5 roasters with a shared passion for mountain biking
Mountain biking requires energy and stoke, both of which can be found in a good cup of joe. The hot, caffeinated brew is also a highly effective conversation starter that contributes to the tight-knit nature of the mountain bike community. Given coffee's performance and social benefits, it's no wonder there are a few companies out there combining these two passions. We’ve rounded up five that live for both bikes and beans.
Named after the famous soil of the PNW, “Loam Coffee's story is rooted in mountain biking,” says founder Sean Benesh. The company's single origin and blend offerings are named after favorite area trails; take your pick from a selection that includes Boondocker, Fire Hydrant, or the new Trail Builders blend, which is dedicated to the volunteers because “trails don't get built by themselves,” says Benesh. Designed with the mountain bike community in mind, Loam Coffee offers travel pouches for coffee on the go.
The company currently sponsors over 150 riders, including Aussie downhiller Graeme Mudd and enduro racer Lauren Gregg. Benesh’s says his ultimate goal is “to tie Loam Coffee into the larger picture of community and economic development in struggling areas–think: the impact that mountain biking (and adventure tourism in general) can have on struggling rural communities, rural gentrification, and so on.”
With a name that roughly translates to “someone who excels in mountainous races,” it’s obvious that Grimpeur Bros. is the product of a bike lover. Founded in Brooklyn, NY by a self-proclaimed “bike AND coffee geek” Dan Manco (who, like the rest of us, was disgusted by espresso gels), the company has a straightforward motivation: Ride your bike. Drink great coffee. Grimpeur has two medium roast espresso blends and one medium roast blend available year round; their single origin beans are strictly seasonal, perfect for variety lovers.
“What makes us unique is that we support all kinds of cycling at the grassroots level,” says Manco. That means Grimpeur sponsors MTB, XC, gravel, and CX teams and riders at all levels. “In the past, we've been part of races like the Breck Epic (pulling shots and brewing coffee on site) and the Transylvanian Epic (supplying beans for the riders),” says Manco.
When asked about the inspiration behind the name, Manco replied: “I'd love to be a great climber on a bike.” Us too, man. Us too.
Starting as a hobby in the back of his Colorado brewery, coffee became a full-fledged business for Dale Katechis when he launched Hotbox in 2015. “Coffee is the first thing we do before we jump on our REEB bicycles for a singletrack romp,” says Mike Murfitt, the company's "Hotboxing Expert" (aka Marketing Director). Hoxbox’s current selection consists of eight varieties: three single origins and five blends—all uniquely packaged and sold in cans. “As outdoor enthusiasts, we aim to be as environmentally friendly as possible. We use a can called the Crowler; these cans are infinitely recyclable whereas most coffee bags are not recyclable,” says Murfitt.
Along with participating in Boulder County volunteer trail building days, “Hotbox also likes to work with Can’d Aid’s Treads and Trails—a program that builds and donates bikes to low-income children,” says Murfitt. Look for Hotbox on the road this summer–they plan to sample products, camp, and ride mountain bikes in Oregon, California, North Carolina, and everywhere in between.
Trailhead Coffee Roasters
Inspired by the convergence of good coffee and enjoying the outdoors around Portland, Oregon (usually on a bike), Charlie Wicker founded Trailhead Coffee in 2008. Delicious coffees aside, the company's unique packaging–modeled after the U.S. Forest Service emblem–is sure to pump you up the day's ride. Their bean sourcing is selective and intentional, too. “We know that investing in women in coffee growing regions not only improves their lives but the communities as a whole,” says Wicker. Obtained mostly from women's cooperative farms, the Trailhead line-up consists of two rotating seasonal blends, two espresso blends, a morning blend, and a French Roast–plus a handful of custom blends that are exclusive to cafes that serve their coffees.
Trailhead has sponsored a team in the past and currently supports bike events, showing up with their mobile coffee brew bike (pictured above). In addition to the impact Wicker hopes Trailhead's sourcing practices will have, he is an advocate for the local mountain bike community, turning up for work days at his local trail system.
The aptly named Stoked Roasters is just that: stoked… about biking and everything outdoors. Founded by professional ultra runner Jax Mariash, Stoked’s mission is to inspire the masses to get outside. Focusing on organic, third wave (specialty) coffee, the Hood River, Oregon-based company currently produces six signature blends and a seasonal blend, crafted with gusto by their roaster–all named after outdoor blends. They have a customizable subscription service and the popular STOKD STIX, premium single serving packets, for people on the move.
Stoked currently sponsors 26 athletes, including mountain bikers like our pal and Trail Boss, Jeff Lenosky. With a want to give back to the outdoor community they love, “[Stoked] picks a different charity to support every year,” says Mariash. Last year, the company supported LymeLight, donating through special projects and events. This year, they’ll be helping a clean water organization.