Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cdn National Barista Competition

The Canadian Barista Champsionship happened over the weekend in Vancouver.

16 Regional finalists gathered for the chance to head to Italy.

(Competitor list)
1 Alix Osinchuk Transcend Coffee
2 Jerome Grenier-Desbiens Humble Lion
3 Brett Johnston Pilot Coffee Roasters
4 Georgia Henry Dark Horse Espresso Bar
5 Keaton Ritchie Café Myriade
6 Benjamin Put Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters
7 Geoff Woodley Detour Coffee Roasters
8 Kelsey Hemphill Habit Coffee
9 Morgan Allen Caffe Artigiano
10 Megan Feniak Phil & Sebastian
11 Stephane Laurence-Pressault Bridgehead
12 Cole Torode Rosso Coffee
13 William Wang Prado Cafe
14 Momiji Kishi Detour Coffee Roasters
15 Tristan Mapstone Fernwood Coffee Co
16 Clifford Hansen Bridgehead

I must admit, I was not able to watch the live feed this year, but definitely followed via twitter.

Heavy hitters this year, but it was the pose of Benjamin Put that took the crown.
As the runner-up for the past 2 years, it was a satisfying feeling having Ben represent Canada in May.

(photo courtesy of: M.Kishi) 
(Finalist: Ben Put, Morgan Allen, Keaton Ritchie, Megan Feniak, Cole Torode, Tristan Mapstone)
** Heavy representation from AB and the West**

Thursday, September 26, 2013

National Coffee Day - Sept 29th

How are you celebrating National Coffee Day this Sunday?

I've also been dormant on the site, and I apologize, I have many photos and post to share. I will get some up by Sunday

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Best of Iced Coffee (Toronto Life edition)

A little late in the summer months but Toronto Life has published their top choices for Iced Coffee (here)

1) Te Aro
2) Rooster
3) Ezra's Pound
Notable Mention: Early Bird.

I'm excited that Pilot is gaining traction; with 3 out of the 4 mentioned above.... but am puzzled as to why a couple of notables weren't mentioned.

Dark Horse or Mercury.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Handpresso (Equipment)

Hello Lovely readers,

I apologize for my hiatus, I've been working on a few non-coffee projects as well as had a little summer time off and went to LA for a bit.

Sometimes I get caught up, and dont remember to post to the blog/site, but feel free to follow me on Instragram or Twitter or Facebook

This morning I stumbled upon this device:

Handpresso Auto 
Portable car-powered espresso maker, with 16 bars of pressure.

My question is:

What about the mess?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Results; CCBC 2013

Canadian Barista Competition Cycle begins:

The 2013 competition cycle is in full swing with the Central Region Barista Competition concluding over a two-day affair at Hart House in Toronto.

A list of 18 competitors competed to dethrone Detours Geoff Woodley, and boy was the competition stiff. With many familiar competitors and a slew of new faces, it would be difficult to predict who'd take the crown.

The results are in;
1. Momiji Kishi from Detour Coffee (formerly Dark Horse) - 632
2. Georgina Henry, Dark Horse - 575
3. Brett Johnston, Crafted Coffee (Te Aro) -567.50
4. Geoff Woodley, Detour Coffee - 542

Momiji pure elation on her face is priceless.

Congratulations all competitors and to the organizing committee.

 [photo courtsey of CCBC; (l-r: Geoff Woodley, Brett Johnston, Momiji Kishi, Georgia Henry)]

Catch Momiji performance here; starting at 5:15.
The sound is not super crisp, but you can make out a majority of her rountine.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Canadian central barista competition

Competitors announced. 

Mr. Woodley will be defending his title, with many familiar competitors such as Sameer from Fahrenheit, Laurence from Crema and the comeback of Momiji representing Detour this year.

It'll be exciting to see the first competitor of the day: Chris from Pilot, I'm going out on a limb, but expecting to see his copper designed kettles (Monarch Methods).

Competition starts Tueaday July 16th at Hart House, runs two days.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cold brewing; Status of Toronto (pending)

Cold brew is not new, but over the course of the hot months, I'm going to be showcasing the best the city has.....

