The now 30-year-old Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café has introduced a new roaster for a new decade. After many years of serving Waynesville-based Smoky Mountain Roasters, the café welcomes Mountain Air Roasting, an Asheville-based company with a lofty, if considerate motto: “It is our our mission to give you the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had, every morning.”
“It’s owned and single-handedly operated by Marshall Hance,” says café manager Hannah Campbell. “I have a lot of admiration for what he does. He just decided to be a roaster, and started his own roastery … and he’s already got some big accounts,” including Waking Life Espresso at 976 Haywood Road.
The café has been serving Mountain Air espresso for about a year, a switch she says was warmly received. “We really appreciated Smoky Mountain Roasters,” she says. “We’d been with them for more than a decade and had a lot of loyal customers, especially for the flavored coffees.”
The artisanal, rustic qualities of Hance’s coffee seems to fit the changing tastes of downtown’s ever-more discerning clientele. “He tries to roast as little as possible so that he can really let the coffee tastes come out,” Campbell says.
The variety of brews is as simple as it is archetypal: “We’re going to always have a light and dark roast — and a decaf,” Campbell says. “And we’ve got all-new machines — [they] just produce a way better coffee.”
Those machines currently offer Black Mountain Dark Roast, “which has cocoa and caramel notes with a soft acidity,” according to Campbell. And on the lighter side, Triunfo Verde, which “has vanilla, marshmallow and chocolate notes. It’s a perkier taste.” Prices have not changed, Campbell says.
Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café is located at 55 Haywood St. http://malaprop’s.com. For more about Mountain Air, visit http://www.mtnairroasting.com.