Build-Outs Of Summer: Pilot Coffee Roasters In Toronto, ON

By Build-Outs Of Summer, Cafes, Canada, Featured, mahlkonig peak, Manulife Centre, marco, modbar, North America, ontario, Pilot Coffee Roasters, puqpress, toronto, Trevor Walsh, Williamson Williamson Inc.

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In Toronto, Pilot Coffee Roasters is building themselves quite a coffee empire. We’ve featured Pilot previously in the Build-Outs of Summer, all the way back in August 2017. Two years ago, they were hard at working opening their fifth cafe, an impressive number no doubt. That is, until you fast forward to today and Pilot is getting ready to premiere their seventh (if you count the seasonal pop-up).

Some things are staying the same from the previous build, specifically a plethora of cold coffee options and Pilot’s continued work with Toronto architects Williamson Williamson Inc. But for this new location, Pilot is dropping the box-type espresso machine and going instead for the undercounter Modbar AV. The new location is soon to open, so let’s grab a little sneaky peaky before the rest of the world, shall we?

The 2019 Build-Outs of Summer is presented by Pacific Barista SeriesnotNeutralKeepCup, and Mill City Roasters.

As told to Sprudge by Trevor Walsh.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

Pilot Coffee Roasters is a full-service roastery, cold brewery, training provider, and cafe operator with six permanent locations across Toronto, a seasonal shipping container cafe, and wholesale accounts from coast to coast. Our passion for great coffee and commitment to quality remains at the heart of everything we do.

Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

Pilot Coffee Roasters is opening their first uptown location in Toronto’s luxurious Yorkville neighborhood this summer. Located in the Manulife Centre (which is undergoing a massive $100 million redevelopment), our seventh permanent cafe will be a full-service retail location offering whole beans of our house blends and seasonally rotating single origins, brewing equipment, accessories, and merchandise. Behind the bar will be a range of espresso and brewed coffee options, Pilot Cold Brew, a rotating seasonal coffee cocktail (non-alcoholic), and other non-caffeinated beverages. The coffee program will be supported with a full menu of freshly baked goods, healthy snacks, sandwiches, and salads delivered daily from our east Toronto kitchen.

Signature Pilot Coffee design elements will highlight the Modbar Undercounter Espresso system, including oak cabinetry, metal detailing, and high top bar with seating. Unique stadium seating will be on either side of the cafe for customers who aren’t on-the-go to sit and enjoy their coffee.

What’s your approach to coffee?

The perfect roast is only possible if it begins with the perfect green bean.

The first step to realizing our mission is finding the most amazing green beans this world has to offer. Beans that have the depth of flavor that tells the story of where they come from. We track down and source exceptional coffee by working closely with our trusted partners on the ground and traveling to the coffee’s origin. The truth is, we would be nowhere without the skilled effort of the farmers and the workers producing high quality specialty coffees to share through the roastery. To honor this indispensable effort, we are always expanding our Direct Trade model. This involves regular trips to origin, building strong relationships with producers, touring their farms, and purchasing coffees directly from the growers as often as possible. Through Direct Trade, we can be sure that the premium prices we pay go straight into the hands of our producer partners.

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

Three-group Modbar Espresso AV, Mahlkönig PEAK grinders, Puqpress precision coffee tampers, Marco Jet Brewer, Mix 3 Marco Hot Water Tower and Dispenser.

How is your project considering sustainability?

Bring your own mug incentive (save 25 cents), fully compostable packaging for our avocado toast and salad menu items, paper straws, bio cutlery, and milk waste audits performed by managers on a monthly basis.

pilot coffee roasters toronto canada

What’s your hopeful target opening date/month?

September 2019

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

Toronto-based architecture and design studio Williamson Williamson Inc.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Pilot Coffee Roasters is located at 50 Wagstaff Drive, Toronto. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The Build-Outs Of Summer is an annual series on Sprudge. Live the thrill of the build all summer long in our Build-Outs feature hub.

Disclosure: Pilot Coffee Roasters is an advertising partner with the Sprudge Media Network.

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Source: Coffee News

A Coffee Guide To Ottawa, Ontario

By 49th parallel, Black Squirrel Books, Bluebarn, Bread By Us, Bridgehead Roastery, Buchipop, Cafes, Canada, city guide, Cloudforest, Cut Coffee, Cyclelogik, Detour Coffee, Drift Magazine, Fellow, Ground Control Cyclops, Guides, kalita, kinto, Little Victories, LOAM Clay Studio, North America, ontario, Ottawa, Pilot Coffee, probat, Quitters, Staff Picks, SuzyQ, The Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs, The Record Centre, Voga Coffee

Ottawa, Ontario—Canada’s capital, caught between Montreal and Toronto on too many bands’ Canadian tour legs. At first blush, when thinking of its coffee culture, Ottawa might conjure something of a blank slate—but that just might be all the snow.

Truthfully, Ottawa’s coffee scene has exploded as of late. Having just hosted its inaugural Ottawa Coffee Fest in the 4,900-square-foot, historic Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park, Ottawa stands poised to counter an ill-deserved reputation as a sleepy government town with a Starbucks at every corner.

Whether as a waypoint or a destination on your next trip up north, Ottawa has in recent years become a distinctive stop for coffee drinkers, with a robust and lively scene and a litany of well-differentiated takes on the local shop.

ottawa ontario canada coffee guide

Bridgehead Roastery

Any exploration of Ottawa’s third wave scene starts here—both literally and figuratively. Founded in 2000 and having since grown to a sizable chain (that has thus far resisted expansion beyond city limits), Bridgehead holds down the capital with a roastery location at the crossroads of Little Italy and Chinatown, in an architecturally impressive warehouse.

