I began ordering coffee from local or Canadian roasters back in March 2020 when the pandemic hit and one of the first "events" that would be cancelled for me by the pandemic was Ottawa Coffee Fest.
I volunteered in the first edition of Ottawa Coffee Fest in 2019 and I was really been looking forward to working with the roasters once again in 2020. Since that wasn't possible, I chose instead to discover at least one new roaster every month. Turns out I was able to discover more and the whole list is below.
Although I didn't set out to review these different coffees, I was disappointed with myself that I didn't take notes regarding the different blends and roasts I purchased and their taste profiles. So I'm changing that this year! I've hooked myself up with a small notebook to keep track of my coffees and will be sharing my thoughts and findings moving forward.
Looking back there's a few notes I can make for these different roasters and I hope you'll check them out. Most offer Canada-wide shipping and I have been amazed with how quick the service from all of these businesses has been.
Available at many coffee shops across Ottawa, which is how I discovered them. They offer tours of their roastery which I look forward to doing when we get back to normal. One of my favorite coffees from the region for sure.
They recently opened their own coffeeshop and I can't wait to check it out. You'll find their beans in a few coffee shops across that National Capital region and around Quebec.
This coffee is usually what's on at Quitter's Coffee in Stittsville, one of the favorite joints when I was still working out of my company's offices. You can't go wrong with their coffee.
My "Best New Coffee Discovery" Award goes to Zab Café hands down. Of all the coffees I tried in 2020, I still remember this coffee clearly. I picked 2 of their blends based on the tasting notes and I was not disappointed. They're coffees are complex and offer lots to discover in every cup. Do try them! Available at Chez Edgar in Gatineau or through their online shop.
A classic! One of my old colleagues who used to be as obsessed with coffee as I was helped me discover this coffee. There tiny location in the Glebe is also one of my fave spots to pick up a cup while walking the dog. Truly a local brand worth supporting.
These guys are serious about coffee! I particularly love their "Which coffee should I choose?" quiz on their website to help you make the appropriate selection. Please please please try them out!
I heard about Monogram through one of my favorite cafés in Chelsea, QC - Café Palmier. The head barista at Palmier is in a league of his own, so if this is good enough for him, it's good enough for me. I don't think I brewed this coffee right as I found it a little overwhelming but nonetheless I enjoyed every cup.
I wish I lived in Magog to be able to go to this place every day, or at least every week! I still remember drinking my first cup of Fitch Bay and thinking to myself "I've died and gone to coffee heaven". If you find yourself in the townships, I beg of you to stop in and chat with them in person. They'll guide you to the right coffee for your brewing means and preferred taste.
Another Ottawa favourite! I do love going to Equator Coffee cafés across town and it seemed only natural that I would include their coffee in my 2020 selection. They only ever roast small batches so that their coffee is never "aged" and I appreciate that. If you're in Almonte, stop in at their headquarters to pick up your beans and a hot drink.
I couldn't be trying all the best coffees this region has to offer if I didn't include Happy Goat Coffee to the list. When I worked the Ottawa Coffee Fest I had the chance to rub shoulders with some of their staff and their enthusiasm for all things coffee was infectious. As leaders of the coffee scene in the region, I'm certain you'll find the right beans for your perfect brew.
Last but not least, Ideal Coffee! I have a family connection to this place as my brother in-law is one of their baristas. When we visited, I bought beans for myself and my father. We were both delighted to the point my dad gave me a call after his first brew just to mention how fantastic the coffee was. They collaborate with Happy Goat for their roasting needs but the different blends and roasts are all their own. Give them a try if you're in the By-Ward market.