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About

About JJ Bean Coffee Roasters

Our Story

We believe people have intrinsic value and seek to honour our coffee producers, our staff, and our customers by only serving the freshest, best tasting coffee possible. To this end, we source the highest quality green coffee and roast it in small batches daily, guided by one principle: the best taste wins.

The Neate family has been roasting coffee in Vancouver for four generations. In 1996, John Neate Jr. (JJ) established JJ Bean Coffee Roasters to honour people through great coffee, food, spaces, and service.

Over + Above

Over + Above Logo
JJ Bean’s Over + Above program exists because the farmers who produce the coffee we enjoy so much also happen to live in some of the poorest areas of the world. While we are committed to always paying excellent prices for excellent coffee, we do more to make a positive difference in coffee growing countries over and above our basic responsibility as coffee roasters.

All administration costs for Over + Above initiatives are covered by JJ Bean.

Click here for information about JJ Bean’s coffee sourcing practices.

El Chaupe Welcoming John and Neto

Providing access to clean water in Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia with Run For Water.

JJ Bean & Run For Water's first well in Ethiopia

In 2018 we launched an incredible partnership with Run For Water: For every bottle of still water sold, $1 will go towards building wells and providing access to clean water in Sidama, Ethiopia, one of the most renowned coffee growing regions in the world. Since then, we have raised nearly $40,000. Providing access to clean water is one of the single most transformative investments that can be made, and particularly improves health, education, and opportunities for females. We partnered with a water charity because 99% of brewed coffee is water. For more information and updates on JJ Bean’s Water = Life campaign, visit runforwater.ca/jjbean. We also encourage all our customers to enjoy the cool, filtered tap water we provide at all our locations.

In 2017, we partnered with Imagine1Day for a very special project: learn more about our JJ Bean x imagine1day kindergarten build.

Read our 2015 Donation Report. Read our 2014 Donation Report. Read our 2013 Donation Report. Check out our 2015 Habitat for Humanity trip to Guatemala. Check out our 2013 Habitat for Humanity trip to El Salvador.

Community Initiatives

Looking to raise funds for a good cause? Fill out our contact form to learn about JJ Bean fundraisers.

We also donate coffee and/or barista volunteers to various events within our community. Here are some of the organizations/events we have supported (in alphabetical order):

55+ BC Games, Canadian Harambee Education Society Golf Tournament, First United Church, Gastown Yule Duel, Mission Possible, Quest Food Exchange, Reel 2 Real International Film Festival, SeaWheeze Marathon, SFU Vancouver Frosh Week, Union Gospel Mission, Vancouver Heritage Foundation, Vancouver Tweed Ride, Woodward’s Annual Pancake Breakfast, Worship Central Conference

JJ Bean annually supports DOXA Documentary Film Festival and PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. Both festival official programmes can be picked up at any JJ Bean location during circulation time.

Environmental Responsibility

We are committed to being an environmentally friendly coffee roaster.

In 2009 we completely redesigned our Vancouver roasting facility for optimum emissions control. To eliminate smoke, our roaster has its own individual emissions control unit, which converts the smoke into thermal energy. We also also use a computerized control system which we developed in partnership with an emissions control manufacturer. This system controls our afterburner so the level of activity matches the quantity of smoke produced by the roaster. This means our emissions control system uses no more energy than it requires for its task. Since these changes, we have reduced our thermal energy output by roughly 30%.

In 2017 we introduced new Biotre coffee bags that are biodegradable and recyclable. Biotrē Film is made from 60% (by weight) renewable wood pulp. The wood pulp portion is biodegradable. Third party testing confirmed that nearly all of the wood pulp portion will disintegrate into healthy compost over 84 days in a backyard, home composting environment. The remaining 40% (by weight) of the bag is Polyethylene (PE) with an additive that is designed to make it disintegrate significantly faster than standard plastic. Biotre is best disposed by placing it in a privately managed compost pile where the PE layer and one-way degassing valve and tin-tie can be removed manually and disposed. When a portion or all of Biotre is properly disposed with regular trash, its impact on the environment will be much less compared to a standard plastic/foil material.

Your Partner In Choosing Green

JJ Bean is proud to operate in a city committed to leading Canada’s environmental initiatives. The City of Vancouver aspires to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. In the past we have taken steps to reduce our carbon footprint, but we will take bold action to avoid, reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Starting in October 2018, we initiated new programs and further improvements to help reduce our environmental impact:

  • If you choose to enjoy your drink for here, in one of our ceramic cups, we will give you a $0.25 discount.
  • If you choose to bring your own cup for a drink, we will give you a $.50 discount.
  • For customers using take-away cups, there will be no discount. Double cup requests will receive an additional $0.20 charge.
  • To encourage you to make environmentally friendly decisions, we matched the first $50,000 in travel mugs sold in October with a JJ Bean gift card equal to the purchase price of your new travel mug. For example, if you bought a $20 travel mug, you received a $20 gift card.

Some of our other green initiatives include:

  • In 2009 we completely redesigned our Vancouver roasting facility for optimum emissions control, reducing thermal output by 30%.
  • In 2017, we switched our 340g (12oz) coffee bags to Biotre packaging, which is 60% compostable and 40% biodegradable. We sell reusable Airscape coffee containers. If you choose to reuse your bag or fill your container, we give you a $0.50 discount on whole bean purchases.
  • In 2019 we switched our JJ Leaf tea bags from food-grade nylon to corn based bio-bags.
  • Our 2 lb coffee bags also switched to Biotre packaging. (There is no 5 lb option available, but when there is we will make the switch).
  • Our cold cups are 100% compostable made with plant based resins. The lids are recyclable. 
  • Our disposable cutlery is made from wood.
  • Our till receipts are now Ecochit.
  • Our water bottles are glass instead of plastic.
  • Our muffin bags to non-bleached and compostable material.

We continue to make changes as better options become available to us. We are excited to see the impact that we can have together, partnering for a more sustainable future.