- About Transcend
We are inspired by the passionate people:
the ones who cannot help themselves,
the ones that have to create, to push limits, to explore.
Fame doesn’t matter. Success doesn’t matter.
What matters is the pursuit of something greater than yourself.
When you pursue, when you explore, you change.
You think differently.
You appreciate different things.
That is our aim. Every day we come and we pursue.
We pursue taste.
We pursue art.
We pursue the moments that make life worth living.
Transcend. Every day.
When we started out, we believed there is a better way to get a cup of coffee.
For us, it starts with having better relationships. Through thick and thin, we have intentionally kept our relationships with the growers.
Everything we do hinges on these relationships, and it’s how we’re able to roast with some of the best beans in the world.
The moment you believe you have coffee figured out, it surprises you, confuses you, it shows you the next level. Coffee is not a commodity.
It is a craft and a ritual. It’s the marriage of art, science, and religion.
It’s a chase. It’s a pursuit.
Each day, we come back into the shop with an open mind.
Something could be different. Something could be better.
We go beyond.
We can’t help ourselves.
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our curiosity forces us to always seek for something better. The leading light?
Taste. That’s the bar with which we measure ourselves.
You know when the taste is right: you get a gift, a moment. You experience something that is more than a drink in a cup. It’s something that requires you to be open, to be quiet, to listen. When you can do that, you can truly appreciate the moment. That’s why we’re all here, and it’s why we come back.
Seed to cup, we all know we’re doing something worth doing.
Poul Mark founded Transcend Coffee in 2006 with a passion for great coffee and building community. By his own admission, his entry into the specialty coffee industry was one largely built on naivety. However, his passion led to a growing determination to bring better understanding and appreciation of coffee to the Edmonton area.
Poul has been working on our new mothership project, The Ritchie Market, for the past two years. This work has added a unique skill set to the management team at Transcend Coffee which makes us an ideal consulting group for those looking for a wholesale coffee roaster.
In the past eleven years, Poul has built a thriving and multi-faceted business and has established himself as an world expert in coffee. He has been invited to judge several international coffee competitions, including the Best of Panama, the 2009 El Salvador Cup of Excellence, the 2010 Honduras Cup of Excellence, and most recently Taza Dorada 2011 in Ecuador. Poul was one of the first Canadians to be qualified as a certified Q-graders—an international professional accreditation for evaluating both green and roasted coffee. Poul invested a significant amount of time to travel to origin, making several trips a year to meet coffee farmers face to face, developing relationships with producers and constantly learning more about the unique challenges of each coffee growing region. Poul was part of a three person panel invited to speak on the topic of micro lots and direct trade at the 2011 Ramacafe conference in Nicaragua. Poul also writes on various coffee topics for trade magazines, and works as lead consultant on cafe design projects and equipment procurement.
One of Poul's most meaningful experiences in coffee was traveling to Burundi in the Summer of 2011 to serve as a consultant to a couple of small coffee associations in the Kayanza region. In conjunction with Food for the Hungry Burundi, he worked with producers to identify strategies to improve quality and production yields.
Poul often hosts our popular coffee tastings, the Transcend Coffee podcast, and has been invited to speak to various groups on the subjects of coffee, roasting, and the art and science of taste. Poul also holds a Level 3 Advanced Certificate in wine tasting issued by WSET. If you would like to have Poul speak at your conference or private event, please contact him.
Transcend's business model is built on real and mutually beneficial relationships with the people who grow, harvest, process, source and ship green coffee.
It is our sincere desire that these relationships will stand the test of time, through both the good years and the bad.
Our green buyer, Josh Hockin, regularly travels to origin — the countries where coffee is grown — to connect with the very best coffee farmers. These passionate, hard working farmers become our partners in the coffee business. We believe that establishing meaningful relationships with coffee producers, and other coffee professionals, gives us access to some of the best coffee in the world, in a truly sustainable way.
We think these practices are reflected in the quality of the coffee we roast and serve and is vital to our integrity as a quality Edmonton third wave coffee roaster.
We do everything we can to roast the exceptional coffees we source in a way that honours the hard work of the farmers we partner with. Our approach at the roastery gently coaxes all the complex flavours and nuances out of each unique coffee which we hope reflects in the cup.
We’ve roasted some coffees more than 50 different ways in order to discover the perfect roast profile. To us, coffee roasting is the marriage of consistent science and subtle art. It takes a keen palate, creativity and a lot of hard work and dedication to come up with a roast profile that will highlight the most delicate notes of a particular coffee.
This video takes you on a visual tour of our roastery all the way through to the execution of a tasty cappuccino at our Garneau café.
Why Order From Us?
Better Tasting Coffee, Roasted to Order
We scour the globe to find the best quality green coffee in the world. Better green coffee = tastier coffee in your cup. Period.
Fast, Free Shipping on orders over $57
If your order is $57 or more (3 or more bags of coffee), and you're shipping to an address anywhere in Canada, the shipping is on us. Every time. We’re also speedy, orders are usually shipped same-day or next-day.
Direct Trade - Ethically Sourced
Our coffees are grown by some of the most passionate and dedicated farmers. We source most of our coffees ourselves, meeting farmers face-to-face and paying truly sustainable prices which significantly higher than Fair-Trade prices.
Craft Roasted in Edmonton AB
Each day, we work tirelessly to make better coffee than we did yesterday. That means constantly improving our roasting techniques, experimenting and refining our craft in a way that honours the hard work of the farmers, and gently coaxes all the complex flavours and nuances into the cup.
Quality within the specialty coffee industry can be a complicated and allusive thing. Many wholesale roasters and retailers refer to a coffee score out of one hundred points to categorize their coffee quality. Others simply refer to the taste of the coffee they sell, assuming that their customers will identify with the flavour descriptions.
While Transcend has never employed any form of consumer marketing scoring system, we have in the past talked about the flavour attributes of our coffees. We are not abandoning this completely, but we made a decision in 2011 to move towards a more objective standard to evaluate quality.
The zero defect standard refers to the absence of any physical defects within a randomly chosen sample of coffee. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) protocol requires that a random sample of 350 grams of green coffee be selected and evaluated for defects that will negatively impact the characteristics of that coffee. The fewer defects present in the sample, the cleaner that coffee is, and as a result, the coffee will more accurately represent its true character. For a coffee to be classified as specialty grade, there can be no primary defects and no more than five cumulative secondary defects (a standard which we think is not strict enough).
Further, the SCAA protocol requires that the coffee be roasted, and that it be evaluated by selecting 100 grams of roasted coffee to determine whether any "quakers" are present. A quaker is an underdeveloped coffee bean, which will present much lighter in colour than the other roasted coffee. Quakers will impart flavours of paper, dustiness, popcorn, or cardboard, all of which impact quality in a negative manner. For a coffee to be classified as specialty grade, there must be no quakers present in the 100 gram sample.
While we strive to sell only zero defect coffee, in some circumstances it is virtually impossible. The only true way to achieve zero defect coffee is to have the coffee meticulously hand-sorted during the final preparation of the green coffee, prior to export. This detailed hand sorting is simply not available as an option in all the countries from which we buy coffee. Regardless, we will document the number of defects of all the coffee we buy in 2011 and onwards. If the coffee is not completely defect free, it will always be very close. In an industry that largely ignores the presence of physical defects within the coffee sold as specialty, Transcend is committed to the green classification standards, and is actively working to ensure that all of the coffee it buys meets our new rigorous standards.
Looking for a gift for the coffee-lover in your life? Our Transcend Gift Boxes will surely impress!