IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS LIGHT...(AND SMOKE)
Our company was largely influenced by the coffee scenes in San Francisco and Milan. Our humble beginnings however were about as far away from those places as you can get. It all started in the basement of our home in North Vancouver. This is where Doug Finley and Andrew Wentzel started the long journey of what is now Moja Coffee.
In the first few months before the company started, we lived, ate and breathed everything coffee. We travelled to Africa to visit coffee plantations and also spent time in San Francisco to train on Probat roasters. We attended coffee shows and probably walked into every major cafe from here to Seattle.
In the spring of 2004, we decided to name the company Moja, which is the Swahili word for “one”. The name represented what we believed was the best way to showcase coffee and it honoured family roots (Andrew’s father was born in Moshi Tanzania).
Our first location was in North Vancouver near the Capilano Mall. We took over a former mechanics garage and began official operations in April of 2004. We stayed at that site until the spring of 2008 when we moved across town to our current facility on Rupert Street in North Van. This was the major turning point for Moja, as we opened our first cafe in the front of the roasting operation. We finally had a home to showcase our products instead of sending people elsewhere to sample our coffee.
We still have our headquarters on Rupert, and now have expanded to add a second cafe on Commercial Drive. Look for even more expansion in the future as the book of Moja continues to be written.
Ok, so this is the page that we could bore you to tears with facts about beans, climate, region, altitude etc...but in the interest of keeping you on this site, we won't.
We can tell you we’re working hard every day to honour the passion of so many individuals that bring fine coffees to the market. Coffee just doesn't happen! It's the result of thousands of hands working together to bring those beans all the way from crop to cup.
The vast majority of what we roast is single-origin coffee, as opposed to blends. This allows us to represent individual growing regions as they were meant to be experienced. We also blend coffee, however that pertains exclusively to our line of espressos. Blending for drip coffee is a part of the industry we’ve stayed away from in order to stay true to our belief that single origin coffee is king. For the same reasons, we do our best to select the finest organic and fair trade coffee whenever possible.
A premium product takes time to manufacture. It starts with us traveling around the world to research all aspects of both the coffee and the industry as a whole. Every growing region of the world, from Central and South America to Africa and Asia are targeted for finding product that meets our standards and taste profiles.
The bottom line at Moja....we don't believe in shortcuts...only great coffee.
At Moja, coffee beans are subjected to numerous tests for overall quality and taste. It’s only then that we roast our many offerings and deliver them fresh.
We roast our coffee in a handmade Joper roaster that is capable of roasting 30 kilos at a time. The Joper was added to our roasting fleet in 2012, and was manufactured in Porto Portugal. The Joper is a heavy weight beast, with many cast iron parts and outfitted with the latest PLC touch screen software. Joper has been around since 1962 and is now owned by Joao Paulo, great-grandson of the original owner. Andrew and Doug flew to Portugal during the summer of 2012 to inspect and train on the custom-made roaster before it was shipped to North Vancouver.
Like a great frying pan, a roaster needs to be "seasoned" as well. Our roaster has been well seasoned over the years, and is producing coffee to our exact varietal profiles. To this day, we still roast in small batches in order to maintain our high level of consistency.
We love to show off what we do, and are happy to give tours of our roasting operation. To book, please call the Head Office at 604-983-6652.
We roast for a variety of wholesale and retail customers. In fact too many to list them all here. We can say that companies such as Thomas Haas, Terra Breads, Mink Chocolates, Vancouver Convention Centre, Four Seasons Hotel and more all trust our coffee to give their customers the best experience possible.
On the retail side, Whole Foods, Stongs and Capers are among those who stock our coffee, along with many independent markets around the province of B.C.
If you are looking to improve on the coffee you serve your customers, we can help. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org