Mountaineer Coffee

Author: Rocky Destefano, Lake Rising Founder

I tend to be a sentimental man. And it has most definitely gotten worse as I have gotten older.  I have always loved deeply and passionately. There are many things in my life that I love; my family, my friends, my country, my hometown of Cleveland Ohio, and my wonderful yellow tabby named Buckeye. But while I love all of these very much, I am almost embarrassed to admit that perhaps the thing I love the most is the very thing that gets me out of bed every morning: coffee.

I started drinking coffee as a young kid, sneaking sips of my Italian father’s espresso, feeling the warm potion flow down my throat as I drank with the adults.  From that moment on my love affair has never waned.  

Coffee has been a constant through every phase of my life.  It was ever present after football games in High School and got me through many late nights at Waffle House while “studying” with friends.  

It was there the morning I got married, and at each of my daughter’s births.  

And it was the only detour I took the day my Father died.  I needed its warmth and comfort before I broke the news to my sisters.  

We all know the difference that first cup of beautiful espresso coffee can make in the morning. Behold the power of caffeine!

And It clearly isn’t just me suffering from the addiction. Coffee has a unique and complex role in history. In 14th century Turkey- Turkish law allowed women to divorce their husbands if they couldn’t provide a daily quota of coffee.  And I am pretty sure my wife might leave me even today if I didn’t provide her a cup every morning! And it’s not only the boost of adrenaline that I love about coffee, it’s the connections that coffee can help create. 

The best local coffee shops seem to create an environment for relationships of all types to start and flourish.

For hundreds of years, coffee shops have been meeting places for great thinkers, dreamers and schemers. They’ve been used for commerce, trials, and even scientific experiments (no really this is true-look it up). 

I once sat in a very old coffee shop in Venice, Italy and wondered how many love affairs had begun around their old stone tables. It is truly amazing the things that take place over a cup of coffee.

I have always felt that community coffee shops take great care to create spaces that encourage connections, kind of like an old-fashioned version of Facetime.  I think in this digital age it’s even more important to spend time connecting face to face than ever.

I say all this because Mountaineer Coffee is exactly the kind of place we needed in Clermont.  It’s the perfect place to steal away and get some work done, or to have a meeting with friends.  I was impressed with their prices, the quality & flavor of its coffee, and its ambience. The place has a cool retro vibe.  Part of its charm is that it’s housed in the lobby of the famous Citrus Tower. It provides an amazing space to spread out and release the days pressure.

Founders of Mountaineer Coffee: Daniel, Darby, Freeman, & Mable

Mountaineer Coffee began when Daniel Pritz, (co-owner) wanted to take his love of coffee one step further by learning how to roast. Starting on a small sample roaster, Daniel began to educate himself in the art of roasting high quality, single-origin coffees. Love of coffee inspired him to continue to educate himself and to constantly pursue new knowledge of Coffee. They roast their beans on a daily basis so every time you purchase a coffee you know you are getting nothing but the best.

Unroasted Beans
Roasted Beans

Mountaineer Coffee got its name from Daniel’s grandfather who owned “Mountaineer Antiques” in downtown Brooksville, FL. Which was the location of their first store.  The Clermont location is their third. The coffee and tea drinks are amazing, bright and flavorful plus they have some homemade treats. Check out their newest store at 141 US-27 in Clermont! So grab your loved ones or your laptop and savor every sip, coffee is after all one of the greatest luxuries life has to offer.

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