Friday, April 29, 2011

NY: Kaffe 1668

Kaffe 1668
Address: 275 Greenwich St # 4
Neighbourhood: Tribeca
Borough: Manhattan
(212) 693-3750

Tribeca came calling and I meant to stop off and look around the Financial Area - but was distracted by Wholefoods...
wait.... did I just say that?

Kaffe 1668 was a hard cafe to spot, not only are NYC streets diagonal and unlike the grid system of TO, but locals really don't know shortcuts. I ended up looking for random landmarks, only to make a wrong turn and push my LONG day of cafe hopping into a whirlwind of map consultation.

Once I found the shop in what looked like the mixed-purpose building, incorporating businesses on the main floor and office of condo/living space above it, seemed like a great use of space.
The coffee smell left me lifting my nose to it's door.
The first thing I spotted was the iconic "sheep" and the cartoon drawings adorning the walls.
Next I spotted a large menu, with single-origin and single-cup brewing of Direct Trade coffees from many local roasters. 3 different espressos on the bar, and Synesso workhorse.

I'll leave you with a photo memory of the place. lets just say I have to give this location a good sit down and absorb the atmosphere that is Tribeca.

Hustle, hustle, hustle!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NY: Abraco Espresso

Abraco Espresso
Address: 86 East 7th Street
Neighbourhood: East Village
Borough: Manhattan
Tel: website, twitter

OK, I couldn't bring myself to go in - because I  needed a break from Coffee - 10 shots in 3 hours... excessive. Yet, I needed to know where this small storefront was located, such that it would be on the top 3 locations I would visit on my next trip to NYC... so until I get back, I'll have to just tease you with the exterior.

Machine: E61 if my memory serves me correctly.
Otherwise I loved the outdoor bar, for consumption of beverages. The square footage - is astonishing. It's smaller than SJCP for sure!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First Experience: Quaff

Cafe Quaff
Address: 668 Queen Street West
Neighbourhood: Queen West
website: site has been under construction for a while.

Steps from Queen West fashion/boutique shopping - a saturated area for the coffee scene, sees no shortage of foot track. Now that the weather is getting better - hordes of citizens are flooding into the area. How does Quaff stand up?
Being a huge fan of natural light - the large window that allows for the most optimal spot to people watch the styles and fashionista stroll through the sidewalks. (speaking of which....RCSaveAS)

Down to business - Typical long bar set-up, with high ceilings and white walls adorning the wall.
Amazing collection of san pellegrino flavoured water sits at the back. Attention was not lost on this cafe... #justsaying, #lush

Sunday, April 24, 2011

NY: Clinton St. Baking Company


FOOD for Thought: 

Clinton St. Baking Company
Address: 4 Clinton Street (south of Houston)
Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Tel: 646-602-6263

Having been rooted in Toronto for a while - I've noticed that there is quite the brunch culture. Many will line-up at the TOP locations for hours to be seated for an eventual dining experience. This was no different in NYC. Taking advice from good friend MS of Mesmer Mantra a trip to the EAST village was worth the trek to experience hearty morning ritual to fuel the body, and to infuse all of your clothes with that  AMAZING brunch smell.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Siphon @ Mercury

Slow-brew, hand pour, pour overs, siphons the tread for 2011?
Spotted: Mercury Espresso Bar
Method: Siphon
Price Tag: $5.75 Sm (enough for 2 cups)
Crafted preparation for a specifically brewed cup of coffee is what I admire. I can do this at home, but the cafe experience with their industrial grinders, and freshly rotated beans adds that "magic" factor.I'll wait that 5-10 minutes for a well-made coffee.
But is it worth the price tag? I say so: 2 small cups, making it about $3 per cup seems reasonable for the time and effort that the barista attends to the brewing. So why'd I try the Siphon?

