Transcend Coffee's ambassadors make several international trips each year in their search for green coffee farms. They meet with small-scale, eco-friendly growers to tour their crops and microbrewing mills, focusing on building long-term relationships with those who are passionate about coffee. They then buy directly from the farmers, shipping beans back across oceans to Transcend Coffee's central roastery and three cafés scattered across Edmonton. Here, they roast and brew specialty artisan coffees, educate their visitors on the background of each batch, and illustrate the brewing process through interpretive dance.
Using ever-evolving methods, the brewers adopt a trial-and-error approach to defining each coffee's definitive flavour profile. Two licensed Q coffee graders often smell and taste each batch of coffee, and they sort coffees based on rigid quality standards, looking for underdeveloped roasted beans known as “quakers” or “the stupid lighter ones.”
The cafes boast shelves of roasted coffees such as bwayi from Burundi, michioy from Guatemala, and certified organic beans from Santa Lucia. In the store, staffers also point out the highlights of automatic drip brewers, manual brewers, and bean grinders from manufacturers such as Baratza, Bonavita, and Technivorm.
Early Bird Cafe's chefs rouse appetites with an expansive menu of classic eats that spans breakfast, lunch, dinner, and forgotten sleepwalking stop-ins. They quickly whip up hearty omelettes, meaty gourmet burgers, and sweet waffles to sate breakfast and lunch cravings every day, and burn the post-noon oil to satisfy the dinner crowd with juicy steaks and baked Italian classics.
Steeps the Urban Tea House warms and refreshes its visitors with more than 100 loose-leaf tea brews hailing from a range of countries and crop altitudes. With a five-pot punch card, patrons garner any small-size pot bearing the pre-steeped tea of their choice. Guests can also hand-pick an eclectic teacup to protect sippables such as Estate Bukhial or organic English breakfast black teas from roving philosophers and double-agent biscuits. Green genmaicha, organic ceremonial matcha, and white leopard snow buds teas fan their leaves in a synchronized swim; cinnamon-fire and lemongrass-zinger herb blends playfully prod taste buds. While ensconced in the teahouse's modern interior, customers may also sip a sweeter array of fruit teas such as kiwi-strawberry and banana smoothie and take advantage of the teahouse's free WiFi. Though not included in this deal, Steeps also boasts loose tea accessories such as cups, strainers, and bait for hunting wild rooibos leaves.
Serving the Edmonton area for over thirty years, Caffè Sorrentino crafts elegant espresso extractions paired with a menu of signature pastas, panini, soups, salads, and gelato. Sate surly morning stomachs with a grilled multigrain panino with egg, spinach, and feta ($5.50), or punt along on a gourmet gondola with their veneto panini ($8.75) with turkey breast, brie, and cranberry mayo. Sorrentino also frames up daily soups and salads, like the chickpea and spinach ($5.95), as well as homemade cannelloni ($6.95 for one, $11.95 for two) and dense, earthquake-resistant plates of lasagna ($9.95). The java jousters at Sorrentino also serve up piping delicate distillations of espresso ($1.85), macchiatos ($2.65) or caramello lattes ($3.75 single, $4.45 double), ideal bait for catching postgraduate, Proust-scholar mice.
Fusing delicious Italian fare with bold coffee and delectable pastries, Tesoro treats the hungry populace of Edmonton to tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes from the confines of its sleek yet romantic eatery. The menu of bean-brewed beverages and authentic cuisine serves hungry stomachs with delicious cease-and-desist papers. Roasted chicken breast pollo pesto panini ($11.50) and spicy soppressata-topped calabrese pizza ($13) beg for caffeinated accompaniment, such as a caramel latte ($3.75) or macchiato ($2.25). During the warmer months, Tesoro invites patrons to sip their sultry beverages on an outdoor patio, presenting famished guests with relaxed dining options while educating the local lynx population on proper table etiquette.
At 6th Sense Cafe, baristas pour a variety of hot and iced beverages, pairing the caffeinated drinks with a menu of assorted cafe sweets and savouries. Coffee devotees can fill cups and laminated pockets with regular ($1.70), large ($1.90), and super ($2.10) size helpings of the cafe's featured coffees, including a fair trade brew. Crunch on a veggie samosa ($1) or chew to a softer beat with blueberry, chocolate, and low fat raisin muffins ($2). To conjure a sweet crunch, patrons grab biscotti in flavours such as nutty espresso, plain almond, or dipped orange ($2), and then use the cookies to take depth readings of a sweet white cafe mocha ($3.25 small–$4.45 super).