Photos by Daniel & Christina Dennis/Untold Imagery
There’s a new coffee roaster in Helena, and the roaster behind it is out to show you can have really good quality coffee that’s not majorly expensive, or intimidating to select. You can find Daysol Coffee Lab coffees in several Piggly Wigglys around Birmingham and Helena Drugs, or you can go straight to the source in Old Town Helena to get a cup or bag of beans. Soon you’ll be able to order a Coffee Stout made with their beans at Oversoul Brewery too. Here’s what you need to know about their operation.
How did Daysol Coffee Lab come to be?
I lived in Denver for 11 years and learned to roast coffee there. One of my good friends and coworkers Peter Solis was providing space at his house for me to roast. We started chatting about coffee, and he told me he’d like to be a part of the roaster I envisioned. We put our last names together, Davis and Solis, to form Daysol. My wife and kids and I moved to the Birmingham area in 2019 to be closer to family and started Daysol then. We roasted in Woodlawn for about a year and then started looking for something permanent. We loved he tOld Town Helena area and were lucky enough to find a spot on the main strip.
Can you tell us more about your coffee, its sourcing and how you roast it?
We source all of our beans from a couple of different wholesalers that work directly with the farmers so we make sure the famers are being taken care of. We have three blends right now: Gratitude (Columbian and Ethiopian), Odyssey (Honduran and Costa Rican) and Wanderlust (Brazilian and Guatemalan). I roast everything light to medium in-house in the shop in our 6-pound roaster. If you come by, it’s really pretty and the centerpiece of our front lobby. Our goal has always been to roast the coffee so it’s smooth enough to drink by itself.
What else will we find in your space?
We are more of a walk-in roastery than a coffee shop. We don’t offer lattes or anything like that. We have our blends out on a tasting bar and sample cups and full cups if you want a full cup. You can taste the differences between the three, and I think that’s the most surprising part is that they all taste different. We are as much of an education space as something else.
What else is unique about your model?
There’s a million coffee shops out there, but there’s not a lot of places where you can learn about where coffee comes from. We may make it a hang-out spot in the next couple of years, but right now we are grab-and-go. We are roasting coffee in its purest form, and once a month we do a coffee education class on a Friday night. get to take a bag of coffee home with you too. There’s a classes tab on our website, and I announce the next class about three to four weeks beforehand. It’s limited to the first 10 people to sign up.
What was it like to grow a business during a global pandemic?
During COVID our home deliveries exploded, and a lot of people started learning how to make coffee at home when they had more time on their hands. Instead of popping it in a Keurig, they got a French press or figured out how to do a pour over. We do home deliveries in the Birmingham area, or you get a cheaper price if you come in the store. We also have a subscription option where you can sign up for one, two or four bags a month, and it automatically shows up via delivery or shipping.