coffee toronto

The rarest coffee in the world is now available in Toronto

Toronto is already home to some pretty darn good coffee, but you can now access some of the rarest beans in the world here.

LeClair Organics is bringing the Racemosa bean, the rarest in the world growing only in a specific 150 square kilometre area, as well as the Liberica bean to Toronto for what they believe is the first time.

"As far as I can tell in searching there are no other coffee brands based in Canada selling & focusing on Liberica coffee. We are the only company focusing on Liberica coffee," LeClair Organics founder Jeremy LeClair told blogTO.

You've likely heard of Arabica beans, and if you're a coffee aficionado maybe you're familiar with Robusta. The elusive and unusual Liberica bean, however, is still new to many.

"I made the realization that coffee only uses two species of coffee. I thought there had to be more out there. With a thorough search I found Liberica coffee, a third and elusive species to North America," says LeClair.

"This Liberica coffee comes from a completely separate plant species apart from your common coffee beans found currently in Canada. Arabica coffee accounts for around 75 per cent of coffee, while Robusta Coffee accounts for approximately 25 per cent. Our Liberica is somewhere in that last fraction of a percent."

There are actually over 100 known varieties of coffee, however most of them are wild and not commercially grown. Liberica accounts for less than one per cent of coffees grown. What many coffee drinkers encounter day to day are varietals of the same species with different traits.

"The Liberica bean is visually distinct, about one third larger than an Arabica and has a signature teardrop shape. The Liberica plant is a large tree, up to 10 metres, versus the Arabica plant, an average sized bush," says LeClair. By contrast, the Racemosa bean is about one third the size of an average Arabica bean.

"Liberica brings it's own unique flavour, much sweeter and aromatic. The Liberica brings upon its own distinctive characteristics and ours has the flavour notes of jackfruit, almond and honey."

LeClair's rare coffees are currently sold online, though they are looking to partner with local businesses in Toronto to offer the coffee. Both online customers and potential partners have given Liberica beans a warm reception.

"So far there is already a very positive reception from cafes, executive chefs, mixologists and hotels in Toronto and across Canada. It's exciting to many that love coffee and are in the industry that there is a new unheard of coffee to try," says LeClair.

"Toronto and Ontario has been the most popular location for online ordering at the moment."

When it comes to the Racemosa beans, according to the LeClair website they're "currently being offered exclusively to high end hotel & restaurant partners and the unique opportunity to try by ordering online." If you want a taste, be prepared to shell out $64.90 for a 32-gram bag.

"Racemosa will provide a rich and sophisticated flavour profile distinctively unique to this rare bean. You may expect a light and refreshing coffee, slightly smoky with flavour notes of licorice, earthy tones and raw cacao bean," the site reads.

"The berries are also smaller and will only produce about one sixth the amount of an arabica bush per acre making for a much more labour intensive product. Racemosa has very low caffeine in its natural unprocessed form which is quite unique amongst coffee beans."

In addition to the Liberica and Racemosa coffee beans, LeClair Organics also deals in coffee berry tea, which LeClair says "comes from the red berry removed from the coffee bean during processing, therefore a major upcycling opportunity."

"The majority of coffee estates are currently discarding this flavourful berry in which we make a tea from," says LeClair.

Whether you consider yourself on the forefront of coffee or just want to shake up your work from home routine, you might want to give these new beans on the block a try.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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