While you wait, check out what Kyle Wilson of beanlink, and manager of Rooster King St. East says. (article)

Monday, June 24, 2013

NOW Magazine searches for Toronto's Best of....

Now Magazine, a free local magazine, is searching for the Best of.

Based on reader's vote, this year survey has expanded with new categories.

Here are some things to vote for:

Best Barrista  I wasn't aware that they are now called Barrista (I thought it was Barista)
(some known names, and fresh faces... Definitely missing a handful of my favourites)
I think it should read Matt Taylor of Manual Labour Coffee..... imho

Best Cappuccino  (heavy on the EAST side)

Best Coffeehouse (notable ones missing: SJCB, Manic, Capital, Fahrenheit, Crema)

Best Espresso (huh......)

Best Latte

Best Beans (coffee wise) --> I'm not too sure about the readers suggestions

I'll keep my opinions to myself, but I'm happy that the coffee scene is growing.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Great news for Pilot Coffee

Finally offically announced:

Pilot Coffee (sharing space within their Te Aro Coffee location) have secured their own space around the corner.

Kudos on the amazing developments.

What does this mean for the new open space?
- More seating?
-More kitchen space
-More retail
-Sensory lab?

Skies the limit.

Congratulations Pilot Cofee

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Reunion lends a hand

Nice shot of Reunion Island at last weekends Toronto Taste, a charity event organized by Second Harvest

Photo courtesy of Toronto Life

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

PIG Iron Coffee Roasters in the NEWS!

PIG Iron Coffee Roasters are highlighted in the G+M (Globe and Mail.

MICE 2013

The world barista championship and world brewers cup happened two weeks ago. Congratulations team USA for taking the sweep in both categories. Pete Licata, and Erin McCarthy.
Lots of competition this year, ESP from the Aussies, and fan favorites.

See you all in Italy 2014!
SCAA Seattle 2014!

Off to compare notes,notes, notes.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Joe + Grinder (Hario)

Going to be good friends.

Full report later this week.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spring time

Having just had a great 2 week open road trip - I'm revitalized from the in-person meetings and can start to focus on discovering more geeky things.

I'll be back with my finds - just in the lab right now.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Childhood memories

What's your first memories of coffee?

Mine was distinctively the aroma of a fresh brew of coffee being made. My parents owned and operates a restaurant for 15 years of my childhood, during that time I would come and visit after school and there would always be a pot brewing. I don't recollect the taste, as I wasn't an avid coffee drinker, but having those early memories always transports me back I to time.

What's your childhood memory?
Care to share?

Friday, April 19, 2013

US Aeropress champ

Thanks Sprudge for this new method of brewing:

What's the rationale behind this...

I'm going to experiment this weekend

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Local: Best of ..... (NOW magazine)

Although I haven't been an avid read of the weekly free mag (NOW) in Toronto...

It doesn't stop me from sharing the survey to vote on your favourite local spot:

For the coffee in me, here are the categories to vote:
Best Cappuccino
Best Coffeehouse
Best Espresso 
Best Latte
Best Coffee Beans
*Te Aro is now Pilot Coffee*

.... and Best Barrista (wasn't here that Barista had 2 r's..)
*Matt Taylor is now with Manual Labour Coffee.........*
(PS: some heavy hitters here.... but definitely some missed names)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kickstarter campaign: espro press

9 Days left:

(direct link:

Thoughts go out to Boston

As the SCAA 25th annual event wrapped up and the iconic Boston Marathon was well underway, two bombs exploded near the finishing line. (link)

My thoughts go out to the 3 confirmed deaths and the many injured in this tragic event.

As an avid runner and a lover of Boston, my thoughts are with you.
Let's help out where we can.

(photo credit:  John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe/ AP)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

SCAA // USBC events this weekend

Everyone is descending into BOSTON this weekend for the 25th SCAA.

I know I'll be following smdlr  and her live tweeting feed!

