When Parksville’s Jeremy Perkins didn’t hear French Press announced during the milk-based espresso silver awards at The Golden Bean competition, he thought he might be coming home empty-handed in the category.
Then, he saw his coffee come up as gold. His Ethiopia Kilenso Mocanissa roast won the top prize at the recent competition, and Perkins said his table “went crazy.”
It’s a huge honour and accomplishment for a small roastery — especially one that’s only been open a couple of years. French Press was the only non-franchise Canadian coffee company to win gold at the event in Nashville earlier this month, where 1,300 coffees were entered in various categories.
It’s the second year Perkins has entered coffees in the competition, which is based on blind taste tests by judges. French Press was awarded bronze for each coffee they entered in the filter category and silver for the Ethiopia roast in the espresso category, as well as a bronze for their Home Blend — a total of six medals.
“You can think your own coffee is pretty good, but if you get somebody who’s a pro and tastes coffee for a living it just makes you feel slightly better,” he said. “I’m on the right track so I’ll just keep going.”
Perkins and his family moved to Parksville from Yorkshire in 2017 and promptly opened French Press cafe in Qualicum Beach. Before getting into the coffee business, Perkins was a professional violist. Now, he’s all about coffee, and hopes to continue producing new product.
The company now has a second location in Coombs, which is where they roast their beans. The roastery is open in the morning, from 8 a.m. to noon at 2340 Alberni Highway from Monday to Friday, with the main shop in Qualicum open Monday to Saturday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.