Main reason - I dont own a Siphon - plus I also don't have a storage room filled with Geogre Howell's Coffee.... with that said:

Last week I made the trip over to the Mercury and had Nolan fire up the Siphon...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hot Cross Buns: Good Friday


Oh how the British know how to celebrate the holy holiday of Easter.
Straight from Wiki:

English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or become mouldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.[8]
Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time. Because of the cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year

Ended up pairing this with some Hand pour V60s Metropolis Brazilian Joao Farms

NY: Ninth Street Espresso (Tompkins Square)

Ninth Street Espresso - Tompkins Square
Address: 341 East 10th St. (Between Ave A & B)
Neighbourhood: East Village
Borough: Manhattan
Tel: 212-777-3508 website

 The directions and advice to take the L train cross town was probably the best - as I've yet to try and figure out MTA's web of bus routes and bus stops. Quick jump off, and a scuttle down to
East10th street meant enough time to experience another triple shot of Alphabet Blend.

Circa 2001, the triple basket creating a syrupy rich shot, reminiscent of how overdosing was the rage - Ninth street continues this method developing that rich body an hyper-aware mouth feel, that's what we all love in Black Cat.
Overkill with 6 shots in 30 minutes... possibly, but I needed to experience the madenss and the limits that ones body could reach.
Death by caffeine would mean at least 115 shots...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

NY: Wrapping it up

Remember when I said I'd give you a complete coverage of my adventures to NYC.
So I'm making a push.
Over the next couple of weeks I'll be posting more NY adventures...
Interspersed with some exciting news for the local scene.

Sent from my lovely friend (LB) on their Coast-toCoast Canada Roast Trip! Troopers for visitng the cafes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hump Day Love

Short post celebrating Hump Day.
Easter Long weekend ahead.

Here are some photos wishing that you were at Te Aro this morning to celebrate the mid-week!

Going to make a trek to Oakville to visit Gabriel at Carvahlo Coffee Roasters

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NY: Ninth Street (Chelsea Market)

Ninth Street Espresso
Address: 75 9th Ave. (Between 9th & 10th Ave)    
Neighbourhood: Chelsea
Borough: Manhattan
Tel: 212-228-2930 website, twitter

Former stomping grounds for the National Biscuit Company - baking everything from Oreos to saltines has become modernized and after a bit of a transformation,  its' become a must visit location for any New Yorker. Described as the a postindustrial theme park interspersed with food stores and restaurants lined throughout the main floor.
Inside of Chelsea Market, the lushish aromas start to tickle your nostrils as you stroll through the hallways allowing your imagination get the better of you wind down the path to Ninth Street Espresso. Coming around the corner of the winding path, I spotted a line-up at 8am... NO way.
It was Ninth Street with a line-up 9 people deep.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Breakin News: Handsome is as handsome does

So last week the 3 chaps from Intelligentsia resigned...

They've started this project - and it was blasted all over the twitter world, within minutes.
Handsome Coffee in LA (website)
"we're making coffee for you -- for those that value craftsmanship and quality over convenience and cost -- we're your Huckleberry"
3 Values are driving Handsome:
Uncompromising Quality.

Friday, April 15, 2011

East-end staple: Tango Palace Coffee Company

"Quintessential East End Cafe"

Address:1156 Queen Street East
Neighbourhood: Leslieville 
Tel: 416.465.8085
Having been at this location for as long as I can remember,  almost approaching 20 years. Having a super chill, cozy environment and a amazing hours of operations. This is better than the coffee shop on Friends, no Gunther, just jam packed round tables and cushy seats for Leslieville first coffee hangouts.
Appeasing everyone from the early morning crowd to the late night owls (7am-11pm). This is one of the shops I can just melt an hour away no problem.

Machine:Vintage machine - Manual controls

Espresso: la connoisseur coffee
Roasted: Scarborough
Other:Kicking Horse - Vancouver (Organic FT)

Verdict: Balanced smooth blend that works well. Chocolate with spice (ginger/peppercorn) and earthy tones. Cheated with an americano photo from the first espresso adventures, but I thought I'd do I throw back tribute.

