Coffee Mastery, a Stock Broker, and a Giant Teddy in Coquitlam

By Ashley Lockyer

How fresh do you like your coffee? Each morning the scent of roasting beans spills out from Creekside Coffee Factory in Coquitlam. Here, you can sip a handcrafted beverage beside the bright red roaster where your drink started its journey, from beans to a piece of latte art.

Modern hipster style meets classic cafe elegance at Creekside Coffee. Warmth radiates from the cafe’s incandescent filaments and European lamp posts.
Modern hipster style meets classic cafe elegance at Creekside Coffee. Warmth radiates from the cafe’s incandescent filaments and European lamp posts.

Owner and roaster Jay Lee had his own unique journey. It all began while he was a stockbroker in South Korea. He found himself daydreaming of owning a business while the numbers poured down the screens. When he moved with his family to Canada, Jay set off to master another market, something that interested him: coffee.

“Coffee roasting is harder than stock broking, but less stressful,” Jay says. “I was throwing away 90% of the beans I roasted at first.”
“Coffee roasting is harder than stock broking, but less stressful,” Jay says. “I was throwing away 90% of the beans I roasted at first.”

Jay was mentored by a master roaster in South Korea. He then worked in a cafe to learn the hands-on craft of drink making. Finally, he heard famous coffee roasters spill the beans on their techniques while working at a coffee company and learning how to run a roastery.

“There are endless ways you can make the beans taste better. This machine has an air damper that I can adjust by hand. It lets me play with the flavour.”
“There are endless ways you can make the beans taste better. This machine has an air damper that I can adjust by hand. It lets me play with the flavour.”

Yet, teachers don’t share all their secrets and Jay has worked ever since to master his own process. He has focused on perfecting a select few roasts since Creekside Coffee Factory opened six years ago. “It’s hard for me to be satisfied because I learned from the best,” he says.

Jay roasts beans from around the world, including organic varieties.
Jay roasts beans from around the world, including organic varieties.

This cozy cafe has become a local legend, and not just for its impressive latte art on Facebook. Their signature giant teddy stuffed bear, who often is found gazing out the windows, was abducted last summer. The video of the bear heist went viral, and was even featured on national news.

Thankfully, the bear is back to relaxing in the cafe. It was returned thanks to the story’s social media reach.
Thankfully, the bear is back to relaxing in the cafe. It was returned thanks to the story’s social media reach.

The cafe’s decor pairs coffee with comfort. Burlap coffee bags hang on the walls, exposed brick walls surround guests, and scooped chairs await for reading, writing, and caffeinated conversation.

Creekside Coffee Roastery’s ambiance nestles you into the complete coffee making experience, from bean bag to latte.
Creekside Coffee Roastery’s ambiance nestles you into the complete coffee making experience, from bean bag to latte.

“Jay’s always around, it’s nice,” said Sam, a customer. “Sometimes he plays guitar while you sit and drink coffee.”

“We have really nice staff,” Jay says. “Right now around half of the people here are regulars. In a full day, it’s about 80%.”
“We have really nice staff,” Jay says. “Right now around half of the people here are regulars. In a full day, it’s about 80%.”

Jay’s excited, and it’s not just the caffeine. Creekside Coffee Factory will open a second location in Langley next month.

For coffee connoisseurs, the cafe is open and roasting seven days a week. Stop by to taste the art of coffee roasting, brought from masters in Asia to Coquitlam.

creekside-coffee-factory_vancouver-roaster_enjoyjpg

Creekside Coffee Factory
2773 Barnet Hwy # 19
Coquitlam, British Columbia
604.554.0100