Malcolm Lowe moved to Missoula from Seattle in 1993. In 1991 he managed Uptown Espresso, on lower Queen Anne for owner Phil Groves. He then went on to help Groves open the first DIVA Espresso in North Seattle.
“It was sort of a cliché that all you had to do was live in Seattle to become an expert on espresso, but I actually had some experience when I came out here. I learned from some of the original gurus in Seattle.”
Lowe first started Blue Mountain Espresso Services in 1993. Blue Mountain is a company that sells and services espresso equipment, and distributes supplies to espresso retailers. He sold his company in 1999, but his technical knowledge of espresso machines is an important factor in assuring the best quality shots.
“I have “razooed” these machines to produce very consistent shots at a high quality. Temperature control and daily cleaning are all important.”
Before the move to Missoula and coffee, Lowe worked in a professional theater as an actor, signer, composer, and sound designer from San Diego to Seattle. But between theater gigs he would work as a barista.
“I think I pulled my first shots in 1984 at the Ashland Bakery and Café during the off season of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.”
He has continued to be active in Missoula with the Missoula’s Children Theater, the University Drama Department and the choral group Dolce Canto. He also teaches the VSA choir for adults with disabilities.