Honestly, it's my go to late night coffee location.
Can we say that Toronto needs some better hours of operations to support the late night crowd.....
There are only so many 24hr hotel lobbies that one can "lounge at" but doesn't necessarily mean that there is going to be decent coffee....

Where do you go for coffee beyond 8pm?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NY: Cafe Grumpy (Chelsea)

Cafe Grumpy
Address: 224 West 20th Street
Neighbourhood: Chelsea
Borough: Manhattan
website; @cafegrumpy ;212-255-5511

Day 4 of NY: Espresso Adventure meant that I would have to get an early start if I wanted to fit in 2 locations before brunch date in the Lower East Side (Clinton's to be exact).
Early departure of 7am just felt right, like I was on my way to work. BEAUTIFUL crisp North East Winter Morning, with the sun gleaming down, it was my mission to get'er done.
Riding the A Line uptown from Greenwich made me feel like a local. Grabbing the Metro, I caught up on the news and was ready to emerge into Chelsea.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Buzzing News: Intelligenstia

If you haven't already heard, or you're not familiar with the Coffee World.

2010 World Barista Champ: Michael Phillips has left Intelligenstia - along with Tyler Wells, and Chris Owens.
Sprudge broke the news on Monday night (here). Plastered all over the twitter world....

In his own words, Phillips has addressed the web with his deuces-sense (here)

Here's to some exciting stuff from Phillips, Wells and Owens - super soon. Mid 2011 seems inviting - (before SCAA?, before 2011 WBC?) only time will tell.

First Experience: The Green Grind

The Green Grind
Address: 567 College Street
(@ the corner of College and Manning)
Neighbourhood: College Street


Sitting in a cafe one day with a like minded friend we discussed how nice it would be to enjoy our drinks without a feeling of guilt.  Why did our favourite pastime have to have a negative impact on the environment?  Why couldn’t the coffee options we were given be all fairly traded, direct-trade or organic, or better yet, all of the above?!  Why did our coffee have to come served in unrecyclable paper cups? Why did the cookies and muffins we consumed in the cafe have to be full of pesticides?  We grew up with anti-littering campaigns, “reduce, reuse, recycle” slogans, and blue boxes, the messages had sunk in. 
The idea behind The Green Grind is simple: combine a love of cafe culture with a passion for the environment.

MAD respect for the Green Grind, trying to educate the masses about their impact on the earth we live on and how be conscious of our green footprint can help us maintain our equilibrium.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First Experience: Noir Coffee and Tea

Noir Coffee and Tea
Address: 701 St. Clair West
Neighbourhood: Wynchwood Barns
website @noircoffeetea Tel: 416.651.8302

A 1950s chic-inspired decor, located near Wynchwood on St.Clair West brings a fushion of Japanese tea house, espresso bar, and a heavy competitor for Starbucks. Not that we have anything against major corporations, but local is what local does. Seems like a good idea, right?!

Monday, April 11, 2011

New URL!

Now you can just type in

(update your bookmarks, and RSS feeds!)
Happy Monday!

In our backyard: Dundas, ON (Part 2)

 Dundas Part 1 found here
I forgot about this series -- but here is the contination of my trip to Dundas - can you consider this the GTA?? I don't, so here's the the Gems found outside of the Hmmer!

Domestique-Café Cyclo Sportif
12 Miller's Lane
Dundas, Ontario
1-905-628-6537 twitter

Located just off of King Street in a renovated house, through a side street gives you a glimpse of a charming 1950s structure. With an old screen door you're instantly welcomed with warm smiles that greet you as you start to defrost from our cold Canadian weather. With cycle jerseys and credential tags adorning the walls you feel as if you have been  transported to Canada's Cycling museum.