Local news:
RI Coffee sharing their new space in the Grove? found here:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Visuals for a coffee menu: East London (UK)

Looks like there is an uproar happening from the comment box.
Alienation and being "over-exclusive"....
but I quite like the visuals and even "easier" self-explanation of  ingredients making up their drinks:

Here is how I interpret the menu.
(The prices shown are in GBP)

1. Double shot of espresso (£1.50)
2. Long Black (£1.50)
3. Cappuccino (£2) 
4. Latte (£2)
5. Moccaccino (£2)
6. Mocha (£2)
7. Tea (£1)
8. Hot Chocolate (£2)

(Full article here)
What are your thoughts?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Brunchin: Beast

Spotted: Papua New Guinea
Method: French Press
Where: Beast Restaurant - 96 Teucumseh
Roaster: Toi and Moi
Located: Montreal. QC

French Press to share is always a good bet when brunching with best friends.

To add to the experience, a Maple-Bacon Doughnut. Mmmmmm.
O Canada. Eh?!

Verdict: pleasantly smooth, nice body, spicy notes.
Overall: as Saveur article goes... It paired well. The richness and fats in the treat picked up the spicy, balanced chocolate/ pear notes in the PNG.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring cleaning

Long weekends, multiple brewing session
Cleaning equipment.

Sounds like a plan.

Happy Easter weekend

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

As seen on: White Squirrel owner opening new digs?

Thanks to the Grid: Snack Shop may just be opening up at Queen/Augusta soon.

From the owners of White Squirrel near Trinity Bellwoods.

full article here

Friday, March 22, 2013

Featured espresso: SJCB-PATH edition

Spotted: SJCB-PATH
Feat. Espresso: Toi & Moi

Nuff said

Monday, March 18, 2013

M4: Classic

Bring back my love for Manic coffee muffins by sharing my latest experience.

Spotted; Classic espresso
Manic Coffee

"Reaction: that's some amazing shot, rich mouthfeel, floral, but chocolately. Great finish"

I suspect a ristretto.
Really enjoyed it

Friday, March 15, 2013

Video: Coffee and Relationship

Reunion Island with father/son duo (Peter and Adam)

Featured in a nice video:

Things a learn from the video:

- The new coffee bags look awesome

- How roasters can make a difference thru social change

- Single-cup becoming more popular

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Donut and Coffee pairing

Saveur Magazine has this article about Donuts and Coffee.... (full text)

Just drooling with the combinations of the two quintessential food and drink pairing... almost like milk and cookies.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Environmental Impact

This breakdown of our environmental impact from Farm to brewing sheds a spotlight on the process of coffee making..

Found this poster link through Twitter/ Peter G. Thanks social media

All images are from Bent. Please do not use without permission. Thank you to Ben for this work

Thursday, March 7, 2013

NYC: Ban of 16oz+ drinks

New York is all things I love, and this new enforcement of:

The city’s new regulations regarding coffee hinge on delicate calculations about milk, calorie and sugar ratios. As with other sugary drinks, coffee cups 16 ounces or smaller are unaffected. But unlike sodas, which will max out at 16 ounces, cups of coffee larger than 16 ounces can still be served as long as the barista adds no more than three to five packets of sugar. (The limit depends on the size of the drink.)
Full article from NYT (link)

Plus this amazing video pops-up from @vashebbadi (link)

Best is this conversation on Twitter!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Video Alert: Brewing by Pilot Coffee

If you haven't checked out Pilot Coffee 3 part video series... you really should.

Plus it features @beanlink

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Featured coffee: Ethiopia

Featured Coffee

Spotted: From down-under
Origin: Djimmah, Ethiopia
Location: SW
Farm: Unknown
Process: (sun)Dry processed

Roasters: Workshop espresso
Located: Sydney, Australia
Price. A$16
Weight: 250g // 0.55 lbs

Method: Chemex with v3 Kone
Grinder:  Hario Silm hand grinder

Weight: 35g ~ 590 ml (16ml water: 1 g)
Pour: 45s bloom, 3:40 brew time
Brewed: 2 - 10oz.

