This weekend we—my partner, Jess, and me—made a trip to a small town between Calgary and Banff: Canmore, AB. Looking for relaxation, inspiration, and fresh brisk air, we didn’t expect the great food and drink scene that Canmore has to offer two self-proclaimed foodies looking for a weekend getaway. Among the high achievers was our first stop, Rave Coffee. We loved the coffee and atmosphere on our first visit so much that I find myself writing this post while enjoying an espresso and pour over on our way out of town.

Espresso

Image of the espresso at Rave Coffee Roasters

The first thing I noticed as I carried the espresso to my table were the fruity aromas wafting from the brew. While the aromas were fruity and sweet, upon first taste this was not a sweet espresso. The primary notes are chocolatey, without an overly bitter afterbite. The bitterness has a warming effect and there is just enough to give you the sense that you’ve just taken a bite of 75% cacao chocolate. The secondary tones were much lighter and give the espresso immense complexity, filling out the chocolate with a subtle nuttiness. Every sip leaves you with the feeling that you have buried your noise in a freshly opened bag of espresso beans, experiencing the roast and bean to its fullest.

As an aside, while I don’t normally enjoy my espresso with milk, Jess mentioned that a almond milk cappuccino adds another layer of nuttiness and sweetness that expressly pulls those tones forward. After a small sip, I agree but feel as though the chocolatey notes are diluted too much.

Pour over - India roast

Image of the pour over at Rave Coffee Roasters

While I enjoyed the espresso, Rave offers a number of single origin roasts for their pour over and I couldn’t resist. I chose a roast which was sourced from India, with the promise of chocolate and smokey overtones. This was an amazing cup of coffee. The overall body was robust but not overly forward with smoke, with a balancing of a full bodied chocolate. The bitter notes where smoothed over entirely from the smoke.

Other great experiences in Canmore, Alberta

There are many great eateries in Canmore, and Jess and I would love coming back to experience more of what is offered. The first mention is Crazy Weed. This restaurant was well worth the price. It offered modern Canadiana/Americana cuisine and an amazing wine list. Definitely worth a visit, but make sure to get a reservation before you go! Another great experience was the Grizzly Paw Brewing brewery tour. The brewery is in town, and freshly built. They offer several packages, one where you not only get a beer flight, but also can walk away with a 6-pack for an extra 10. Finally, Wild Life Distillery produces fantastic Vodka and Gin, and even offers a barrel aged Gin with bourbon barrels. Well worth a stop for an amazing cocktail!