Tuesday, November 23, 2010

First Experience: sense appeal

Address: 96 Spadina Avenue, Suite 101
               (just south of Adelaide on the west side)
Neighbourhood: Fashion District
(website, @senseappeal)

Co-owners Peter Adamo, and Rob Rota have turned this normal condo store front into a coffee laboratory where they conduct the most delicious experiments in Toronto. They make their trek into the core of the downtown from their local roasters (north of King City) to influence and infuse knowledge about their blends to the suspecting clientele of King and Queen West. It's working, and many are coming in droves to be apart of this magical experience.
In addition, they've teamed up with Sameer Mohamed to head up their Coffee Program. He has worked with Toi, Moi & Cafe, in MTL for the past 5 years before landing in Toronto.His passion shows through the attention and detail he brings to each and ever crafted drink.
Teaming up with Peter only made sense, since he understands the science behind pairing great food with drinks. His background as a sommelier, allows Peter to shine through the complexity of their roasts. This pairing will only become stronger as they establish themselves with the tough Toronto crowd.

: espresso workhorse Dalla Corte Evolution.
Doser: Malkonig K30 Twin and Sing
Turnover: Medium
Beans: Oa, Bh, M --> Own Roasts available in the shop.
Music:Electr-funk, trance upbeat on this morning.o
Seating: a small bar with 5 seats, enough standing room for 10.

Sameer really knows his coffee and his machine, and there is no doubt as to why this is the guy who runs the coffee program. He was kind enough to explain the amazing qualities of the best espresso machine on the market. The capability of hooking up technology to track the temperature gauges, broiler sets, and consistency of the shots was something I've never seen before. Along with this, the machine keeps constant 9.8 Bars of pressure. Not limited to just the broiler groups, but when the steam wand was in use, it typically drops its pressure, but what happened next, I was not prepared for at all; the needle started to climb back up to 1.2 Bars.... My eyes became wide at the endless capabilities of the Dalla Corte's gradual  rise in pressure from the steam wand.. Incredible.

Espresso Testing - do not forget to stir to have an even emlusion of flavours and not just separated layers. It will taste better if stirred.

Bh - Bambibto Estates, harrar Boldgrain
50/50; Panama, Ethiopian
Pulled for 23 seconds
Description: balanced acidity, creamy-mouth feel. notes of blueberry, caramelized finish
VERDICT:  very smooth, velvety rich. The blueberry notes from the Ethiopian were evident on the second half.

Oa - Poteira da Onca, Santo Antonio
Brazilian cerrado
Pulled for 26 seconds
Description: mellow acidity; rich, viscous body, elements of dark chocolate, amaretto
VERDICT: a huge nutty tones, and herbal background rounds out the middle, while the end finishes with delectable cocoa.
M - Competition Brew (Single estate from Australia)
*takes 2 weeks to rest, before it can be brewed*

Pulled for 28 seconds
Description: Luscious richness, amazing marmalade zest.

VERDICT: citrus tendencies, balance acidity, not for the inexperienced bean-heads. Frontal Palette was very rich in flavours, and a smooth evolution to delicious marmalade sweetness.
(Reminded me of the Sweet Tooth-Colombian from Ritual)

On my visit, fellow celebrity barista Sam James came in and got Sameer to pull 2 capps. You could tell that the indie coffee scene is very friendly and they just love to share the knowledge.

Will be back! and it's not a far walk from Queen West during those holiday shopping escapades.


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