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Kicking Horse Espresso Evaluate

Kicking Horse Espresso grew from a small ardour undertaking to a multi-million-dollar enterprise. They’ve been roasting espresso within the coronary heart of the Rocky Mountains for 25 years. As an old-school fan of Kicking Horse, this Canadian Dwelling Grounds author was inquisitive about how their scrumptious espresso has weathered the massive adjustments.

Figuring our readers may be curious, too, I purchased a bunch of Kicking Horse Espresso to search out out. I’m completely satisfied to say Kicking Horse will nonetheless enchantment to its unique followers, nevertheless it’s not maintaining with extra present espresso tendencies. Learn on to be taught extra.

Abstract: Kicking Horse Espresso

Kicking Horse
  • Canadian espresso roaster specializing in medium and darkish roast blends.
  • All Kicking Horse espresso is 100% Arabica and authorized Natural and Fairtrade.
  • Effectively-balanced taste profiles make these coffees appropriate for a lot of brewing strategies.

I completely love this espresso! The Good Ass mix is clean and strong in taste. It isn’t too sturdy and doesn’t have a burnt aftertaste!

– Buyer overview

The Full Kicking Horse Espresso Evaluate

Kicking Horse Firm began in a storage in Invermere, Canada, in 1996 and rapidly discovered success – first amongst locals after which as one of many finest coffees out there on Amazon. In 2017, Italian roasting powerhouse Lavazza acquired them, however outdated followers shall be completely satisfied to listen to that little has modified (1). They nonetheless roast in Invermere and are headed by unique CEO Elana Rosenfeld, who credit the locale with a lot of their success (2).

Mountain tradition right here has actually fed into our model and our fashion; it’s performed an enormous position in our espresso

The coffees are nonetheless the identical crowd-pleasing blends the corporate made its title with. So let’s be taught extra about them.

Kicking Horse Espresso Evaluate

  • Espresso High quality and Taste

  • Choice and Selection

  • Sustainability and the Surroundings

  • Brewing Strategies

Kicking Horse

Espresso High quality and Taste – 3.5/5

Kicking Horse espresso is all licensed Natural and Fairtrade 100% Arabica espresso beans. This label ensures high quality as a result of farmers should produce natural espresso with extra care and a focus. Subsequently, paying above-average costs for truthful commerce espresso means getting a farmer’s finest crop.

Kicking Horse Espresso is thought for blends, and it’s clear their head roaster is an knowledgeable, utilizing each pre-roast and post-roast blends to finest showcase every espresso. A pre-roast mix combines inexperienced espresso beans earlier than mixing, whereas a post-roast mix is completed after roasting – so that you’ll see medium and darkish beans in the identical bag, for instance.

Kicking Horse Espresso sources its inexperienced espresso from farming cooperatives in Peru, Colombia, Sumatra, East Timor, Uganda, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras, and Ethiopia. However in contrast to many roasters, their espresso isn’t traceable, so it’s more durable for shoppers to find out high quality. Once you purchase a Kicking Horse mix, you don’t know which nation the beans got here from, not to mention the area or farmer.

coffee cup with kicking horse coffee packet

How does Kicking Horse Espresso style? Effectively, the style is private, and I’m not right here to let you know what to love. I sampled 5 Kicking Horse coffees for this overview: a light-weight, medium, and darkish roast, an espresso mix, and a pre-ground darkish roast. Whereas every was distinctive, I’d describe them as balanced and easy-drinking – what you count on from a well-crafted mix.

Choice and Selection – 3.5/5

This part will briefly study each espresso out there from Kicking Horse with out style checks. As I’ve stated, the style is private, and everybody has their concept of the finest espresso beans.

Kicking Horse Espresso solely sells blends, the most well-liked of which can be found as entire bean or pre-ground espresso.

So when you’re searching for a single origin, preserve scrolling. I’ve received some recommendations for you later.

kicking horse coffee beans

Mild Roast

If there’s a clear indicator that Kicking Horse isn’t attempting to maintain up with present Third Wave espresso tendencies, they provide just one mild roast nearer to light-medium. The Hola blends Central and South American beans for a cup of espresso with flavors of purple fruit, honey sweetness, and a creamy physique.

Kicking Horse Coffee Light Ground


Medium Roasts

There’s nothing extra crowd-pleasing than a medium roast mix, so it is smart that this makes up a lot of the Kicking Horse lineup. As with the sunshine roast, they skew darkish, and I sampled each had been fairly oily.

Kicking Horse’s signature medium roast is the Good Ass medium roast, a mix of espresso from Central and South America that’s gently candy, with silky clean milk chocolate, honey, purple berries, and a vanilla aroma. The Fortunate Jim provides Indonesian beans to the combination for a creamier physique, milder acidity, and earthy flavors of spice and pine. The Three Sisters medium roast is a post-roast mix, so that you’ll see lighter and darker beans within the combine. It’s properly balanced, with flavors of stone fruit, cocoa powder, and a toasted coconut aroma.

kicking horse coffee beans compare

The Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso roast is obtainable solely as entire beans. It is without doubt one of the darker medium roasts and presents conventional espresso flavors like darkish chocolate and wild berries, plus a candy syrup mouthfeel.



The following three are much less well-liked however provide extra distinctive flavors. The Z Wrangler medium roast blends South and Central American beans for a sweet-and-spicy cup of espresso with notes of cinnamon and dried fruit. The Pacific Pipeline medium roast is an earthy espresso with a heavy physique, and also you’ll style tropical dried fruit, cola, and walnuts with a molasses-like aroma. Lastly, the Hoodoo Jo, one other mix of Central and South American beans, has blackcurrant flavors and chocolate and makes a unbelievable espresso.


