Have you ever heard of the term hiding in plain sight? This is how I felt when I realized that Mountain Coffee was located a mere 5 minutes away from the town I grew up in. Now granted its been close to 10 years since I moved from Vancouver, but I cannot believe that this place was so close and yet I had never connected with them.
That all changed this past March when I was out in Vancouver for a week. I reached out to the team and we put a plan together. A huge thanks to Mengo McCall, Dustin Yu, and Adrian Griffin for setting the whole thing up. After a few emails back and forth we had a date, time and list of coffee’s ready to roll for a cupping.
Mountain Coffee is located in the Tilbury Industrial area of Delta, BC (a suburb of Vancouver.) Since February 2012, Mountain Coffee has been importing specialty green coffee and providing Canadian roasters a large selection of green coffee sourced from around the world. They import conventional, organic and fair trade organic certified coffees. Founded by Lionel Robitaille, who had previously spent over three decades working in various parts of the coffee industry, he built Mountain Coffee from scratch to what it is today. Lionel’s primary goal was always to help connect producers with roasters in a mutually beneficial way, which is still the main mission for the company with many relationships well established both in Canada and at origin.
In 2015, Lionel took on Mengo McCall as a business partner. In 2019 Lionel retired and Mengo McCall took on Adrian Griffin as his new business partner to continue to take the company to new levels of growth and success. Their Delta location is their main warehouse and cupping lab, with additional logistics warehouses located in Burnaby, BC and Mississauga, ON. Mountain Coffee play a significant role in importing green coffee.
If Mountain Coffee isn’t as familiar of a name to you, perhaps their latest venture is: Beanstock Festival. So far two major events have taken place, Vancouver 2017 & Toronto 2018. This multi-day festival of the whose-who in Canadian Coffee were both fully sold-out events. I wish I had had the chance to attend, as those who did had nothing but amazing things to say about it. These two festivals combined saw more than 5,000 attend and was a total hit in both cities.
I asked Mengo to share a bit more with me about Beanstock. “Beanstock was born out of a simple idea. Support the growth of the specialty coffee community by bringing together the most passionate industry professionals and showcase the craft we all love. Beanstock is an independent, not-for-profit festival with the sole purpose of bringing together and supporting the growth of Specialty Coffee.”
So rumour has it there will be future Beanstock events in the future, and I am told that we can expect some major announcements this coming summer! Fingers crossed that one is coming to Calgary (of course I am biased!)
Ok, now back to the cupping…
The coffee was laid out in their tasting lab located next to their bean warehouse. Thanks again to Dustin for letting me select a few of their current beans and roasting them up for this cupping. A few of the coffee’s we cupped were:
– Ethiopia Guji Kellenso Natural G1 ORG
– Guatemala San Jose Estate Geisha M/L
– Kenya Kiambu Imara AB
Sadly, Dustin was unable to be at the cupping as he ended up on a sourcing trip, but I had the privilege of having Mengo McCall and Adrian Griffin lead our group through the entire cupping process. There were a few other individuals who joined in our cupping. This is always the best part of coffee cuppings is doing it in community alongside others.
Following the cupping we had the opportunity to tour their back warehouse to see where all their beans are kept and to hear a bit more of their story and some of their dreams for the future. I love the openness of the coffee community and how incredibly welcoming they are to open their doors for an experience like this.
If you ever find yourself out in Delta, or you’re looking to connect with a green coffee buyer may I suggest you give Mountain Coffee a call. A huge thanks again to the entire Mountain Coffee team for welcoming me to their warehouse and cupping lab and for sharing more about this great business.