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raspoutine

Best coffee in town

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So, as i mentionned in the secret restaurant thread,Caffe Electra makes a mean espresso.I could also nominate Toi,Moi et Cafe in the best cafe au lait category as well as the absolute worst name category. Maybe that could be the topic of yet another thread!Then again, maybe not.

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I agree with Cafe Electra, but Momesso's on upper Lachine is a top notch esspresso.

The sausage sub is no slouch either.

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Best coffee is tough because the coffee in Montreal is -- generally -- excellent. You really notice this when you go the the States.

For espresso, the Latini is pretty hard to beat. For cafe au lait, I like the Brulerie because I spent ten years drinking cafe au lait there when I lived around the corner.

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Cafe Italia just beside Milano makes a mean espresso, Elektra also makes a really nice one, there's a little spot in my home town that makes the best latte in my view, au deux marie makes a nice coffee. As far as chain goes, those new Java U coffee places are not too shabby either.

I might have had, so they say, the best allonge in the world at Tasso D'oro in central Rome beside the duomo, by the time you have finished your sentence, the coffee is siting in front of you.

It was in italy that I realised cinnamon and chocolate latte's are a few (why mask it) and that capuccino was truly a morning pastry, rarely served at night.

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I've actually had a coffee at Tasso D'oro in Rome, but I had no idea I was drinking the best in the world. As it was triple the price to drink it sitting down, I enjoyed it at the bar, but it didn't help revive my tired feet! :sad:

Coffee's great all over Montreal. Toi, Moi et Cafe is great. Olive and Gourmando, also. And nothing beats Illy coffee ANYWHERE! :biggrin:

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What about Cafe Olympico on Bernard.Their cafe au lait is definitely worth a mention.

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I agree that Illy is good anywhere.

But speaking of coffee in far away places, when on vacation in Hungary and Austria, I had as many coffees as I could handle, and was nearly always disappointed, because they were always served warm. Yeck. Even at a giant Seagfreddo (sp?) in central Vienna, the coffee was there promptly, but warm after just 10 secs. Is this the "standard" for coffee and we in Montreal are just lucky to get the hot brew, or is piping hot standard, and these places have it wrong?

ps. Apologies to all. I have learned my lesson, and will be a good boy from now on.

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Yes, Illy.Isn't that how you say overrated in italian? Seriously, i may be on crack, but i have yet to go to one place that sells Illy coffee that makes anything worthy of being mentionned on this thread. Don't be fooled by the funky little cups.(the little froggee ones are my favourites) Also, there are so many other factors that come in to play:water temperature, machine maintenance, grind level, the monkey making the coffee etc... By no means is it bad coffee,it's actually pretty good, i just don't think that it's "all that"

Edited to add that crack about being on crack.


Edited by raspoutine (log)

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What about Cafe Olympico on Bernard.Their cafe au lait is definitely worth a mention.

Most certainly.Do they use Illy? I didn't think so.

Guru, are you sure it is located on Bernard? I could have sworn it was on St-Viateur.

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Fireweed, that's waht my fodor said while I was there. This is also one of the reasons why coffee is not boiling hot... I believe it is pressed at 120... (I may be wrong) and falls down quickly after going through all that metal. I think the piping hot coffee is an N.A. thing (donuts/coffee at Tim Horton is supposed to be what binds this great coffee together, as Sheila copps would say). I believe the coffee in general in Italy is not served piping hot because it is meant to be drank on the spot immediately. Truckers pulling over their 18 wheelers, walking with work boots and downing doubles before running back to the truck... that kind of thing. However, many will say that during olive harvest season in Tuscany, the weather is as bad as out here.

Do you remember that Macdonalds beside tasso doro ? (Some days I would really enjoy that portable sledge hammer I saw in the catalogues).

About Illy, I just had one a couple of minutes ago at the Lemeac bar... They have quite a market going, when you look at those coffee grinder adaptors where the large metal cans are attached too, you sort of realise that they seem to have a lock out approach to paractical coffee in a restaurant environment. My coffee was excellent by the way.

