Meet Great North Coffee

We are thrilled to introduce our newest partner, Great North Coffee, hailing from the vibrant coffee hub of Portland, Oregon. Committed to sustainability, community, and exceptional hospitality, Great North Coffee embodies a philosophy that resonates deeply with us at Mistobox. With over two decades of industry experience, their founders have cultivated a brand that not only delivers outstanding coffee but also fosters enduring relationships across the supply chain. We’re honored to join forces with Great North Coffee, bringing their meticulously sourced and expertly roasted beans directly to your cup.

Get to know the people & community behind The Great North:

[MB] What’s the most important thing Mistobox customers should know about you?

[GN] Great North Coffee was founded by long-time industry veterans in Portland, Oregon, with a commitment to long-term, sustainable relationships and outstanding hospitality.  We believe that we should leave things better than we found them.  This means long-term commitments to the neighborhoods and customers we work with, our staff, and our high-quality vendors.  We believe wholeheartedly that sourcing coffee should be a long term partnership based on mutual respect and quality.  By committing to these principles, we hope to have a positive impact on those we have the pleasure to work with.  Our hope is that wherever and however you enjoy a cup of Great North Coffee, it’ll leave your day a little better than it was before. 

[MB] What brought you to specialty coffee and roasting?

[GN] Our founders have worked in coffee for over 20 years for some of the top quality-focused brands in specialty coffee. The Great North is an opportunity for us to take all of our collective experience and build a company we are proud of while working with and supporting wonderful people across the supply chain.

[MB] Tell us about your brand design and packaging.

[GN] We shamelessly love the Pacific Northwest.  Our brand design and packaging are inspired by this beautiful area we get to call home.  We see quality coffee as a friendly companion to life and hope that our brand helps inspire people to take advantage of each and every day.  

[MB] What has kept you motivated? 

We believe in excellence – our desire to get 1% better each and every day motivates us.  Finding creative ways to create more value for those around us keeps us going.   

[MB] How do you go about sourcing green coffee? What do you look for?

[GN] Our program begins with the right partners.  We believe that credit should be given where credit is due.  While we cannot meaningfully do ground-level development work at coffee farms, our primary green partner Caravela does.  Our coffee program requires price transparency to the producer and a long-term commitment to producers and growing communities more broadly.  By paying higher prices for green coffee, committing to long-term partnerships, forward contracting, and engaging with our origin partners, we can have a mutually beneficial and positively impacting relationship with growing communities.

Our regional focus has led us to only source coffees from Latin America.  With the increased access to growing and processing education we can source an incredible range of coffee profiles within Latin America.

The coffees we look for are sweet and complex.  We’re all in on the medium roast because we want to develop sweetness and richness in each coffee while preserving the wonderful character and complexity of each coffee.  

[MB] What issue in coffee do you care about most? 

[GN] With an intense focus on marketing and packaging, we always come back to “what’s in the bag.”  We care about the coffee, who produced that coffee, what it tastes like, and who gets to enjoy it.

[MB] What makes you the most excited about the future of specialty coffee?

[GN] We get excited about how specialty coffee can create strong connections with coffee producers.  It’s impactful to us how much pride producers take in the quality of their product and how important it is to know where their hard work is going.  It’s the connection between the coffee producer to the end consumer that gets us excited.  It’s not a new gadget or brewing method but the timelessness of quality that inspires us.

[MB] Who (person or company) in coffee do you look up to/follow?

[GN] Caravela, our exporting/importing partner has been an inspiration to us for years.  The way they have been able to deliver excellence across so many categories reminds us how much value people can create when they work tirelessly at something.

[MB] What’s your most memorable cup of coffee?

It has to be our first espresso shots of our flagship- Kickstep Blend.  This blend speaks to our philosophy that coffee should be complex and sweet without sacrificing the richness that makes coffee so comforting.  Built from fantastic coffees in Latin America, it’s a blend to be celebrated.  

The blend is named after a hiking technique for managing loose soil where the hiker first aggressively kicks the ground, digging a foothold, before shifting weight onto the foot.  It reminds us that hard things move forward one step at a time, and there’s a way forward, even on loose footing.

This blend was designed to be the perfect everyday coffee.  It’s rich and comforting while maintaining a wonderfully complex profile.  It’s what we drink when we need to get work done and the bag we grab when we are headed to the forest or the mountain. 

[MB] What are you celebrating right now?

[GN] This past month, we passed our 1-year anniversary of opening our 3rd Great North Coffee location: our roastery and cafe on Alberta St. This year has given us a lot to celebrate: becoming a part of a new community in Northeast Portland, and building our sourcing and roasting programs into something we’re deeply proud of. Even more recently, our team traveled to Mexico, visiting producers in Oaxaca we’ve been sourcing from this past year. We are incredibly excited about the development of the coffee communities in Oaxaca and the long-term relationships we have been able to establish.

Inspired to give The Great North a try? Check out their coffee offerings here and try one today! Learn more about specialty coffee on the Mistobox tasting series.