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  • Writer's picturePenny Hieb

Roaster Profile: Spirit Mountain Roasting

When coffee is exceptional, you never know where you might hear mention of it. On a recent outing to partake in some live tunes at Irene's Tap Room in Phoenix, I was tipped off about Spirit Mountain Roasting, a Native American owned company operating on the Ft. Yuma Quechan Reservation on the Arizona/California border.

Founded by Tudor Montague in 2015, Spirit Mountain is ethically sourced and meticulously crafted. Each batch is made fresh to order and is truly an indigenous product from seed to cup. Montague works with small farms in coffee growing countries to ensure that minority growers native to the region have the opportunity to improve their livelihoods.

Montague has been passionate about the farm to market movement and fresh food and drink since his college years in Lawrence, Kansas where he studied environmental policy. In those years, coffee became an important staple in his life - fueling late night study sessions and making lasting impressions on him when the aroma and flavors were extraordinarily good.

In 2015, Montague began researching the art and craft of coffee roasting, buying a small roaster from a company in Buckeye, Arizona. After roasting for friends and coffee lovers for about a year and getting encouraging feedback, he decided it was time to devote himself full time to coffee and start a business. He then returned home to the Ft. Yuma Reservation to launch Spirit Mountain Roasting Co. and bring opportunity to his native community.

Spirit Mountain is now shipped to businesses and cafes across the US. In the Phoenix valley, its beans are infused into 12 West Brewing's Midnight Run Stout. Montague recently sent me a bag of the Columbian Roast to sample. I was impressed to read the precise information about the altitude of the bean's origin printed directly on the bag. With notes of chocolate and citrus, the Columbian Roast was absolutely divine brewed in my french press.

Spirit Mountain's esteemed organic, fair trade roasts are available to coffee enthusiasts everywhere. Their single origin blends from Columbia, Ethiopia, Java, and Chiapas, as well as a Spirit Blend is available for purchase on their website. Shop for these varieties at

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