montreal coffee roasters © Will Travel for Food

The best Montreal coffee roasters

A version of this Montreal coffee roasters article was first written for Tourisme Montréal.

The proliferation of independent coffee shops in Montreal has been increasing exponentially over the past few years. Third wave cafés have become the norm in every neighbourhood. The natural evolution of this interest in serving a superior cup of coffee is a curiosity vis à vis the entire process prior to the final latte art laden brew. This is why there has been an increase of micro and nano Montreal coffee roasters. Most of these local roasters purchase their beans at the source by visiting producers or buying from private importers or cooperatives when it’s not possible to buy directly. The entire roasting process is controlled down to the most minute increment including ambient humidity, roasting time, packaging and more, while constantly taste testing and roasting micro (or even nano) batches at a time for more control. Any small change can make a big impact on the final product.

Below is a list of some of these Montreal coffee roasters who are offering more depth, knowledge and flavour with every cup.

 

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CAFÉ SAINT-HENRI

Café Saint-Henri was among the first wave of Montreal coffee roasters. They have recently inaugurated their state-of-the-art headquarters in the Mile Ex, where they roast and serve coffee and sustenance to their legion of fans. They offer several courses from home coffee making to more professional ones.

 

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LE BRÛLOIR

Le Brûloir has been around for almost a decade now. Their Ahuntsic roasting “Labo” strives to roast the best beans, which they serve at their two charming cafés as well as at quite a few spots around town such as Café Bloom, Pâtisserie Bicyclette, Arhoma and more. Keep an eye on their social media channels for their cupping events. You can purchase their coffee from their website.

 

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DISPATCH COFFEE

What started out as Montreal’s first coffee truck is now a brick and mortar business with 3 shops, a roaster and an online coffee subscription program. Dispatch is committed to building a sustainable future for coffee, since the current demands and climate change are looking ominous for the plant and the people who harvest it. Dispatch is definitely among my preferred Montreal coffee roasters.

 

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KAITO and CAFÉ 8 OZ.

Located in Hudson, so technically not in Montreal, Kaito is one of Québec’s best roasters. The high quality beans are roasted in small batches and organized into coloured collections (Blue, Yellow and Red) based on their flavour profiles. You can purchase at their Verdun café or on their website.

Café 8 oz. uses the Kaito facilities to roast their beans, which they serve at their two locations as well as at Vélodidacte, Vice Verca, La réserve naturelle and L’armoire à glace, which uses their coffee in their affogato!

 

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ZAB CAFÉ and CAFÉ PAQUEBOT

The partnership between micro-roaster Zab and independent Café Paquebot is a dreamy one resulting in one of the best cups of coffee in Montreal, and isn’t that what it’s all about in the end? The passionate partners’ carefully selected beans are prepared with perfection at the three Paquebot locations. You can also purchase their coffee or a subscription on their website.

 

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BARISTA MICROTORÉFACTEUR

If you’re a café aficionado in Montreal, you’ve probably already tasted Barista’s roasted beans. They specialize in white label, 100% custom-made blends designed for specific cafés. You can also purchase their own beans, coffee subscriptions or a coffee course at their National Barista Institute.

 

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94 CELCIUS

94 celcius started roasting in their Ahuntsic facility in 2017. You can taste their coffees at Café Zézin, Café Les Renards, Les Faiseurs or Arhoma, among others. You can purchase their coffees from their site, where they also sell cascara, the dried coffee cherry that is often discarded but that makes an excellent tea or addition to drinks.

 

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KITTEL ATELIER DE CAFÉ

Named after founder Guillaume Kittel-Ouimet, Kittel atelier de café has been roasting carefully selected beans in their Rosemont workshop since 2011. You can find their coffee in many Montreal shops and cafés, including Café Parvis, Mère Grand and Club Espresso Bar. They deliver their coffee by bicycle and do free cupping events that are open to the public every first Friday of the month.

CAFÉ LARUE

Café Larue has 3 shops spread out in the Villeray and Petite Patrie neighbourhoods. They have recently taken up a fourth location in the Mile Ex where they have installed their roasting facilities. Even though this friendly enterprise is new to the roasting game, it shows great potential.

THE CANADIAN ROASTING SOCIETY CO-ROASTING FACILITY

 

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The Canadian Roasting Society was founded by Andrew Kyres (Tunnel Espresso) and Scott Rao (consultant and founder of Myriade). The Verdun space counts two state-of-the-art roasters that allow micro and nano Montreal coffee roasters to roast their own beans without incurring the cost of buying the pricey equipment. It’s also a space to mingle, share and learn from like-minded individuals who are just as passionate about the business of producing the best cup of coffee in the most sustainable way possible. Kyres and Bao’s great reputations in the coffee industry have helped in ushering a few of Montreal’s cafés and micro-roasters to become members of the CRS. Here they are below.

Traffic Coffee

Traffic Coffee roast micro and nano lots and were the first roasters to commit to the Canadian Roasting Society right from the beginning. You can taste their coffee at Café Melbourne, Gypsy, Léché Desserts, L’or en Grain, Nocturne Café, Méchants Pinsons, and more. You can also purchase their beans via their website.

Rabbit Hole Roasters

Rabbit Hole Roasters (what a great name!) started roasting at the Canadian Roasting Society in December 2018. They’ve been featured in several shops and are served in the Montreal Google offices as well as Griffintown’s Café Lali. The best way to get your hands on some of their specialty beans, like Yunnan coffee (they are the first and only ones to sell it in Canada) is to head to their website.

 

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Café Pista

Café Pista started out as a mobile bicycle coffee service powered by human stamina. It is now a beautiful Rosemont café serving a sustainable cup and beautiful food. They started roasting their own sourced beans at the Canadian Roasting Society in November 2018. You can taste their beans at their café or purchase them online via their website.

Structure Coffee Roasters

Structure Coffee Roasters started roasting at Kaito in Hudson in 2018 before eventually moving to the Canadian Roasting Society facilities. You can find their coffee at their own Old Montreal spot as well as at some of the city’s best cafés such as Café In Gamba, Yo & Co Espresso Bar, Cordova, and the Four Seasons Hotel as well as on their website.

Escape

Established in Montreal since August 2018, Escape has been present in New Zealand for the past 10 years (established by one of the founders’ brother). They’ve been roasting at the Canadian Roasting Society since its opening. Escape practices the green ways they preach by sourcing sustainable beans, shipping them only locally within Québec (and delivering by bike on the island of Montreal) and packaging them in compostable bags.

Solidarity Roasters

Solidarity Roasters’ founder is originally from New York. He started roasting at the Canadian Roasting Society when he moved to Montreal in the fall of 2018. At the time of writing this article, Solidarity beans were not available for purchase anywhere but the owner is currently hoping to open a shop in the Petite Patrie neighbourhood soon.

 

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Canal Roasters and of course, Tunnel Espresso Bar (co-founder Andrew Kyres’ café) are also members of the CRS.

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Wanna know where to go for a great cup of coffee? Consult my map of Montreal’s best independent cafés.



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