Friday, December 24, 2010

First Experience: LIT Espresso (Queen W)

LIT Espresso Bar 
Address: 639 Queen Street West
                Main Floor of the Burroughes Building
Neighbourhood: Queen West/ Fashion District
(website) @litespressobar

LIT Espresso became the first of the BIG household Toronto names to open their third location. Having successfully launched in early December, it was great to see these guys move into the iconic Burroughes Building and bring charm back to the quickly developing 'hood.

The historic Burroughes Building (est. 1907) acted as a flagship store for King Sol and became the current incarnation after extensive renovations in 2006. Don't be fooled by the ample amounts of furniture that are on display for Design Republic , these guys have taken partnerships to a new level.
Just like the Crema within Freshii, LIT fuses within the main floor of Design Republic, acting much like a kiosk location for the busy traffic of Queen West. Serving a simple menu of drinks + having French Press available allows for both traffic flows of the "take-away" and parking a seat at the communal table. Outfitted with furniture you can buy is cute but details such as the marble counter tops of the wrap around bar creates that ambiance to invite loyal customers. Not shabby that they serve Stumptown, but we knew that already...

Machine:La Marzocco GB5 - 3 Group
Doser: Mazzer Robur with Delta Timer Mod.
Turnover: Heavy Traffic
Beans: Stumptown - Hairbender 
          (Secret Blend of  Latin America, East Africa and Indonesia)
Music: indie hip, rock, and blues
Indie Coffee Passport: NO 
Disloyalty Card: Techinically YES 

Verdict: Sweet caramel with hints of a "just-ripe" peach, and light mellow lemon tones (think subtle not sour), and nicely ends with smack of velvet chocolate.

Opening day; new machines, new burrs, new set-up all equated to a sweet shots of espresso, but it also produced one that wasn't living up to the Hairbender status. I'm sure temperature fluctuation and an inconsistent flow affected the shots on my first visit. Since then they've acquired a new grinder and they've seemed to work out the opening week kinks by dialing in and fixing those blurbs.

One let down, is the bursts of cold air every time someone walks into the store and the deliveries from the back area lets in crisp wind. Remember that retail space is a premium within TO, and don't to forget the burgeoning cafe scene means that  incorporating a LIT Espresso Bar within an existing space serves both parties.Definitely worth the trip down to pull some sweet shots of Stumptown.
Come for the designs, stay for the coffee.


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