For classic espresso lovers tired of all the crazy milk concoctions and sugary drinks at chain shops, Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea aims to bring the focus back to “coffee first.”
Chris Chantler and his business partner Craig Arseneau opened their first shop in Vail in 1989 called the Daily Grind, which quickly became a community hub. The pair opened a few more shops but then pivoted toward roasting operations.
After being in the wholesale world for a few years, the duo decided they wanted to return to what made their original idea work.
“We wanted to bring community back to our business,” Chantler said.
The shop, now named Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea, has multiple locations around the mountains in Minturn, Avon and Downieville.
The shop prides itself on having a coffee-based menu, featuring many ways to have your drink prepared including Chemex, pour over, Siphon and more.
“You can really have a true coffee experience,” Chantler said.
The shop also bakes treats on-site including croissants, cookies, empanadas and more.
“We not only have freshly roasted, sustainable coffee, we have a fantastic array of baked goods,” Chantler said.
Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea also works to maintain a strong relationship in the coffee community. The business participates in enrichment programs throughout communities and works to support women-owned coffee farms in Colombia.
Beyond making great drinks, the business prides itself in “having purpose and being sustainable on many levels,” Chantler said.
In any of the locations, Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea offers a selection of 20 coffees, including single origins, dark roasts, light roasts and more.
The Downieville location in Clear Creek is open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 7 days a week. You can find it off I-70 exit 234 at 999 County Road #30 Downieville, CO.
And a note for the milk concoction and sweet drink lovers: Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea does offer a few flavored syrups and will make your drink however you like.