High-altitude coffee roasters who are scaling new heights
John Lynn of Park City-based Hugo Coffee Roasters remembers the days when there was little competition in the local artisan coffee industry. Individuals and commercial consumers had a handful of roasters to choose from, which meant that coffee roasters struggled to source not only quality coffees, but coffees meeting ethical standards such as sustainable growing and processing techniques as well as fair-trade practices. Since then, demand for high-quality coffee has skyrocketed.
Perhaps because more people are traveling, tasting coffees from unique regions and frequently patronizing artesan coffee shops, Lynn theorizes that people have come to expect high-quality coffee to be served at most coffee shops.
In addition, many cafés have enhanced the coffee experience using extracting, roasting and preparation methods that garner more customers. Lynn, as well as a handful of other Utah roasters, make up a welcome wave of artisan roasters enhancing the local coffee scene.
The following four bean brewers have sprung up in the past decade—each are unique, providing high-quality tastes on both sides of the Wasatch mountains. And while they are all different, a few collective ties are worthy to call out: an insatiable innovative spirit, a passionate desire to connect with our community and, of course, an undying love of the roasted bean and the fullest, most flavorful expression of it.
The Bean Whole: ‘Coffee This Way’
“It became my Saturday morning ritual,” Bean Whole customer Marv says while sitting up at the front table, sipping on his usual glass of nitro-infused cold brew. Marv explains that his loyalty began one Saturday morning after he came upon The Bean Whole by accident after getting a haircut at Jed’s Barber Shop in Sugar House. He noticed a “Coffee This Way” sign pointing him toward the coffee shop. Marv admits that after years of coming in for coffee, “now, they can’t get rid of me.” Marv turns toward Jed Matthew—owner, solo roaster and barista of The Bean Whole—standing behind the front counter (he’s also not the Jed of Jed’s Barber Shop). Matthew’s construction skills were responsible for the counter and the custom-built furnishings, made mostly of recycled materials.
Celebrating its eighth year in the roasting and cold-brew business, Matthew is known for getting up close and personal with his coffee roasts, pouring out beans in small cups and testing and tasting them at various timed increments. He rates many variables to determine quality, such as the region the beans are sourced from, size of the bean and high-altitude roasting considerations. Matthew’s fresh brewed nitro cold brew is on tap and can be sampled at his store in a shot glass, sake style, or else served by the glass. It’s a good, strong cold brew that tastes surprisingly smooth and creamy—no creamer or sugar needed. The introduction of food-grade nitrogen lends to its natural sweetness and subtle fruity notes. Matthew’s custom cold brew concentrate is sold in 16-ounce glass bottles. To purchase, you need to wait until Saturday mornings between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., because that’s the only time The Bean Whole is open to the public. You can also find his beans at Hello! Bulk Markets and Harbor Seafood & Steak Co.
Beyond the intricacies of his brew, the highlight of The Bean Whole experience is getting there early enough to ask questions and learn more about sourcing and micro-roasting from Matthew, his Diedrich coffee roaster and the friendly local exchange with characters like Marv, while savoring a glassful of cold brew.
The Bean Whole
2153 E. 2100 South, SLC
Pink Elephant Coffee: Quirk and Comfort
A “pink elephant” is what people sometimes see when they’ve had too much to drink. If you blink, though, you might miss seeing Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters and Land Juicery, the upper-level boutique café along Park City’s Main Street inside Prospect apparel store and up the stairs above Billy’s Barbershop.
Launching their PC roasting business in 2014, Kelley and Mitch Baker each handle specific and integral key roles: Kelley sources beans and tends the shop as the lead barista while Mitch focuses on roasting operations.
The cafe space itself is cozy, with bright, sunny windows facing east and a menu that includes a variety of fresh, single-origin options, many organic and from Fair Trade sources. If you’re in need of detox or wandering along Main Street seeing unusual things, Kelley recommends their Charcoal Latte. Patrons can watch Kelley carefully measure, press and pull the espresso shot, enhanced with a small amount of activated charcoal, and top it skillfully with their steamed milk of choice. Pink Elephant’s Golden Milk Latte is another way to fight off the freezing cold temps of January, featuring turmeric, coconut oil, coconut milk, honey, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and a dash of black pepper, with or without espresso. It’s a tasty way to warm up from the inside. From its fridge, Land Juicery offers refreshing organic cold-pressed juices made on-site. Or indulge in the shop’s scrumptious baked goods such as big soft cookies, Rice Krispy squares, and gooey dark brownies.
If a trip to Park City is not in the offing, look for their roasts at Whole Foods, Harmons Grocery, The Market at Park City, Ritual Chocolate, The Store, Copper Moose Farm and Promontory Club.
Pink Elephant Coffee Shop/Land Juicery
509 Main, Upper Level, Park City
Pink Elephant Coffee at The Market
The Market at Park City, 1500 Snow Creek Drive, Park City
Hugo Coffee Roasters: Hot Diggity Dog
In October 2015, former Wall Street attorney-turned-Park City animal advocate Claudia McMullin joined forces with local coffee roaster John Lynn to take a faltering Park City coffee shop and turn it into a small-batch roasting company that benefits four-pawed friends. With a coffee house located inside the Park City Visitors Information Center, you can sip a freshly brewed Roll Over (breakfast blend) or New Trick (light roast), accompanied by fresh-baked goods and deli sandwiches, while enjoying views of the Utah Olympic Park. Like it sweet? Test out Hugo’s Mocha Chocolate Latte Yaya, essentially “cake in a mug”—coffee and dessert combined.
Hugo’s roasts are enjoyed by those staying at local Marriott and Montage hotels and bags o’ beans can be purchased at multiple outlets, including Jade Market, Lucky Ones Coffee, Old Farm Pet Resort, Paw Paw’s Dog Wash, Whole Foods and more. During Sundance, look for Hugo being poured at the Chase Sapphire Lounge at 573 Main. It’s good to know that every bag of Hugo sold supports dog rescue.
Hugo Coffee Roasters
1794 Olympic Parkway, Park City
Five5eeds: Outback Coffee & Modbar Magic
Are you buzzing yet? Should you like to savor the difference of Australian roasted beans, make sure that Five5eeds is on your radar.
Andrew and Tiffany Percy moved to Park City to train for skiing in 2015. With five children (seedlings) in tow, the couple from Melbourne, Australia, found they missed the breakfast and lunch culture at which Aussies catch up with one another. They opened their cafe to replicate the brekkies—all-day breakfast cafés—of the land down under. Their coffee beans, while not roasted in Utah, come from the venerable Coffee Mio Coffee suppliers of Melbourne, where they are roasted, sealed and shipped directly to Five5eeds on a weekly basis.
Their Outback coffee menu includes a nutrient-packed beet root latte and an on-tap nitro cold brew served up with ice cream, like a root beer float—only Aussie style. It’s hard to beat a double shot Americano freshly pressed from their highly specialized Modbar espresso machine, engineered and built in Scarperia, Italy. The Modbar is not only aesthetically pleasing to look at but also highly functional in that it allows fine adjustments when pulling shots, imperative in extracting the full spectrum from the bean for a delightful cup of joe.
1600 Snow Creek Drive, Park City