Taste: Sweetness, pleasant acidity, and strong full body. Nice finish. Sweet Aromatic and floral off of the cup.

Buy again: If I could, I would

Friday, March 1, 2013

March'n around town

SPRING is almost here!!!

I'm really excited about this, along with more coffees from Central America.
I've been drinking a lot of African coffees, and will need to report back soon.

In the mean time,

That's me, being really excited.

Can you tell?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

HCR 1 year...

Handsome Coffee Roasters turns 1 year old.

The LA roast works is turning ONE.

GO celebrate with them if you're in the area.
I'll eat a cupcake in their honour.

Featured Espresso: 1 UP

Spotted: Manic Coffee
Roasters: Wrecking Ball
Located: Palo Alto, CA

THANKS Matt for having this in the hopper

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Video Alert: Pilot goes to Origin

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you about a video from Pilot Coffee Roasters (formerly known as Te Aro). Still located within Toronto.

Love the 2 minute video they just uploaded.

Pilot Coffee Roasters at Origin from Pilot Coffee Roasters on Vimeo.

Find out more here

Monday, February 18, 2013

Family day.

It's Family day up here, which means extra day of rest. Brewing up a storm. What about you?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Iconograph (NYC)

Thanks Smdlr for tweeting about this. #w2w

This is a breakdown of cafe types in NYC, but if this were Toronto, I believe the spectrum would be tilted towards Tim Horton's, Second Cup, Starbucks and Timothy's... then smaller chain or single locations...

Am I right?

HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY  - Boy do I love Coffee!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Featured coffee: Anjilanka, Bolivia

Spotted: Manic Coffee
Coffee: Anjilanka, Bolivia
Farmer: Juan Ticona / Ocho Estrellas
Region: Caranavi, Las Yungas
Harvested: Apr-Jun 2012.
Roaster: Intelligenstia
Location: Chicago, IL

Method: Clover!

Verdict: Great Balance of sweetness, and slight hints of acids. Really easy to drink

Definitely going to grab a bag.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Featured espresso: yirgacheffe

Spotted: Rooster coffee
Roasters: Pilot coffee Roasters (formerly Te Aro coffee Roasters
Located: Toronto, Canada

Coffee: Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere

Verdict: Liz lemon pleasent, definitely on the acid side, but I adore it. Subsides and results in a nice Tea like mouthfeel. It coats your tongue and wishes you had more.
Tip: drink it in 3 sips.

What are your thoughts?

Live Video// Coffee Geek (Manual Pourover)

There is a whole community on Google+.

Come join CoffeeGeek with a LIVE hangout .

3:30PM PST (Vancouver Time) // 6:30PM EST (Toronto Time)
Here is the link to join

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

News Alert: Te Aro to become Pilot

Hello Toronto Lovelies.

Much adored Te Aro Coffee Roasters located in Leslieville will now be named Pilot Coffee Roasters

New Chapter?
FB, Twitter @pilotcoffee.

Update: Looks to be a brand separation of Coffee Roaster and Cafe.

Tasty Tuesdays

Ever try a coconut milk espresso-based drink?

You should try it!
Where: Academy of Lions
64 Ossington Avenue
Neighbourhood: Ossington (Village)/(Strip)

Machine: Elektra
Roasters: Fresh Coffee Network
Blend: still a guarded secret

Verdict: the coconut takes over the cappuccino, but if that's your thing: you'll love it

Monday, January 28, 2013

Coffices// thoughts?

From time to time I do enjoy setting up a Coffice: Coffee shop based office.

Here are some tips why this great world coffices exists:


Community and meeting new people. Meeting new people always provides me with new ideas, a different perspective at existing problems, or an interesting connection to a new person doing something awesome that inspires me. Today alone I met a top Skillshare teacher whose class I will now take, a sleep consultant, a publicist who offered to help with a project, and a wine consultant who recommended some bars.
To make the best out of your coffee shop days, keep a few things in mind:
Rotate coffee shops. Rather than going to the same coffee shop every time, switch it up, and avoid the stifling feeling of routine you were trying to avoid in the first place.
Buy something. Don't be a cheapskate nursing that one coffee throughout the day. Buy some stuff throughout the day, and tip well. Coffee shop workers are awesome, and they'll be awesome to you if you are a good customer. That hidden power plug will be revealed, an extra free refill will be given, an introduction will be made.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Clover Coverage?

