I’ve always loved going to the cottage. From the time I was a kid, I would rise early in the morning to enjoy a calm paddle with my aunt before spending my days cray fishing with my grandfather, splashing and floating in the lake, or tucked comfortably in the hammock with a good book.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed an even greater appreciation for those early morning calm moments: the moments before the surrounding docks are full of other cottagers, boats dot the lake, the sun causes us to retreat to shaded seats or jump in the water for reprieve, and excited squeals can be heard from kids playing up and down the shore. It’s the moments before this, when the sun is not at its full intensity, when the waters are calm, and there’s a mist that rolls across the lake as temperatures rise following the cool night, that I love so much.
It’s in these moments – before the lake wakes – where I have a chance to recharge as I take a moment to bask in the stillness around me. If there’s one thing that makes these mornings even better – and is really a must on a cool morning on the dock – it’s a big cottage-sized cup of coffee. I like to think that as I sit sipping on this steaming liquid gold, my hands warmly wrapped around my mug, and the caffeine starting to enter my system, the lake and I wake up and prepare for the day ahead together.
Luckily, roasteries in the hearts of classic cottage country landscapes are located all across Ontario’s Highlands, making it easy to create the perfect warm cup o’ joe to enjoy on the dock. Check out one of the following roasteries to make your mornings a little brighter.
In the quaint town of Barry’s Bay lies this small independent roastery with an iconic logo paying homage to the area – a silhouetted moose standing proudly on the front of every bag. With hand-selected beans roasted in small-batches, this team knows how to ensure a perfect cup of coffee. Stop into their roastery and espresso bar, Madawaska Coffee Co. Café, to pick up a bag or two of one of their seven roasts to enjoy on the dock, and maybe grab one of their delectable creations while you’re there – I’m a huge fan of the iced maple latte on a hot summer day.
With a founder who has both a long-standing love of coffee and an Italian background, it’s no wonder this roaster’s blends hold that something special. Created in Eganville, their seven different blends can be found for sale at partner cafes across the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County and each one has been crafted to delight.
This coffee is not only delicious, but with a focus on sourcing fair trade, organic coffee, is something you can feel good drinking. Use their online quiz to find your perfect coffee or tea and grab a bag from their ‘HQ’ roastery and café in Almonte. My quiz results suggested I give the ‘Bee’s Knees’ seasonal blend a try – touted as a summer blend that is all the buzz, I think I’ll have to grab a bag of this one for the cottage.
Sourcing directly from small farmers and roasting in-house in small batches, this roastery is focused on creating fair trade, organic coffees with fully developed unique characteristics. Pop into their café in Perth, located in “The Sheriff’s House” – a heritage building dating back to 1841 where Sheriff Thompson once resided – to pick up a bag. With the beauty of this historic spot and lovely views of Gore St. and the water, you might not even want to head back to the cottage.
These roasters take both coffee and sustainability seriously. Founders, Lorraine and Bill, have not only lived off the electrical grid for more than 25 years, but they’ve infused their commitment to the environment in their business as well – using sustainable energy sources, roasting small-batch coffee, eliminating waste streams, and packaging in compostable coffee bags. Let the power of the sun fuel your day by picking up a bag from this Clayton-based roastery at one of their partner coffee shops or retailers in the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County areas.
With green beans sourced from farmers committed to excellent coffee, sustainability, and fair business practices, this roastery is creating small batches by hand that showcase the best of the bean. Check the next roasting dates on their website to plan your visit and pop into Abbey Gardens to grab a fresh bag.