Updated: Jan 25
As the Holey Brewed platform continues to grow across Canada, we get really excited when we get to add one of Canada’s best coffee bloggers to our team! After weeks of negotiations, we are elated to announce that Tyler Hagan (Founder and Chief Coffee Drink & Content Curator) over at commonlycoffee.com will be joining the Holey Brewed team. If you’re a fan of coffee then you’ve likely come across one of Tyler’s blogs in the past. And if you haven’t, then buckle up because you are in for a treat. His goal for commonlycoffee.com is really simple, he wants it to be a platform that helps people to see that speciality coffee truly can be approachable, and something not just for "coffee snobs".
commonlycoffee.com has become the first part of Holey Brewed’s Western Canada expansion. Tyler is originally from Vancouver but now is based in Calgary and he’s been able to uncover and follow the evolution of speciality coffee scene out (and in other parts of Canada). As part of Holey Brewed’s Western Canada expansion, you can expect to see a lot from Tyler. commonlycoffee.com will allows us to provide our audience with; speciality coffee reviews, informative blog posts, Western Canadian cafe reviews.
@commonlycoffee (the blog) has become the newest Content Contributor of Holey Brewed but Tyler himself will be joining our Leadership team as our West Coast Divisional Head.
It has been obvious to others that there is a growing bromance between Mr. HB and Tyler. They’ve even begun coordinating outfits for meetings. Although both will argue that these instances are coincidence, many still don’t believe them!
Mr. HB had an opportunity to connect with Tyler last week regarding the news of commonlycoffee.com (formerly thebloom.coffee) joining the Holey Brewed platform.
Mr. HB: I can’t even explain to you what this means to Holey Brewed. For our audience, tell us more about thebloom.coffee. How did it start? When did it start?
TH: thebloom.coffee officially began in June 2018, but my love of specialty coffee began a long time before that. The short story of how it began was when my personal social media feed began to have more pictures of coffee than of my own family, I knew something had to change!
It was really because of a conversation that I had with the team at RoofTop Coffee Roasters one day while they were in-town here in Calgary that began to really get the ball rolling with my blog. Sarah & Keegan were incredibly encouraging to me that what I was posting on my Instagram should really go another step and that I should channel my passion for coffee and writing into a blog. They agreed to be my first real post and a few weeks after that coffee chat my blog went live. I share a bit of this journey on my blog, your audience can go take a look at some of the first few posts.
The one thing that I have always loved about specialty coffee is the people. This is truly one of the most people-dependant commodities out there. From the farmers, to the harvesters, to the roasters and baristas there are so many people involved in making that cup of coffee that you absolutely love. And it’s that love of people and love of coffee that keeps me doing this.
Mr HB: What do you see thebloom.coffee becoming?
TH: I say in my blog that “for some people figuring out how to begin this journey [into specialty coffee] can feel a bit overwhelming. I don’t want you to feel like you have to fumble your way through it.”
That’s really my goal for thebloom.coffee. I want people to feel like specialty coffee is approachable. That you don’t need to spend crazy amounts of money on brewing gear (although you definitely can), and I want people to see this as a space where they can discover new cafes & coffee roasters, learn more about various brewing methods, and feel like I can be someone they can direct their questions to. I want them to know that I won’t judge them but instead will help them take the next step in discovering even more about this drink we all enjoy.
Ultimately what I want for thebloom.coffee is to be champion for the specialty coffee community in Calgary, and across the country. There are a lot of stories to tell, and I hope that I can tell as many as possible to as many people as possible.
Mr. HB: What can your audience expect from thebloom.coffee in 2020? TH: One of my favourite reoccurring posts on the blog is the Coffee Roaster of the Month. I’ve got some great features lined up already with some well-known as well as some up and coming roasters across Canada and the USA. I can’t wait to share more about them. As for other things to come for thebloom.coffee you’ll just have to wait and see! But I can guarantee you it’ll be all about coffee.
Mr. HB: Tell us more about the man behind thebloom.coffee? Who is Tyler Hagan?
TH: As you can likely tell from a bunch of my posts, I currently call Calgary home. I originally grew up in Vancouver and lived there for just shy of 30 years before moving out to Alberta. And while I miss the beach and the ocean, living close to the mountains makes up for it (sort of). I’ve been married to my wife for 15 years and we have two kids.
Mr. HB: Where did your love of coffee come from?
TH: I can remember dinners with my parents, ordering cappuccino’s after dinner when I was in my teens. These are the cappuccino’s that remind you of old-world Italy, with dark & smoky espresso and overly-frothed milk. Having spent many years growing up in Vancouver in the early years of Starbucks’ entry into the Canadian market, this also contributed to my curiosity for coffee. Who wasn’t captivated by the green mermaid and her allure of a new coffee experience? I will admit my drink of choice was the Non-Fat-Upside-Down-155-degrees-2-pumps-sugar-free-vanilla-2-pumps-sugar-free-caramel-americano-misto. People called it “The Princess Drink”. Thank goodness those days are LONG GONE!
