Montréal coffee roasters
The proliferation of independent coffee shops in Montréal has been increasing in 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. Therefore, Montréal is now seeing an increase in micro and Nano coffee roasters. Most of these local roasters purchase their beans at the source by visiting producers or buying from private imports or cooperatives when it’s not possible. The entire roasting process is controlled down to the minutest increments, 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 the roasters who are offering more depth and knowledge with every cup.
Saint-Henri micro-torréfacteur is one of the first coffee roasters in Montréal. It has recently inaugurated its state-of-the-art headquarters in the Mile-Ex, where it roasts and serves coffee and sustenance to its legion of fans. It offers several courses, from home coffee making to more professional ones.
Le Brûloir has been around for almost a decade now. Its Ahuntsic roasting “Labo” strives to roast the best beans, which it serves at its 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 its social media channels for its cupping events. You can purchase its coffee from its website.
What started out as Montréal’s first coffee truck is now a brick and mortar business with three shops, a roaster and a coffee subscription program through its site. 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.
Kaito and Café 8 oz.
Located in Hudson, so technically not in Montréal, 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 its Verdun café or on its website.
Café 8 oz. uses the Kaito facilities to roast its beans, which it serves at its two locations as well as at Vélodidacte, Vice Versa, La réserve naturelle and L'armoire à glaces, which uses its coffee in its affogato!
Zab and Paquebot Café
The partnership between micro-roaster Zab and independent Paquebot Café is a dreamy one resulting in one of the best cups of coffee in Montréal, and isn’t that what it’s all about? 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.
If you’re a café aficionado in Montréal, you’ve probably already tasted Barista’s roasted beans. It specializes in white label, 100% custom made blends designed for specific cafés. You can also purchase its own beans, coffee subscriptions or a coffee course at its National Barista Institute.
94 Celcius started roasting in its Ahuntsic facility in 2017. You can taste its coffees at Café Zézin, Café Les Renards, Les Faiseurs or Arhoma, among others. You can purchase its coffees from its site, where it also sells cascara, the dried coffee cherry that is often discarded but makes an excellent tea or addition to drinks.
Kittel atelier de café
Named after founder Guillaume Kittel-Ouimet, Kittel atelier de café has been roasting carefully selected beans in its Rosemont workshop since 2011. You can find its coffee in many Montréal shops and cafés, including Café Parvis, Mère Grand and Club Espresso Bar. It delivers its coffee by bicycle and does free cupping events that is open to the public every first Friday of the month.
The Canadian Roasting Society co-roasting facility
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 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 Montréal’s cafés and micro-roasters to become members of the CRS. Here they are below.
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. It started roasting its own sourced beans at the Canadian Roasting Society in November 2018. You can taste its beans at its café or purchase them online via its website.
Traffic roast micro and Nano lots and were the first roasters to commit to the Canadian Roasting Society right from the beginning. You can taste its coffee at Café Melbourne, Gypsy, Léché Desserts, L’or en Grain, Nocturne Café, Méchants Pinsons and more. You can also purchase its 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 Montréal 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.
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 Montréal 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.
Mayssam Samaha, blogger
Mayssam Samaha is a food and travel writer and blogger and the founder behind the blog Will Travel for Food. She travels the world in search of the next culinary discovery. From Iceland to South Africa, she’s already visited over 30 countries and there’s nothing she enjoys more than wandering around a farmers’ market in a foreign city. She is also the founder of the SAISONS intimate dinner series highlighting Québec products and chefs.