A Probat roaster proudly hums along just behind the seating area; beside it, a German stone mill grinds away for fresh loaves of their in-house bread. The cupping lab and other open offices innocuously line the back of the establishment.

On-demand Kalita pour-overs and housemade kombucha feature on the menu, while expansive murals highlight Bridgehead’s fair trade relationships dating back to the beginning when the company was at one point run by Oxfam.

Most anyone familiar with Ottawa’s coffee scene will readily acknowledge Bridgehead’s pioneering influence. Although Ottawa is now home to a couple dozen Bridgehead shops, partnerships such as with Ottawa’s LOAM Clay Studio for a hand-thrown ceramic mug illustrate an ongoing attention to detail.

Bridgehead Roastery is located at 130 Anderson St, Centretown. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


The Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs (Wellington)

Just 10 or so years ago, Hintonburg was perhaps better known as a rather run-down city centre. These days, the creative, once-and-future animation alley has drawn out a small business boom, with the requisite caffeine to fuel it all.

Steps away from The Record Centre, you’ll find the Ministry of Coffee home to an industrial-chic atmosphere, with exposed ceilings, bare drop-down lighting fixtures, and an extra-large wooden centre island matched by floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall blackboard menus. A rotation of huge pop art murals adorn the opposite side, with Bono and the Red Hot Chili Peppers looking over the daily bustle.

Ministry’s multi-roaster rotation might feature Toronto’s Cut Coffee or Dundas, Ontario’s Detour one week, or Vancouver’s 49th Parallel the next; roasters as far as Europe, Australia, and Japan have also been featured, giving additional reason for regulars to return and establishing MoC as a locus for coffee drinkers looking to happen upon something new.

An extensive whiskey and spirits menu (with tasting nights), local kombucha by Buchipop, and a variety of sandwiches using slices by neighboring bakery Bread By Us round out the experience.

The Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs is located at 1013 Wellington St West, Hintonburg, Ottawa. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

ottawa ontario canada coffee guide

Black Squirrel Books

Black Squirrel Books hews closer to the coffeehouse as an intellectual hub than the average establishment. Serving coffee by local roasters Bluebarn and Cloudforest (the latter of which specializes in coffees from Ecuador), Black Squirrel also recently launched a new cocktail menu and charcuterie board. Acting as a hub for the city’s small but vibrant experimental and new music scene, it’s not unusual to see mainstay local improvisors like Linsey Wellman filling the space with curious sounds, or to find the walls reverberating with drone music well into the night.

Possibly more impressive than the coffees and local microbrews up front is the book collection located towards the back. A massive library sprawls right down to the basement, all but guaranteeing a chance encounter with a new conversation piece to pair with your cappuccino.

Black Squirrel Books wears its literary identity on its sleeve: various decorative typewriters casually mingle amongst its regulars, many of whom are students from nearby Carleton University. Indigenous art takes a showplace along a sidewall. It’s a meeting place that foregrounds different perspectives—a coffeehouse ingrained with the value of the exchange of ideas.

Black Squirrel Books is located at 1073 Bank St, The Glebe, Ottawa. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Little Victories

This cozy shop, nestled in the Glebe, will likely be the only place in Ottawa you’ll find the foamy “Australian cappuccino,” the Magic (double shot flat white), and the Piccolo—in essence, a Lilliputian latte—front and centre on the menu.

Third Wave acolytes will feel right at home here: A copy of Drift magazine is casually left among cascading floating shelves lined with products by coffee hardware darlings Kinto and Fellow. In keeping with this, co-founder Jeremie Thompson takes pride in the shop’s newly-acquired Ground Control Cyclops from Voga Coffee, further evidence of Little Victories’ positioning as a “coffee first” cafe.

Rather than possibly overextending themselves, partnerships are a cornerstone of this small business: their first shop of the current two was and remains an in-store pop-up in the corner of the Cyclelogik bike shop in Hintonburg—a sensible pairing.

Similarly, in the Glebe, the local and highly-lauded doughnut wizards at SuzyQ have set up shop inside Little Victories. Straight-from-the-oven circles of goodness formed from an old Finnish recipe temptingly line the counter display.

Little Victories is located at 801 Bank St, The Glebe, Ottawa. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


ottawa ontario canada coffee guide


Finally, out of left field—literally and figuratively—comes Quitters, on the far east end of the city. Founded in 2014 by local musician Kathleen Edwards, who had at the time quit the music industry (and, incidentally, has recently signed a new record deal), here you’ll find Toronto’s Pilot Coffee Roasters on bar, and, incidentally, Little Victories’ roasts as well.

Irreverent, deadpan humor is an integral part of the Quitters experience, with the requisite jokes adorning the sandwich board. With a bustling local crowd that lasts well into the evening on Saturday’s regular trivia night (replete with wine), Quitters is a quintessential slice of backyard Canadiana. It’s a (not so) sober reminder that no matter how sophisticated Ottawa’s coffee scene may yet become, the people hold the centre of it all.

Quitters is located at 1523 Stittsville Main St, Ottawa. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Curtis Perry is a journalist based in Ottawa, Canada. This is Curtis Perry’s first feature for Sprudge.

Top image via Aqnus/Adobe Stock.

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Source: Coffee News