Situated at 8,000 feet, Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea is one of the highest altitude coffee roasters in the world. VMCT embraces traditional Northern Italian roasting techniques to produce premium, hand roasted small-batch coffees and employs modern machines for absolute precision and computerized control.
As atmospheric pressure decreases when elevation increases, roasting time and temperature calculations are made in accordance to the pyrolysis of the beans, the point at which the deep bound moisture in the coffee bean expands and vaporizes...
The roasting adjustments are similar to the adjustments made for baking at elevations above 3,000 feet. And as VMCT can roast at lower temperatures, they eliminate the problems of “scorched” and “baked” flavors other roasters frequently experience at lower elevations.
Given the altitude advantage, roasting over lower temperatures allows the sugars and carbohydrates in the coffee bean to caramelize very slowly; producing deep, rich flavor profiles without bitterness, even in the darkest of roasts.
The dry mountain air further minimizes moisture absorption by the freshly roasted bean as it cools and before it is packaged; allowing VMCT to deliver a fresher, longer lasting coffee to their consumers.
VMCT Select coffees may not always fall within a respective country’s certification parameters but Craig Arseneau and Chris Chantler are committed to making sure every bean purchased meets their exacting quality standards and is farmed with a social conscience and has minimal negative impact on the environment.
Additionally, VMCT actively supports and develops direct relationships with the independent farmer who elects not to be involved with cooperative coffee efforts but chooses to grow either organic or sustainably farmed, single-origin coffees or what is termed, micro-estate coffees.
All of VMCT’s micro-estate plantations are farmed organically or sustainably and will continue to be the source for some of the world’s greatest coffees for generations to come.
By fostering direct to grower relationships, VMCT continually sources certified organic and bio-dynamic coffees and teas. As certification qualifications vary from country to country, VMCT is diligent in their research and ensures organic and bio-dynamic farming standards are met by their producers.
Sustainable farming practices are rooted in the theory of re-creating nature in the field, with minimal intervention; finding balance between production and the health of the earth. From shade grown coffee to working with producers with modern water reclamation facilities, VMCT takes an active role in supporting farmers who consciously care and invest in their lands and communities.