When you hear Canmore locals “raving” about RAVE Coffee, they’ll likely be talking not only about the coffee house’s minimalistic-chic lounge, laidback ambience, and extensive espresso menu, but the meticulous attention-to-detail it gives to the coffee beans it sources, roasts, brews, and serves.

For owner Dean Smolicz, the RAVE way to sip and slurp your coffee isn’t just about getting a caffeine-fix or cup of Joe to go, but to savour the joy of the whole coffee experience – all while having an appreciation for exceptional, Grade A coffee beans that are sourced responsibly. 

After all, RAVE’s philosophy is based on one phrase: “Life’s too short for bad coffee.”

This passion for ensuring the journey of the coffee bean from crop to cup is nothing short of exceptional, means that RAVE Coffee has a somewhat unusual addition to the standard coffee shop set-up: its very own coffee roasting machine (you’ll see this in the back, look for it behind the glass wall). 

We wanted to have control of every part of the coffee experience, so being able to roast our own coffee in-house enables is to do just that, guaranteeing the very best quality in every cup.
— Dean Smolicz, Owner, RAVE Coffee

And it’s not just the roasting of the bean that RAVE Coffee takes seriously.  At the very beginning of the ground-to-grind journey is the careful selection of the very best beans from around the world. RAVE is committed to this, independently screening each farm it works with in advance to guarantee that they are growing in the most environmentally-conscious and socially-responsible way. 

Dean explains: “All of our coffee has to meet the specialty grade, which is that it scores over 80 on the SCAA cupping protocol. Only around 5% of the world’s coffee supply actually falls into this category.”

The overall education around coffee is all part and parcel of the RAVE experience, with Dean’s team of baristas always ready and on-hand to share their know-how, and explain the prominence, flavour and properties of each blend. 

“More and more people want to know where the products they are purchasing come from,” adds Dean.

“Most people are unaware that coffee starts as a fruit, so by giving customers information like how the coffee was grown and processed, they get an understanding that coffee is a lot more complex than it used to be.”


So, here are the steps from coffee crop to RAVE cup:

1.    Farming the Bean – RAVE Coffee sources beans from small farms and cooperatives all around the world; from Indonesia and Africa, to Central and South America.  Once the farm is “Rave-approved” [based on not on the quality of the coffee bean, but the farmer’s passion for wanting to continually improve its consistency], the relationship is formed. 

Fact: For easy reference, all of RAVE Coffee’s bags of roasted beans are marked with the original destination of sourcing; the country of origin of the farm the beans were harvested, as well as the roast level and tasting notes.  

A farm in the "Gedeo zone", named after the local tribe "Adado". The region is comprised of 7000 farmers.

A farm in the "Gedeo zone", named after the local tribe "Adado". The region is comprised of 7000 farmers.

2.    Roasting the Bean – Once the beans arrive at RAVE’s Canmore location, it’s time for the roasting process to begin.  This is where Dean and his team take green coffee and make the magic happen [thanks to the in-house coffee roaster]. “It’s our job to highlight the uniqueness of the coffee by the way we roast it,” Dean says. 


Fact: All the coffee at RAVE is roasted fresh – so, if you order RAVE coffee beans online, they’ll be roasted and shipped the very same day.

3.    Serving the Delicious Espresso: Americano, fresh drip, or latte, RAVE’s freshly-roasted coffee is served exactly as you like it.  Enjoy! 


For the duration of Canmore Uncorked 2018, RAVE Coffee is serving one complimentary café drink with any purchase of RAVE’s coffee bags.

Kymberley Hill