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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

o-CNN: Cowboy News Network - The State of Coffee in Canmore, AB

Cappuccino Hunting in the Bow Valley

Many people's dream lifestyle is to have a little coffee shop in the mountains, somewhere beautiful. 

In Canmore, Alberta we are in the mountains where it is beautiful. We have a lot of coffee shops. People are living their dream, for sure. The coffee is here, but is it any good?

Ten years ago, you probably would have had to drive over the border (to B.C. or way further South) to get a decent Italian coffee. Today, our little mountain town boasts two established, popular and recognized coffee roasters: Rave Coffee and Mountain Blends, and many coffee serving establishments.  

If that isn't enough, Calgary has seen some amazing roasting and coffee evolution of its own, over the last two decades. The likes of Fratello, Phil and Sebastian, Priddis' Crickle Creek Coffee and others are all working to raise the bar in prairie coffee.

You probably know that we've travelled the world as wandering fake South African Cowboys. Because of our time in coffee mad New Zealand we've become accustomed to some pretty darn good coffee. We therefore decided to do a bit of a review of some of the better known coffee you can get in Canmore. The big question that we asked was: 
"What is the state and standard of coffee in Canmore?"
We don't think we've settled the question yet, and you should stay tuned for further instalments. Calgary Coffee establishments be warned, we are coming your way too.


A coffee connoisseur once noted that everybody in the coffee value chain can do their jobs perfectly.

The right plants can grow at just the right place. The plants can get just the right weather to produce the perfect berries. A willing farmer and his family can lovingly treasure, work and harvest their crop. They can pick it at the right time, ferment, dry and sort the beans by hand in the blazing hot summer sun. Then, they can send their beans thousands of miles to destinations they've never heard of, or will ever see.

The beans can then be roasted with computer precision and timing for the ultimate perfect aromas to be unleashed. With years of experience, expertise and a sophisticated palate, the roaster can then blend it for the perfect delivery of the very best shot. And then it takes something as simple as a 21 year old hipster barista to fek&^% it all up in 2 minutes. Many not knowing their cappuccino from their macchiato, when it comes to making a good cup of coffee. 

Let's just say: "Canmore, the majority of your Baristas need some help." There are a few outstanding one's around (with Kiwi or Ozzie accents). The rest need a hand. Here is an idea: We are offering to send them to Barista school. We volunteer to launch a training trust fund for Barista's in Canmore. Let us know in the comments below if you are keen to get involved.

The second observation relates to the other half of a good coffee: The milk. Starbucks succeeded in making aspiring "expert" coffee mixologists of everyone that can plonk down a loyalty card for their next "Venti Skinny Soy Caramel Macchiato with Double Whipped Cream and Two Extra Decaf Shots To Go".

However, a real coffee comes with silky caramelly, rich and creamy milk. Granted, this is something which is in general short supply in deconstructed and reconstituted, homogenized and pasteurized chalky white water Canada. 

We are pleading with our coffee shop owners to pay particular attention to the milk they use. Yes, we know customers have preferences, but that is probably because they simply don't know any better. If it was up to us, every coffee would be made with Half & Half or something even richer. This is why New Zealand (the land of the many dairy cows) is so committed to their coffee. It comes with great milk!

Enjoy the video.

We look forward to bringing you more instalments, so coffee shops beware ;-)

Hendrik van Wyk
Flat White Expert

P.S. Send us an email if you think your Barista needs help. We know the right people:

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