Those who know coffee in Montreal—and maybe Brooklyn—have had the Dispatch Coffee truck on their radar for the last couple of years. Founding barista Chrissy Durcak has led the Dispatchmobile, serving quality espresso and treats through Montreal, tapping noted roasters like Phil and Sebastian of Calgary and Brooklyn mini-roaster Parlor Coffee.
The road's been fun, but now Dispatch are taking to more concrete lodgings just in time for the long Montreal winter. A full-scale roasting facility and coffee bar is slated to open this fall in Montreal's Mile-Ex neighborhood, located between Mile End and Parc Extension. Joining Durcak will be baristas Jordan Crosthwaite and Chris Durning; catering and bottled cold brew are also in the plans for the new facility.
For now, Dispatch Coffee exists as a softly popped open garage door with a cold brew tap for those who pass by. Montrealers are encouraged to come by, see their progress in action, and perhaps enjoy a “Cool Brew” (available noir or blanc).
As told to Sprudge by Jordan Crosthwaite.
Can you tell us a bit about your new space?
The new roastery and coffee bar will be in the liminal Montreal nieghbourhood called the Mile-Ex—a semi-industrial hotspot between the trendy Mile-End and residential Parc Ex. The space is the old home to our coffee truck—it's where we park the truck at night and a space that's been our home-base over the past year. We're now renovating the garage to house an coffee bar, roastery, and a lab where we'll be able to develop quality coffees & products.
What's your approach to coffee?
First and foremost, we are launching a roasting facility and coffee bar this September. The backbone of Dispatch Coffee is now going to be a roasting program that will focus on high-quality, seasonal coffees with transparent sourcing.
Dispatch Coffee has been operating in Montreal for two years, under the guidance of famed Montreal barista Chrissy Durcak, who has been serving espresso beverages, snacks and treats out of a food-tuck style mobile cafe in Montreal. We're original members of the Montreal food truck program, and have a reputation for bringing high-quality coffee to unique retail locations. In service, we emphasize an ethos of accessibility, mobility and hospitality.
As Sprudge knows, Montreal has a energetic and innovative speciality coffee community. We couldn't be happier to bring a new style and ethos of coffee roasting to the city. The new team includes founder Chrissy Durcak, Jordan “Director of Coffee” Crosthwaite, and Chris “Taster to the Stars” Durning.
Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?
We will be roasting on a brand new Probat P12, and we'e also invested in an afterburner to clean up some of the emissions.
We're decking the space out with an eye to service and hospitality. We're using the new Modbar espresso system to create a style of coffee service unknown in Montreal—the under-counter mounted boilers and machine guts can open up our service area and facilitate hospitality in the new space. We'll also be integrating a pour-over bar, cold brew on tap, and an innovative pastry program into our service model.
This summer we developed a 200L cold brewer that allows us to brew large, consistent batches that we sell through various local retailers and to individuals. Developing our cold-brewer has been a huge learning process with really rewarding results—we're excited about the product and the brewer itself is a amazing piece of technology.
What's your hopeful target opening month?
We're ambitiously aiming for an opening in September, when we will also be launching a new web-based retail application for bottled cold brew and other kinds of coffee catering. While we build-out our new space, we are be popping-up cold brew on tap outside our new garage space/coffee lab. We're building some neighbourhood buzz around the new space, and invite anyone to come by, have some cold brew and see what we're building.
Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you'd like to mention?
Too many amazing folks to mention them all.
For our coffee program and roasting, Jordan has spent time this summer learning from Reykjavík Roasters‘ Torfi Torfason, Bonanza Coffee‘s Jasper Springeling, and Drop Coffee‘s Joanna Alm. These three roasters have offered enormous support and help with helping get this project off the ground.
We've been working with architect David Dworkin to design our new space. He's a young rising star in Montreal's architecture/design scene.
We have an amazing community of people supporting this project: Jacques Gallant has done some welding and equipment design for our 200L cold brew setup, and David Roussel is custom-building our cabinetry and bar.
Our ceramics will be hand made by a local ceramic artist, and our branding/graphic design is a team of local creatives headed up by Sebastian Tremblay of Visual Ruckus.
Photos by Coey Kerr.