The Artisanal Coffee Revolution

The evolution of the coffee industry has been one of steady growth since the 1960’s when Sanka became a recognized household name. The first wave brought increased popularity. The second wave introduced us to the readily available big name cup of coffee.

Today’s third wave coffee culture is flying high with an ethical and progressive movement towards better control over the process of sourcing, testing, roasting. and brewing. Untraceable coffee is no longer acceptable practice. Mass-produced over-roasted beans are being cast aside in favour of high-quality, small batch specialty coffee. 

With a much-needed resurgence of quality over quantity, coffee enthusiasts can now enjoy individually crafted brews, made fresh to order. Artisanal coffee roasters are passionate, and as with any other artistry, they believe in the delicate quality of their product, and hope the true flavour of their coffee beans can be fully experienced.

Here in Halton, our local roasters are working to provide consumers with some truly delectable choices in coffee and cuisine.

Detour Coffee

Image Credit:  Detour Coffee

Image Credit: Detour Coffee

Location: 2234 Harold Rd, #2, Burlington ON / Café 41 King St. W, Dundas ON

Contact: 905.331.7800

Website: detourcoffee.com

Detour Coffee Roasters believe in reducing their environmental footprint while simultaneously creating an enhanced community experience. They view the customer as an integral part of the creation chain, and readily admit to obsessing over the art of getting their roasting perfected, “to the point of mild insanity “.

They recently travelled to Rwanda to enable social changes by supporting procurement from women-owned coffee farms. Detour is equally as serious about their Loring Kestrel roaster, the masterpiece of the operation, and clearly the Ferrari of the roasting world. It’s self-contained and smokeless, reducing emissions by 80% compared to traditional machines. Their seasonal coffees are also complemented by a full-scale bakery and restaurant, Dear Grain, serving slow ferment artisan breads, jams, and pastries by Master preserver Camilla Wynn.

The Detour Café, 41 King St. W in Dundas, serves a gluten-free brownie bar adorned with crunchy cocoa. Resistance is futile.

Firebat Coffee

Image Credit:  Firebat Coffee

Image Credit: Firebat Coffee

Location: 407 Speers Rd. #7, Oakville ON

Contact: 289.400.9551

Website: firebatcoffee.com

Firebat Coffee’s “unique transfer of energy and flavor from source to cup”, is made possible through meticulous micro farming, clean production methods, and a focus on fostering respect for the environment.

In Mayan mythology, the bat, or Sotz, was a guardian figure of protection, spreading seeds and furthering growth.  Firebat similarly strives to guard the quality of their coffee forests. Their dedication and fiery passion for honest craftsmanship culminates in their impressive flavor-based portfolio of coffee that originates solely from El Salvador. 

Working with producers to ensure direct trade and fair prices, Firebat often pays farmers far above commercial price for their delicate shade-grown Arabica varietals. They stand by three main principles: flavor, transparency, and sustainability. Firebat’s slow roasting techniques extract the subtle notes from their beans, and successfully deliver coffees rich in both history and flavour.

Vereda Central

Image Credit:  Vereda Central

Image Credit: Vereda Central

Location: 310 Kerr St, Oakville ON

Contact: 905.842.0887

Website: facebook.com/veredacentral

Vereda Central is a perfect example of how to do coffee the right way.  Born from the idea of finding the best possible coffee beans from a variety of Columbian veredas, or small villages, their coffee is personally sourced, and all processes of milling, roasting, and packing are done themselves.

Their attention to detail is evident in the close relationships they build with their farmers. Through honest connections with growers, complete traceability, and a focus on direct trade, they work to improve crops with training and feedback to achieve the best quality harvests. Affiliated with The Specialty Coffee Association of America, Vereda believes in better control over their hand-picked beans. They use smaller roasters for their 5 kg batches, compared to some of the bigger 60 kg machines that roast much larger amounts. Owners Juan and Laura Sarmiento believe large batches can often result in defects.

Vereda’s coffee is 100% natural with no additives. Juan understands the importance of indulging individual tastes, as each customer is unique, and he experiments with brewing techniques to find just the right blend for his clients. Vereda is available online, in coffee shops, and wholesale in restaurants and bakeries. Don’t miss their upcoming tasting party on October 4th, 2018, and stay tuned for the launch of their Canadian website coming soon.

Brothers Coffee Roasters

Location: 2172 Wycroft Rd, #6, Oakville ON / 298 Kerr St, Oakville ON

Contact: 289.837.1535

Website: brotherscoffeeroasters.com

Shaun Waitzer opened Kerr St. Café with his brother Mark in 2010, which was then followed by Brothers Roasters in 2014. The “small batches good vibes” mantra has been a lucky one for them; business has blossomed into a popular full service event company where quality coffee, clean eating, and environmentally sustainable practices are a way of life. Shaun furthered his roasting knowledge at Vermont’s Coffee Lab, and is currently planning trips to origin to increase direct trade partnerships with their farmers.

Brothers recently switched to 100% biodegradable take-out cups and compostable packaging.You can easily find information online about their selection of specialty coffees from Brazil, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica, with the added bonus of reading uniquely diverse information about altitudes, varieties, and specific producers. Word has it they serve a delicious medium dark roast espresso, made from a complex four-origin blend, and tasty single origin coffees that are rotated regularly. A favourite local spot to unwind.