Roast! West Coast
Coffee People
Coffee People: Bryant Banker-Scanell, Relative Coffee/Mill City Roasters

Coffee People: Bryant Banker-Scanell, Relative Coffee/Mill City Roasters

Fast tracking your coffee education experience.
Photos via @millcityroasters on Facebook.


Guest: Bryan Banker-Scannell
Role: Coffee Educator (Mill City Roasters) & Founder/Roaster (Relative Coffee Co.)
Based: Minneapolis, MN
Online: •
What they order: Cortado a.k.a. Gibraltar and/or a cup of single origin pourover coffee

Being a coffee roaster himself, Bryant is better able to provide coffee education, especially as it relates to the Mill City equipment he’s working on. It’s a win-win-win (as Jared from Hacea Coffee Source would say).

  1. Mill City benefits because they are better able to serve and, by extension, sell to their customers.

  2. Customers win because they are getting advice and coffee education from someone experiencing the same things on the same equipment that they are.

  3. Bryant wins because he gets to pursue a passion and develop his coffee roasting brand.

Left: A man pours coffee from a pot in to a half dozen white bowls. Right: An overhead view of colorful coffee bags scattered on a table.
Left: Bryant sets up a cupping (pc: @millcityroasters). Right: Relative’s Coffee Co. color block packaging. (pc: @relativecoffeeco)

Our career (and coffee) journeys are often circuitous. We rarely know—at the moment—where a zig or a zag will lead us, but being in the right place at the right time is a start. Recognizing an opportunity is often what gets us to our destination.

Bryant set a goal and worked to put himself in a position to achieve it. Now that he’s succeeded, he’s able to go forth day after day, offering up the same opportunity for others to engage in specialty coffee.


  • The Aeromatic App is a AeroPress timer app for your phone with a bunch of aeropress recipes. I just downloaded it on my phone, and I kind of love it. It takes some of the thinking out of my 1st coffee of the day, which is when it is hardest for me to do real thinking.

  • Bryant’s first memorable cup of coffee was an Ethiopian Natural Washed process from Dogwood Coffee at a dying mall in South Minneapolis. What was yours? Let us know in the comments.

    “I just want to make people’s morning.”

  • The quote above, give or take, is something Bryant said in his interview at Caribou Coffee. It may have just been something he said at the time, but it became a truth in his life as he continued on his coffee career as a barista, restaurant and cafe manager, and then as a production roaster at Dogwood Coffee

  • Check out the Tropicana brand redesign that resulted in a $30,000,000 loss in only two months:

  • Definition: Group head - The place on the espresso machine where the portafilter connects and hot, pressurized water is forced down over the coffee grounds. Also know as the brew head. During our conversation Bryant referenced a Synesso three head group. He was referring to an espresso machine with three group heads for pulling espressos simultaneously.

  • The playlist I listen to when I’m drinking coffee…or whiskey.


The Washington Post took a stab at breaking down the cost of a cup of coffee. It is a nicely illustrated description of commodity coffee from the perspective of a business owner. My biggest complaint is the title. Why the negativity?

A lot goes into the cost of a cup of coffee, and the base per-pound number goes up when you consider ethical sourcing of craft coffee. While commodity pricing has ranged between $1-2.40 over the past five years, we regularly chat with craft/specialty coffee roasters who are paying $3-7.00 per pound (if not more). The added expense goes toward higher-quality coffees, improved working conditions, and long-term farm sustainability efforts.

Matt Hankes, former Coffee With Podcast guest has continued his transplant advocacy and was recently featured in the Coeur D’alene Press. Click the photo above to read the article. Check out our original podcast chat below.


We dropped guess the beans in the jar kits at a few great R!WC partners this week. Stop by the coffee purveyors listed below for a chance to win $50 in coffee gift cards, fresh roasted coffee, and merch!

Three side-by-side-photos of coffee beans in a glass Ball jar with a sign sticking up that says Guess The Beans Holiday Contest. Various coffee shop items like pastries and coffee bags are in the backgrounds.

It’s easy to play.

  1. Guess how many beans are in the jar!

  2. Write that guess and your contact info on a slip of paper.*

  3. Drop your answer in the jar.

Winners announced 12/15/2023 right here on the R!WC website and on our @roastwestcoast social medias.

*Write clearly. If we can’t read your email, how will we let you know when you win?

Find Contest Jars at:

A huge, on-going thank you to all of this show’s industry partners. Click these links!

Roastar • Zumbar Coffee & Tea • First Light Coffee Whiskey • Steady State Roasting • Mostra Coffee • Coffee Cycle •  Camp Coffee CompanyIgnite Coffee Company • Ascend Coffee Roasters • Marea Coffee • Cape Horn Coffee Roasters • Hacea Coffee Source • Crossings Coffee • Acento Coffee RoastersSivitz Roasting Machines

Click here to find R!WC podcasts on your favorite listening platforms!

Do you want to support the show without subscribing? Help keep us caffeinated by buying us a cup of coffee. Thanks for all your support.



Check out the R!WC Store for new hats, beanies, and to pick up a few extra coffee journals!


It’s true! Promo code below.

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Roast! West Coast
Coffee People
The new Roast! West Coast Coffee People thread. The same interviews with inspiring coffee people with a new name.