It was such a pleasure to meet Kris the owner on our visit. He guided us through the 4 MadCap grinders that were perched up beside the sleek One Group and Two Group Elektra Machines.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


This post isn't really too much about any one particular cafes.

Pitstop *bux flagship store
Address: 72 Spring Avenue
Neighbourhood: SOHO
Experienced the new CLOVER machine.
Managed to get a hold of a S/O El Salvador Montecarlos Estate Pacamara (link)

But we all know coroporate, and stealing a photo would be a "no-no". It's not like I haven't experienced the CLOVER... just wanted to see how they're managing the technology and incorporating this brewed to cup perfection. (Yes I did go into corporate big chain store, but they're 40 years old - give 'em a break........)

Great pitstop, before shopping adventures ensued...
(click on the jump for more photos)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

NY: Gimmie! Coffee (Nolita)

Gimme! Coffee
Address: 228 Mott Street
Neighbourhood: Nolita
Borough: Manhatten, NYC
website, @gimmecoffee, tel: 212-226-4011

A great morning walk from our Greenwich apartment into the hood of Nolita (North of Little Itlay) brought us to Gimmie! Unlike our trip to Third Rail, I was spot on with directions to this charming hallway of a cafe.

For those in Toronto - if you think Sam James Coffee Pocket is small, this  narrow cafe gives SJCP a run for it's money.
Welcome to Manhattan - opening up their shop in 2008, they've seen a steady following of customers diving right into the cafe scene. It's a great location off of Broadway, and a hop n skip away from shopping mecca SoHo.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bean Talk: Panama Rio Serreno

Beans: Panama Rio Serreno
Spotted: Te Aro Roasted
No longer brewing as a SO (Single Origin), but you can find it in Te Aro's new espresso blend: Elevens.

Why are we so excited about these beans? Micro-lots pop up around the coffee belt, and it's not unique to just the Panama region. But if you scroll to the photo of the dried beans below you will see something unique about their processes.

Go to Te Aro's blog to read up on Andy and Chris recent adventure to Guatemala Origin trip and discussing processes... from cherry to dried coffee bean.

Wait, don't the beans on the LEFT look a little odd, they're more red than the normal green beans.

Honey Process
my friend.

The mucilage (a thick, gluey substance filled with proteins and sugar) that covers the bean is left on during the washing phase. As the beans go through the drying phase the remaining mucilage produces the red glowing tinge. It's said to generate an amazing, sweeter taste compared to a fully washed bean.

Farmers have traditionally chosen the coffee cherries during the middle of harvest season, as they've found the cherrys to be naturally packed with more sugars and oozes with "honey" sweetness.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Red Rocket Coffee

Red Rocket Coffee
Address: 1402 Queen Street East
Neighbourhood: Queen East /Leslieville
website, @redrocketcoffee Tel: 416-406-0880
Open daily 7AM - 6PM

Operating on the outskirts of Leslieville is the appropriately named cafe that faces the TTC streetcar yard. Conveniently located at the corner of Queen and Vancouver (insert West coast chuckles)... houses the brick facade building that is also home to Queen Marghertia Pizza. The former Chinese noodle factory has turned into an urban lifestyle centre. They've also built a gorgeous outdoor patio, that is actually great to lounge on during weather appropriate months (Spring-Fall). Red Rocket Coffee was named after the iconic "Toronto people-mover" slings out some decent concoctions using only Fair-trade organic coffees provided from other local roaster Reunion Island. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fooled ya!

Didn't I?!
Come on -- it was a great joke.....for April's Fool....
Giving up Coffee: Not until I'm done discovering....

What's not a joke is the Amazing coffee over at Mercury right now.
3 Processes:
Espresso: Addis Ketema
Siphon: Guatemalan
Chemex: Burundi

Correct me if I'm wrong, you won't be disappointed.
Plus get there for the Month of April, because my favourite Barista Josh is moving back to Vancouver.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Done with Coffee

I'm parking in the open lot, and turning off the engine.