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The Story of the Fresca Medici at JJ Bean Coffee

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The Fresca Medici

It’s our summer bliss.  Two feisty shots of espresso, a hint of honey and a kick of cocoa powder; it’s a concoction unique to Vancouver’s own, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters.

JJ Bean - Fresca Medici 2 - Vancouver Foodie Tours

For coffee lovers like us, the Fresca Medici is a stroke of ingenuity. It’s cold and refreshing, just a little bit sweet, and most importantly, still highlights the unique flavour of the espresso.

You can imagine our surprise when we sat down with the leadership team at JJ Bean and learned:

a) The Fresca Medici was invented a man who didn’t even like coffee, and;

b) That man is Jesse Neate, son of Mr. JJ Bean himself.


The Story

Jesse Neate had been in and around his father’s coffee business, basically, since the beginning. When he formally joined the company, he wasn’t an avid coffee drinker. In fact, his drink of choice was a “strawberry caramel mix” – without coffee.

The inspiration for the Fresca Medici came from Jesse’s annoyance with Tim Hortons’ Iced Cappuccino. How could something that’s blended, frozen, and without a distinct coffee flavour be called a ‘cappuccino’?

Related: Inside the Mind of Mr. JJ Bean

And so, Jesse sought out to create an iced blended drink that could maintain the integrity of the coffee. Thinking health conscious, he chose honey for a hint of sweetness and cocoa powder for a special finish.

Today, Jesse loves coffee.


Recipe: The Fresca Medici

  • A Toonie size of Honey
  • 2 Shots of Espresso
  • A Splash of Milk
  • 2-3 Cubes of Ice

Pour honey into cup. Pull espresso shots and add to honey cup. Add milk. Stir together until well mixed. Transfer to blender with 2 cubes of ice and blend on high speed, until ice is fully crushed and blended. Pour into drinking glass and top with a sprinkle of cocoa powder. Enjoy!


In partnership with Edible Canada, 2017 marks our 12 Year Anniversary of the Granville Island Market Tour.

This article is part of a 12-week series that honours the stories of #CanadasMarket.

Learn more about the Granville Island Market Tour here.

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