Roaster Spotlight

Quietly Coffee - Stirling, ON

Quietly Coffee: What’s the story?

After years at Toronto’s Cut Coffee, the ever reflective PhD, Lee Knuttila asked himself a very simple question: Am I doing enough?

That question led him to Quietly Coffee, a new roaster he founded just over one month ago.

“I felt at the end of my tenure at Cut that I wasn't in a position to make calls - the calls I needed to make to be able to answer that question the way I wanted to answer that question. And so the only thing you can do after that is just go off to the wilds of Ontario, buy a roaster, grow a beard, and just roast in the middle of nowhere and hope people can get into it,” shared, Knuttila, Director of Coffee and Founder at Quietly Coffee.

“At least when I'm out here I can answer that question, and be like ‘Nothing is ever going to be enough, but at least I can make progress on that front,’” added Knuttila.

The Coffee

“My mantra is: Every coffee is unique, each cup quietly tells the story.”

“I grew up in Saskatchewan with many farmers in my family, so it is a deeply engrained value to appreciate the labour and expertise connected to agriculture. We live in an era of unparalleled access to amazing coffee and that question of “Am I doing enough?” will remain the drive to always roast better, to do more for our green producers and to ensure every cup tells you an exceptional story of where it is from.”

The Story

“Trying to better communicate the value of coffee - I think it’s one of the weakest links right now. On one hand we're buying these really expensive, really beautiful coffees, but we're not really communicating that to customers or guests in cafes. Because the infrastructure of cafes is often built for minimalism.”

“I'm trying to go electronically and do newsletters, trying to provide a bunch of information. The website, which is coming soon, is going to have a huge amount of information on the coffee.”

The Sustainability

“Climate change is a huge danger to specialty coffee… I mean it’s a danger to everything, really. So every single action I take here, I'm trying to aim it at facilitating that - a world in which producers can grow amazing coffee. So environmentally, it means, ‘How can I shrink my impact?’”

Some of the initiatives at Quietly include a reusable pail program for his wholesale cafe partners (as opposed to 5-pound bulk bags that aren’t recyclable), packaging his coffee shipments in used cardboard boxes and using biodegradeable retail bags that are made from starch.