Coffee Review: Phil & Sebastian Antigua Small Farms

If you’ve traveled around the coffee shop scene in Montreal, you’ll have most likely seen these coffee bags around, or even had a latte or two that was made with these beans.

The Phil & Sebastian roaster bags catch your eye quite easily, with their big bold white writing and funky colour blocked patterns.

They are known to have some of the freshest coffee; from what I’ve heard when talking to several baristas is that they deliver small batches of the freshest roast, in order to only provide us with the freshest of the fresh. You’re essentially guaranteed that you’ll be buying a coffee that was roasted within 48h to 72 hours.

They have a variety of different origin blends, so we picked up their Antigua & Guatemala blend to give it a try. On the bag, you’ll notice a scale that goes from a approachable to exotic roast, and this one falls closer to the exotic roast, meaning that you’re leaving the safety of the toasty chocolatey espresso taste you know.


Available blends: variety of single origin and blends, frequent rotations, so make sure to check out their website or visit a local coffee shop that sells their bags (I got mine at My Little Cup at the McGill metro station).

Ground options: whole bean, you can ask your barista to grind them for you as well.

Purchase options: 3/4lbs (12oz, which is standard) or 2lbs bags online, and 12oz bags in stores.

As for the Antigua Small Farms Espresso, it originates from Guatemala, more specifically grown on the slopes of the Volcan de Agua which creates perfect growing conditions. It is sold green and shipped to Calgary, Canada, where the coffee is then roasted to perfection.

They state that there are notes of orange, black cherry and caramel to this particular blend.

Our rating of the Antigua Small Farms Espresso by Phil & Sebastian Roasters

The beans are a medium-light roast and have a delicious flowery smell to them once you open the bag. Since this roast ranges on the more exotic end of the roast range, we were a tad apprehensive to drink it, seeing our last experience with exotic coffees (see the Fernwood Roaster review).

Preparation: A standard espresso grind is perfect for these beans, if you have a Breville Barista Express Espresso machine, you’ll want to leave the grind size at 5, but you can always move it up to a 6 or a 7.

  • 20g of ground coffee beans
  • apply 30/40 lbs of pressure when tamping
  • extraction time: 20-25 seconds
  • 2% lactose-free milk, foamed

End result: on its own, you can definitely taste the more fruity notes of this coffee, as well as some pretty distinct bitterness, which does cut through milk as well. However, unlike the Fernwood roast we reviewed last week, this coffee was much more palatable. It still doesn’t fit into our preferred roast profile, but we can’t say it was bad! I would however recommend drinking this blend in a latte, seeing as the bitterness is reduced due to the milk.

This is definitely on the list for those who enjoy exotic and complex coffee profiles! So if you’re looking for a gift, its the way to go!


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