Rufino Coffee, Toronto’s local demitasse darling, is no stranger to single origin shade grown coffee. Founded by John Rufino in 1974 after moving from Italy (and being unable to find a decent espresso in Toronto!), this family-run affair sources and roasts delicious espresso blends in-house for an expanding and dedicated clientele. If you’ve sipped a latte at Jimmy's Coffee or Forno Cultura, then you’ve enjoyed Rufino Coffee.
Shade grown (a.k.a. bird friendly) coffee beans are affected by a unique terroir marked by lush tree canopies and the sun’s position to the equator. The tree canopy makes this type of bean friendlier to birds and also less dependent on pesticides then mass-produced open-field, commodity coffee brands. The result: more flavourful yields and a positive environmental impact.
“We typically blend origins together for espresso to create a specific taste profile that is more balanced and complex,” says Pat Rufino, the eldest son of the family. “It provides an emphasis on body, nut and chocolate notes, milder acidity and a pleasantly lingering aftertaste.”
Rufino Coffee maintains its high standard of quality by continuously tasting regional samples. Like any harvest or vintage, a bean's flavour profile differs annually. For these reasons, the roastery only purchases the best tasting beans from any small coffee farm at any given time.
Rufino Coffee also works directly with various small hold farmers, usually producing 60-70 kg bags from farms a few acres large. Rufino usually purchases the entire lot, ranging from 5-300 bags. Every bag roasted at their Vaughan facility is then shipped to the customer within three days.
"We roast our espresso to a light/medium level,” Pat shares when asked what type of beans are best used for espresso. “Traditionally it is not a dark roast at all, contrary to what many believe.”
Pat further explains that the costly stamp of certification for shade grown coffee is unattainable for many small batch farmers but the quality and craftsmanship is still there.
At TFFF 2022, Rufino Coffee is featuring three such coffees at a free public tasting before the film screenings of “Shade Grown Coffee” and “Pie in the Puss":
The Costa Rica Yellow Honey coffee, produced by the Navarro family on their farm, Finca San Cristobal, is located in the famous Tarrazu growing region 1700 meters above sea level. The Caturra variety featured at TFFF is processed by a method called Yellow Honey, where the coffee is semi-washed, leaving some mucilage (fruit pulp) to dry on the bean. It boasts a heavy body and honey-like sweetness with notes of milk chocolate, raisin and stone fruit.
The unique Indonesia Sumatra Permata Gayo is another tasty roast being offered at the TFFF tasting. It is processed at the Permata Gayo Cooperative in the Aceh region, at an altitude approximately 1500 meters above sea level. The volcanic soil and wet-hulled processing play a role in providing a syrupy body, earthiness, dark chocolate, peppery and brown sugar notes.
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Yeast Process, grown at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level, is a Heirloom varietal that goes through a special process called “yeast” fermentation, where a specific strain is used in a controlled environment. This chemical reaction is crucial in the development of this coffee’s complex flavours: a creamy mouthfeel, floral aroma with notes of tropical fruit and citrus.
For the freshest cup, always store your coffee beans in an airtight container away from high heat. Ideally buy your roasted beans weekly and always grind fresh! What better way to enjoy a film than by tasting exactly what you’re learning about?
“Coffee Tasting with Rufino”
In-Person at The Royal Theatre
Saturday, Oct 15, 12:00pm - 1:00pm
608 College St, Toronto, ON M6G 1B4
Presented as part of the pre-show service at “Shade Grown Coffee” with “Pie in the Puss” screening. Free to all in-person screening guests.
To learn more about your coffee: https://rufino.ca/
To learn more about the festival: https://www.torontofoodfilmfest.com/