Coffee Roaster of the Month – Amends Coffee Co.

Believe it or not, I used to live in Saskatchewan. About an hour away from Regina–the home of Amends Coffee Co. Sadly, back in those days (we’re talking early 2000’s) there was NO specialty coffee culture, at least not that I knew of. Thankfully, as the old adage goes, the only constant is change. And things have changed A LOT in the capital city of Saskatchewan…especially when it comes to coffee. Sure there are still many who prefer the iconic double-double, but thanks to great visionaries like Morgan Allen, there is much to celebrate these days.

Fast forward to this past June when I was emceeing the Q2 Qualifier for the Canadian Barista Championship at Eight Ounce Coffee here in Calgary. It was there that I met Morgan for the first time. I had the opportunity to get to see him compete, and more importantly hear the story of Amends Coffee, and why he is so passionate about the specialty coffee culture in his home-city.

We kept in touch, and I knew I wanted to feature his work here on my blog at some point. Well good news, that time has come. I am thrilled to share the story of Amends Coffee Co. as our November 2022 Coffee Roaster of the Month.

Hey Morgan, so great to get the chance to connect with you! So, tell us all a little more about yourself. What’s your story?

Hey Tyler, definitely great to connect with you. I’m really excited to share Amends Coffee and our story with you. Well, I started in coffee in 2004, although that may not have necessarily been specialty. Either way, I’ve been at this thing for a few years now. I’ve competed in the Canadian Barista Competitions in ’06, ’11, ’13 and this year in 2022. I won the Western Canadian Regional Championship in 2011 and 2013 and have been a National finalist 3 times. I was also part of a team that helped 2010 Canadian Champ Rob Kettner prepare for the World Barista Championship.

I worked as the Director of Coffee Education at Fernwood Coffee Company in Victoria, where I won my first regional championship. Shortly after that I moved to Vancouver where I won my second regional working for Cafe Artigiano. I moved back to Regina in 2014 and managed a local cafe at the time called Atlantis Coffee. I took a bit of a break from coffee starting in 2015 but never stopped dreaming of having my own roasting company. I found my way back into coffee last year in 2021 when I started at The Everyday Kitchen and was finally able to found my own company, Amends early this year in 2022.

How did you get started in coffee?

My career in coffee all started one morning way back in 2004 with a phone call from a good friend. I was looking for work and someone didn’t show up for their shift that morning. Basically if I wanted the job I needed to get down there as soon as I could. I got ready as quickly as I could and got down there. The job was at a local cafe and roasting company called Roca Jack’s. They were the only roasting that was around Regina at the time that I know of, and really paved the way for companies like Amends and Regina specialty coffee, although they were more what people would call second-wave.

I had no idea this style of coffee existed and really didn’t even know what espresso was at the time. I quickly fell in love with espresso service and coffee roasting and did everything I could to learn more. I bought my own home machine, a Gaggia Classic, and home roaster, the Freshroast, because there was nowhere in Regina to learn at the time so it really came down to scouring the internet for what little info there was at the time and my own trial and error. I eventually taught myself latte art, which felt like a huge milestone, and how to turn green coffee brown.

How did you come up with the name Amends?

The name was derived from my own personal journey and my passion to help improve the lives of the people growing and producing the coffees we love. I visited El Salvador in 2011 and quickly realized how important it was for people in producing countries to be paid enough for their agricultural product to earn a living and support their families. Amends isn’t just a name for us, it’s an action. We want to do what we can to “make amends” with coffee producers and and the communities they live in to bridge the gap economically between us. If we make money and feed our families on this product, they need to as well. That’s a bottom line for us. We’re still learning so much about what that looks like, but we know that if we keep that as our mission we will be doing our part.

I think for many people when they think about Regina and its coffee culture, they’re simply unaware of what’s going on in Saskatchewan’s capital city. So can you speak to the specialty coffee culture. What’s going on that is exciting/noteworthy etc. What do you love?

It’s so true, we have a lot of cool things happening in our city and I think a lot of people around the country and world, and even in Regina, have no idea. There’s definitely still a lot of “double-double” culture here in Regina but we have this great blossoming specialty culture too. The number of incredible specialty roasters represented in the city is really exciting. And it’s not just Canadian roasters, we’re starting to see roasters from around the world.

It was incredible getting to meet you in person this past spring in Calgary at the Q2 Qualifier for the Canadian Barista Championship. Can you share more about why you’ve chosen to compete in coffee? How do competitions benefit the specialty coffee community? How do they benefit the competitor?

