Reliable and consistent coffee roasters in Toronto?

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

#1: Post by DrBalance »

Upon searching for Roasters in Toronto just for a change from my usual, I came across Pilot Roasters in Toronto. Zero crema, zero flavor. I returned to my beloved Social Coffee offerings. Never disappointed in years of buying bags. Also, idrinkcoffee.com has a very nice, what they call "Espresso Yellow" that was an incredible pull too.

Does anyone else know of any reliable, consistent and trust worthy roasters in Toronto to try?

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Spitz.me

#2: Post by Spitz.me »

Pilot is a great cafe and they roast great tasting coffees. Your experience with the Heritage just sounds like it was fairly stale, but it is a pretty "blah" blend to begin with. It is their "house" espresso at their cafes and even when they offer it, it's boring.

Social is great, but even they have some pretty subpar offerings.

I do feel a pull to certain roasters because I'm not really that interested in trying different roasters anymore. Even now when I try different roasters, I tend to get what I prefer and it's rare that the different roasters make a difference that matters.

I've been buying Lusso and Klatch coffees and I'm realizing now that the premium I'm paying - coffee in the US is pretty expensive - isn't quite worth it. We have Canadian/local offerings that are fairly similar, if not better. Pilot is one of those roasters.

As for Toronto, you can try grabbing a bag of the Manic blend from Manic Coffee. It is roasted by Social and it's an approachable blend that's more nuanced than Heritage. You can also get Stumptown and Intelly offerings from Manic.

You can try Landscape, but I don't prefer their offerings since they're mostly single origin light roasts. They might have changed over the last 3-4 years since I last bought.

I'd try more Pilot offerings. Pilot and Social are probably the best roasters in the GTA - we don't have much. Others have tried and liked Reunion Island. I'm not a fan, but they have many. Everything I've tried from their cafe was pretty bad. This and their retail bags are pretty stale at the cafe.
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Haskens

#3: Post by Haskens »

I've ordered from pilot for many years, and they've been very solid. Not the most unique roaster, but they do a good job with their single origins, and the heritage blend is great for milk drinks with a very pronounced toffee sweetness. They are a pretty well regarded roaster in the Canadian scene - I expect the coffee you were sent maybe wasn't packaged properly or may have frozen and thawed a couple times on the way to you as it's the beginning of spring. It sounds like they tried to make it right for you as well.

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arcus
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#4: Post by arcus »

Pilot Monument is one of my regular blends. I've tried Heritage a number of times and it's not my favourite but it's still above average. I've also ordered from them many times (50+) and never had a single bag like what you described.

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Radio.YYZ

#5: Post by Radio.YYZ »

DrBalance wrote:Upon searching for Roasters in Toronto just for a change from my usual, I came across Pilot Roasters in Toronto. Zero crema, zero flavor. I returned to my beloved Social Coffee offerings. Never disappointed in years of buying bags. Also, idrinkcoffee.com has a very nice, what they call "Espresso Yellow" that was an incredible pull too.

Does anyone else know of any reliable, consistent and trust worthy roasters in Toronto to try?
A lot of people like pilot, i have not been satisfied with most of their offerings. Their price to product ratio does not make sense and as for a 3rd wave outfit they tend to not be as good as they can be. Their roasting quality in terms of evenness is good but i have not liked the flavour profiles from their single origins. If you have tried this blend before and it was different then probably something has happened, there are many places that will roast coffee and ship the same day in the GTA.

As for the 5 day rest they recommend, it is not written in stone i have been finding it varies from coffee to coffee (i usually do light roasts) and some coffees shine after day 12-14. There is also variances in the green beans from crop to crop.

But as you said it was weak tasting and not a lot of flavour, if its your usual coffee then something is wrong otherwise try a different roaster.

I have issues with every roasters in terms of roast level and evenness as slight deviation in roasting time and temp can drastically impact the flavour in the cup. Short of roasting my own and investing in equipment there is not much one can do if you are into light to med light single origin roasts.

