Cup of Kicking Horse Coffee

Coffee, History & Us

Once upon a cup of coffee...

When it comes to coffee, we try to be the best. But we sure ain't the first. Coffee has been around for ages and there are more stories than you can shake a bean tree at. Here's just a few snippets of how coffee came to be the revolutionary, deep, dark and delicious drink we make today.

Dawn of Time

Legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi first discovered coffee. He noticed his goats became frisky after munching on some unusual red cherries growing on a tree. He tried the berries himself and, boom, the rest is you-know-what.

1555 - 1672

The first coffee houses

The first ever recorded coffee house was opened in Constantinople (Istanbul) in around 1555. But it was those clever Parisians that simultaneously created a coffee conundrum and a social scene as they opened the first European cafés in the early 1670’s. This proved to be a revolutionary idea, and since then, many revolutions have had their inceptions in cafés.

1884

First espresso machine invented

The dripping goodness of dark energy is finally unleashed, at long last allowed to flow free, thick and furious; like Chuck Norris in a tar pit. Espresso is liquid darkness and tasty gold. In short, it's a hit.

1858

The legend

We have a legend that tells of a Rocky Mountain explorer who was kicked in the head by a horse. His companions thought him nearly dead, but he was somehow revived by a Kick Ass® cup of coffee. The legend continues, the name stuck, and today the legendary Kicking Horse® Coffee lives on!

1996

Kicking Horse® Coffee opens in Invermere

"What are you two schmucks going to do with your lives? Sell coffee from your garage?" - Elana Rosenfeld's mother

In 1996 Elana Rosenfeld and Leo Johnson did exactly that. In the Rocky Mountain town of Invermere, B.C., Canada, they began roasting coffee in their garage. Some days they got down to their skivvies to beat the heat. Some days they balanced babies on their hips. Every day found them experimenting with the best methods to make Kick Ass® coffee.

1998

Kicking Horse® Coffee plays Fair

Kicking Horse® Coffee signs on with Transfair Canada (now Fairtrade Canada), and helps pave the way and build awareness and demand for Fair Trade Coffee.

2003

Kicking Horse® Coffee goes 100% Organic

In 2003 Kicking Horse® Coffee makes the conscious decision to discontinue all conventional coffee and focuses their efforts by only purchasing and roasting 100% Certified Organic coffee beans. 

2007

100% Fair Trade and Organic

By 2007, despite increasing pressure to source more green beans, Kicking Horse® Coffee commits to discontinue the purchase of all non-Fair Trade coffee and develops a new standard: only 100% Certified Organic, Certified Fairtrade.

2008

Kicking Horse® Coffee opens a Café

In keeping with the tradition of coffee love, Kicking Horse® Coffee swings wide their doors of java goodness and invites the world to come on in and share in a delicious story.

2009

Canada’s #1 Organic, Fairtrade coffee for 13 years

Nielsen data confirms what customers and loyal fans have been saying for years; Kicking Horse® Coffee celebrates a 13th straight year as Canada's #1 selling Organic, Fairtrade Coffee!

2014

Things get wonderfully grounded!

No grinder? No time? No problem! Kicking Horse® Coffee presents Ground coffee blends in addition to their traditional Whole Bean products. For those on the go, this new offering is freshly ground, meticulously packaged, and just one step closer to the cup!

2015

Favouritism and Phenomenal team

Kicking Horse® Coffee is named Canada’s Favourite Fairtrade Product and also named as one of the Top #15 Best Workplaces in Canada.

2016

Wide awake and kicking ass

20 years of making Kick Ass® coffee? Yup! Two decades! Thanks to the Rocky Mountains for pure roasting air. Thanks to the Kicking Horse® team for passion and dedication. Thanks to Fairtrade farmers for believing and committing. Thanks to purveyors of exceptional products for the shelf-space. And a huge thanks to all those Kick Ass® coffee drinkers who don't settle for less than the best! Kicking Horse® Coffee has supplied great coffee for over 7,300 mornings. Here's to tomorrow!