Nutmeg is coffee-obsessed if a cup is not in her hands within 30 minutes of her feet hitting the ground in the morning it’s best to stay away. What is odd about her addiction is that her first encounter with coffee was while visiting her grandparents in the West Indies and she hated the bitter brew.
Now, just a few years (or so) later she’s hooked. Needless to say when a new java option appears in town Nutmeg feels it is her duty to investigate.
Eclipse Coffee Roasters (previously Rave Coffee Roasters) opened its doors in Canmore in July 2014, a secondary location for a company established in the UK in 2011. One might ask why Canmore? Owner/operator Dean Smolicz agreed to answer some of Nutmeg’s questions while she sampled their signature espresso blend (tasting notes: chocolate, caramel and nuts).
It has been almost a decade since Dean first arrived in Canmore, attracted to the Canadian Rockies for the legendary views and celebrated ski slopes. He worked at Sunshine Village Resort as a ski instructor for a while, until he determined it was time to put his degree (masters in engineering and management with electronics) to the test.
His aunt and uncle founded RAVE Coffee in Australia as a mobile coffee van; they transitioned the business to the UK after relocating back to England. RAVE Coffee procures top-quality, specialty-blend beans and then roasts the fruit with the precision of scientists.
This lofty vision guides Dean and his small team at Eclipse Coffee Roasters in Canmore:
“To serve you the best coffee you’ve ever had.”
To do so, they are producing small-batch, a-typical, roasted coffees for the wholesale market in Alberta and beyond. Nutmeg asked Dean about the challenges of opening the doors for his new venture. He confirmed that the arrival of the Toper roaster from Turkey, a machine built to his specifications, was both terrifying and exhilarating. This machine can roast between 4-15kg batches while monitoring the temperature to a tenth of a degree.
Nutmeg asked Dean what he loves about Canmore and the Rockies “Skiing the mountains and the community support.”
Image Credits: All photos were provided by and published with the permission of Eclipse Coffee Canada.