I use darkcitycoffee primarily in the east end of toronto, they do shipping as well. They have a LOT of green beans available to be roasted.
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DrBalance (original poster)

#6: Post by DrBalance (original poster) »

My apologies if I offended anyone and for not abiding by the rules on the locked thread that this thread was split from, as this was not my intention. I was merely stating my dismay with Pilot Coffee but realize the error of my ways. I'm sorry everyone, truly.

Moving on... has anyone had any experience with idrinkcoffee or social? What are your fav roasts from these two? Social I've been using forever but can't steer away from their Sadama Ardi for too long... it's that excellent. For IDC as stated above I've only tried their Espresso Yellow... also amazing but haven't tried their other offerings. I'd love to hear some of your favorites from both IDC and Social Coffee.

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#7: Post by PIXIllate »

I'm currently pulling excellent classic Italian style 1:1.5 ristrettos with the iDrinkcoffee Red. It's a fairly dark roast with small spots of oil on the beans so you'll want to be around 192-194F and pull the shots fairly tight. On my Profitec 600 the best shots are running about 32-34 seconds at 17 in 26 out. The Yellow and Blue also work well like this.

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bcrdukes
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#8: Post by bcrdukes »

Pilot has been a huge disappointment for me. I don't like them, and I can't recommend them. I agree with the point about price to product ratio is a two thumbs down for me. I'm not trying to be difficult or a jerk, but every time I give them a chance, especially in person for a shot of espresso, it's a big bold fail, further to be even more disappointed with their espresso blends.

I don't mind Barocco Coffee but very few distribution points.

Landscape is alright but they've moved to more lighter roasts which isn't my thing.

I haven't tried Social Coffee in a while but I did like the roast they did for Manic Coffee. I would recommend that.

Have you tried Propeller Coffee? It's been a while since I bought their coffee but I find they are similar to Pilot.

I can't think of any other GTA coffee roasters that I go bonkers over. I usually buy from out of province.
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1canuck2

#9: Post by 1canuck2 »

I seem to only post here to suggest this roaster - I swear I don't work there!! You should try Gold Star Coffee.
I have been buying from them for years, and I cannot believe more people don't try them.
I usually buy their 6lb combo pack: https://goldstarcoffee.ca/products/variety (its amazingly priced, and you can find 5% and a free half pound on top of that by a monthly email).
Jamaica Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona are my go to beans for drip.
Espresso, I go for Yauco Selecto or 50th
But there's many others to try!

I highly recommend.

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Spitz.me

#10: Post by Spitz.me »

bcrdukes wrote:Pilot has been a huge disappointment for me. I don't like them, and I can't recommend them. I agree with the point about price to product ratio is a two thumbs down for me. I'm not trying to be difficult or a jerk, but every time I give them a chance, especially in person for a shot of espresso, it's a big bold fail, further to be even more disappointed with their espresso blends.

I don't mind Barocco Coffee but very few distribution points.

Landscape is alright but they've moved to more lighter roasts which isn't my thing.

I haven't tried Social Coffee in a while but I did like the roast they did for Manic Coffee. I would recommend that.

Have you tried Propeller Coffee? It's been a while since I bought their coffee but I find they are similar to Pilot.

I can't think of any other GTA coffee roasters that I go bonkers over. I usually buy from out of province.
I totally forgot about Propeller. I haven't had their coffee in a year or so, but I did enjoy a few of their blends. The Ace was hit or miss for me. Hit early on, but as the blend evolved over the years it became more acidic and harder to get right. Their more classical roasts were nice.

I'm always surprised at seeing IDC recommended.... one day I'll try again.... one day...

I don't know if STEREO is still around, but Stereo was started by the guy that, I believe started Propeller, but left just a few years ago. They took over one of the Crema (Propeller) locations around Dundas and Jane. Their Analog blend was quite good.
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