Food Notes for January 24, 2022

On The Edge Coffee Adopts Self-Contained Coffee Roaster

A new kind of ventless coffee roaster is allowing Edmonton’s On The Edge Coffee to release less pollution and tailor its roast to each type of bean.

Bellwether Coffee, based out of Berkeley, California, has created an electric and automated system that allows roasters to operate in spaces without requiring separate ventilation. On The Edge started using the machine at its Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market kiosk in December 2021, becoming the first in Edmonton and one of just a handful of roasters using the system across Canada.

Owner Jodine Chase acknowledged that coffee has challenges when it comes to sustainability, considering the distance it travels to reach consumers in other parts of the world. But transitioning to the Bellwether was a way for On The Edge to cut down on its own emissions. “Roasting accounts for about 15% of the coffee industry’s footprint, and so there’s room to reduce that right here in coffee-consuming countries instead of mainly burdening low- and middle-income coffee-growing countries,” said Chase.

The Bellwether’s air filtration system reduces the volatile organic compounds and particulate matter that traditional roasters release into the atmosphere, she added.

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Jodine Chase with On the Edge Coffee’s Bellwether Roaster

Another big selling feature of the Bellwether is its consistent product output. Bellwether users have the option to source beans directly from the company, then program the machine to roast it based on a specific profile uploaded by Bellwether for that particular bean. That seamlessness allows roasters with less experience to tap into global expertise through the power of the internet. Currently, 75% of the beans roasted by On the Edge are from Bellwether.

“On my best day, I couldn’t do it as consistent as the (Bellwether) does,” said Jennifer Graham, head barista with On the Edge. Graham said the system permits the creation of roast profiles for beans sourced from elsewhere, or to edit existing profiles if they aren’t satisfied with the results. She believes that coffee roasted in the Bellwether has a cleaner flavour most apparent in light-roast coffees. “In our Ethiopian coffee, you can better taste the bergamot and blueberry notes,” she said.

On the Edge has plans to offer coffee cuppings and tastings in the spring to showcase what the Bellwether can do. They’re also not averse to the possibility of offering tastes of conventionally roasted beans alongside their Bellwether roasted beans to allow consumers the chance to judge the product for themselves.

Currently, most of the roasting is done on Sunday afternoons during market hours, and customers are welcome to stop by to see the Bellwether in action. “Customers really love it,” said Chase. “Most folks coming to farmers’ markets have a real interest in supporting local and supporting growing and food production practices. They can sip a coffee while learning about the farm it comes from as they watch the beans turn from green to brown right in front of their eyes.”

COVID-19-related News

  • Mikado temporarily closed dine-in service and will re-open on January 30, 2022. They remain open for take-out.
  • St. Louis Bar and Grill in St. Albert had to close for two weeks due to staff illness.
  • Restaurants continue to struggle as the pandemic continues, including those downtown that continue to face reduced foot traffic.
  • The Granary, a restaurant in Red Deer, was forced to close after AHS received complaints that staff had permitted guests to dine in after showing the picture of a dog with their identification. They have since been allowed to re-open after demonstrating their understanding of the Restrictions Exemption Program.

Openings

  • Les Moulins La Fayette is a new French bakery that opened on January 14, 2022 at 4460 Calgary Trail. It joins locations in Calgary, and several in Ontario and Quebec.
  • Mama Mia Pizzeria is now open at 6875 Ad Astra Blvd.
  • KB and Co will be opening a location on the north side (16715 127 Street) in February 2022.

Closures

Upcoming Events

  • Check out the Chinatown Transformation Collaborative’s Pop-Up Shop, running every weekend at the Edmonton Downtown Farmers’ Market until February 26-27, 2022. Find local products from Caramunchies, Mama Han, and Hungry Zine, with more to be added!
  • Eats on 118 is launching its Lunch Club with an event at Mama Asha Cafe on January 26, 2022. The meal includes an opportunity to learn more about the business owner and their inspiration. Tickets are $25.
  • Chef Table Living is offering several different food tours in conjunction with Ice on Whyte. Adult tickets are $79 and include visits to a couple of restaurants and VIP access to the festival.
  • The Colombian is hosting a Valentine’s Experience featuring a six-course plated menu paired with natural wines on February 12, 2021. Only tables of 4 remain, for $300.

Local News

What I Ate

  • We walked over to check out Ayco Bakery last week. They will maintain their West Edmonton Mall location but bake everything for both shops downtown. I thought their cinnamon roll was tasty, and Emily could not stop talking about her strawberry-glazed donut.
  • Ayco Bakery

Part of Ayco’s baking case

  • We finished Chinatown Dining Week strong with a feast from Spirit Bistro and Namaste India. Thanks to everyone who came out to support the event this year!
  • Chinatown Dining Week

Our spread from Spirit Bistro and Namaste India

  • When Love Pizza offers a great customer appreciation deal at the same time as their amazing mac & cheeza, you order two Big Love size pies! Emily also got to customize her kid-size pizza which was also included as a part of their usual Sunday deal.
  • Love Pizza

You can never have enough mac & cheeza

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