Peter and I love coffee - which seems like such an ordinary statement - many people drink coffee everyday, its part of their morning, afternoon (or sometimes, evening) rituals. Only oil is a more highly used commodity than coffee, so obviously people love the stuff!
But there is a growing coffee community concerned with the quality of producing, selling and making coffee called "third wave". Sounds a bit fancy but all it means is that these are people who have started to think of coffee making, and coffee drinking in the same way that we think of fine wines. As an artist craft, based on sensory experience and scientific principles.
If you think that "coffee is coffee" I understand - I mean you can easily and inexpensively buy a cup almost anywhere and it will almost always "do the job" of keeping you awake. Canadians' sense of identity includes their usual Tim Hortons order, doesn't it? I'm a one milk, 2 sugars kind of gal myself.
There is however a world of difference between a cup of coffee from Tim Hortons or McDonalds, even Starbucks - who were one of the first to market themselves as "artisan" coffee makers - and a cup of coffee made with great quality, fresh beans and expertly made by someone who enjoys it!
It sounds funny I know, but I distinctly remember the first time I had a cup of coffee that made me realize I knew NOTHING about it! We had a cup made with beans that were brought in from Honduras, roasted and delivered within a couple of days. It was brewed using a Chemex (more on that later). I drank the whole cup without using any milk or sugar at all. It was smooth - not bitter like I was used to, it tasted "clean" not oily (something I didn't even realize was a feature) and had very distinct flavours that I never knew could exist in a cup before.
I was hooked.
Afterwards Peter and I began researching types of beans, proper preparation techniques, equipment etc. Do you know how many coffee preparation methods there are? Let me tell you;
- French Press
- Stove top
Am I missing any? They all produce something slightly different by the way. That can seem a little overwhelming - but Peter and I have had so much fun learning and sharing this together. It has become a joint hobby of ours which makes it extra rewarding. Most of the equipment mentioned is pretty affordable, and if convenience is your thing - I can honestly say that the extra 4-7 minutes will be worth it. Over the next few weeks/months I hope to share some of these methods with you and maybe you will love it too.
For Peter and I, part of our new-found hobby is exploring many of the artisan coffee shops and cafes in and around us. There are SO MANY coffee shops in Toronto, and we want to try them all!
Ok, maybe not all, because we have other stuff to do too. But we do want to explore some of them and share what we find with you. Starting with;
In the financial district at the corner of Yonge and Temperance. This Cafe has been around for just over a year, and guys - I love it so much.
The decor is great, it has an old world charm with really modern accents. my inner artist was super inspired by the amazing tiled floor (hand painted from South America) the chandeliers and unique pattern work on the ceiling. The interior seats are comfy and there is also a very pretty patio outside. It is a cafe perfect for socializing or sitting with a friend or in my case Petey Pabs.
The coffee is supplied by Social Coffee Roasters in Richmond Hill - An award winning company. The blend we tried was a unique blend to Dineen called the Temperance Espresso Blend - which uses a mixture of Mexican and Brazilian Beans which have a "smooth, buttery texture with citrus notes". It was a seriously delicious cup.
The baked goods are brought in from an "undisclosed" bakery - we shared a butter tart - and well - in my eagerness forgot to take a photo before I inhaled my half. It was maybe the best butter tart, ever.
I loved this cafe! It is hard to imagine that I will find one that I enjoy more than this actually - but we have many more on our list! If you are in the city sometime, check this place out - trust me you won't regret it!