Canadians - Name Your 3 Top Roasters - Page 2

Discuss flavors, brew temperatures, blending, and cupping notes.
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Bob_McBob

#11: Post by Bob_McBob »

Does Saint-Henri still use unsealed kraft paper bags for their coffee?
Chris

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Spitz.me

#12: Post by Spitz.me »

Chris' comment brings to mind Detour from Dundas, Ontario. They actually roast some drip coffees extremely well. I just haven't really been too fond of their espressos, ever. Detour sells their coffees in bags that are not air tight sealed with one way valves. However, they have started doing that with their Punch Buggy espresso offering.

If you like fruit, which I missed in my initial skim of your post, you might want to look around Social's offerings because they do a great job with fruity espressos.
LMWDP #670

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Bob_McBob

#13: Post by Bob_McBob »

Spitz.me wrote:Chris' comment brings to mind Detour from Dundas, Ontario. They actually roast some drip coffees extremely well. I just haven't really been too fond of their espressos, ever. Detour sells their coffees in bags that are not air tight sealed with one way valves. However, they have started doing that with their Punch Buggy espresso offering.
I've only ordered from Detour a couple times because of their bags. When they first opened, they used unsealed kraft paper bags, which made bulk ordering to justify shipping expenses impossible. At some point they started offering a "sealed" option for mail order if you requested it, but it didn't seem to be lined. Last time I bought a bag of their coffee (emergency purchase at local cafe), it was an unsealed kraft paper bag, and I can't remember if it was lined. Their holiday blend had a custom foil bag last year... so what are they actually using these days?

The justification given for roasters using kraft bags is usually something like "I want my customers to buy fresh coffee every week" or some such nonsense. Sealed foil or foil-lined bags should be the industry standard.
Chris

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Spitz.me

#14: Post by Spitz.me »

I go to Dark Horse to get coffee occasionally and that's where I see the Detour options. Their only foil, sealed bags are the punch buggy, some other espresso offering and the Dark Horse offering. Everything else is in the kraft paper bag, it's lined with plastic I think, but it's not air-tight sealed and you can tell the stuff seems to go 'off' faster than other roasters that offer the foil, air tight bags. I got their Guat SOE and really enjoyed it for 2-3 days, but since it's become highly acidic and lost it's 'chocolate'.

Also, it doesn't help that Dark Horse location I went to had some of those kraft bag coffees well beyond their freshness window.
LMWDP #670

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Bob_McBob

#15: Post by Bob_McBob »

None of the Detour bags at the local cafe had roast date stamps when I was there back in October (it was a Thanksgiving emergency). Some of the hand-written labels were clearly added after the coffee was received from the roaster, though. I got the impression the bag I bought was older than I would have liked, and I am not really even sure what coffee it was, because the label only had country of origin. They only had two coffees available for sale: Punch Buggy and their own branded "Hawkbit", which seems to be a rotating SO.
Chris

ECM (original poster)

#16: Post by ECM (original poster) »

Thanks again... I will try Social as well.

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Spitz.me

#17: Post by Spitz.me »

Bob_McBob wrote:None of the Detour bags at the local cafe had roast date stamps when I was there back in October (it was a Thanksgiving emergency). Some of the hand-written labels were clearly added after the coffee was received from the roaster, though. I got the impression the bag I bought was older than I would have liked, and I am not really even sure what coffee it was, because the label only had country of origin. They only had two coffees available for sale: Punch Buggy and their own branded "Hawkbit", which seems to be a rotating SO.
Their labels tend to only be country of origin. There's a stamp on the side of the bag now if it's espresso that says, "ESPRESSO". I'm not big on this practice of technically open bags of coffee with handwritten 'roast dates' on them. Ya, I quoted the term roast dates because, like Chris, I always get the impression once I start using the coffee that it's well beyond the time period it seems to be relative to that 'roast date'. Having said that, I've always seen roast dates on them.

/RANT
I'm confused by why SOME third wave staff seems to be either confused or passive aggressive about looking for bags with more recent roast dates. It always seems like such a chore or a 'sigh' prior to answering as if, you know, they have to deal with 'one of those guys.' It's a third wave shop, have some damn fresh coffee or at least train your staff to actually appreciate what freshness means.

Thinking about all this now though, it begs the question, "Why would we buy an open bag of beans?"
LMWDP #670

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mariobarba

#18: Post by mariobarba »

Bob_McBob wrote:Does Saint-Henri still use unsealed kraft paper bags for their coffee?
Last time I was there yes, with roast dates on them. They roast once a week, they really are a Micro-roaster. If you happen to be in town they have two locations, the one on Emery uses a San Marco lever. Prices are steep considering the paper bags the coffee comes in. Not sure how much shipping is, I've only ever picked it up on site. The GodShot is good as is the Holy Cow.

I have also had coffee delivered from Terracaf.ca. They have a huge selection, but tend to roast on the dark side. Some blends you can choose your roast level. They roast to order, so the coffee arrives fresh within one or two days if here in Qc. The roast dates aren't on the bags by default but if you include a note with your order they will hand write it for you. They made me a free espresso the time I went into their shop.

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Bob_McBob

#19: Post by Bob_McBob »

Spitz.me wrote:I'm confused by why SOME third wave staff seems to be either confused or passive aggressive about looking for bags with more recent roast dates. It always seems like such a chore or a 'sigh' prior to answering as if, you know, they have to deal with 'one of those guys.' It's a third wave shop, have some damn fresh coffee or at least train your staff to actually appreciate what freshness means.

Thinking about all this now though, it begs the question, "Why would we buy an open bag of beans?"
I have next to no experience with this, because none of the decent local cafes are worth a 10 minute drive, especially when they all serve coffee I can buy online anyway (Social, Detour... Reunion). I would definitely visit cafes more often if I lived in Toronto, if only for the larger selection of readily-available beans from out of province roasters. I always hit up Manic for some Intelligentsia stuff when I'm in Toronto. Too bad Lit no longer carries Phil & Sebastian.

I've mostly been drinking 49th Parallel so far this year. They always roast and ship the same day, which is what I expect from a third wave roaster. I noticed some standards slipping at other roasters around Christmas, so I hope it was just because of holiday order volume. Te Aro sent me a week-old bag of coffee, and Social sent me a couple bags that were a few days old. Kind of annoying when you are counting on it being as fresh as possible.

mariobarba wrote:Last time I was there yes, with roast dates on them. They roast once a week, they really are a Micro-roaster.
That is unfortunate. Their shipping is a flat rate $8. That's fine for several bags, but starts to add up if you only get a couple at a time (since freshness will become an issue when you can't freeze the excess). I would certainly be interested in trying a couple bags from them in one order, but I doubt it's good enough to justify a regular order at $19.50/12 oz after shipping.

Do you know what day of the week they roast, so I can time an order?
Chris

entropyembrace

#20: Post by entropyembrace »

Top 3 Canadian roasters for me are:

1: Fratello
2: Transcend
3: Social

I usually like SOE rather than blends, Fratello hits the top spot because they have a wide variety of single origin coffees which are suitable for espresso; they rotate through them in their cafe. Transcend's espresso "blend" has been a single origin for a while now, which they rotate every few months, which is always very good, but they don't have the variety of Fratello and their other offerings are usually too acidic to be easy to handle in espresso. Social is really nice, lots of blends and they have separate roast profiles for their SO's for drip and espresso, If they were closer I might rate them higher but it takes too long for Canada post to get coffee from Ontario to Alberta so I don't always get them fresh enough and I haven't ordered for a while because of that. :(