Vancouver based Milano Coffee continues to gain recognition and attention on the world stage for its tireless approach at coffee innovation. Brian and Linda Turko took over Milano Coffee with family support just thirteen years ago. The six-coffee shop institution boasts a local roastery, cult-status espresso blends, and a promise to take the three-generation legacy to the next level.
Milano Goes for Gold
Roast Master, Brian Turko’s commitment to discovery, excellence and flat-out “mad professor” approach to coffee invention has once again forged a golden path. In 2017 Milano Coffee was awarded three more gold medals, bringing the total count to ten in the past five years.
This year’s winners are:
Sauve Rico – a super smooth, rich and refreshing with complex acidity and notes of raspberry and cocoa.
New Italian – a fresh classic that is bold, creamy and sweet with notes of caramel fudge.
Frank’s – in honor of Milano’s founder, a cafe favourite that packs a punch with a lot of texture and flavours of hazelnut and chocolate.
Every November, the Turkos enter a completely new lineup of freshly created Milano espresso blends. The process starts when the previous competition is finished. Inspired by excellence and innovation, Brian Turko pushes himself to develop creative new blends. Increasing the separation from the current coffee shop tide of serving up single bean coffee, Milano develops their blends with a range of seven to 13 premium quality single origin beans and the goal of creating delicious and unique new flavour profiles.
Milano submissions are judged at the International Institute of Coffee Tasters Annual Competition. These awards are recognized as a global benchmark for coffee excellence. This year’s competition saw over 200 entries, from 30 countries – each judged by blind tasting with a panel of 30 international judges. The judges are renowned expert tasters with exceptional palates similar to those of a wine sommelier.
And while Milano Coffee takes home the gold, the real winners are the lucky Vancouverites who have close access to some of the world’s best coffee blends. Blending beans at this level takes significant skill and resources.
Direct Trade Coffee Travel
After a chance meeting with a Brazilian coffee farmer in Vancouver, an important relationship between the Milano team and the farmers of Santa Rita, Brazil was born. Brian then travelled to Brazil to visit several coffee farms leading to a direct transaction of fair prices for premium Brazilian beans. This past November, Linda Turko and her brother (and Milano partner) Barry Henry returned for a second trip to get further acquainted with the farmers and their practices. “Visiting this part of the world was an amazing experience,”‘says Linda. “It is a wonderful opportunity to buy a very high quality product integral to our business while also supporting farmers to earn a fair living wage. Witnessing how this exchange impacts a community is humbling and life changing.”
Brazil is just one of the many countries that Milano does trade with. Milano’s espresso blends are made up of seven to thirteen beans – meaning seven to thirteen different countries can be represented in one cup of coffee. Milano is committed to visiting the coffee regions where their coffee beans are sourced, the team has also travelled to India and Mexico with several other countries in the works. Milano is proud to use coffee beans from coffee regions in Africa, Columbia, Mexico, Hawaii, and more.
Milano Coffee in Midst of Launching Two New Coffee Series:
The Vintage Series and the Black Series
The Vintage Series will offer an ultra-premium version of six of Milano’s favourite Gold Medal winners – the best of the best.
The Black Series is all about elevating dark roast coffees and the perceptions around them. Using top quality beans and expert roasting techniques, Milano Coffee will have coffee drinkers singing the praises of dark roast blends with the creamiest, smoothest, and most flavourful conventional coffees available.
These new series are being fine soon and will roll out soon. Stay tuned for updates.
About Milano Coffee:
The legacy of Vancouver based Milano Coffee’s artisan tradition dates back three generations of Italian coffee heritage blended with 30 years of West Coast culture. Brian and Linda Turko, partners in business and life, have been at the helm since 2003 and have since opened five Milano Coffee Bars, as well as the original Turks Coffee Bar on Commercial Drive. Here they began the trend of offering more than one espresso bean blend, and now offer up to eight different espressos at any given time. Milano is dedicated to sourcing, hand roasting – all done by owners Brian Turko and Barry Henry – and blending each of their espressos. Milano Coffee has locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Comox. Milano Coffee blends can also be purchased online.