In 2009, after several years in the restaurant industry, David decided to take an open-ended trip overseas. Before he left, the phenomenon of progressive coffee had only just begun in Montréal. David had always loved coffee, even experimenting with using a popcorn popper to roast at home (without much success). When he returned from his travels, the coffee scene in Montreal was expanding rapidly, and after several visits to the best cafés, he knew that he had to be part of it. Starting as a barista at Le Couteau and Tunnel Espresso, he quickly learned his craft, finishing in the top ten of the Canadian Barista Championship and third place in the first national Aeropress brewing competition. He was in charge of commercial clients and quality control at Saint-Henri Microroaster before deciding to found the Montréal Coffee Academy.
With previous career experience mainly as a producer for video games, CGI cartoons and visual effects for television and films, Chris got interested in coffee as a hobby at first, buying a high-end home espresso machine and grinder, and then collecting various other brewing equipment, cups, t-shirts, etc. When he was looking for a change in careers, he decided to try to turn that hobby into a profession. Knowing he needed to learn a lot before doing so, he went in search of a barista job. He was fortunate enough to be the first employee hired at the groundbreaking Café Myriade, and received an intensive training from its owners, Anthony Benda and Scott Rao, during the café’s first year of operation. He then worked as a consultant and trainer for many Montréal cafés and restaurants, before opening The Knife, a progressive café on Saint-Denis Street in Montréal in March, 2012. Chris has now sold that café, and is focusing on his new venture, the Montréal Coffee Academy. Chris can talk about coffee for a really long time.