This is a review of an independent cafe by a amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability.

The Cafe Overview:

Makerlabs Makerspace Vancouver Goliath Coffee Kavhe Chai Aslan Chai

The awesome swing and bookshelves near the entrance.

Meet Vancouver’s only coffee roasted out of a makerspace. I’d first discovered Goliath Coffee when I walked past The Capilano in Gastown. Then, I stumbled on their roasting corner laid out for all the public to see when I was touring MakerLabs.

Goliath Coffee is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, as they are specialty roasters. I came on a Friday, so I got a sample of their brew from Kahve Chai, which is by the entrance of MakerLabs. The beans are air roasted at the back of the ground floor in 1kg batches, hand-packed, and distributed to cafes and shops throughout the Lower Mainland.

Makerlabs Makerspace Vancouver Goliath Coffee

Goliath Coffee’s corner in Makerlabs.

MakerLabs is a membership-only space. However, the public can go in to the shop and the cafe. Since it’s in industrial strip close to the container port, people don’t know to come for good coffee. That translates to a visitor having the entire lounge area to themselves. The building doesn’t have free Wi-Fi, but there are are definitely outlets somewhere for you to charge your laptop. It’s a great space to work out of flexibly: on the floor, the coffee tables, a sofa, or even a swing!

Makerlabs Makerspace Vancouver Goliath Coffee Kavhe Chai Aslan Chai

My black from Kahve Chai / Aslan Chai.

Kahve Chai is run by the owner of Aslan Chai and open on weekdays. My last intelligence was that the Goliath team are working on the perfect cold brew, which is perfect for summer. In the meantime, you can enjoy an espresso or pour over coffee. Goliath has two light roasts for sale that have a balanced flavour. For people from Asia, it may still count as a medium or dark roast because it is more savoury as compared to the fruity options common to Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Their Coffee Backstory / Why I Like Them:


Makerlabs Makerspace Vancouver

The area you can enjoy your coffee in at Makerlabs.

In a town where the battle to be called a worthy roaster is fierce, Goliath Coffee hit my soft spots. Firstly, it’s one of the only roasters that specialises in beans from one country: Cameroon (AGRO Coffee Roasters did too when it began). It’s tough to take a stance when purchasers have the power to scour the world for good quality beans at bargain prices. Goliath’s name actually comes from the Goliath Frog that is native to Cameroon and the company donates its proceeds back to conserve the rainforests that it inhabits.

Secondly, they put farmers in their first line. The three words they bold are freshness, flavour, and farmers. Business is business. The first bottom-line is that it remains cash-flow positive. That’s not good enough, for me. Good business brings benefits to all stakeholders. I give major points to people who find a way to align their core values with profits. Goliath’s figured it out by emphasising, along with other independent Vancouver roasters, that great beans begins with great, long-lasting partnerships, beginning with the people who grow the beans thousands of miles away.

Lastly, the roasting operations is in a communal makerspace. I think it says something about a company that leaves all their beans and equipment for everyone to see, knowing that there’ll be plenty of traffic in and out.

Goliath Coffee fresh beans at Makerlabs

Bean samples left for anyone to check out.

Good For:

  • Coffee: Pour-over. Cold Brew (working on it)
  • Food: Not really
  • Cafe Space: Open lounge area in front of Kahve Chai
  • Friends: Hangouts & catching up
  • Workspace: Great for quiet workspace as people don’t know to come!
Address:  780 E Cordova St Vancouver, BC V6A
Hours: Wednesdays & Saturdays (Goliath), office hours (Kahve Chai)

If you liked this post, check out my full list of Vancouver’s Best Independent Cafes (with contributions from Redditors).

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