the best toronto specialty coffee roasters
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The Best Toronto Specialty Coffee Roasters in 2024

Toronto is fortunate to have one of the most vibrant specialty coffee scenes in the whole of Canada. But with all the choice, it’s difficult to know just who the best coffee roasters are.

In no particular order, we’ve put together a list of our six favorite coffee roasters roasting the best coffee beans in Toronto. We provide you with a little background on each roaster along with what they have to offer this year.


Owned by Andy and Jessie Wilkins, Pilot coffee roasters started under the name Te Aro Coffee Roasters in 2009. The name ‘Te Aro’ carries significant meaning as it’s the neighborhood where Andy grew up in Wellington, New Zealand.

Originally, Te Aro was a specialty cafe and micro-roastery that supplied coffee and support to new cafe owners across Toronto. Rapid success convinced the owners to rebrand four years later in 2013, with Te Aro becoming Pilot Coffee Roasters.

Pilot prides itself on roasting and brewing coffee using the best equipment and methods. Its meticulous efforts in coffee making made it possible for Pilot to earn the 2014 Micro Roaster of the Year award.

The cafes under Pilot are filled with fun-loving people and friendly baristas. Here are their locations:

  • 117 Ossington Avenue
  • 439 Richmond Street
  • 983 Queen Street East
  • 55 Bloor Street West
  • Front Street West (Union Station)
  • 50 Wagstaff Drive
  • 100 King Street West
  • 36 Toronto Street

Pilot’s website has a really nice selection of coffee that includes blends, single origins, and decaf from Latin America and Africa, all of which are available as whole bean or ground. Prices start from $18.50 for a 340g bag, with the choice to also purchase 2.1kg bags if you’re really in need of caffeine.

Pilot also sells cascara. Cascara is made from the dried skins of the coffee cherry fruit that house coffee beans on the coffee plant. By infusing the cascara is boiled water, you get something akin to a fruit tea. This is delicious served alone or it can be combined with sugar to make cascara syrup.

Pilot has also teamed up with Swift Cup Coffee to produce a specialty instant coffee that, unlike normal instant, will really delight your taste buds.

You can also take advantage of Pilot’s subscription service. Opt to pay-as-you-go or select from among the prepay options. The minimum order is for two bags of coffee, which you can select to receive two-weekly, three-weekly, four-weekly, six-weekly, or eight-weekly.
Pack sizes340g / 2.1kg
Bag priceFrom $18
Whole bean & ground?Both
Subscription service?Yes

Sam James

Sam James, formerly roasting under Cut Coffee, began in 2009, and its namesake is one of the best roasters in Toronto. Sam James puts a real emphasis on quality over quantity, with all of the coffee beans being roasted in small batches.

The success of Sam James has led to the opening of five cafes in Toronto. Each Sam James Coffee Bar has a minimalist look that’s in keeping with third-wave specialty cafes. The cafes can be found at the following locations:

  • 297 Harbord Street
  • 917 Queen Street West
  • 150 King Street West
  • 15 Toronto Street
  • 141 Ossington Avenue

The Sam James website has a small variety of coffees to choose from. There are currently two espresso blends, one decaf, and three single origins from Latin America and Africa.

Prices start from $18 for a 340g bag of coffee. Their Butter Knife espresso blend is also available in 2.2kg bags. All of the coffees are available as whole bean or as ground to suit a range of brewing methods such as espresso, AeroPress, and cold brew.
Pack sizes340g / 2.2kg
Bag priceFrom $18
Whole bean & ground?Both
Subscription service?No

De Mello

De Mello, which was recently rebranded from De Mello Palheta, isn’t just a catchy name. It was inspired by Brazil’s coffee industry founder Francisco De Mello Palheta. Just like its namesake, De Mello coffee roasters aims to distribute coffee that embodies the culture, tradition, and techniques of coffee cultivators.

De Mello has been serving their delicious coffees since 2013. The roastery started out on a very small 2.5kg Diedrich roaster, progressing later to a 12kg machine in 2015. The surge in demand for De Mello coffee has since meant the company purchasing a gigantic 70kg roaster to keep up with orders.

As well as the roastery, De Mello also has a cafe at 2489 North Yonge Street in North Toronto. The cafe has a rough-around-the-edges feel with its grey color tones that are offset by an artistic arrangement of umbrellas on the ceiling.

