The 10 Best Coffee Roasters in Vancouver 2019
It’s very easy to forget about all the effort that goes into a cup of coffee. We sit there with our perfectly beautiful lattes and our masterfully created pastries and often don’t think about what actually went into the small brown beans that make our taste buds tingle. Roasting coffee is a huge task, with hot sweaty rooms, burning hot roasters, heavy bags of green beans and bags made of this annoying material that sticks to your top and is impossible to remove. So this is our opportunity to thank those hard-working people in the back rooms, slaving over their machines. These are the 10 best coffee roasters in Vancouver 2019.
I’m really excited that I get to announce Espressotec Roaster Central as the sponsor of this post! Roaster Central is an online marketplace for local craft-roasted coffee. You can choose from over 50 different types of beans, from 25 (and counting) brands then have them shipped to your front door. We’re talking amazing brands, too! Pallet, Agro, Detour, Harken, House of Funk, and loads more. This ain’t a basic selection of coffee. This is the real deal, high-end stuff!
If you’re interested in checking them out you can head to their online store here, or keep an eye out for links by the individual roasters throughout this list.
Rocanini is a bit of a classic in Vancouver. They’ve been around for a really long time but I find they often have flown under the radar when it comes to coffee roaster awards. Well, this year ends that! 2019 has seen some incredible coffee come out of their big orange roaster. A particular favourite of mine is their Yemen, which was talk of Beanstock Festival earlier this year.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: The aforementioned Yemen coffee will melt your brain with its deliciousness. But in the event that this is not available, my goto is their Ethiopian.
9. C Market Coffee
This Coquitlam based roastery roasts on the toastier end of the spectrum, but don’t let that make you think it’ll have no flavour. Their beans are masterfully roasted at a medium-dark level, with the occasional brighter fruity coffee available on pour-over in their shop.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Their lighter Kenyan tastes bright and well balanced but I was really impressed with their to-go bags of single-serve pour-over coffee, specifically the Ethiopian Guji.
8. Matchstick Coffee
Matchstick has been around for ages and are well known for their light, bright and fruity coffee roasts. They have five shops spread across the city, with their beans appearing on lots of cafe shelves across the country. Expect an amazing coffee experience with a service level to match.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Their Kenyan coffee is one of the juiciest filter coffees I’ve ever had, with some amazing chocolate notes in the aftertaste.
7. Moving Coffee
Moving Coffee is a tiny, but mighty roaster located in Mt Pleasant. You can expect insanely high-quality coffee roasted by Edmond, their head roaster. This is where you go if you want to drink some of the fanciest coffee in the city in a compact but welcoming environment.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: They have one of the best espresso roasts in town, which I recommend you get as a “split’. This is a shot of espresso with a macchiato on the side.
6. Modus Coffee Roasters
Modus has a set of usually 5-6 mainstays in their coffee lineup that fit within certain taste profiles. What this means is that no matter what kind of coffee you like, they have a bean for you to drink. This year has also seen them dip their toes into the world of Geisha, the Rolls Royce of coffee beans.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Their “LATIF” roast is my absolute goto and one of my favourite coffees ever. It’s bright, fruity and impossibly well balanced. Currently it’s a Costa Rican bean used for this roast.
Interlude from The 10 Best Coffee Roasters in Vancouver 2019!
The 10 Best Coffee Roasters in Vancouver 2019 will continue after this quick ad break!
For the last year, I’ve been working on a project called Siply (you might have noticed that throughout this article I reference whether a shop is part of the Siply network or not).
Siply is an app that enables you to find the best coffee shops in the city then get amazing deals on drinks. Simply put – you can’t get better prices on your drinks anywhere else than this app. I made a little calculator to show this, have a play with it and see what you think:
If you’re keen to try it out, you can download it by visiting the website here.
5. Timbertrain Coffee Roasters
Timbertrain has one of the most visually appealing roasteries out there, with large bleachers that you can sit on to watch them on their immaculately clean roaster. Their coffee is varied – from the dark and chocolatey to their bright and fruity competition quality roasts.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: Pretty much anything they have on batch brew. Their Depot location is arguably one of the best places in Vancouver for batch brew filter coffee.
4. Prototype Coffee
Protoype has been roasting a while, but they opened their first venue to the public this year. What really makes them stand out from 99.9% of other roasters is that they will roast your coffee to order, so you know it’s the freshest you can possibly get. They also have a massive amount of selection, so there’ll always be something for everyone here.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: It’s pretty much impossible to recommend anything because all 14-15 of their regular coffees are insanely delicious. I’ve literally never had anything that would score lower than a 10 out of 10. So my advice is to talk to the barista about what you like and they’ll recommend something. While you’re at it, try a steamed nitro cold brew, it’s intense.
Light, bright and delightful coffee is their mantra. Luna focuses on roasting on the lighter end of the spectrum, with a focus on making each cup an experience of flavours. They roast to bring out bright flavours such as fruit and floral notes. Note: they don’t have a brick and mortar store, so you can find them on their website and in several coffee shops across the city.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: I used to be a die-hard for their “Jelly Donut” but their Apple Jam really does taste like apples, so if you can get hold of that, make sure to snag some.
2. Agro Coffee Roasters
An East Van classic, Agro caters to pretty much every coffee drinker out there. Their dark roast is one of only a few I enjoy on the planet all the way to their Roasters Choice light roast, which is always fruity and spectacular.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: 99% of the time my goto is their roasters Choice beans. It’s usually light roast, bright and fruity with loads of tea-like qualities to it.
1. Pallet Coffee Roasters: Winner of The 10 Best Coffee Roasters in Vancouver 2019
Pallet takes the win for the third year in a row with their incredible lineup of beans and huge new roastery. They cater to all palates (wamp waaa) with bean choices from pretty much every continent, as well as seasonal and one-off fancy stuff! If you like light fruity coffee they have you covered? More toasty medium roast? They have that too.
Vancouver Coffee Snob Recommendation: I honestly can’t keep up with how many great variations in beans they have, but I have never had a bad espresso shot made with their Top Shelf roast, so if it’s available I’d highly recommend you try that.
That’s it for today. Tune in tomorrow for the finale to the Snobby Awards – The 2019 Best Coffee Shops in Vancouver.