Looks like even Bloomberg can't get enough of Starbucks Clover system.

Will it really revolutionize mainstream BUX coffee drinkers?

you can also enjoy the Clover at Crema (Bloor/Danforth.... or Junction now)
and Manic Coffee on College.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Opinions on year 3.... Happy belated

Espresso adventures is entering our third year, we've seen some good people go...and more offline experiences shared amongst our peers. But keep reading, I do urge you.

You've noticed that cafés are opening up almost every other week in Toronto (current home base). Yet there haven't been many Reviews of late. The team has scouted, tasted, and even compared notes, but few have made it to the publishing floor... Why?? Let me place some perspective: consistency.

As with the top 10 list for 2012, it's not necessarily about wifi options, seating, design... These are all bonuses, it's about quality and consistency!

We hope to introduce our readers to a couple of places each month, but it's getting tougher to report....

Please, can we have more consistency, craftsmanship, and genuine coffee sharing???

Espresso Adventures team!

Article: Hidden Costs of Coffee

Profit Margins....
Business Model.....

A Coffee shop is a business, and as all businesses start out to be - they must be profitable. I often hear  - "The coffee here (insert) is tooo expensive. I'lll stick to the double-double (referring to Canadians sweetheart Tim Horton's)" But this is my VICE, my choice....

Transparency is a great thing... soo Serious Eats did a great article about the cost of coffee with Erin Meister of Counter Culture.

A pound of coffee equals 448 grams. According to convention, most brewing methods take between 1.5 and 2 grams of coffee beans per ounce of liquid, which means your 10-ounce cup might require anywhere from 15 to 20 grams of coffee to prepare, adjusted to taste. One pound of the stuff, then, has the potential to yield about 30 10-ounce cups, when brewing with the absolute minimum coffee-to-water ratio. (Note: That probably wouldn't be the best-tasting coffee, though it sure would be more cost-effective for the shop owner.) More likely, factoring in waste and other considerations, a café might squeak 23 or 24 cups out of a pound of beans.
"Sure," you might be thinking, "but if they charge $2 for that 10-ounce cup, they're making almost $40 profit off an $8 bag of wholesale beans!"
In a vacuum that might be the case, but that money is by no means pure profit for a café. Besides the beans, there's the cost of the filter to use in the brewer (which itself costs money, plus electricity to boot); the water that passes through the grounds; the cup it gets poured into; the milk and sugar you add before your first sip; the lid you put on it to avoid spilling on your shirt; and the wad of napkins you snag before walking out, "just in case."
Yes, that 6-pack of beer ($13) for 6 x 473ml of deliciousness seems cheap, $1.33/10-oz cup
In comparison to coffee ($17 for 1 lbs. 448 g) results in $0.70/10-oz cup...

As our economies start to tighten their fiscal/budgetary belts it's no wonder we start to focus on the micro details as opposed to the macro.

Choose your battles.
Maybe that $3 Cup of coffee isn't your thing. It's not for everyone.

Full article here

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Catching-up// weekend edition

Weekends are a great way to enjoy coffee if you feel tied up during the week.
Headed down to Te Aro, and just enjoyed the bustling scene.

Enjoy the weekend!
Watch Big Central Barista competition, enjoy the hockey season beginning and love life.

Happy Espresso Adventures

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fun Fact: see Seinfield

I'm not referring to the 90s hit appropriately named Seinfeld, following a group of 4 friends as they live life in NYC and talk about nothing....

I'm referring to "Comedians in cars getting coffee"

Looks like Jerry has made it again, signing for 24 more episodes to be online.
Online is the way to go.....


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Video: Sprudge's Prepfest "pop-up video"

This past weekend Prepfest 2013 occurred in Portland and Seattle.

