A few weeks ago I was introduced to Prairie Lily Coffee Roasters out of Lloydminster, SK. One of the things that I love most about this blog is that it has given me the chance to connect with some amazing people who are roasting amazing coffee in the more rural parts of the prairies. I continue to be blown away at how many great roasters are popping up in small towns (but that’s likely a post for another day).
I had the chance to chat with Terry Masikewich recently and wanted to share a bit more about him and Prairie Lily.
Q: Introduce yourself a bit to everyone who might not know you or you company. I’m Terry Masikewich and I was born and raised in Edmonton, AB. I studied at the University of Calgary from 1988- 2012 then lived there for 24 years. A couple of interesting facts about me is that during my time in Calgary I worked at the Olympic Oval as an ice technician. I went to the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics as a team therapist, and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as an assistant head ice-tech.
Q: How did you get into specialty coffee? I got into coffee on a trip to Budapest in 2000 where a friend said “let’s go for a coffee” and I said “I don’t even like coffee!” He said “no this is a beautiful coffee shop”… the rest they say is history. I then fell in love with it, came home, bought an espresso machine and started learning all I could.
Q: So why Lloydminster? In 2012 we moved to Lloydminster SK to raise our children on the family farm. So seeing how there was 5 Tim Hortons, 3 McDonald’s ,and no one pulling good shots I decided to jump into the roasting side of things and bought a Diedrich IR2.5 to roast my own. After people started liking my beans I decided to start a small business selling the beans at a local farmers market.
Q: So where does the name Prairie Lily come from? I wanted something that signified Saskatchewan, and that was recognizable about living on the prairies. And the lily is the official flower of Saskatchewan so I thought it would work well.
Q: What is it about the specialty coffee industry that you love? What I love about the coffee community is that it is so dynamic. There is so much to coffee, it is always growing. I think it brings people together, whether it’s just for a cup of coffee or a world competition, it’s gets people talking.
What’s inspiring me at the moment is the taste of coffee, notes of – floral, fruity, spicy, all these flavours in a coffee bean, it’s crazy!! Also the realization that the coffee bean has yet to be fully discovered. What I mean is, coffee used to be, and in some sense still is, all lumped together, but now they are discovering individual trees or sections of farms that are producing unbelievable coffees. And that they continue to improve on processing methods to bring out amazing characteristics out of those beans. Just when you think you’ve learned about it suddenly it changes……
Q: You recently submitted some of your beans in the Golden Bean Coffee Roasters Competition. Tell us more about that.
I entered the Golden Bean North America roasting competition back in September. It is open to all roasters to have their coffee’s judged by their peers as well as head judges to verify their results. I think the competition is very fair and open.
I entered the competition not so much to win a medal but to get an idea where my roasting was, and get me some feedback on the coffees so I could improve on the flavour and help me teach my palate what others were thinking within the industry. So it was a learning opportunity to make my coffee’s better.
I entered 5 different beans in 5 different categories, again this was to get an idea where they were and how I could make them better.
Q: How did you do?
Espresso category: Fruit Train Espresso- a very fruit-forward espresso with notes of grapes, wine, berries and red stone fruit. It received a bronze medal.
Milk based category: Northern Delight espresso- notes of honey, milk chocolate and caramel. It received a silver medal.
Pour over filter category: Janson panama Natural geisha – Floral, Berries, Caramel, Cane Sugar. This got a Silver Medal.
Janson panama washed geisha – Citrus, Orange, Lemon, Black Tea, Brown Sugar. This got a bronze medal
Nicaragua Natural Pacamara- peaches, caramel, orange, body, sweet, raspberry candy. This one also got a Bronze medal.
Q: Any final words to our readers? All of our coffee is sourced through Carlos at Single Origin (based out of Calgary). We have not seen the best of coffee yet, and I think better things are still out there in the wonderful world of coffee!
Terry was kind enough to send me three of his coffee’s to sample, and I have been very pleased with each of them. He sent me the Panama Geisha, Nicaragua Pacamara, and the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Each of these three coffee’s are natural processed. I had the chance to do a cupping today of each of these and brewed some up using my Aeropress and Kalita Wave 155 and have enjoyed each. I will say my favourite is the Panamanian Geisha, followed by the Ethiopian, and then the Nicaraguan. I found myself tasting many of the similar notes that Terry wrote for each in the interview.
So if you find yourself up in Lloydminster, or perhaps you’ve got friends or family in the area I would highly recommend connecting up with Terry and trying some of his coffee. He also has a well stocked web-store with number of other options to choose from.
A huge thanks again to Terry for the coffee and the interview!