Kara & the Sparkplug Coffee story

I had the good fortune to spend my 20s roaming around the world and experiencing different places, coffees, cultures and foods. After a few years home again in coffee-obsessed Vancouver, BC, I moved to Toronto, Ontario. When I first arrived here, most coffee in Toronto left me lukewarm and I searched far and wide for a great cup of coffee. Now there are dozens of great coffee spots all over the city, but that original coffee search got me wondering - why is it that we don't drink amazing coffee every day? Especially at home where we control the ingredients and brewing? 

After much research and sampling, I learned that the secret is in the freshness of the beans and the consistency of the roast. When it comes to coffee, fresh tastes best. Most coffee we buy is at least a couple months old before it gets to our kitchens. This is true whether we buy from the grocery store or a specialty coffee shop. Unlike wine, coffee does not improve with age and should be used up when fresh, ideally within two months of the roast date. 

Consistency is another factor. I found it frustrating to discover a spectacularly delicious coffee and then either not have that exact coffee available again or, even worse, have it taste completely different the next time I bought it. 

It turns out that some roasters are craftspeople, using science to measure accurately when a bean is at the roast level aimed for. Other roasters are artists, literally eyeballing the roast level. Some of these coffee artists create truly amazing coffee but every batch is a bit different. The coffee crafters can also create wonderful coffees - and can recreate the same taste again and again. 

Kara  - Founder & Chief Coffee Officer, Sparkplug Coffee

Kara  - Founder & Chief Coffee Officer, Sparkplug Coffee

Once I knew the secret of great coffee, I wanted to share it. And so Sparkplug Coffee was started with the goal of bringing fresh roasted, reliably tasty coffee to other coffee lovers. I work with local roasters to select a roast level that best suits each bean. A scientific roast process ensures consistency in flavour so that each blend maintains its flavour profile. The beans are roasted to order. I blend them using my own Sparkplug Coffee recipes, package them and ship them out so that you receive your order while the coffee is still very fresh and at its peak flavour. 

When you make a cup or a pot of Sparkplug Coffee, you can count on it being pretty much the same as your last order. A great cup every time.

Where does the name come from?

The name Sparkplug Coffee evokes the delivery method - a vintage scooter or car zipping through traffic to bring coffee direct to your home. 

The sparkplug is an essential part of a vehicle’s engine to start it up and keep it moving just like coffee gets our day off to a good start. Although most of our coffee is delivered by mail, if the weather is good and you live in Toronto, I may bring your coffee over on my vintage Vespa scooter or my mom's early '70s Raleigh bicycle.

I hope Sparkplug Coffee brings joy to your day. Like the simple mechanics of an old engine, coffee does not need to be complicated or difficult: great beans, fresh roasted and ground for the brew method, good, clean water heated to the right temperature. Combine suitable amounts of beans and water (as a rule, 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per mug).

Enjoy!