Coffee culture is centuries old. I sat in an African restaurant and watched beans being roasted in a pan over an open fire, as they did for hundreds of years. Smoke occluded my view and the whole place had that unique odour of freshly roasted coffee, mixed with burning coal. That technique doesn’t work so well on our continent, so we instituted commercial roasters. That was the norm for many decades, but… one of the first coffee shops in Calgary to incorporate in-house roasting was the aptly-named Roasterie. Started in the 1980’s and located in the increasingly trendy Kensington district, they have been scenting up the neighbourhood with fresh roasted beans ever since. And yes, some of their dark roasts require them to heat the beans until they burn, providing a whole new meaning to “burnt coffee.” Other local roasters have sprung up since them, but none have quite the same feel as the original. Plus they have a wicked collection of vintage hand grinders. If you want to sample some Calgary coffee history, check them out!