I’ve been searching and hoping and waiting for the world of quality coffee to expand into my area. After a few trips up to Montreal, and many great coffees, I was continually disappointed by the offerings in Hamilton and Burlington. The Faraway Foodies travelled west this past summer and sampled the best cappuccinos the west coast had to offer and this only made me think harder about what I could do to bring that elixir closer to home. Obviously I did little but thankfully Kaelin McCowan did lots. He bought a Diedrich IR-12, a 960lb monster roaster capable of churning out 103lbs of cracklin’, freshly roasted coffee an hour – on ebay with an iphone. I guess he’d been home roasting for about 5 years and decided to step it up a notch. Or three. After his purchase he flew out to Washington State, rented a truck and drove it home stopping at espresso bars across the country. He kept a blog detailing his journey here at http://detourcoffee.wordpress.com/.
This morning I headed into Dundas first thing to check this place out. I heard about it on Thursday in the local newspaper. It’s hidden in an alley just off the King W. The place is great, fantastic atmosphere and Kaelin and co. were really welcoming. Although you can get espresso drinks made it is not a restaurant and instead donations are made in return for a drink. However, if you’d like to purchase whole beans (recommended, they’re fantastic and really, the whole point of his operation) you can sample before you buy. A sample cup is brewed on the spot for you to try. I had the Ethiopia Sidamo Special Prep – intense berry and almost peach-y flavours, nice bright acidity and clean finish. I have to say it was a pleasure to have a really nice cup of coffee again, no offense Starbucks.
Anyway, if you’re not in Dundas you can purchase Detour Coffee from various cafes in Toronto, all listed on the Detour site at http://www.detourcoffee.com/.