Devil’s Head Coffee puts community first
Single-origin coffee founded on adventure and advocacy
Coming out of a lengthy career in environmental consulting, Chris Meginbir fell in love with the science of roasting coffee when an injury kept him from his true passion of rock-climbing.
“I was bored,” he says. “I was staring down this black abyss of the worst cup of coffee I ever had, and I just started asking questions. I was fascinated by the global commodity perspective and how it all fits together. I could play with the data, and taste the results.”
Thus, Devil’s Head Coffee – named for a mountain in the Ghost River Valley, a popular spot for climbers -- was founded in 2017 after friends goaded Chris into taking his garage-based roasting hobby on full-time, with wife Tanis joining the team shortly thereafter.
Devil’s Head Coffee works closely with several Q-Graders -- the coffee equivalent to a sommelier -- all based in western Canada who travel the world to find the best single-origin coffee beans from family-run farms and co-operatives to work directly with. Currently, Devil’s Head Coffee sources from Ethiopia, Peru, Guatemala, Flores Island, and Rwanda.
Chris places significant value on quality – even going so far as to refuse to sell product he doesn’t feel came out 100% perfect – education, and community. The roastery shares a warehouse front with urban farmers YYC Growers and Distributors, and provides all of its used coffee grounds and burlap bags to them for compost. Devil’s Head Coffee also donates a portion of revenue to local charities from every event to which they bring their mobile coffee cart.
“High tide rises all ships. By investing in and working with other small businesses, I feel that just helps strengthen the community at large,” he says.
“Though I do miss roasting coffee in my pajamas sometimes.”