Who is Detour Coffee? (Dundas, Ontario)
Kaelin McCowan founded Detour Coffee Roasters in 2009 in Dundas, Ontario.
"Kaelin fell in love with coffee, and it became his passion. For many people, coffee can be a side job or something you don't necessarily think you'll fall full into, but it becomes your passion. Detour is about following that passion, following the good vibe and the fun aspects of coffee," Ryan McCabe, the Co-Director of Coffee, told us.
McCabe was friends with McCowan and ended up working for Detour himself in 2015. "I had been working at a roastery previously, but they were very focused on Fair Trade and organic. I just really loved Detour's model and wanted to source as directly as possible, so I joined the team in 2015 and have been here ever since," McCabe explained.
Fourteen years later, Detour now has four cafe locations and a sister cafe Dark Horse Espresso Bar, which has eight locations. You can find their coffee in cafes across Canada and their sister bakery, Dear Grain Bread, throughout Ontario.
Approach to Green Sourcing
Detour aims to make coffee fun; to make it an enjoyable detour from daily tasks or, in the case of many people who work in the company, a permanent detour on your life's path.
They believe the best coffee is your favourite coffee, whichever roast profile or origin. When sourcing, they focus on these fundamental principles: Relationships and the people, traceability and the process, quality and the product.
We chatted with McCabe to learn more about their approach to green sourcing.
"We believe the best coffee is your favourite coffee. There is no right and wrong. For us, it's all about the people, the process and the relationships, the traceability and the quality of the coffee itself. Honestly, we do everything based on relationships. We buy based on people we have worked with before. If it's new people, we always try to be flexible. But relationships and traceability are our primary focus," McCabe shared.
This location was Detour's first cafe. It has a full food menu that rotates frequently to showcase seasonal and local ingredients. They offer indoor and outdoor dining and takeout and can be found on Ubereats.
This espresso bar-style cafe houses their Dear Grain bread and pastries, prepared foods from Stipley Kitchen, an array of gourmet pantry goods and a bottle shop.
- Clever Happy Hour: Every day from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, for $5.50, you can order a clever dripper brew of their latest offering.
- Coffee Flight: For $9.00, you can sample a feature Singe Origin coffee prepared in three ways: an espresso, a cortado and an americano.
Mount Hope, Ontario:
Located in the departures lounge of the John C. Munro Hamilton Airport, this location was designed with the concept of "Made in Hamilton." As the last stop in someone's visit to Hamilton, Detour wanted the space to showcase local products from businesses in the city. It features an assortment of their coffees, a bottle shop from local brewery Collective Arts, ready-made meals and snacks from Dear Grain and a variety of local gourmand goods.
This cafe is Located at the Paris Wincey Mills Co. entrance and is a friendly neighbourhood spot. They feature artisanal teas, pastries, sandwiches, salads and coffee bags for home brewing!
Approach to Roasting
Using their Loring Coffee Roaster, Detour aims to enhance the sweetness, acidity, aromatics and texture unique to each coffee. They want to highlight the origin, variety and processing with the overarching goal of maximizing the flavour. The Lorign Coffee Roaster uses convection heat, allowing them to develop consistently sweet, clean and balanced coffees that are easy to extract.
While featuring a rotating selection of single-origin coffees, Detour has some mainstay profiles you can always count on being there!
This coffee is rich and balanced. It has a sweet brown sugar aroma, a syrupy texture and deep chocolate note with a cherry sweetness.
- Tasting notes: chocolate, hazelnut and cherry
- Origin: the blend always consists of coffee from the Cachoeira da Grama farm in Brazil as the base. Blended with a vibrant seasonal Central African coffee.
This blend is bright and vibrant with a tea-like texture.
- Tasting notes: floral, citrus and sparkling
- Origin: This profile is usually showcased with a washed Ethiopian coffee.
We recently featured this coffee in our Espresso Pack, and we all loved it!
- Tasting notes: chocolate, toffee and fig
- Origin: the blend of this coffee changes with the season.
This cup is rich and heavy yet balanced and sweet; it’s the perfect choice for a classic coffee drinker.
- Tasting notes: dark chocolate, molasses and toasted nut
- Origin: the blend is typically comprised of coffees from Brazil, Colombia and Guatemala.
Recent Roasters Pack Features
We have been featuring Detour Coffee since the beginning of The Roasters Pack! Here are a few recent features that we loved:
We featured this beloved blend in Issue #5 of The Espresso Pack. The blend consists of Guatemala and Colombia blend with tasting notes of chocolate, toffee and fig.
"Bottleneck is super smooth and easy drinking. It starts with a lot of dried fruits and aromatics that lead to a smooth and creamy texture," McCabe explained.
McCabe shared with us the story behind the name:
"This coffee is named, quite literally, after a raccoon who was stuck in a bottle. Detour had just opened its cafe in Dundas, Ontario, and one day the founder found a baby raccoon with its head stuck in a bottle. Of course, the whole cafe stopped, and the owner rescued it. This was when Detour was starting and looking for names for coffees and decided bottleneck worked because it sort of relates to coffee rescuing you. A lot of us see coffee as a sort of escape throughout the day."
San Sebastian Decaf
Detour has been sourcing this coffee as a single-origin caffeinated coffee since 2010. "It's basically everyone's favourite coffee. It won over baristas and home brewers. Then a couple of
years ago, when we found out we could get it as decaf, we were really excited, and it's great," McCabe raved.
With tasting notes of caramel, apple and green grape, it showcases how incredible decaf coffee can be. "It has a really nice brown sugar, almost cola-like aromatic quality. It has a syrupy texture and caramel-like sweetness, developing into a smooth apple note and a slight grape-like acidity in the finish," McCabe furthered.
Detour's Sister Companies
Dark Horse Espresso Bar
When it opened its first location 15 years ago, Dark Horse Espresso Bar was one of Toronto's first specialty coffee shops. Now, with 7 locations throughout the city, it is a staple in the Toronto coffee scene. With Detour as their home roaster, each location features the roastery's latest offerings and their home blends: 20 Grand and Northern Dancer.
Dear Grain Bread
The bakery began in 2016 in the back of Detour's Dundas location. The bread has been available at Dark Horse locations around the city but in 2022, they opened their first stand-alone store on Lower Ossingtion, in Toronto. The bread is made using a slow fermentation process (12-36 hours) with a high level of hydration (80%+) in order to achieve the desired texture and make it highly digestible.
Dear Grain Sourdough Studio
Address: 48 Ossington Ave
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 8:30 am - 7 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am - 6 pm
Phone number: (416)-532-7243
Dear Grain Commissary
Address: 103 Vine Street
Hours: Wednesday - Friday: 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 9 am - 2 pm
Phone number: (905)-528-8877