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I recently joined this group (this is my first post), so my apologies if it's not proper etiquette to post a reply to an old thread. I live in the Los Angeles area, where it's almost impossible to get a decent, not mention good, espresso. I wish I had seen this thread before my recent visit to Montreal. Fortunately, I came accross a small place near my hotel which made a very good espresso, so I want to give it a plug. It's called either Benelo Cafe or Romagna Caffe (I believe the former appears on the sign outside, while the latter is the name on the business card I took while I was there). It's at 2145 Crescent (a little north of Maisonneuve). Of all things, it's attached to a hair salon (in fact, I believe the sign outside says Benelo Cafe/Coiffure). But don't let that deter you. I had many excellent espressos there during my one-week visit (one or two were just ok, but many others were very good). It's definitely worth a try if you're in the area.

During a prior visit, I came accross Toi,Moi et Cafe, which I saw mentioned on this thread. I was there again during this last visit and had a pretty good espresso. One thing I didn't like was the espresso cup, which I felt was too big. A lot of places use such cups (is it more French?), which I don't care for because, among other things, they don't preserve the crema and the heat very well. I've had some excellent espressos at L'Express, but they too use those cups.

All in all, the espressos in Montreal are far better than what us poor Americans can get down here. (Here, they really need those big cups because most places grind the beans way too course and pull the espressos way too long.) I hope to experience your espressos and the rest of the great city again soon.

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Having worked and lived in Austria (Salzburg and Vienna) I can assure you that very few coffee-drinking-locals sip Segafreddo unless left with no alternatives. I agree with you completely – it is/was awful. I must disagree, however, that Austria and Hungary do not have excellent coffee. I credit their quality coffee with teaching me to enjoy coffee without sugar.


Anthony - aka "unreserved"

"Never eat at a place called 'Moms', but if the only other place in town has a sign that says 'Eats', go back to Moms."

W. C. Fields

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This refers to the first couple mesages in this thread....I reget to say, Cafe Electra is gone...

:sad::sad::sad::sad::sad:

Where will I get sandwiches and coffe on the way to work?

:sad::sad::sad::sad::sad:

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Cafe Italia gets my vote for the city's best espresso and cappa. Several coffee merchants in Little Italy (e.g. Faema, Union) also pull a decent shot. The award for the best allongé I've been served in a Montreal restaurant goes to Leméac. I agree with Raspoutine and others that Café, Toi et Moi serves more-than-acceptable café au lait and latte, probably the best of the Brûlerie St-Denis, Aux Deux Marie, Café République bunch (and let's not broach the subject of Van Houtte, Second Cup, Starbucks, etc.).

Has anyone tried the coffee at the relatively new fair-trade coffee roasters on Rachel a few blocks east of St-Hubert? Can't remember the name but have heard good things.

food_eater, don't know about Hungary and Austria, but espresso is properly made with water a bit under the boiling point, around 90°C. The portafilter (the thing with a handle and a basket in which the ground coffee goes), group head (the thing on the machine you attach the portafilter to) and the cup should all be preheated.

Identifiler, espresso is brewed at 90°C ±2°C because less than that produces an underextracted, sour tasting cup and more than that produces an burned tasting, bitter cup. The immediate consumption thing is just a side benefit.

arkestra, it's Benelo. David Benelo, the owner, has been my haircutter for (ack!) over 20 years (he does beards, too, raspoutine). The cafe, which is run by partners of his, used to make espresso using pods or preground coffee in bags and, as a result, I wrote it off. Will try again the next time I'm there, probably later this week. The cafe's sandwiches, salads and homemade gelati are all good, though they don't come cheap. By the way, you wouldn't happen to be a Sun Ra fan, would you?


Edited by carswell (log)

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I'll stick up for Starbucks :biggrin:

However, my most memorable cup of coffee was at Boca D'oro on St Mathieu.

I used to think I liked Second Cup coffee until I realized that I never got through more than a few sips before throwing it away..... :huh:...kind of an epiphany...... :raz:

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I used to think I liked Second Cup coffee until I realized that I never got through more than a few sips before throwing it away..... :huh:...kind of an epiphany...... :raz:

:biggrin: Hah! I had the same awakening when one day I realised that I order mint tea more often than coffee at the second cup. And for Cafe Olympico - (open da night, as I've known it for years) does have great coffee - unfortunately it is much too hip nowadays. Too many people, too much smoke - not fun anymore. I've started going to the other place a block west - don't know the name, but the coffee's just fine without the hipsters...

