We all know the best way to start or end an outdoor adventure is with a nice warm, caffeinated drink; but where are you going to go? Well – A.V and I have done the work for you! Read below about our top 7 places to catch a buzz in the Bow Valley area.
718 8 St – Canmore
Facebook: Good Earth
This isn’t your average Good Earth. The Canmore location boasts a large outdoor patio and if you happen to peek up into the rafters once you enter, you’ll see a beautiful wooden canoe. We tried out the Mexican Mocha and it treated our taste buds just right!
Our barista, Ember Large, whipped up this drink for us and filled us in on why it’s so great to work in Canmore. Since she just moved here a year and a half ago, she found Good Earth to be a great hub to meet new people. For her, the relaxed environment was just the cherry on top. Thanks for the love, Ember.
Next, we hopped across Highway 1 and found ourselves at Summit Café. The only thing quirkier than they fact that they have a resident unicorn, is one of the business owners, Jennifer Shean. Jennifer has been with Summit for 14 years and says, “It’s all about the love!” She enjoys seeing the same faces from Monday to Friday, and clearly has a blast with all of her staff. The baristas made us a Cappuccino and a Latte complete with smiley-face art. Summit has been around since 1999, so when it comes to basics, they do it right.
Jennifer attributes their great drinks to the quality training they provide to their baristas, and of course, love!
Next we got to check out Rave Coffee and their Rave White. If you’re a fan of Flat Whites, you’ll probably agree that the Rave White takes it to the next level.
If you have any questions about this double ristretto shot espresso drink (or anything else coffee related), Trent Funke is the guy to ask.
Trent has been with Rave from the start; which has actually only been one and a half years. He filled us in on how Rave is doing great things like providing coffee subscriptions and dabbling in the wholesale of their products. If you’re looking for some great beans to bring home with you after a hike, head to Rave.
If you think that by our fourth caffeinated drink we’d be slowing down – you’re wrong! The Maple Latte we tried at Communitea was superb. We picked it off the menu because we couldn’t resist something that sounded so classically Canadian. If you like your hot drinks sweet and mellow, you’ll love this latte.
Layten Kramer, a Canmore native, has been working at the café on and off for 6 years. He said that Canmore has a great culture and that the community truly has an appreciation for art. When Layten isn’t behind the counter, he is touring with his band. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Layten!
P.S. Did you know that Communitea uses Rave coffee beans for their drip coffee?
Wildflour has always been known for their baked goods, but in the past 3-4 years has started serving different types of hot drinks. We had the pleasure of trying a Flat White, which is a classic Australian drink made by pouring microfoam over a double ristretto shot of espresso.
We got to chat with Megan Davies and she said that the Flat White has the ability to bring a taste of home to the local Aussies and Brits in the community. Megan has been with Wildflour for 4 years, and has found joy in the work she does. Wildflour uses Calgary-based Fratello coffee beans and they have even worked together to create their own signature blend which she wears on her hands daily while behind the counter!
For a small place, Whitebark sure attracts a lot of people. The café, which is attached to the Banff Aspen Lounge, served us up a Mocha and a Latte. The Mocha, which tasted of dark chocolate, was the epitome of decadence in a cup at 65% real chocolate. It paired nicely with the Latte that not only had some great art, but also a light, smooth taste.
The only thing sweeter than the Mocha was Steph Mason-Cole, who made our drinks! “Being here brings out my best side,” she said of Banff. Steph said one thing she loves about the area is the endless amount of activities to do.
What better way to end a coffee tour than with an espresso infused adult drink!? That’s just what A.V and I did when we visited Park and enjoyed a Cougar Milk.
Cougar Milk, which used to be known as Moose Milk, is an invention that was a favourite of some of the earliest backcountry skiers to Canada. Although the original recipe differs from the one above, both drinks provide the calories and warmth needed to survive Alberta’s backcountry weather.
What’s even more interesting than this seasonal favourite is the fact that Park distills their vodka in-house! Breanne Johnston, the assistant distiller, is likely the only female distiller in our country. What makes this espresso-infused vodka so great is that they use a glacier-fed water system and Alberta grain.
P.S. Park has a little liquor store + gift shop on the way out, so once you fall in love with their vodka you can bring some home!
Deja is a freelance writer with a passion for all things active, and the drive to dig deeper into any topic. If she’s not at the rink for a ringette game, or trying out a new activity at one of Calgary’s many studios, you’ll probably find her reading a book or planning her next written piece.
A.V is a professional photographer + the designer behind North Birch Grove™, a fine art + home decor brand based in Canmore Alberta in the Rocky Mountains. Look for her in winter on the skin track with her skis + in summer on the road with her vintage Boler trailer!
Twitter | Insta : @northbirchgrove