CONRAD — Folklore Coffee may seem like an unassuming pitstop for brewed coffee in the small town of Conrad, Montana - but it harbors a hidden punch.
Opened in 2014 by owner Andy Pollard, Folklore Coffee has remained consistently one of the underrated coffee shops in the entire state.
“It's really fun to see everybody take their first sip and be like, this is really good,” says store manager Jessica Bailly.
“We wanted to do coffee at its kind of highest form. We realized that the small towns we grew up in were pretty underserved. And so we got this idea of trying to serve coffee of that high quality in smaller communities and just seeing if it took,” says Pollard.
What many people don’t know is that Folklore has been rated as some of not just the best coffee in the U.S., but the entire world.
Five years ago, Pollard submitted his roast into the Golden Bean competition, an annual event which brings coffee roasters around the world to compete at their own regional levels. For example North America makes up one region, while Australia-Asia makes up another.
Most recently, Pollard won two bronze medals and one silver at the regional level. In the past he has even won gold in regionals. In order to qualify for the World Series and put your beans up against the best of the best, a competitor must finish top two in their region.
Last year Pollard qualified for the Golden Bean World Series, entering his roast into the filtered category. His brew took home third place against competitors from across the globe.
Pollard credits his relationship to local farmers for helping sustain his success.
“First thing I always have to say about a coffee being special is that it was farmed really well. Then from there, my job as a roaster is to figure out what the farmer did and what products they have and then how to show what they've done. And so we take the coffee and we just try to show what's naturally there,” he says.
Andy says he intends to compete in the 2024 Golden Bean World Series this coming February, and is always looking for ways to heighten the class of his product.
Folklore Coffee is at 322 S. Main Street in Conrad. Click here to visit the website.
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