Life in the World’s Top Coffee Cities

Recently the BBC did an interesting article about living in the world’s top coffee cities.  Just the existence of this article underpins the importance of coffee in our lives.  The very fact that a city is rated by its coffee is more than intriguing.

It seems as though coffee is becoming a tourism pull – and why not?

It must also be somewhat bothersome for Vancouverites that Vancouver is not featured (it would have fit perfectly on the cost of living graph) but proves we need to step up our ‘coffee game’ further.




Is Blaq Sheep a Black Sheep in the Coffee Industry?

Is Blaq Sheep a Black Sheep in the Coffee Industry?

A new player seems to be entering the Vancouver coffee market – Blaq Sheep Fine Coffee.  Although they have a website, it does not do any justice to the actual brand experience which indicates further that something is bubbling under the surface.  For example, on the day of this post, you can go through most pages of their website and not come across their very cool logo of the sheep.  Yet, a quick search the image section of a major search engine will reveal a more accurate display of their shops, signage, and branding in general.

So what is a black sheep?  Turning to the never-failing and always true Wikipedia we read that  a black sheep is usually a negative term of someone who doesn’t fit in or has gone wayward.  Essentially, it’s someone awkward, eccentric, or ‘too unique’ who doesn’t fit in with the crowd.  But don’t forget that Jesus left the herd to go and find the one sheep that went sideways.  Jesus cared deeply about the one black sheep.  The most well-read book in the history of the world, the Bible, constantly teaches that it’s not wise to follow the herd (those who surround you) because they are heading towards destruction.

But what does this mean in the Vancouver coffee industry?

This means opportunity.

Vancouver is saturated up the yin-yang and out the other side with coffee shops, but if you ask espresso drinkers where the good coffee is, there aren’t too many enthusiastic replies.  In a land with so many coffee shops (and sushi shops while we’re at it), most of them seem to fit under a handful of brands. When you get out of the Kitsilano, Gastown, Main Street or the Commercial Drive ‘coffee zones’, the story gets even worse.  So, for a city that has so many coffee shops, there is a surprisingly low number of either extremely high quality shops, or shops that are stepping out on a limb to be different.  Most of them are slight variations of each other but following a very similar model of Italian espresso drinks with some pastries and the odd panini – nothing wrong with that and there is probably good arguments against breaking what might not be broken, but where are the boat-rockers or the feather-rufflers?

Blaq Sheep Fine Coffee, on the other hand, appears to be totally separating themselves from the herd.  Our first reports are that they have a ‘very good coffee’, unique and good food program, and a decent selection of alcoholic drinks coupled with a unique atmosphere.  Their slogan on their sandwich board ‘Outstanding in our Field’ right under their logo should be both entertaining to the customer, but a concern to competitors.  It’s a bold statement of who they are and what they are planning.

It will be interesting to learn more about their products, their business model and ‘black sheepness’ of their branding as they grow from two locations.



Coffee Reduces the Risk of Suicide (Really, Sherlock?)

This article in Medial News Today, ‘Drinking Coffee linked to lower suicide risks in adults’

In short, they gave 2-4 cups per day of real coffee to a bunch of professionals. Then, being the sadistic folks they are, gave *decaf* to the other half.

Guess which group had a high percentage of suicide?  I’m sure you won’t be surprised.  That’s right.  The group that wasn’t given blanks.

I think we’d all be six feet under if someone took the caffeine out of our coffee.

The conclusion to the matter is simple:

Decaf should be outlawed and coffee should be covered under our medial plans.



This is Coffee – Entertaining and Educational

I couldn’t decide if this video should be classified as education or entertainment so I chose both.

Here are some awesome quotes:

-“Time – carefully measured.”

-“Perfect coffee sending it’s glow into our lives around the clock.”

-“It helps us start our day with warmth and vigor”

-“In the romance of evening when young dreams glow softly, coffee is always the perfect companion”

Here’s the video again if you didn’t already click and watch it


The History of Coffee

The National Coffee Association (USA) ( published this rock-solid, everything-you-need-to-learn-about-coffee stuff.  Check it out here.

Important to note is that this website of theirs is an awesome wealth of information.

Don’t just be a Coffee Shop Franchisee – be an artisan and a master.  Show the world your value as you amp up your game because you’ll never know where it will take you.

Please contribute by sending us articles, links and anything else to help.