The Pacific Southwest (known colloquially as the Pacific Northwest in America) is a haven for coffee drinkers. Like many aspects of the world, it has a lot to do with its environment. As it rains a fair bit here on the “Wet Coast”, especially during the winter, many people turn to a hot cup of coffee to soothe and warm their weather-dampened spirits. It really is a lovely feeling to sip a hot drink as it rains; there’s something very yin/yang about it, a balance between external and internal. Whatever the reason, the coastal world of the temperate rainforest is practically synonymous with coffee and coffee drinkers. And, as such, you’ll find some of the best coffee shops in North America here. Of course there’s the Seattle-based Starbucks (everywhere you look these days), including two locations in Whistler – as well as the BC chain, BLENZ; but we support the local coffee houses. If it’s raining (or snowing) while you’re up here on your mountain vacation, these places serve the best coffee in Whistler.
1. Mount Currie Coffee Company
This independently owned and operated coffee shop is guided by the passion of self-styled “coffee geeks and mountain lovers” – and they serve up the best lattés in town. Committed to the art of caffeine, the baristas are obsessed with creating the perfect coffee. The shop up the road in Pemberton has been serving the community since 2007, and they opened the doors to their Whistler shop in 2012. Since then the locals and the tourists alike have come to absolutely love it, as people feel like family here. Being independent gives Mount Currie the opportunity (and the responsibility) to be as sustainable as possible and they make every effort to minimize the environmental footprint: using compostable and recyclable materials, sourcing local and organic ingredients (thoughtful food), and supporting community organizations and events. They aim for your well-being because they understand our interconnectedness. And that’s service with heart that you just can’t get from Starbucks.
Try the: apple chicken panini, roast beef croissant, mint gelato, espresso milkshakes, green smoothies, and their legendary latté.
2. Lift Coffee Company
This coffee house serves up some fantastic brew and is located in one of the most premium spots in Whistler, right by the gondolas. Come get lifted here in the relaxing ambiance with an amazing patio complete with leather couches and picnic tables. Many call it the best coffee in Whistler, with a super friendly staff and the ultimate in convenience to ski down to after a great day on the slopes – or grab a cup to go for the ride up the chairlifts. The downside to its supreme convenience is that it can get quite busy at certain times, and the prime real estate carries over into a little pricier than average cup but it is great quality. The coffee is JJ-Bean and they also make great sandwiches and breakfast croissants plus a little bakery in back whips up fresh breads and one of the best butter tarts in town.
3. Moguls Coffee House
Moguls is another great coffee shop in Whistler, offering premium brews, tasty teas, and a scrumptious pastries. Conveniently located in the Village Square, right by the Whistler Grocery Store, Moguls is a fan favourite of many folks. They’re a vegetarian and vegan-friendly joint but you can still get a great curry chicken pie or a sausage roll. They also do gelato which makes for the perfect treat in the summertime after a day of mountain biking or hiking. They’re also open til 3am for the late night crowd that wants to grab a snack after the bars and after noon most of their baked goods are only a dollar.
FAIR TRADE COFFEE
The world loves its coffee. An estimated 12,000 cups are consumed every second on Earth and for the 25 million coffee farmers out there, many performing backbreaking labour for very little revenue, fair trade coffee gives back. The family-run coffee plantations around the world are extremely vulnerable to the fluctuating prices of volatile international markets, and for a coffee plant to yield fruit it takes four years of time investment. With Fair Trade certification, coffee producers are guaranteed a minimum price that covers their sustainable production. To put things more in perspective, a two-cup-a-day coffee drinker will consume the harvest of 18 coffee trees every year. So give back with your purchasing power, buy Fair Trade, and visit the three aforementioned local businesses serving the best coffee in Whistler.