified organic is a good start. By extension, organically grown coffee requires a shade canopy and suggests that the coffee is in fact shade grown. Given the complexities, we don’t like to market our coffee as shade grown.
Is your coffee non-gmo?
The organic standards prohibit the use of any genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered technology in the production and processing of a product. This means that all certified organic products, such as our coffee, are in fact, non-GMO.
I don’t have an espresso machine, can I use the Sweet Espresso in my drip machine?
Absolutely. It’s a great blend and shows well when used to brew a cup of drip coffee as well as when used in an espresso application.
Our pre-ground Sweet Espresso is ground finely for espresso makers though, so we don’t recommend our ground espresso for drip.
I only have an espresso machine, can I use any coffee to make espresso?
Yes and no. Think of espresso as a process of brewing marked by the brisk preparation and it’s focused flavour. In theory you can use any coffee to be prepared as espresso. The qualification is that it may or may not taste great.
Espresso blends are created with particular coffees, often roasted and blended in a particular way to taste great when prepared specifically as espresso, a process that makes some unique demands on the coffees used. It’s very intentional.
Grinding up any old coffee, roasted any old way and pulling it through the espresso machine is more of a lottery.
Help us, help you. May we humbly suggest you use our Sweet Espresso blend for all your espresso needs.
Where can I compost my Ethical Bean pods?
Our pods are 100% Certified Compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). This means that the pods will break down in as little as five weeks in commercial composting systems. However, municipalities have their own guidelines for what they accept as being compostable and may not automatically accept new products. We are working with municipalities across North America to educate them and gain acceptance. Currently the following municipalities have given clear support and acceptance of the pods: Seattle, WA, Canmore, AB, Muskoka, ON.
Our experience indicates that municipalities are not objecting when people put the pods into local green bins or similar waste diversion programs. Both the City of Toronto and the Ontario government have processes being organized or under way that are looking at how compostable pods will be treated officially in food and organic waste diversion programs. These results will influence other Canadian municipalities.
Stay tuned for updates.
Can I compost your pods in my backyard composting system?
There is no North American certification process in place to give consumers guidance on backyard composting. Composting experts know that individual results vary widely so we cannot make a blanket statement about how these pods will work in your own home composting environment. Your results will vary depending on conditions that include: local temperatures; the other items being composted; and the humidity, both in the air and in the compost pile. If you currently compost cornhusks at home, you may find that composting our pods is similar.
Please see our composting blog for further information on this.
What do I do with the pods if my city doesn’t have a compost program?
The number of municipalities with composting programs is growing rapidly. These two websites are a great resource to learn about the composting options in your community – Litterless and Coffee Composting.
What are your compostable pods made of?
Over 90% of the total weight of a used pod is coffee grounds. The remaining 10% of the weight is composed of an integrated lid, mesh filter and unique brown ring made of coffee bean skin, renewable resources and other compostable materials.
Together the entire pod has earned approval as Certified 100% Compostable and does not need to be separated before composting.
Is the inner bag of the pod boxes compostable or recyclable?
Unfortunately, not yet. The inner bag has to meet challenging tests to ensure that it protects coffee from oxygen so consumers get the freshness and quality they expect. While this bag guarantees food safety, we are working on a better, more sustainable solution.
Please stay tuned to this page for updates. In the meantime, the inner bag is part of our bag return program.
Will the pods work in my Nespresso coffee maker?
Unfortunately not. There are many different coffee pod makers and models out there in the marketplace and our compostable pods are only designed to work in Keurig 1.0 and 2.0 brewers.