De Mello stocks an interesting range of single origins from Latin America and Africa, as well as several different blends and one decaf option. Prices start from $12 for a 227g bag of coffee that is available as whole bean or ground to suit a range of coffee brewers. There is also the option of 2.2kg bulk bags.

You can also purchase coffee sets such as the Home Brew Starter kit or the Ethiopian trio. Just like Pilot coffee roasters, De Mello also offers bags of cascara if you’re looking for something a little different.

De Mello offers a flexible subscription service, too. With a minimum order of two bags, you can receive ground or whole bean coffee weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Mix and match the blends or get a surprise each time with their Roaster’s Choice option.
Pack sizes227g / 2.2kg
Bag priceFrom $12
Whole bean & ground?Both
Subscription service?Yes


Reunion coffee roasters is one of the oldest players in Canada’s specialty coffee scene. Peter Pesce, former chairman of the Coffee Association of Canada, originally founded the business as Reunion Island. In 2014, he decided to rebrand, dropping the word ‘Island’ from the company name.

It’s little wonder that Reunion has thrived in the coffee industry for more than 10 years, with their attention to detail and direct sourcing of coffee beans from multiple farmers that employ a range of different processing methods.

If you’d like to sample the coffee, Reunion also has a cafe located at 385 Roncesvalles Avenue. You won’t miss the building filled with loyal Reunion coffee fans enjoying the minimalist design and friendly color scheme.

Reunion’s website has a wide range of coffees to choose from. Most interesting are the small lots from single farms in Latin America and Africa. The roastery also offers the standard blends and decaf options, too.

Prices start from $16 for a 340g bag of whole bean coffee. The coffees are also available to buy in larger 900g bags. Many of the coffees available are Rainforest Alliance certified and organic Fairtrade.

By subscribing to Reunion’s subscription service, you save 15 percent on every delivery. Select to receive your coffee anywhere from weekly to eight weekly and everything in between.
Pack sizes340g / 900g
Bag priceFrom $16
Whole bean & ground?Whole bean only
Subscription service?Yes


Social Coffee & Tea Co. was founded in 2009 by Steve Souphanthong. Steve wanted to change the way people viewed coffee by providing a better coffee experience. As such, he devoted a lot of time in the beginning to researching and learning all aspects of the coffee roasting industry.

Social takes pride in sourcing their coffee beans from passionate coffee farmers, and the learning and improving never stops.

Social’s drum roasters have been modified so that the roaster is able to strictly monitor the bean temperature, air temperature, heat levels, and fan speed during the roasting of the coffee beans. This attention to detail ensures that the coffee beans are really some of the best in the city.

Social’s range includes light and medium roast signature blends, single origins from Africa and Latin America, and one decaf option. Unlike most specialty roasters, Social also offers a French roast (Imperialiste Noir) for those that like darkly roasted coffee.

All of the coffees are available as whole bean or ground to suit a wide range of coffee makers, with prices starting from $15 for a 340g bag.
Pack sizes340g / 2.2kg
Bag priceFrom $15
Whole bean & ground?Both
Subscription service?Yes


Hatch coffee roasters founder, Alfonso Tupaz, didn’t start the business out of deliberate planning. After running out of coffee whilst living in West Africa, Alfonso used what he had to build a small crank coffee roaster.

By his own admission, this led Alfonso down a rabbit hole. He quickly became a self-confessed coffee nerd, devouring everything he could get his hands on to learn more about the craft. He immediately knew that this is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, so he returned to Canada to set up Hatch coffee roasters.

Hatch has a somewhat limited list of coffees compared to other roasters on the list, but there’s everything you could want from single origins to blends to decaf. They also sell smaller bags of a rare origin lot. These rare lots are among some of the best in the world, with the farms having been included in the Cup of Excellence awards in recent years.

As for all of the other coffees available, prices begin at $17 for a 300g bag of whole bean coffee. There is also the option to subscribe to receive two bags of coffee on a monthly basis. Select from Roastery Select, Espresso, or Drip coffees, which you can pay-as-you-go monthly or prepay for three or six months.
Pack sizes300g
Bag priceFrom $17
Whole bean & ground?Whole bean only
Subscription service?Yes

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