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arkestra, it's Benelo. David Benelo, the owner, has been my haircutter for (ack!) over 20 years (he does beards, too, raspoutine). The cafe, which is run by partners of his, used to make espresso using pods or preground coffee in bags and, as a result, I wrote it off. Will try again the next time I'm there, probably later this week. The cafe's sandwiches, salads and homemade gelati are all good, though they don't come cheap. By the way, you wouldn't happen to be a Sun Ra fan, would you?

carswell:

Gee, I hope he uses real live beans (I actually bought some while I was there, though that doesn't preclude the pod theory). I would feel a little embarassed if I thought cofee made from pods was that good. I have to confess, however, that one of the better espressos I have found here in L.A. is at a place that uses an automatic machine (I believe it's a Cimbali) where you only have to press a button and the machine grinds the beans and pulls the shot. (To some extent, it's a reflection on the poor quality of coffee here in L.A.) Let me know what you find out about Benelo's coffee.

Yes, I like Sun Ra, but the arkestra is really for Horace Tapscott's Pan African People's Arkestra. If you haven't heard of him and are into jazz, you should check him out. See also Jon Jang's Pan Asian People's Arkestra, which incorporates some traditional chinese classical music. Pretty interesting stuff

Take care

Ari

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I have high standards for coffee and there are very few places in Montreal where I'll risk a cappucino, and Second cup, starbucks or any other big franchise is simply not an option, although I've occasionally had a decent allonge in Al van Houtes. I've yet to see even a suggestion of crema on an espresso at a big-chain cafe, and they have no *!%(% clue how to steam milk to the proper temperature and texture. Indigo on SteCatherines comes close occasionally.

Carswell, the roaster in question is Cafe Rico on Rachel at Lafontaine. I especially recommend the Kawa blend; its nutty, and rich, and a nice change from Illy. They have nice iced coffee, not cold enough but creamy and delicious. And they are fair trade or equitable as they say, and in these times, with coffee prices unnaturally low, and the farmers living in desperate poverty I think we all should try to do our little part against large multinationals (could I sound any more holier than thou??). Some equitable coffees are really not so good, but I can recomment Cafe Rico with great pleasure (and at half the price of Illy).

You can find excellent cappuccinos and lattes at Olive et Gourmando, excellent lattes at Reservoir, decent cappuccino at Cafe Figaro, and of course Cafe Italia. I find the coffees at Olympico are strong enough to send me into orbit around Jupiter, which is useful if you want to fit in with the regulars there. Snob.

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I have to confess, however, that one of the better espressos I have found here in L.A. is at a place that uses an automatic machine (I believe it's a Cimbali) where you only have to press a button and the machine grinds the beans and pulls the shot.

I agree it's hard to find a great espresso in most places and am sad Cafe Electra is gone.

We have a Carimbali automatic machine for our guests at Hotel Place d'Armes. They can serve themselves 24 hours a day. Although it is not the best I have tried, it is very good. A lot better than any of the chains.

And speaking of chains, although it is a pity that they will soon be on every street corner, I still think Starbucks is the best of the bunch. Much better than Second Cup, which I believe has the worst coffee in town.

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And speaking of chains, although it is a pity that they will soon be on every street corner, I still think Starbucks is the best of the bunch.  Much better than Second Cup, which I believe has the worst coffee in town.

That may not be such a bad thing. Although I've noticed there are alot more free standing Second Cups than Starbucks outlets. Either mediocrity rules or it just has better marketing/business sense. :laugh:

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In old montreal, there's the Cafe Cluny at the old Darling Brothers Foundry (prince/ottawa streets). It's an art gallery/lunch counter - I eat there often, and lunches can be quite outstanding: bright, crunchy grilled vegetables, anti-pasto, & their daily specials are delicious, if not too rich in creamy sauces.

Getting to coffee, i really enjoy their espresso - but it can depend on who's at the counter. The other day a novice made my espresso, and I could almost see the bottom of the cup! Still 99% of the time, it's just right.


Edited by grill-it (log)

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Oh, and did no one enjoy the little Italy vs Europe animation I posted further up the thread? I thought it was pretty amusing!

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Oh, and did no one enjoy the little Italy vs Europe animation I posted further up the thread? I thought it was pretty amusing!

Yes, it was very cute. A lot of that may be true to a degree, but Italy is still the best! And you can't get a bad coffee there even if you try

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