Q&A: Drift Coffee Roasters
Located in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Drift Coffee Roasters is a new roastery with the mission to bring coffee culture to the local scene. We caught up with Drift’s Founder, Laine Cosens, to learn more about the roastery’s origins, roasting practices, and what’s next for the small-town coffee company.
How did you get started in coffee?
I first had the idea when I was traveling in Colombia and Mexico. I didn’t travel down there with the intention of learning about coffee but I was exposed to it in my travels. When I came back to Canada and continued working at my other job, it was always in the back of my mind.
Around this time, I wanted to move back to my hometown of Dawson Creek, so I thought this would be a great time and place to start pursuing coffee.
Was there much of a coffee scene in Dawson Creek?
No, there’s virtually no coffee scene here but we’re trying to develop it. It’s funny, about a year ago I was working at Canada Post sorting mail, and I would come across the odd Roasters Pack box. So there are definitely specialty coffee lovers, and they’re around here, it’s just a matter of connecting with them.
How did you learn to roast?
I’m very self-taught. I basically purchased a brand new roaster without any prior experience, which was a pretty big leap. I went down to Idaho and took a roasting seminar which was interesting, but a little vague without any prior knowledge.
So I just bought some green coffee and really went at it. The first couple of years were definitely a struggle, especially with no foundation and everything, but I stuck with it. I also started buying better green coffee which also helped. I learned more about processing methods, altitudes, and everything started coming together.
One thing that helped me gain a lot of experience was doing Leaderboard: The Coffee Game (created by yours truly!), and taking part in Forward Lottery, where I sent in coffee that I roasted to get professionally judged. Both of these really helped!
What’s next for Drift?
I think the biggest thing for me is to develop the local scene. Now that we can cup coffee together again, I’m excited to host some public cuppings and help educate people about coffee.
I have some really nice coffees on my menu, and I want to make sure people can appreciate them, but also understand why they’re so good and what makes them so good.