Perhaps it’s not one of the more famous coffee homelands, but northwestern Montana loves its coffee. I mean, LOVES. When my friend Kellie and I drove through there a few years ago, researching TENDER MISDEMEANORS, we discovered locally-based coffee wonderlands.
One of the most prominent is Montana Coffee Traders. With a roastery on Highway 93, and cafes in Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell, this business covers the area where our hero and heroine of TENDER MISDEMEANORS would get their morning java. The company has coffees from many different countries, but we liked the Grizzly Blend: Montana Coffee Traders donates a percentage from each pound sold directly to Vital Ground. With partners like Montana Coffee Traders, Vital Ground has helped enhance, restore and conserve 600,000 acres of homelands for the big, silver-tipped bears, and for other wildlife in the Mountain West, from elk and bull trout to swans and rare wildflowers. One may also mail order any of their many roasts, if not traveling to the area soon.
Colter’s Coffee has a mix of organic and regular coffee beans and is said by some to be “the best coffee in Montana.” In business since 2003, the business is named after John Colter of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
I remember driving through Seattle and being overwhelmed by how many chain coffee shops were there—one or more per block! But while the chain shops are present, we much more enjoyed the ubiquitous small drive-through coffee shops that were locally-owned and full of personality.
If the FBI’s Agent Cooper had come through Kalispell, he would certainly have found his fill of “damn fine coffee.”