The aroma drew guests downstairs at the Vermilion Public Library on March 27, as they hosted ‘Bean to Cup,’ a coffee tasting with Prairie Lily Coffee owner, Terry Masikewich.
Masikewich shared how and where coffee is produced and noted that most coffee since the 1930’s hadn’t received any quality control until recently. According to Masikewich, coffee trees are grown in over 70 equatorial countries, with arabica grown for the taste, and canephora – robusta grown for its ability to repel bugs. He said that the roles of women in producing countries are changing, that people are now paid for picking both ripe and unripe cherries, and that advocates are beginning to improves wages from $5 per day.
Masikewich shared that he never originally liked the taste of coffee as his parents left it on the stove all day, and he referenced a memory of his Baba picking buckets and buckets of blueberries.
“Most people are familiar with darker roasts, but with specialty coffee that is roasted well, people can taste the unique flavours of each country of origin,” said Masikewich.
Red coffee cherries are brought to a mill for processing, and a green coffee bean emerges. Roasting the bean transforms the chemical and physical properties of a bean, turning it brown and according to Masikewich, sounds much like popping corn.
Masikewich said that ripeness, growing height, bugs, etc., can contribute to defects and that you can’t make a bad bean taste good.
“When it comes to tasting specialty coffee, we have to expand our palettes and open our minds - you never know!” said Masikewich.
Guests enjoyed sampling the many varieties of Prairie Lily Coffee, roasted right in rural Saskatchewan, outside Lloydminster. With varieties ranging from fruity to velvety flavours, people were eager to find out where they could find this brand. Prairie Lily Coffee can be purchased at Lloydminster’s Home Hardware; by drip at The Root Emporium, Harvest To Home, or On The Border Bakeshop. Masikewich is looking forward to serving specialty lattes at the Vermilion Fair this summer.