Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Best coffee in town


raspoutine
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • 1 month later...

I had a very good espresso at La Vielle Europe cheese shop and delicatessen on the Smoked Meat - March Marathon. It came with a nice piece of chocolate. They serve it in a ceramic cup or paper cup.

It was made with a automatic Franke. Something like this.

Franke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's a Swiss machine right? They sell it at Les Touilleurs for over $1000. Krups makes one that looks just the same. I'm waiting for the Phillips Senseo to hit the market. It's under $100 and it makes a decent cup of espresso.

I don't care if the machine babysits the kids and washes the dog, I aint dropping a grand on a coffee machine, especially a fully automated one that could bust several times over post guarantee.

But yes Kenk I agree it does make a good cup of coffee. :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Saeco Vienna is a great machine for an automatic,for a manual I perfer the Pavoni press

Other than that I'll take a Moka,Bialetti or an Alessi

Con il melone si mangia , beve e si lava la facia

My Nonno Vincenzo 1921-1994

I'm craving the perfct Gateau Foret Noire .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ohhhh!

I didn't mean to imply that this machine is an appropriate home machine. I have only seen these machines in high volume operations. If it is only around $1000 great buy. I only guessed what model it was but I am close.

I am impressed that the places that use these machines tend to make good espresso/capuchino.

I use a Gaggia Espresso, my sister got for real cheap and then gave it to me ($0).

It makes a very good espresso/capuchino.

If I descend into complete coffee geekdom I would prefer a manual machine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi! I'm new ... have been reading postings for a couple of weeks and just had to join to put my2 cents in! I got by following a thread from Phaelon56 accessed from a tea and coffe forum . The whole topic here seems to be about coffee

Does anyone know about getting a good cup of tea besides at home?

To have anything decent in Montreal I think you have to bring your own. Coffee drinkers a lucky they have a 50/50 chance of getting a decent cup of coffee after a meal but tea well forget it.

Edited by nilpoj (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

Benelo update. The former operators of the Benelo cafe (on Crescent between de Maisonneuve and Sherbrooke) decamped I know not where earlier this fall. In October, the front half of the store was a construction site. But when I dropped by for a haircut last night, peace reigned. While I don't think the renovations added to the square footage, it sure feels like they did: the space is airier, warmer, less claustrophobic, and only a clear glass divider separates the cafe from the salon proper. The changes include a new menu, espresso machine (a two or three-group San Marco semi-auto, IIRC) and coffee bean supplier, Agga. As it was 8 p.m. and I wanted to get to sleep sometime in the following 12 hours, I didn't subject them to the acid test and have them pull an espresso. But the decaf americano (déca allongé) was delcious: rich, complex and without a trace of bitterness. An Italian walnut cake procured somewhere in St-Léonard was perfect: simple but far from boring, dry but not too and not particularly sweet. Will report back once I've had a chance to put them through their paces but first signs are good. I gave one of the new operators the address of this site, so they may chime in at some point.

Anyway, when's your next trip to Montreal, arkestra?

Edited by carswell (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carswell, thanks for the Benelo update. Please let us now when you've tried the espresso under the new "ownership."

I'm planning on visiting again in late April. This time, I hope to try some of the other places mentioned on this thread. I had a tough time making the espresso rounds last time as our kids were quite small and it was hard to get away for espresso trips. (We stayed near Benelo, so I was there every day.) The kids are a little bigger now, so I'm hoping to make it to a few other places, with or without them. (They rarely say no to a stop that includes pastries.)

Any luck finding Horace Tapscott recordings?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Café Olympique is the place near St.Viateur bagelshop, then it's one of the best Lattes that I've ever tasted. It's definitely a once in a while thing though...If you don't specify I think it's made with Homo...maybe not but it sure was creamy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carswell, thanks for the Benelo update.  Please let us now when you've tried the espresso under the new "ownership."

Will do, though I can promise you it won't be until things warm up a little (wind chill approaching minus 40ºF this evening...).

Any luck finding Horace Tapscott recordings?

A little. Thoughts of Dar Es Salaam and Aiee! The Phantom, both of which I like, especially the latter. Have my eyes peeled for The Dark Tree and Among Friends, but suspect I'll find them only in NYC. No luck whatsoever with Jon Jang's Pan Asian People's Arkestra, though. But this is stray(horn)in' dangerously off-topic, so send me a PM if you feel like talking jazz. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Bad news for Montreal latte lovers: Cafe Olympico, also known as "Open da night," suffered extensive damage in a fire last night. No one was hurt, fortunately.

The good news is the owners say they plan to rebuild and reopen soon. Wonder if they'll keep/recreate the "Open da night" sign.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Cafe Olympico reopened at their old location Saturday. Now the whole establishment is non-smoking. They had been operating at a temporary location very close by, following the fire.

Yeah, saw it yesterday evening. Didn't know it was all non-smoking, though; that's great news. It was strange how that corner of the first floor was all lit up and animated while the rest of the builidng — dark, borded up and menacing — hulked over. Am surprised the smoke smells don't overwhelm the shop. Hmm. The decision to ban smoking wouldn't have anything to do with the fire, would it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was actually presently looking into an espresso machine for my home. Do you have any suggestions on what is the best on the market for the money. Iam presently using the old fashioned pots you place on your stove top. I makes great coffee but I am looking to upgrade. Thanks for the input!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was actually presently looking into an espresso machine for my home. Do you have any suggestions on what is the best on the market for the money. Iam presently using the old fashioned pots you place on your stove top. I makes great coffee but I am looking to upgrade. Thanks for the input!

Bop over to the Coffee forum for a thread on this. Also, check out Coffee Geek. And remember that it's not worth getting an espresso machine if you don't also get a decent (i.e. burr) grinder.

