meet our director of coffee

lee knuttila

"I grew up in Saskatchewan with many farmers in my family, so it is a deeply ingrained value to appreciate agricultural labour and expertise. We live in an era of unparalleled access to amazing coffee and the question of 'am I doing enough?' will remain the drive to always roast better and to do more for our green producers. 

I have been in Specialty Coffee for nearly a decade, working as a barista at SJCB and then as Head Roaster & Green Buyer at Cut Coffee. There are few things better than a cup that tastes unmistakably unique with the individual qualities of terroir. And that is really what drives Quietly: I am following through on my dream to meticulously source and carefully roast the coffee that I want to drink all day, every day." Read Lee's blog here.

Education &

Research

"In my life before coffee, I completed a Masters and PhD at York University. Unsurprisingly, when I started working as a production roaster, my first question was: why? And variations on it: why does this work? Why do the beans taste this way? Why do we shift the heat, air and momentum? 

I went to the Library and Archives and scoured the Chemistry journal stacks. While I found a great wealth of well-researched publications, they all either failed to mention roast technique or were using dark roasts of unknown origin". Thus, Analyzing the chemistry of Modern Coffee was born. It is a NSERC funded project with the UofT that is attempting to move past lore to answer all those 'why' questions. "Research and science will always drive my roasting approach."  Read more here

The location of

Quietly Coffee

"After thirteen years in Toronto, I escaped to the countryside and happily roast in the picturesque Quinte-Northumberland. From the soft shores of PEC to the dense woods around Frankford to the turbulent waters of the Trent River, the natural wonder of the area provides constant inspiration."

The roaster is located in Stirling, which occupies Anishinabewaki and Huron-Wendat land. The town is part of Hastings, which is Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. As settlers on Treaty 57 land, we remain ever mindful of the ongoing impact of colonization and land rights here, as well as in the multitude of indigenous communities entangled globally in the agribusiness of coffee. Acknowledgment only starts a conversation and we are always looking to engage and do more.