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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“Jay’s always around, it’s nice,” said Sam, a customer. “Sometimes he plays guitar while you sit and drink coffee.”
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
2773 Barnet Hwy # 19
Coquitlam, British Columbia