Ethica Coffee Roasters - Brewed at a Distance

Updated: Jan 22

Ethica Coffee Roasters is fairly new in Toronto’s coffee scene, opening its café and roastery in November 2019. The shop is located at 213 Sterling Road, across from Toronto’s MOCA.


The coffee shop is one I really resonate with. Ethica prides themselves on being coffee-connoisseurs, and champions carefully selected, high-quality beans & processes. Their mission is to create “a life enriched by coffee”.


Taking a sip of anything on their menu, it’s obvious they are succeeding this goal.


LOCATION & AMBIENCE


Located in the Lower Junction Triangle, Sterling Road was once an industrial & manufacturing hub. As Toronto has shifted to more of a commercial city, businesses once located in the vicinity have shut down or relocated. Over the years, the area has repurposed vacant buildings into mixed-use spaces for a variety of businesses, including Ethica Coffee Roasters.


Ethica highlights the building’s industrial history/look through melding with design. At the café, you can expect to marvel at the shop’s high ceiling, use of mixed metals/materials, exposed beams & piping, and repurposed materials (like oil drums as trash cans & outdoor tables). Another design favourite of mine: their use of a bright red shipping container to house a bathroom in the corner of the café.



Although we cannot sit inside the coffee shop right now, I look forward to being surrounded by this atmosphere while sipping good coffee and working away on my laptop. Until then, we can enjoy their coffee (and the sunshine) outside – if you’re lucky, you may be able to even snag one of their 3 outdoor tables.


MENU & PRICE


The café’s menu is divided into sections: black coffees (ex. drip, americano), white coffees (made with milk, ex. latte), iced black coffees, iced white coffees, iced teas, hot chocolates, and signature drinks (aka unalcoholic coffee cocktails). On top of these, they also serve a few other drinks, like milkshakes and fresh orange juice.


I love speciality drinks, so the cocktails at Ethica have my heart. Right now, their signature drink menu include an Espresso Tonic (espresso + tonic water), an “Espresso Dream Soda” (espresso + cream soda from neighbour Henderson Brewing), and the “Bumble” (cold brew + raspberries + OJ).



I got the Bumble on my visit and there are zero regrets. If you’re looking for a drink to wake you up, look no further than this fruity combination. My coffee date got an iced mocha, and it was also excellently crafted (Ethica uses 70%+ dark chocolate, yum).


Along with drinks, Ethica also serves a selection of baked goods such as croissants, cookies, quiches, and more. I ordered the rhubarb croissant, and it was as pretty as it was delicious. If you’re looking for a baked good with a kick (tart/spicy), try this on your next visit.


Drinks at the café range from $3-$7.50. With drip coffee on the lowest end, and the café’s signature drinks on the highest.


By no means is it a cheap café, but the quality is excellent and worth the splurge from time to time. It should be noted that if you don’t plan to get a coffee cocktail each visit, Ethica’s prices aren’t much different than those of other speciality coffee shops across the city.



HOW TO SUPPORT THEM


New, small businesses have been some of the hardest hit during this time, which is why it more important now than ever to continue supporting your local coffee shops.


Asides from patronizing the café by buying drinks and food to-go, you can also purchase bags of their coffee to brew at home. At Ethica, you can learn more about each variety by talking to the baristas or by simply scanning their QR code. You can also learn more about the coffee and order online.


I especially like the site’s recommendations of what coffee(s) to try depending on your preferred brewing style (espresso, filter, or V60). If you love a variety, consider trying their monthly subscription box, in which you can choose to receive 1-4 coffees monthly.


In store and online, you can also purchase coffee equipment & merchandise.



SUMMARY


Located in the Lower Junction Triangle, Ethica Coffee Roasters is a café and roastery whose principles centre around their passion for coffee. The shop combines the industrial elements of the building with thoughtful design, creating a beautiful space that visitors can marvel at. The café’s menu is divided into sections, including black coffees, white coffees, iced coffees/teas, hot chocolates, signature drinks, and others. Drinks range from $3-$7.50 and are well worth the price. Ethica also sells baked goods, bags of coffee, and coffee equipment/merchandise.




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