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SERIES 12: Square One Coffee Roasters, Lancaster

If you were to rely solely on a map to form an impression of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding area, you’d likely be profoundly misguided. From the West you can come to Lancaster through Mountville. But things get a little spicier if you come from the East, where you travel through the towns of Blue Ball, Intercourse, Fertility, and straight on to Paradise!  But for all the details and information maps convey, these names are two dimensional and fall woefully short in expressing the soul of a place. And in this case, where you might not think to find a true pioneer and creative force for good in specialty coffee and the universe, it is precisely where you find her. Jess Steffy...

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SERIES 11- Monogram Coffee, Calgary

The Bloody Caesar is a wildly popular Canadian cocktail. What started out as a Bloody Mary, Canadians took and added the one simple, but never without, ingredient; clam juice. Not only did this drink originate in Canada, it was conceived in, of all places, Calgary. A western city where the great Canadian plains transition into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Colloquially called "Cowtown".   "Cowtown" is in fact, a full on cosmopolitan, metropolitan, soaring and kinetic city. Bubbling right under that Big Oil façade is an effervescent food, arts and music scene, with a Rocky Mountain super chill vibe and a deadly sense of recreation. It also gets an enviable 332 sunshine days a year. And it's no wonder, then,...

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SERIES 10: Trunk Coffee, Nagoya

If there’s one place in the world that’s definitely happening right now, it’s Japan. A kaleidoscope of high technology, avant design, singular style, neon lights, pulsing music, mind bending anime…you could go on. And then there’s Nagoya. Nagoya is noted as the most boring city in Japan. But here’s the thing about boredom: it almost always precedes creativity, and a yielding of something original, expressive and imaginative.  Enter Trunk Coffee: Yasuo Suzuki and Kiyohito Tanaka. They say boring places lower your expectations, but these two have put, not only Japan, but the world on notice that they are making some of the most daring, expressive and crazily progressive coffee on the planet earth, with every bit the style and panache...

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SERIES 09: Dear Green Coffee Roasters, Glasglow

Glasgow is tough. People get glassed in Glasgow. What’s this you ask? A particular specialty of the Glaswegians is to use glass bottles as fighting weapons to settle differences, like say, wearing the wrong football colours, being in the wrong part of town, or maybe just being a little unhinged from too much Sunset Yellow FCF (the much-maligned artificial colouring that gives Irn Bru that certain glow). Spend time in Glasgow and you’ll agree, it’s tough. But not tough in the total bullshit, outdated way described above. Glasgow is tough because of people like Lisa Lawson, founder and chief roaster at Dear Green Coffee Co. Being a strong female entrepreneur, in a mostly male dominated industry while pioneering and revolutionizing the coffee...

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SERIES 08: Five Senses, Australia

The Principal and the Principles. The story of Five Senses begins, principally, in 1997 with a school Principal. His principal mission was simple: to share delicious coffee and create a business that would nurture all those it touched.Sounds pretty principled. If you asked the principal about how one would arrive at delicious coffee, he’d likely tell you about the principle of intention; that the layers of commitment, the forethought and the planning, which can be traced all the way back to the supply chain, shapes the final result found in a cup. And, when push comes to shove, the Principal would most likely reveal that it’s principally the principle of integrity that has shaped Five Senses into becoming one of...

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