I’m not expecting a coffee roaster in a rural Alberta village. Certainly not in a community of 725 souls, with a strong Mennonite heritage.
But then Linden, 100 kilometres northeast of Calgary, has always punched above its weight. Witness a strong agricultural manufacturing industry. And, from a culinary perspective, the longstanding Country Cousins, which attracts folks from Calgary and beyond for its Mennonite meals (think sausage, perogies and cabbage rolls) and legendary peanut butter pie.
So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to find High Seas Coffee serving fresh-roasted java in a little main-street café. It opened this spring, when Krista Boese took over the former Global Grounds, adding it to an existing roasting business she started with her brother Tyler.
Yes, High Seas is a local hangout, with customers chewing the fat around a cluster of tables. But it also has a big-city vibe that includes small-batch roasting of fair-trade organic beans (pick up a pound of Farmers Blend) and cold-brew coffee.
The short menu starts with fresh-baked pastries like Danishes, cinnamon rolls and croissants. Heartier fare includes a French toast breakfast sandwich and a lunchtime pulled-pork Cubano sandwich.
You can even text in your order so it’s ready for pick up on your rural road trip. But I’d much rather grab a corner seat, sip an excellent Americano and soak up some small-town character.
High Seas Coffee
107 Central Avenue, Linden, Alberta
Monday to Saturday 6 am-6 pm. Closed Sunday