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Our Zero-Waste Café

October 03, 2018 0 Comments

Our Zero-Waste Café

We are so pleased to share that we are Muskoka's first and only 100% organic, zero-waste café, offering pour-over coffee, herbal teas, infusions and select gluten-free, organic treats. We created the Sustain Café to do more than sell a really great cup of coffee (although we do that too!). We tell the story of a slower pace, drinks prepared, enjoyed and properly savoured. We highlight the importance of reducing our collective impact and do that by both learning and teaching about zero-waste living and a circular economy built on reducing and reusing. We also support the health of our customers and the planet by providing only the best, organic fare. Here's what a zero-waste coffee shop looks like:
  • No takeout cups, not even a "compostable" one (contrary to their name, it turns out that compostable cups do not biodegrade very easily or quickly). This is a "Bring Your Own Take-Out Mug" establishment only! (We do have tables and mugs for sit-down service.)
  • Zero disposable utensils, stir-sticks, sugar packets, etc.
  • The process of making the coffee and tea produces only compostable waste.
  • Milk and cream that comes packaged in glass, which we return to the depot (depending on availability).
  • Coffee and tea in bulk to reduce packaging (we offer bulk coffee beans for sale as well!).
  • Ingredients and supplies for the café are purchased in bulk to eliminate or reduce packaging.
  • Any and all waste is kept to a minimum and either compostable (our preference) or fully recyclable.


our process

In nature, beauty and perfection develop slowly, and throughout nature there is a golden ratio present in all stages and forms, from the helixes of the human DNA strand to patterns visible in the petals of a flower or the arrangement of a honeycomb [this ratio presents itself again and again and is also known as phi, or 1.618].  It is no surprise that, as in nature, this same slow, deliberate process and the golden ratio of exceptional coffee beans and pure local spring water, made fresh and with great care, provides us with (in our opinion) a perfect cup of coffee.

The coffee is prepared using a plastic-free pour-over system, resulting in a rich and smooth cup of coffee that takes six minutes to brew (we promise, it's worth the wait!).

the coffee

We've done our research and are pleased to bring you Laughing Whale coffee—located in Nova Scotia, Laughing Whale minimizes their environmental impact as much as possible and tastes amazing. Here is an example of the efforts they go to in order to provide coffee with the lowest carbon footprint possible:

  1. Certified Organic and Fair Trade, supplied by small farmer cooperatives.

  2. Roasted in small batches, allowing each type of bean to be roasted in its own unique way to optimize flavour.

  3. Virtually smoke-free emissions from roasting thanks to a combination of an electric catalytic re-burner, hot-air recycling, computerized control system, and the added fuel economy of a drum roaster over more widely used air roasters—their system is the first of its kind in Canada.

    Learn more about their beans and sustainability, and their eco-roasting technology.


herbal teas

We also offer a selection of herbal teas (or, more accurately, tisanes), drawing on Celine's expertise with herbs. Our teas taste lovely and soothing, but also have gentle medicinal properties. To name a few, we offer:

  • System Reset Blend—a very pleasant and mild tea designed to support the major systems of the body as well as calm and soothe the mind.
  • Ginger Mint Tonic—a stress-reducing blend that supports the digestive system.
  • Nettle Infusions—a concentrated blend of nettle and spearmint. Nettle is a nutritive tonic that provides a boost of magnesium and calcium, a dose of anti-oxidants and phytonutrients, and a much appreciated boost of energy (coming soon).
  • Selected blends from the Algonquin Tea Company.