Exploring, eating and writing about good food on Canada's west coast

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The aroma of freshly roasted Karma Coffee


Vancouver Island is definitely a thriving part of the west coast coffee culture, as seen in the wide variety of independent coffee shops and roasteries that can be found throughout the Island.

The Oceanside area of central Vancouver Island is lucky to have just such a business right in their backyard with Karma Coffee in Coombs, BC. This certified-organic roastery has been distributing their high-quality beans around BC since 1997.

Rob and Melanie Wesson, owners and dedicated advocates of both good coffee and good karma, are my kind of people. They took on the challenge of expanding a business that brings ethically-sourced coffee beans to the Island while using quality roasting techniques to provide java-lovers, restaurants and grocery stores with a great local brand.

I visited Karma Coffee House on a rainy, windy typical VI spring day, but the shop's bright and cheerful retro decor and the smokey scent of roasting coffee wafting by instantly warmed me up. Rob and master roaster Stephane brought me into the roasting room to get a closer look at how Karma makes their beans taste so damn good. 

I was fascinated by the combination of classic techniques and high-tech equipment used to roast Karma beans. Supplying many Vancouver Island grocery stores and restaurants with Karma Coffee keeps the roasters busy, not to mention all the foot traffic stopping by from a crema-topped latte and fresh bag of beans.

While Karma's most popular blends are their Midnite and Coastal Dark varieties, Rob, Melanie and Stephane always have their ear to the ground for emerging coffee trends and experiment with new roasts and varieties. I tried their new European Espresso blend, which is a medium (more caffeine with delicate flavour) and carefully-roasted less-oily bean that won't clog grinders and espresso machines like a dark roast. It's also very, very tasty.

Karma isn't just the name of the company, it's very much a part the philosophy of how this business cares for its community. Karma Coffee donates to the Salvation Army, lends a hand or a coffee cart to many community events and charity fundraisers, and is a big supporter of local businesses around Vancouver Island. New in 2013, they have launched the Suspended Karma program, where customers can buy a coffee, muffin or other in-store item that is 'suspended' until a person in need requests it when they visit. It makes for a great way to give back when buying a treat for yourself, and helps out those who need an extra hand now and again. 

Another surprise perk I found at Karma Coffee was that they don't just roast beans, they also roast their own almonds. And why not, who doesn't love freshly roasted almonds? I grabbed a bag to go with my latte and they made for a great afternoon snack that fueled the rest of my day.

Pick up a bag of Karma at stores around British Columbia or online and brew some freshly roasted good Karma at home, or stop by Karma Coffee House in Coombs  to experience for yourself why it feels good to buy coffee from people who care.

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Hi Gwen - Thanks so much for this rave review! We feel honoured that you think so much of us. See you soon. :)
Cheers Rob & Mel
Karma Coffee


My very favourite place to have coffee on Vancouver Island. Great people, great coffee, great vibe. Love sitting on the patio with the old vintage gas pumps enjoying one of Rob's Americanos!


Fabulous article. I know Rob & Mel and they are as wonderful as their coffee. Highly recommend visiting the roastery, having a tour and a fabulous cappuccino on the patio! Go! :) MM