Detour Coffee Roasters – Experimentation and Enhancement in Burlington, Ontario

Last Updated on

When you love coffee as much as we do, finding the good stuff becomes a quest, and you just never know where you’re going to find your next cup of truly great coffee.

Detour Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee roasterie and purveyor of many quality beans, based out of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, is a company we came across that seemed to be supplying Canada with cup after cup of particularly delicious black brew.

With their home base (Detour Café, that is) located in the small but beautiful town of Dundas, Ontario, Detour Coffee Roasters is a company who cares about their coffee to the point where the difference between their cup and the next guys’ is distinctly noticeable.  “Hmm…”, we thought, “What is going on here?”

And while we love Detour Café and all of its charm, we became more and more interested in figuring out why their coffee, specifically, is so darn good.

Turns out, based on some cursory research, that their excellent coffee is for a confluence of reasons.

It begins with their roasting process (or recipe, you might say), and, furthermore, their unique coffee can be attributed to their adventurous sense of experimentation, not to mention where they source their beans, and how.  It makes one wonder why more coffee companies aren’t this way.

We then decided to go straight to the source and ask Detour Coffee Roasters directly if they would be willing to chat with us about just what makes their coffee so distinctly different from some of their competitors.  We need details!

Luckily, I got on the horn with Alex Yurek, the owner of Detour Coffee Roasters, and he was gracious enough to answer a few questions about his roasting company and his specialty coffee-making techniques.  It was a sweeping conversation that went hither and thither on all matters coffee, but I eventually boiled it down to the important stuff.

If you are an appreciator of specialty coffees, take out your quill pen and parchment and scrawl down a few notes.  We sure did!

Enjoy our Q&A with Alex Yurek of Detour Coffee Roasters!

Who is Detour Coffee Roasters?

Detour was born in 2009 in a back alleyway in Dundas, Ontario.

One of Canada’s earliest specialty coffee roasters, the brand was built on the idea that coffee should be more than just mindless morning fuel and that if we sourced and secured the highest quality green coffees in the world, and roasted fresh to order, people would fall in love with what’s in the cup.

Nearly a decade later our mission remains unchanged. We continue to strive to elevate coffee and act as industry leaders through ongoing experimentation and development.

Where are you based out of, and how far is your reach when it comes to distribution?

Detour roasts all of our coffee in Burlington, we have a cafe just outside of Hamilton and we distribute all across Canada.

We have customers as far east as St. Johns NFLD and as far west as Vancouver.

Being one of Canada’s earliest specialty coffee roasters, our reach across the country is quite wide.

What is the biggest part of your business at the moment?

The area where we are investing the most heavily is in our green coffee program.

In the past year, we have been investing in travelling to some of the world’s best coffee growing regions to find some unique coffees that we can bring back for our customers.

This involves investing in travel, experimentation and most importantly, spending more money at origin with our farmers to bring in a differentiated product.

Maintaining quality on the roasting side is critical to making sure this side of our program shines through in the final product.

Where do you get most of your beans from and do you deal with them directly?

Our green coffee program buys coffee from all around the world, including:

  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Guatemala
  • Hondourus
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Burundi
  • Indonesia
  • Peru
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Ecuador

And many more!!!

What’s your favourite roast that you’re enjoying at the moment and why?

My favourite roast that’s currently on offer is our Guji Uraga Ethiopia.

What kind of roaster are you using currently and what do you think of it?

We are on a Loring s35 Kestrel.

It’s a fantastic roaster that allows us to be much more precise in how we develop our roasting profiles for each coffee.

Additionally, it is significantly more energy efficient and smokeless, so our neighbours like it as well!

What are your plans for the immediate future with Detour Coffee Roasters?

Over the past few months, we have quietly been making some significant investments in further improving our offering for our customers.

Below is a smattering of the different things that we’re looking to unveil over the next few months:

  • Release of multiple direct trade containers of coffee that are currently on the water
  • A refresh of our packaging format
  • Launch of the Barista Fund
  • Launch of our equipment financing program for new cafes and existing partners
  • Expansion of roasting operations on the west coast


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.