But nothing truly captured my full attention for specialty coffee like a trip I took to Costa Rica back in 2008. For me, it was the fact of being in origin, knowing that this was a country that prides itself on its incredible coffee production. It was the amazing variety of coffee’s that I saw in the local markets as we walked through the streets of Jaco. If there was one regret from that trip is that I didn’t source out the many coffee tours that Costa Rica offers. If you ever get the chance to visit this beautiful country, one of these tours is something to definitely put on your “must-see” list.
From there on I began to read and learn and discover as much as I could about specialty coffee. From visiting cafes, talking to baristas & roasters and through sheer trial and error, I began to brew, taste, and grow in my understanding of coffee. It’s definitely a rabbit-hole and I am a long way down it.
Mr. HB: How do you evaluate coffee and cafes? How do you drink your coffee?
TH: For me it’s less about using specific metrics to evaluate coffee as much as the feeling I get with each coffee I drink or cafe I visit. I tend to evaluate the experience the coffee brings as it has as much to do with the people I’m with and the people behind the bar who make the drink.
I will say that when I walk into any cafe, I do appreciate a personal greeting from the staff. A simple “hey” goes a long way! The top three things I look for in a café are:
1. Knowledgeable Baristas: No one wants a barista to be conceited or snobby. What I look for are genuinely passionate people who love what they do!
2. Simple Menu: I’m not looking a novel worth of options. I personally like it when cafes keep it simple, and I think it helps them to focus on delivering exceptional products and exceptional service.
3. Clean aesthetic: I like my cafes to be light and bright (like my coffee). A clean aesthetic, with natural light and welcoming seating is what I love. You can’t go wrong with power-outlets and wi-fi so you can get some work done too!
I am very selective when it comes to roast-levels with coffee. I am very much a lover of light & bright coffee. Anything that goes much more beyond the light to light-medium level will likely not find its way onto my coffee bar at home. These are the coffees for me that truly showcase the terroir and present those exciting tasting notes that you read on the bag of coffee.
I drink my coffee black if we’re talking about filter coffee, and if it’s an espresso-based drink, then my go-to is a traditional-cappuccino. I find that 2oz espresso + 6oz of whole milk is that ideal ratio.
Mr. HB: Let’s chat a bit about the coffee space in general. How do you see it changing? Overall and in the Western Canada more specifically?
TH: Heraclitus, the pre-Socractic Greek philosopher, said that “Change is the only constant in life.” And even since beginning my blog just over a year ago there has been quite a bit of change in the specialty coffee community.
I will say that much of the change so far that I have seen is positive. A few exciting things that I am noticing this past year especially here in Canada has been an explosion in the number of micro-roasters in the province of Quebec. Maybe it’s because my heritage is partially French-Canadian but I am genuinely impressed with how many exciting roasters are coming out of that part of the country. It might take some work to find them, but they are worth it when you do! And I really should say this isn’t just limited to one province. Micro-roasters, continue to pop up almost daily across Canada and across the globe and bring with them each, fresh and innovative ideas in how they approach roasting, packaging and their own cafes.
Another major change that I see coming in the specialty coffee community (and this also has ties to Canada) is the new trend to sourcing coffee from emerging origins. I wrote a whole article about this [https://thebloom.coffee/2019/08/26/emerging-origins/]. I see these emerging origins becoming key players in the specialty coffee scene in the years to come! If you haven’t tried coffee from China or the Philippines you’re missing out! And if you want to know what roasters are sourcing from these emerging origins just read the article.
Lastly, I hope to continue to see more multi-roaster cafes emerging in every major city and even in the smaller ones too! These cafes champion collaboration and help to showcase local and international coffee roasters to individuals.
Mr. HB: Why have you chosen to join Holey Brewed and become its Western Canada expansion? TH: I love how you are growing Holey Brewed and am thrilled to be able to join them as a Western Canada Community Expert. Having spent my entire life in Vancouver and Calgary I feel like I have a strong awareness of these cities and their coffee culture. I want to help share more about the great things that the west coast has to offer, and I feel like being a part of the Holey Brewed platform is a no-brainer to do this.
Mr. HB: What are you looking most forward to when working with Holey Brewed?
TH: You mean other than getting to hang out with you more? Haha, any opportunity to eat doughnuts and drink coffee is a good enough reason to work alongside the Mr. HB and the Holey Brewed team! Besides that, I really see this collaboration being a perfect match for both of our passions.
Mr. HB: Our audience is a mix of experienced and new coffee drinkers. What advice would you give a first time coffee drinker vs. what advice would you give a more experienced coffee drinker? TH: Drink what you like, but never be so set in your ways to not try something new. I think it’s as simple as that.
Mr. HB: Love it! It’s truly that simple!
Holey Brewed will be featuring thebloom.coffee blog posts on our website but we also encourage you to visit their website at https://thebloom.coffee/
Follow them on Instagram @thebloom.coffee to see more!
For general business inquires or to book thebloom.coffee for an event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. HB | Holey Brewed