It was great getting to meet you there as well. That’s one of the things I love most about competitions, is all the great people I get to meet. When I first competed in 2006 at the National Barista Championship, my only goals were to learn more and not finish last, and I accomplished both. To this day a big component for me is learning. Whether it’s trying to innovate new ways of doing things or taking a subject and diving into it. I think that’s the biggest way competitions benefit both the community and the competitor. We wouldn’t be where we are today in specialty coffee and know what we know without them. I also love being on the stage and interacting with the judges. I love serving guests at the cafe and to me, it’s the ultimate service experience. I get to take these few people on a journey with me and really bring them into something I think is special.

This June, The Everyday Kitchen played host to the Canadian National Brewers Cup Finals. What is your role with TEK, and how has it helped to grow the specialty coffee culture in Regina?

I manage coffee quality and sourcing at The Everyday Kitchen. It’s an incredible role. I get an amazing opportunity to work with and develop relationships with some of the most incredible roasters in Canada and across the world. We’re constantly reaching out to new companies and bringing in more and more incredible coffees. I don’t think specialty coffee would be where it is in Regina without the ownership choosing to bring this experience to their guests. The fact that they committed to hosting the Canadian National Brewers Cup speaks volumes to their commitment to not only Regina’s specialty coffee scene but Canada’s as well.

So Regina is where you’ve set up shop for Amends coffee. Can you share more about why you began roasting coffee and what’s your philosophy when it comes to coffee roasting.

I began roasting coffee at home around 2005 or so because I was obsessed with learning as much as I could about coffee. I bought a Freshroast, rigged a thermocouple into it and began taking notes. Things have changed a lot since then. Now, I’m roasting on Diedrich DR-3 and an Aillio Bullet. They complement each other really well and are capable of roasting really incredible coffee in my opinion. We definitely focus on roasting light and trying to find an expression of the coffees we purchase that will best represent the work done at origin. Producers have a lot of intention in the varietals they choose to grow and the ways they choose to process them and we want to do our best to highlight that work. We also try to source a coffee for everyone. Some people want chocolatey, nutty coffee and some people want big fruit bombs. We try to have a little of everything and share a story about the coffee that will help people connect to what makes it so special.

I noticed on your website a mantra that you seem to gravitate around: Coffee should be Honest, Willing, and Fearless. Can you share more about what that means to you? And how that informs what you do as Amends?

This is a big one for us. Being genuine is of the utmost importance. That’s really what it’s all about. There seems to be a growing movement for this on the consumer level and we love being a part of that.  We never want to feel like we’ve misled anyone or misrepresented the coffees we’re selling. The coffees we’re bringing in have such wonderful stories, we really want to let them speak for themselves and be the star of the show. 

So speaking of coffee, what are you drinking/enjoying right now?

Well, I’m truly blessed with all the wonderful coffees I get to drink. There is an anaerobic natural Mokka auction lot produced by Cafe Granja La Esperanza and roasted by Bredda in Australia that I can’t get enough of. We’re featuring Bredda right now at The Everyday Kitchen and everything we’ve brought in from them has been really unique and delicious. They’re doing really great work.

Looking beyond COVID what do you see as some of the emerging trends or new initiatives that will shape the future of specialty coffee?

I think collaborations will be huge now that we can come together again in person and travel to see each other. I’m also seeing a huge shift in our focus on the experiences of our guests. A lot of people learned to make great coffee while they were stuck at home and at the cafe level we need to find new ways to separate ourselves. I also believe that continuing to care for one another will be very important and will help play a big role in the way consumers choose to buy coffee. There are also a lot of really cool new tools for coffee brewing being released over the next year which will help us discover great new ways to make the beverage we love.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

I would mostly like to thank them for joining along in this journey with us. Coffee is a very special culinary product in my mind. It is the most complex single product on the planet and we’re all still discovering so much about what it’s capable of. It’s so exciting to be a part of growing this niche part of the industry and watching the trickle down effect. The big names are doing things now because of what is happening in specialty coffee and that’s something we should all be very proud of.


Contact Info:

instagram: @amendscoffeeco

Find their beans: If you’re looking to get your hands on some beans then definitely check out their web-store for what they’re currently roasting.

If you happen to find yourself travelling to Saskatchewan’s capital city of Regina make sure to stop by The Everyday Kitchen!

I just want to say a huge thank you to Morgan at Amends Coffee Co. for being such a huge contributor to the coffee culture in Regina, SK. Check out his site, grab yourself some beans and enjoy!

Stay Caffeinated,


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