Mountain Grounds Coffee – Palmer Plaza – (406) 926-6545
Kevin Cassidy can talk at length about the benefits of micro-lot coffee farming. He can explain the beauty of a 20g super-concentrated espresso shot. And he aims to put Mountain Grounds, the coffee shop he co-owns with his wife Stacie, on the map through national coffee competitions.
But he keeps his main goal pretty simple. “Always provide the best cup of coffee possible.”
And while Mountain Grounds in Palmer Plaza is one of many locally-owned shops dotting the Missoula espresso scene, the Cassidys believe they have the know-how and the technology to set themselves apart. Kevin jumped into the coffee and espresso world in the Bay Area, where he opened his first coffee shop with his brother. Experience in that region exposed Kevin to a variety of coffee-making techniques not commonly found in Missoula. Drawing from world-class approaches to coffee and combining them with a down home experience is one of Kevin’s main goals with Mountain Grounds.
Thus, tucked away in Palmer Plaza is a shop with a menu featuring drink names like Con Panna, Cortado and Double Ristretto. Not familiar with Third Wave coffee vernacular? Don’t be intimidated. Kevin and Stacy can explain it all with an easy smile. And if you’re looking for simplified excellence, just choose the pour-over. An alternative to drip coffee, the pour-over technique involves crafting each cup individually. The quality shines through, but it does result in a 4-5 minute wait time for each cup. The solution at Mountain Grounds? You can text them ahead of time at 530-7222 with your name, order and arrival time. They’ll even bring your coffee out to you in your car if you ask.
And the best coffee, as it turns out, can have quite a story to tell. Kevin spoke of a small farm owned by a woman in Ethiopia (where female land ownership is rare) that supports a 300-student elementary school as well as an organization fighting cervical cancer. Mountain Grounds has also used beans from a farm in Indonesia that has worked with the Rainforest Alliance to resist deforestation.
Great stories – and great benefits for communities – just follow naturally when you source your coffee from farms that only produce 1,000 – 20,000 pounds of beans each month. Coffee is a highly seasonal crop, so it isn’t possible for a shop to rely exclusively on one farm or even one region. But regardless of which corner of the globe Kevin and Stacie buy their beans from, their hope is always that small, family-owned businesses will benefit.
After pouring his first shots eight years ago in the Bay Area for none other than Starbucks, Kevin soon found himself intrigued by the world of specialty coffee. Along with his brother, he opened the doors to his first coffee shop in Martinez, CA in 2013 and the Missoula shop followed in 2015. The family connection is still vital as John Cassidy still handles roasting duties for both establishments.
The time spent in the Bay Area introduced Kevin to the cutting-edge technology that makes 3rd Wave coffee possible. And now he’s delivering it locally. So stop in and enjoy world class coffee in a relaxed, distinctively Missoula atmosphere.