Black Coffee Roasting Co. – Missoula, Montana
I’m in Missoula, and when I’m done comprehending how this small town has exactly one incredibly skilled purveyor for every need — Le Petit Outre for a palmier, Kettle House Brewery for a scotch ale, Posh Chocolat for a cayenne truffle, Betty’s Divine for suitable clothing, and Break Espresso for a homemade Chai latte — I will publish the secret in a book. But on this visit I add Black Coffee Roasting Company to my list for an excellent pour over of a coffee they call the AM blend.
This near-paragon of coffee roasting recently set up a shop on Russel Street. Matt McQuilkin shows me around. He and Jim Chapman started roasting earlier in 2010. Their 12-Kilo Diedrich Roaster sits in the corner of a large warehouse-like room that shares a wall with the building material re-use center Home ReSource. The bar is graced with a small coffee plant and several 140lb bags of green beans line the wall. They purchase one palate of coffee at a time, and Matt tells me “most of our coffee is roaster to second crack, but not all.”
Wholesale currently accounts for 95% of business, which means their showcase cafe is also a practical workspace, with desks in the corner covered with paperwork and long tables where coffee is weighed and bagged. A pour over bar holds ceramic drip cones with paper filters, and a Chemex sits idly beside.
The AM blend, the Red Room blend, and the Snowdrift winter blend all line the shelves at Le Petit Outre, Pattee Creek Market, and Good Food Store. “Most coffee shops can be, well, a little pretentious. But people in Missoula just want coffee. They want a good blend and don’t necessarily care about getting espresso shots of single-origin coffee,” says Matt. But they do single-origin, too.
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