As Canadians' Preference For Specialty Coffee Grows, Timothy's Introduces Its New Latteben´┐Ż ´┐Ż Quality And Taste With A Conscience

TORONTO , ONTARIO | Monday, November 15, 2004

When it comes to coffee, Canadians are looking for something special. According to the Coffee Association of Canada, visits to Canadian coffee retailers rose by over 20 per cent in the last year, with specialty coffee purchases, including espresso-based blends such as lattes, rising by approximately 12 per cent.

As increasing numbers of Canadians demonstrate a thirst for specialty coffee, Timothy's today unveils the new LatteBen ´┐Ż, the signature addition to its line of specialty beverages . Made with Rainforest Alliance Certified espresso beans and frothy milk for a deliciously smooth, creamy flavour, the LatteBen ´┐Ż adds an important new element to the specialty coffee industry by placing a focus on both quality and conscience.

Timothy's President Becky McKinnon, who holds the distinction of being one of Canada 's premier "coffee cuppers" (an authority on the quality of taste of coffee), is confident that the LatteBen´┐Ż will resonate with Canadian coffee lovers.

"Canadians love their coffee, enjoying as many as 15 billion cups per year. Increasingly these coffee drinkers are selecting specialty coffee," says Ms. McKinnon. "With our new signature LatteBen´┐Ż, that blends both quality and taste with a conscience, we see this as a great growth opportunity to satisfy our customers' diverse coffee palates. As a company that firmly believes in the link between product quality and corporate responsibility, we are pleased that the Rainforest Alliance certifies our premium espresso beans as sustainable." LatteBen´┐Ż ´┐Ż What's in a Name? "Ben´┐Ż" means "good, " and as its name implies, the LatteBen´┐Ż is about goodness in both name and spirit. The LatteBen´┐Ż is based on a pure espresso roast profile, meaning it draws its smooth flavour directly from its top-quality Rainforest Alliance Certified Brazilian espresso beans ´┐Ż no artificial flavours added.

When blended with milk (the "latte" component of the LatteBen´┐Ż) this delectable beverage has a rich, full-bodied flavour with a clean aftertaste. A Commitment to Quality Quality and freshness are the defining elements of Timothy's coffee and the LatteBen´┐Ż is no exception. Timothy's commitment to superb coffee starts with bean selection, with only the top one to five per cent of any harvest meeting Timothy's strict quality standards. Before being approved to use in Timothy's coffee, the beans are put through a rigorous testing process whereby numerous samples are reviewed to ensure a consistent taste and quality.

Every bean is then custom roasted at Timothy's head office in Toronto , Ontario . Finally, the beans are shipped fresh to one of Timothy's 138 stores across Canada and brewed or sold within 20 days of roasting to ensure maximum freshness.

What is The Rainforest Alliance ? The Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee is a guarantee to consumers that the beans they buy are grown and harvested responsibly according to rigorous social and environmental standards that conserve forests and wildlife and safeguard farmers and their families. Certifying coffee production in Latin America , the Rainforest Alliance is one of several organizations that aims to establish a set of international standards for best management practices in coffee production, ultimately striving to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them. "Timothy's is the first major Canadian company to stand behind the Rainforest Alliance, and we are proud to be associated with them," says Sabrina Vigilante, the organization's marketing manager. "When coffee lovers indulge in the LatteBen ´┐Ż, they can be assured that they have chosen a product that is not only of superior quality but also contributes to the long-term viability of the coffee industry." About Timothy's Coffee of the World: In business since 1975, Timothy's Coffees of the World Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Toronto and operates 138 specialty coffee stores throughout Canada , where the company is presently positioned as the third largest specialty coffee retailer. K nown for its high quality and freshness, Timothy's offers a wide variety of specialty coffees, beverages and light snacks at its retail outlets. In addition to its retail business, Timothy's also operates a wholesale and corporate sales division providing custom roasted coffees to a wide variety of corporations throughout North America . About the Rainforest Alliance : The Rainforest Alliance works to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Companies, cooperatives and landowners that participate in Rainforest Alliance programs meet rigorous standards that conserve biodiversity and provide sustainable livelihoods. As the first organization in the world to utilize market forces to conserve tropical forests, launching a sustainable forestry division in 1989 and a sustainable agriculture division in 1991, the Rainforest Alliance pioneered a worldwide certification movement. Over 34 million acres are now managed according to the highest standards through the Rainforest Alliance's SmartWood program. The Rainforest Alliance has recruited over 1,000 companies in this effort and improved the quality of life of some tens of thousands workers and their families. The Rainforest Alliance's sustainable agriculture certification program has certified almost 1,000 farming operations, including plantations and cooperatives, and has benefited over 95,000 farm families in the tropics. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org/coffee.

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