Here is Lalia (Caffe Ladro) perform a mock competition routine.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Small Spaces // La Distrubance

When I went to NYC for the first time, I encountered many tiny shops. I'm talking: 10 Steps MAX.

We're talking Third Rail, Abraco and many establishments with no washrooms.
It took me a while to get used to this notion.

Then Toronto got. The Pocket (from Sam James, and Toronto was floored by how tiny a shop could really become.
Now with have La Distributire, Montreal QC - Take-out revisited.

via DesignTaxi, via Dieline

Friday, January 11, 2013

1: Mercury Espresso

Mercury Espresso Bar
Address: 915 Queen Street East
Neighbourhood: Leslieville

Congratulation are in order for Mercury Espresso Bar; topping this list for the second year in a row.

2012 marks the 6th year of this local charm, not only did they lose key members of the mercury team, sad to see Matt leave, but success in a different format - Manual Labour has been great.

They also started to make big changes.Switching out Madcap for Victoria charm BowsXArrows (run by former Mercury alum Amber Fox), keeping more Canadian content. Still pull Howell though.
To being the most consistent shop, serving drinks with passion, giving us different roasters, being the perennial shop in Toronto, I give Mercury the nod for top cafe.

They've also started to accept debit cards -- What a change!!

Thank you for reading, I swear to be better about posting in 2013!

Keep exploring and happy Espresso Adventures!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2: Te Aro

Te Aro Roasted
Address: 983 Queen Street West
Neighbourhood: Leslieville

Te Aro has had a really successful year.
Establishing and securing new direct trade relationships, trips to origin, roasting coffee for new accounts, we can sum it up as a great year.

Kicking things off was their showcase // espro-down of the top European coffee roasters they could get a hand on.
I've hand many memorable shots of espresso here, and I believe I will continue to do so. Their dedication to roasting and understanding their market just makes them a no-brainer among this list.

With the new Dietrich they've had more clarity in their roasts, able to handle all of their new accounts, and really keeps the cafe nice and warm. It was a struggle between the top 5 places on the list, but proximity, coffee availability and hours of operations played a bigger role.

Thank you for continuing to hold your Thursday public cuppings/Brew Methods, for being active in the coffee community, and just generally being a great place to have coffee.

Espresso Adventures

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

3: Sam James Empire

Sam James (Coffee Bar/Coffee Pocket)
Address: 297 Harbour Street, 688a Bloor St. West 150 King W (PATH)

Sam James opened up shop #3 in the extremely busy labyrinth of the PATH (Toronto's underground network). He's a game changer, taking on Timmie's and other "FAST" coffee chains. Yet, the suits have embraced his cups of espresso with vigour. Even accepting his Cash Only policy (to which I agree, but given our cashless society - pushes a fraction away)

Always a great place to sip on espresso in their iconic thick walled cups. Th holding the nectar of sweet, sweet espresso. Super impressed with no nonsense attitude of providing the best drink possible.

Enjoy your shot at any of these locations.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

4: Crema *Junction*

Crema - Junction
Address: 3079 Dundas Street West
Neighbourhood: (The) Junction

Quickly celebrating their 5th year (2013), Geoff has really pushed the model of consistency.
With the same machine, consistent training, and a passion that is passed onto the barista, it's only fitting the Creama jumps up the list.
Adding Detour, George Howell alongside 49th Parallel, really rounds out the selection.

With the Spadina location (located within Freshii) finally opening, and adding additional seating near the end of 2012. There is ample choices within the core. With four locations, this mini-chain is only just beginning.

The best place to find Epic Espresso in Toronto, hands down. Cheers

Monday, January 7, 2013

Best NEW cafe from BlogTO

BlogTO recognizes their readers picks for BEST NEW 2012 Cafe.

These do not include new cafe from previous existing big names.

Read more here: (link)

Some notable comments:
While these new cafes are reader selected, I dont agree that you can discount new locations of existing names (Dark Horse and Sam James to name a few), it's also based on reader's votes.