What we might talk about on this forum (though maybe in a different thread?) is where to buy equipment and beans locally. One sad reality: prices in Canada are really, really high compared to the States. For mid-range to high-end machines, the price of the machine alone in Montreal will get you the same machine, a world-class grinder and essential accessories (e.g. a tamper) from, say, Chris Coffee in Albany, shipped and delivered to your door with a C note or two to spare. Ludicrous.

Anyway, the first question to ask is always: How much are you ready to spend?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few low-end reccos that are available locally.

Mokita Café Crème is probably the lowest priced machine capable of producing decent espresso. Most places sell it for around $325-$350, but I saw one a couple of weeks ago at Brûlerie St-Denis for $280. A stainless steel version, the Super Inox, can be had for around $450 (the linked-to Dezco's prices are among the highest acrosss the board).

Innova recently launched a line of stylish low-end machines that reportedly have many of the same internals as the above Mokitas. The Arc is the best buy; I've seen it for around $450. The classy Dream (the same machine in a fancier housing) runs around $650.

Gaggia low-end machines are all pretty much the same inside; only the housing changes. They differ from most machines in that the boiler is aluminum (not brass) and small, meaning it heats up fast but doesn't have a lot of staying power. A Baby will set you back $450-500, a Classic $500-575. There's been quite a bit of positive talk about the ultralow-end Carezza, but I've not seen it around (haven't gone looking, either).

Style mavens are enamoured with the Francis! Francis! line, the least expensive of which is the X3. It doesn't make coffee any better than (some would claim as good as) the above machines, and you pay a hefty premium for looks ($685 at Dezco, $735 in black and a whopping $885 in stainless).

The consensus is that the best single-boiler non-heat-exchanger machine is the Rancilio Silvia. Café Union's $750 pricetag is as good as I've seen. Somewhat finicky to operate, it is capable of producing an excellent cup.

I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention the manual machines from La Pavoni. These have a lever, not a pump; in other words, you are the pump. They also have smaller than usual baskets. The learning curve is long but hands-on types may not count that a disadvantage. The smaller Europiccola usually runs around $650, though I've seen it for about $100 less at Brûlerie St-Denis. The larger Professional runs $800-950. One advantage of these machines is that you can steam milk as soon as you've pulled your shot; with single-boiler pump machines, you have to wait 45-90 seconds for the boiler to reheat. If you're interested in these machines, make sure you're looking at the Millennium models, which feature larger (though still small) baskets and changes designed to reduce overheating. Even with the changes, they are good only for three or four shots at a go before the water becomes too hot.

Beyond that, you're into heat-exchanger territory, machines that allow you to draw steam even as you pull shots. (If you plan on making cappucinnos for a crowd, these are the machines you should be looking at.) At around $1400, the Expobar Pulsar and NS Oscar are the price leaders in this category.

Edited by carswell (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quick advice : don't buy semi or automatic machines.....They suck.....

Stay away from Saeco...overpriced.

Buy an all manual machine. You are going to tweak your technique (takes minimum 1 year of regular use). It's well worth the effort.

Trust me on this one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw a Rancilio Silvia the other day with it opened up. This machine is serious. I have a Gaggia Espresso and had to make a repair and opened up the whole thing. The Rancilio Silvia is on another planet. I have seen them advertised for Price: $495.00 US at most of the big online places listed in the coffeegeek. I am not sure what the hit will be for crossing the border but with the exchange rate this is a pretty good buy($596.67 Can todays exchange rate). This price is the sugested retail price so I would try to bargain with your local canadian retailer and get it from the Online seller if the price dosn't drop.

I like my Gaggia and get a really good Espresso/Capucchino from it. it is nowhere near as well built as the Rancilio Silvia. But you can get the gaggia Espresso from the same US sellers for $199US.

Canadian vendor $650can

http://www.espressotec.com/herancilio.asp

US Vendors $495US

http://www.1st-line.com/machines/home_mod/...ilio/silvia.htm

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Rancilio/silvia.cfm

http://www.aabreecoffee.com/ransilescapm.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We bought our Rancilio Sylvia a year ago at The Daily Grind in Albany. It was $450 U.S. and for the money a great machine. Although it does not have an E61 head, its performance has been solid. The one thing to do is find the right grind and stick to it . We get a pretty thick steady stream with a decent cremma, even when we have to use decaf and its utilitarian look is timeless. :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the reasons the Sylvia is so popular with coffee geeks is that it uses a lot of commerical machine-grade parts. Of course, the heating elements (110, not 220), water supply (pour-over, not plumbed-in) and pump (vibrating not rotating) are not commercial grade. Which gives rise to techniques like temperature surfing and PIDing (they're not called geeks for nothing).

Another reason to be wary of low-end Saeco machines: most of them come with a so-called pressurized portafilter, which produces an ersatz crema even if you use stale beans, the wrong grind and wrong temperature water. Crema is one of the signs of a well-made espresso, so making it impossible to tell when you obtain it is not a good thing. Saeco's not the only offender in this category; low-end Solis and Le Pavoni pump machines also feature the abomination. Similarly, many low-end machines, including the Saecos, come with a foam "enhancer" on the steam wand, making it easy to produce foamy milk with no technique. Unfortunately, the bubbles are too big so the texture's never right and latte art is impossible. On some machines, you can remove the enhancer; on others, you're stuck with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are still some Jamaican Blue Mountain blended coffee beans at Costco. Brown roast, quite rich and low in acid. I know this thread is mostly about darker roasts, but this one is a steal at $12.79/ 2lb., and apparently going off the shelves soon.

Edited, spiliing & grimmer

Edited by jayt90 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...