It all started with a terrible cup of coffee...
RC Beall, sitting in an all-night diner in Montana, drank the worst cup of coffee he'd ever had. After quite a bit of time wondering how to make a living in this remote part of the world, he thought: Could roasting a great cup of coffee be the answer?
Shortly after discovering an old roaster with five bags of green beans in a wood cabin nestled in the Montana wilderness, Montana Coffee Traders was born. By 1989, MCT serviced the entirety of Glacier National Park and the surrounding areas, and continues to do so today.
meeting coffee at its source
In 1990, RC decided to trace coffee back to its source, and planned a trip to Monteverde, Costa Rica. During his visit he met with Carlos Vargas, the manager of a coffee-producing co-op called Santa Elena. At the time, coffee in the Monteverde region was bought at discounted prices by one person, and sold to the government. Very few of the farmers had ever tasted their own coffee. Fortunately, RC carried a small hot-air roaster with him on all of his travels, so he offered to roast some of their green coffee beans. The result was an amazing cup of coffee worth far more than what the farmers were told.
Having read about the fair-trade movement in Europe, RC offered to buy some of their green coffee at a price much higher than usual, along with the benefit of giving a dollar back to the farm for each pound sold. This established one of the first fair-trade relationships in the United States, and began a lifelong friendship between RC and Carlos.
Coming back home
In the early 90s, RC returned to his home state of Texas to marry his childhood friend, Beth. Together, they opened Texas Coffee Traders in 1994. We are proud to be a staple in the Austin coffee community, providing restaurants, cafes, and coffee lovers all over with the freshest roasted beans and most hospitable service that Central Texas has to offer. Located in the heart of the East Austin entertainment district, we're easy to find and an adventure to visit. Stop in for a tour of our roastery, a lovingly-made latte, or just to say 'hello'!