The brand-new Blissful Camper mix makes use of Central and South American beans – it might be nice to get extra element – and has clean and satisfying flavors of brown sugar, roasted hazelnut, and chocolate, with a marshmallow aroma. I’m keen to wager this sweeter medium roast will quickly turn into a high vendor.

Darkish Roasts

Together with the medium-roast Good Ass espresso, the opposite flagship Kicking Horse brew is the Kick Ass darkish roast. This can be a traditional darkish roasted espresso, good as the idea of a latte or cappuccino; it’s a daring brew with flavors of chocolate malt, molasses, and licorice, plus a candy vanilla bean aroma.



When you like a full-bodied cup of espresso with earthy flavors, the 454 Horse Energy is as mighty as its title. Utilizing Indonesian wet-hulled beans, it presents candy tobacco and black licorice flavors, with a heavy physique, creamy mouthfeel, and spicy aroma.



Lastly, the Grizzly Claw darkish roast is ideal for lovers of the traditional candy chocolate-and-nuts taste profile. It’s sweeter and fewer earthy than the final two, with a lighter physique and cleaner cup.



Decaf Espresso

Kicking Horse’s decaf roast, merely known as Decaf, is an easy-drinking darkish roast with tasting notes of chocolate and nuts, much like the Grizzly Claw. The beans are Swiss Water Decaffeinated, extensively thought of the cleanest and only technique of constructing decaffeinated espresso. Additionally they provide a half-caff possibility, cleverly named Half Ass roast, which mixes Kick Ass espresso beans with the Decaf.



Sustainability and the Surroundings – 3.5/5

All Kicking Horse Espresso is licensed Fairtrade and Natural. Certainly, Kicking Horse is the biggest roaster of solely Fairtrade-certified espresso in Canada. This ensures that producers are paid truthful wages and that the rising atmosphere is protected against the usage of pesticides. The corporate mentions that their espresso is shade grown and comes from small-scale farms lower than 5 hectares, although no particulars are given to assist these claims.

With the push for larger sustainability and transparency within the espresso business, Kicking Horse is doing effectively however has room for enchancment.

They don’t specify the place their espresso is grown or what they pay. They don’t provide recyclable or compostable packaging, use a low-emission roaster, or buy carbon offsets – all measures being carried out by extra sustainable manufacturers.

The Kicking Horse Espresso roastery has not too long ago been rated top-of-the-line locations to work in Canada, which is a constructive signal (3). Concern for workers suggests a thoughtful administration crew, so I’m optimistic we’ll see this ethos proceed all through the product chain.

Brewing Strategies – 4.5/5

Kicking Horse espresso could be very versatile, and their desire for crafting well-balanced blends means you may get pleasure from Kicking Horse espresso irrespective of the way you brew it. As a result of most are darker roasted beans, the apparent brewing strategies are espresso, French press, Moka pot, AeroPress, and drip espresso. Even the Hola mild roast extracts rapidly for a pleasant espresso. You can even make a hearty chilly brew.

The preferred beans can be found as entire bean or pre-ground espresso, however just one grind measurement is appropriate for a drip espresso maker. If you would like espresso, you’ll must grind your personal, and kicking Horse’s espresso roast is barely out there as entire beans.

kicking horse coffee

Kicking Horse espresso will be brewed as a pour-over and makes a pleasing cup. However when you’re a Third Wave espresso fan who needs a crisp Chemex brew stuffed with shiny acidity and sophisticated flavors, you gained’t discover it. Contemplate different espresso beans that make good pour over espresso as an alternative.

Issues we favored:

  • Crowd-pleasing, well-balanced espresso blends
  • Supply each entire bean and pre-ground choices
  • Giant collection of completely different taste profiles and roast ranges
  • All espresso is Natural and Fairtrade licensed

Issues we didn’t like:

  • No single-origin espresso
  • Just one mild roast possibility
  • Espresso beans aren’t traceable

Don’t Purchase Kicking Horse Espresso If…

  • You desire a true mild roast: When you like the intense acidity of a blonde roast, Driftaway Espresso has some lovely choices, which rotate month-to-month, so that they’re all the time recent. Volcanica Espresso is one other nice on-line retailer with an enormous choice.
  • You need single origin: To style how a rising area impacts taste, you will need to strive a single-origin espresso. Contemplate Lifeboost espresso, which presents high-quality beans from Nicaragua, or Kicking Horse’s mother or father, Lavazza, which has not too long ago launched some noteworthy single origins.
  • You need extra caffeine: If getting peppy is the next precedence than style or high quality, don’t go up the sturdy espresso beans from Demise Want Espresso. It makes use of a mix of Robusta and Arabica beans to ship twice the caffeine of a typical brew.

The Verdict

The fast growth of Kicking Horse espresso is a wonderful indicator of its reputation. That is espresso for everybody. 

When you like balanced espresso blends which might be versatile sufficient for all brewing strategies, choose up a bag of Kicking Horse Espresso. You gained’t be disenchanted. Nonetheless, think about one other espresso model when you want a light-weight roast single-origin espresso with distinctive and sophisticated flavors.

Kicking Horse coffee review

  1. Evans, P. (2017, Might 24). Canadian espresso roaster Kicking Horse bought to Italy’s Lavazza. Retrieved from
  2. Hempsall, V. (2018). Meet the CEO of Kicking Horse Espresso – Elana Rosenfeld. Retrieved from
  3. Dupley, Z. (2018, Might 2). Kicking Horse Espresso is Canada’s finest place to work. Retrieved from


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