What We Do


Matter of Taste is Kitchener’s original coffee retailer & roaster. Founded in 2004 with the goal of crafting quality coffee. We roast our own and partner with other Master Roasters to bring you specialty & unique coffee offerings. Relationship and sustainability is important to us and it is our guiding star. It is why we are always exploring for unique coffees and experiences to share with you. 

On a day-to-day basis, our cafes showcase the works we do behind the scene. Our Baristas are skillful & knowledgeable in brewing a quality cup, paying tribute to all the hard works it takes to get the coffee in the cup. 

Come join us on our coffee adventure.


Matter of Taste is a social place where locals gather for great coffee and friendly chats. Behind the scene, we are serious & passionate about coffee. We want to do it right and we want to be good at what we do.

In 2004, we took over an abandoned store in downtown Kitchener. Working on a shoestring budget; we were ambitious to create a welcoming space that focuses on quality coffee with the skills and knowledge to make it correctly. After many hours of DIY renovation, the shop was ready to open. It took two long months before word of mouth brought people to the shop for their initial visit. Surprisingly, they came back! The concept we wanted to bring to Matter of Taste is to introduce people to unique, specialty coffee from around the world. We remembered when we first had coffee from Ethiopia Yirgacheffe on brew, many were surprised Africa grows coffee.

At the start, we knew very little about coffee, other than enjoying a good brew. Specialty Coffee in Canada was in its infancy, so sourcing and learning about specialty coffee was a challenge (no YouTube, no coffee school, no social media). So, off we go to chart our own course.

We knew from the beginning that cutting corners on quality was not in the equation. Luckily, we had the opportunity to work with a Master Roaster and others who have supported and guided us in the right direction.

Nothing tests your skills & knowledge more than putting yourself on the competition stage. Competing in various coffee competitions early on, for us, was the only way to see where we stand with the best. It turns out pretty good – we always make it in the top three. We went from being noticed at home to being well-known on a larger scale. We are happy to have brought Barista crafts & Latte art to Kitchener-Waterloo.

Over the past thirteen years, we have had our hands on various projects and are always finding ways to grow. After we settled down from competing, we launched our Espresso Bar Catering. We started servicing small groups of 50-80 and through referrals, we grew steadily and now can handle events of 800-1500 guests. We opened our second café in Uptown Waterloo in 2008 and had to say good-bye in 2013. We wanted to get into wholesale and started a coffee roasting partnership called Hacienda Roasting Company. We took a different direction and made an exit in 2013. The company continues under a new partnership.

Our latest venture is the café & roastery at Factory Square in Waterloo. This new space will bring under one roof a roasting production room and a café front. We are excited to bring you a coffee service experience that will intrigue your senses. Opening fall 2017.

Since opening our door in 2004, we have made thousands of cups of coffee, met great people, learned much about specialty coffee and still learning. We want to thank you for traveling with us and we hope you will continue the journey because there is always something new to learn and discover.

Dawn & Phong Tran