While we give a nod to these top 9 cafe, in no way does this reflect our feelings of new comers.

5: Farenheit

Fahrenheit Coffee
Address: 120 Lombard Street
Neighbourhood: St. Lawrence Market

Mr. Sameer and his merryman of barista found a new home and have flourished.

Step away from the market (St.Lawrence) and a stones thrown from the core - you see locals and suits gathering. With just a couple of seats and a stand-up bar located in the middle, it gets packed quickly.

Not to worry, these are professionals.
So much passion, resulted in 2 Top 5 finished in the regional barista competition, and a Top 5 place for the National one.

Go for the Capp and stay for the conversation.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Extra Reading: NYT

NYT gives an insight into the world of coffee, or more specifically coffee preparation.

The journalistic discoveries of those questions you've always wanted to ask the barista behind the bar, but were too scared to ask.

Happy Reading. (link)

Top 2012 (continues on Monday)

6: Capital Espresso

Capital Espresso
1349 Queen Street West
Neighbourhood: Parkdale

Thank you for keeping me coming out to the West end. As you know by now, I'm situated on the east, but that doesn't stop me from trying to squeeze another espresso shot from their newly installed Strada.

Excuse me, did we mention that their storefront is filled with large windows.... natural sunlight - come on in.

Consistency keeps me coming back.
Warmth of the shop helps me to sit and relax.
The no-nonsense embrace pulls my heartstrings to the West.

Capital - you rock!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

7: Dark Horse (Queen West)

Dark Horse 3: Queen West
Addy: 684 Queen West
Neighbourhood: Queen West.

Huge fan of Dark Horse, who celebrated their 6th year at the Broadview shop, opened up one more  shop this year. Taking over a former Oyster bar on John Street, they transformed the theatre district into a place where you can get away during the day.

Winning a battle to place a outdoor patio on the DH3, and continuing to pull Detour Coffee only seems appropriate to have DH within this list.

Unique design elements with their signature communal table, and you have a recipe for success....
Will we see a DH5? who knows, but if they can continue to replicate consistently pulled espresso, I think Toronto is ready to embrace.

8: Manic Coffee

Manic Coffee
426 College Street
Neighbourhood: College Street.

Manic is my go-to shop when I'm around the area. Not only did they continue their gelato program, but finished their redesign to be more efficient. Swinging the bar from the front to the side definitely made the endless lines-up more bareable.
Mind you, there is more seating, or is this my own illusion... 

They continue to pull the best Intelligenstia in Toronto, and their no wifi policy makes it a great spot to stay just for the coffee. Not only do they showcase artwork on the walls, their logo is kick-ass

Couple of staff changes, and the pending installation of the Clover, signals that Matt and his team continue to excel in the Toronto scene.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

9: LIT (College Street)

LIT Espresso Bar (College Street)
2 Locations: 221 Roncesvales Ave,
                      810 College St

Having been the only cafe to carry PDX's Stumptown in the early portion of the year, they've switched to new kids on the block (Pig Iron Coffee Roasters). Brother Sister duo continue to push us to taste, and taste we will.

The Family business is doing quite well, having recovered from closing up their in-house coffee bar within the Burroughes, their more focused then ever.

Different than hairbender, but with more attention to how their coffee is being roasted. It's this relationship between farm to cup that we should be proud that they took the plunge and started to roast for themselves.

Here's to continued success!
Top 10 (2012): Nine; 2011; Four (-5)

10: Pamenar (Patio friendly)

 Cafe Pamenar
Address: 307 Augusta Ave
Neighbourhood: Kensington Market
Phone 647-352-3627

Since opening in early 2011, Pamenar has
been great about serving great coffee from great roasters.

At first they served up Victoria, BC roasters Discovery Coffee. This was a delight given that they had something different from Toronto roast houses. They progressed to Social Coffee.

Great place to catch a quiet moment in their back patio, or soak up inspiration from their well designed narrow shop.

Welcome to Espresso Adventures 2012 list.

Top 10 (2012): #TEN;
2011: ----