Timbertrain Coffee Roasters opened in 2013 in the heart of Gastown on West Cordova Street. I remember walking by when its windows were still papered up with a big “Coming Soon” sign that summer and wondering when exactly it would open. When it finally opened that fall, it was always busy – so busy that there were rarely any empty seats and a line-up out the door even.
The cafe is owned by three friends who, with their passion for coffee and interest in trains, came together to form Timbertrain Coffee Roasters. As the name suggests, the cafe is train-themed – from a train engine serving as its logo, to the booth seating area designed like cabooses. Seating is fairly limited yet unique in that people are sitting and facing one another at communal tables, perhaps designed to create possibilities of meeting new people.
Just one of the many artisan roasters in the neighbourhood, Timbertrain is a micro roastery, with its own warehouse in Langley, and prides itself on “rais[ing] the bar in quality coffee.” They serve drip coffee as well as pour over brewed coffee. What sets Timbertrain apart from others is that they were the first in the city to serve cold brew coffee on tap. The cold brew comes with a head – somewhat like beer/ale on tap. Their coffee is consistent, smooth, and does not disappoint.
While the cafe may seem highly hipster, the staff at Timbertrain are very friendly, warm, and knowledgeable about coffee. Simply observe them for a few minutes as coffee is prepared and what becomes evident is their passion and dedication for coffee. Equally inviting is the cafe itself: the large window at the front brings in natural light and the sleek and minimalist interior design creates a clean and modern look.
The next time you’re in Gastown, be sure to stop by Timbertrain. If you’re lucky, you’ll even find a seat or two. Timbertrain is open 7 days a week and is located at 311 West Cordova Street.