Coffee Adventurer: Alexander Mills

We believe that coffee is an everyday adventure — and every person choosing to embark on this passionate pursuit of discovery has their own story to tell. 


We started this special series because we believe that each #CoffeeAdventurer has a story worth sharing. Coffee is often seen as a solo ritual, but it's always better when the experience is shared — and to us, being able to share the unique stories of the #CoffeeAdventurers we meet is no different. 


What we love most about the coffee community is how everyone is so seamlessly connected to one another. Regardless of their origin, experience, or preferences, the coffee community always welcomes new faces who are keen to learn and explore. It’s a community that constantly supports growth, curiosity, and development. This series is our way of paying homage to the movers and tastemakers that make this community so awesome.


For our next feature in our #CoffeeAdventurer series, we'd like to introduce content creator, mobile coffee bar owner, and barista, Alexander Mills from Canada 🇨🇦

Meet Alexander Mills 

Born and raised in Canada, he’s currently living in Ontario with his wife Rebecca and their firstborn, Asher. He’s been in the specialty coffee scene for a couple of years now and has made a mark for himself as a coffee content creator who effortlessly weaves together a beautiful aesthetic, his unique take on brewing tips & coffee sensory, and candid highlights from his family life.


A quick scroll through his content on Instagram and a few clicks will show you how he’s able to turn everyday brews into educational discussions that help to elevate your coffee experience. 

True to his goal of helping people brew better coffee at home, Alexander provides insightful tips, tutorials, and bite-sized pieces of information that can be found on his Instagram, blog, and YouTube channel


Alexander’s passion for coffee doesn’t stop there, he also serves up delicious specialty coffee in the Niagara region with his mobile cafe, Groundswell Coffee Company. Their team carefully curates coffees each month from some of the best roasters — coffee that excites them and are sourced & roasted with intention and care when it comes to respecting the coffee’s origins. Get the latest updates from Groundswell Coffee’s Instagram page for their latest coffee offerings and live location as they serve up fresh brews across Niagara. 


In an article about the rise of coffee influencers by fellow coffee aficionado and Canadian Brodie Vissers, Alexander was asked how he hopes to inspire his followers given the responsibility of being a ‘coffee influencer’: 


“I think the answer is in the question — with any content I create, I hope to simply inspire. Inspire those who are coffee curious to try something new, whether that be a brew method, a press, or a variety. Likewise, I want to inspire those who are coffee connoisseurs to ask questions about what they already know and to challenge the status quo, lest our industry become complacent. It’s my hope that any point of inspiration leads to a moment of unadulterated enjoyment.”


We’ll let Alexander’s content speak for itself in inspiring a community of learners and adventurers with every piece he publishes. 

We had the honor of talking to him about his own inspirations, what drives him, and what being a #coffeeadventurer means to him.

"Brewing coffee by hand each morning and evening doesn’t just provide me with a pleasurable sensory experience, it has established a routine to open and close my day that helps me thrive in-between."

Think back to how your adventure into specialty coffee first started. As they always say, ‘it’s not about destination, but the journey that makes it all worthwhile’. Was there a memorable moment or experience that really stands out? 

Alexander: “I grew up drinking black coffee thanks to my dad and my older brother. It was Tim Hortons (as an honest Canadian) in my adolescence and Starbucks in my teenage years.

 

The door to specialty coffee was opened to me in a similar way to a lot of folks - by a naturally processed coffee from Ethiopia that tasted like blueberries. A friend of mine gifted me this coffee and my eyes were immediately opened - coffee can taste like fruit? That was over a decade ago now, and I could have never imagined the rabbit hole was as deep as it is!”

The best adventures are often the ones that are unplanned–the ones that lead us to new, unforgettable experiences when we least expect it. What’s something new you discovered through your coffee adventure?

Alexander: “I started brewing specialty coffee at home at the same time in my life when I was becoming an adult - doing adult things like getting a job, getting married, buying a house - y’know. 

 

As I grew into an adult and in doing all of these adult things, I realized how much I thrived on routine. Brewing coffee by hand each morning and evening doesn’t just provide me with a pleasurable sensory experience, it has established a routine to open and close my day that helps me thrive in-between. That’s something that hand-brewing coffee helped me discover about myself that I’m not sure how I would have uncovered any other way.”

What I love about the coffee community is the diverse backgrounds and talents of each person I meet. As a coffee adventurer, could you share more about any interesting passion projects or hobbies you’re involved in? 

Alexander: “I’m a pretty multifaceted individual, and the sum of my hobbies and interests is probably too long to list. 

 

There is a common thread through a lot of my interests though, and that’s enjoying the finest things that the earth has to offer. So whether I’m enjoying coffee or foraging for wild mushrooms, selecting a wine at a restaurant or hunting a white tail deer, my appreciation for the earth and all she has to offer guides a lot of my interests lately.”

What does it mean to you to be a ‘Coffee Adventurer’?

Alexander: “To me, the adventure of coffee is had in paying attention to where your coffees come from and learning to value the stories of the folks who produce your coffee at origin. 

 

Coffee is a global commodity, produced and enjoyed all over our planet. It often travels a long way to get to you from where it came from, and that journey is a story worth telling at every point. 

 

In addition to that, learning what each growing region has to offer and how that connects to what your palate prefers is a lifelong journey unto itself. That’s the adventure to me.” 

"...with any content I create, I hope to simply inspire. Inspire those who are coffee curious to try something new, whether that be a brew method, a press, or a variety... It’s my hope that any point of inspiration leads to a moment of unadulterated enjoyment.”

What’s one tip you’d like to share with your fellow coffee adventurers when it comes to starting or continuing on this never ending journey that we all share?

Alexander: “To anyone who is beginning a journey into exploring the world of specialty coffee, I’d say a few things. 


First, welcome! It’s a deep rabbit hole, and the space can often feel intimidating. Wherever you’re at today is good, and wherever you’re headed is a path always forged best in community. 

Next, I’d encourage you to prioritize purchasing better coffee and not better gear. There’s a large marketing machine that wants you to believe that better gear brews better coffee, and although that can be true, your main ingredient is the key to enjoying your experience. Invest in good coffee that does good where it comes from, and learn to master one brew method at a time.


Much like how Alexander sees his content as a source of inspiration for anyone and everyone in the coffee community to level up their brewing game, we also see coffee as a starting point to embark on an adventure filled with new people and learnings along the way.


For Alexander, it’s all about inspiring and honoring each person’s story — as well as the origins and people behind the coffee that you drink. Through his own coffee adventure, he aspires to inspire and guide fellow coffee lovers every step of the way. 


For more coffee tips, tricks, and even some great music picks, check out this page for all of Alexander’s links and channels!

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