We've been fans of Pilot's cafes for a long time.
Also, when the moment came to choose our first partner in the matter, we did not hesitate too long.
Who is Pilot?
The roaster, founded by Andy and Jessie Wilkin and based in Toronto, has been burning seed for 12 years now. “The operations were pretty traditional then,” says Tyler Mastantuono, who joined the team after his first birthday, before leaving to open his own café in Montreal, then returning home. "We have a home-made burner that only roasted a few kilos of coffee at a time, it quickly had to evolve."
The business, which was originally called Te Aro (a nod to the neighborhood of the same name in Wellington, New Zealand where Andy grew up), is growing alongside the specialty coffee scene. In 2014, while its market expands, it won the Roaster of the Year Award awarded to the best micro-roaster. Since then, Pilot has multiplied its branches in Toronto and its points of sale in Canada to become a benchmark.
We could have chosen from several excellent roasters to start our adventure. But Pilot is one step ahead of many producers, both in terms of quality control of its products as well as in its service and its commitment to offer its bean suppliers a price and support that make the coffee trade more sustainable. .
“Most of our suppliers have been with us for a very long time,” says Tyler. It has helped us a lot to have a consistent and good quality product in times of crisis linked to the pandemic. But it is also a relationship that we develop in both directions, insofar as their knowledge of our methods and our ability to fully understand their cultivation techniques allow us to jointly adjust our ways of doing things to obtain the best final product. possible."
Also, Pilot undertakes to pay its coffee suppliers 25% more than the current direct trade price.
Our main motivation for choosing this Toronto partner: its products. Its range is impressive and the consistency of its blends is absolutely amazing.
On the one hand, the Heritage and Monument labels are famous classic mixtures. The first: our choice for lattes, cortados and other milky marriages. The second combines its chocolatey side with a touch of acidity. The Academy is the perfect balance between acidity, fruit and a caramelized side which gives it its richness.
Then, a world of discovery opens up to you. Products of single origin with destabilizing properties (like the Ethiopian Ana Sora and its marked aroma of strawberry) or comforting (like the Peruvian El Eucalipto and its fragrance of cocoa and orange), impeccable blends that lend themselves to all types of food. infusion (like the rich Community): Pilot never falters.
“Specialty coffees have multiplied over the years, but so have the demand,” says Tyler. It did not threaten us, on the contrary, but we had to stick to our basic values so as not to sit on our laurels. Innovating and constantly looking for ways to improve our methods and our products is part of our entrepreneurial spirit. ”
Modbar: face to face
Among the novelties at Faux Mouvement, we adopted a Modbar system. We notice it quickly: most of the hardware for the coffee machine has disappeared under the counter or in the basement.
Only a highly sophisticated service module remains in view, into which the basket is inserted using the handle.
“I have worked with Modbar for a long time,” says Tyler, “and I love this type of installation. There, the barista is facing the customer. The latter can see the entire operation, the coffee flowing, he can discuss with the one who operates the machine. In terms of product quality, absolutely nothing is lost. But on a human level, in the relationship that we establish with the people in front of us and the possibility of talking about the product, the difference is major. ”
Not to mention that, from an aesthetic point of view, even if we like big machines and their shiny hardware, the stripping that the Modbar allows has something refreshing and soothing in our decor.