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.

Coffeehouse and Cafe Reviews


phaelon56
 Share

Recommended Posts

Coffee updates

As we hear from Barrett Artigiano is openingin Kerrisdale and I heard they will have not only *$ to compete with, but also Esquire(s?) ... I would say that Artigiano will do well as everyone I know in that area has been missing Torrefazione.  Good for me, as this will be the easiest Artigiano to get to, however I do have some allegiance to hopkin a la chambre elysee :cool:

We attract a different crowd than the green machine. Just as there is a big market for fast food, it's not the place you go if you want a real burger. Coffee is just like food or wine - once you have the really great stuff, you realize how wretched 99% of the stuff out there is, and you can't go back. At least I can't.

Barrett Jones - 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters

Dwell Time - my coffee and photography site

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coffee updates

As we hear from Barrett Artigiano is openingin Kerrisdale and I heard they will have not only *$ to compete with, but also Esquire(s?) ... I would say that Artigiano will do well as everyone I know in that area has been missing Torrefazione.  Good for me, as this will be the easiest Artigiano to get to, however I do have some allegiance to hopkin a la chambre elysee :cool:

We attract a different crowd than the green machine. Just as there is a big market for fast food, it's not the place you go if you want a real burger. Coffee is just like food or wine - once you have the really great stuff, you realize how wretched 99% of the stuff out there is, and you can't go back. At least I can't.

Just to be clear, I meant to suggest that you are above and beyond those others ... coffee and the cafe have moved forward

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This afternoon, my Uncle introduced me to the Mayan Art Cafe, a brilliant little coffee shop in Port Coquitlam of all places. Located in PoCo Place, a strip mall at the northeast corner of Lougheed Highway and Westwood, it's owned by two friends from Mexico City who have taken a cultural approach to their coffee.

The cafe is tastefully decorated with reproduction Mayan artifacts and wall scupltures. Cushy chairs and subdued Latino music made me feel like I was lounging in an art museum rather than a PoCo coffee shop.

Shade-grown, fair-wage organic beans from the Palenque region of Mexico are fresh roasted daily on site. My Uncle deemed his americano to be fabulous, and my latte was pretty damn tasty too. Apparently, they use traditional Mexican chocolate paste to make their special hot chocolate, something I'll have to try on a future visit. Having just finished lunch, I could only find room for a chocolate-toffee-chip cookie, but their food board listed some delicious-sounding sandwiches; chicken mole is the only one I can remember.

Open since November, I'm sure that this suburban gem will only get busier over time. I'll certainly be back.

Mayan Art Cafe

In the PoCo Place Mall

2275 Lougheed Highway (at Westwood)

Edited to say that, NO, I'm not shilling... I just had a really great coffee this afternoon!

Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I was able to drop by the West Van location of Artigiano today.  True, it was my 4th shot of espresso this morning, but I've never let the jitters come between me and thorough coffee research.

...it's really tight around the bar.  I'm not sure what could have been done in that paticular location to correct that ... the bar is set up perfectly IMO, so I certainly wouldn't want to change that.  Then again, just about every coffee bar I frequent suffers from tight spaces around the bar as well.

The coffee ... as good as I've had from Artigiano.  Which still puts it second best to Elysian right now  :wink: Nice and creamy, a hint of bitterness (which is fine with me) which is cut by the sweetenss of the milk (why do I feel like a celebrity taster on Iron Chef?).

Having denied myself a morning coffee for the purposes of an unadulterated tasting, we finally made it over to Caffe Artigiano's West Van store this afternoon. I was shocked and amazed that Starbucks is still doing such a brisk business only 2 blocks east; I personally would walk the extra distance in the rain rather than choosing a coffee from *$s. :blink:

Artigiano was slammed today. Lots of people sitting with their coffees and lunches coupled with lots of people lining up to order made for a very tight squeeze around the bar. However, I was rather impressed with the baristi's efficiency in processing orders expediently.

Got our coffees to go, so I ordered a latte rather than a cappucino, which I prefer when I have time to sit and enjoy it, and Ian ordered an americano. Both coffees were a bit weaker than we like them (i.e., coffee/water and coffee/milk ratios), but the overall flavour was very good.

Right now, my preference is for Alistair's coffees at the Elysian Room with Caffe Artigiano running second. I'll have to go back to Artigiano on a day when it's not so crowded so I can sit for a spell and sample a cappucino.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that tip!  I just checked their website and in fact they do offer it for $15.99 for 340 G.  Thank you!!!!!!!!!

$20 a pound! I can only hope that it be seriously fantastic coffee. I'm curious also if there's a roast date on the bag? If not, there's a chance it could be over 2 weeks old. If it is, its not worth much.

Alistair Durie

Elysian Coffee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

$20 a pound!  I can only hope that it be seriously fantastic coffee.  I'm curious also if there's a roast date on the bag?  If not, there's a chance it could be over 2 weeks old.  If it is, its not worth much.

I hope it has a roast date - Peets normally does when you buy it at a market. But I've never bought it in Vancouver - only across the border. I'll let you know what I find.

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cafe Artigiano has now opened in Kerrisdale and I must say, in a neighbourhood with at least 4 other coffee houses, it is a great addition. I have been several times and had great drinks each time. It is much less overwhelming than either the Hornby St. or Park Royal location and I think the staff is much friendlier.

Now I just wish they would get their bakery items from Mix - I have this incredible hankering for the cheese-herb scone with a CA latte. Although in honesty, I haven't even tried the CA scones/muffins. They just look too sweet for me. And I have a major love affair with the cheese-herb scone from Mix.

Cheers,

Karole

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Was down and a new coffee shop on Commercial - "Prado".

Very beautiful space and lots of organic coffee for sale.  Had a latte and it tasted very "light".  But then, I wonder if this is because I started drinking coffee when Starbuck came out and now and am a big Artigiano guy - and my palate (sic?) has been burned on dark italian roasts.  Apparently - overly dark roasting is a good way to hide flaws in the beans.

Where is Prado along The Drive: towards the north end or south end?

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was down and a new coffee shop on Commercial - "Prado".

Very beautiful space and lots of organic coffee for sale.  Had a latte and it tasted very "light".  But then, I wonder if this is because I started drinking coffee when Starbuck came out and now and am a big Artigiano guy - and my palate (sic?) has been burned on dark italian roasts.  Apparently - overly dark roasting is a good way to hide flaws in the beans.

Where is Prado along The Drive: towards the north end or south end?

Prado is on the NE corner of 4th & Commercial ... it used to be a Greek Cafe. Looks pretty sparce inside ... dunno if I'd say beautiful. Minimalist perhaps?

A.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cafe Artigiano has now opened in Kerrisdale and I must say, in a neighbourhood with at least 4 other coffee houses, it is a great addition. I have been several times and had great drinks each time. It is much less overwhelming than either the Hornby St. or Park Royal location and I think the staff is much friendlier.

Now I just wish they would get their bakery items from Mix - I have this incredible hankering for the cheese-herb scone with a CA latte. Although in honesty, I haven't even tried the CA scones/muffins. They just look too sweet for me. And I have a major love affair with the cheese-herb scone from Mix.

Foodie,

It will be interesting to see where the Piccolo brothers take the Artigiano roast once their new roasting facility is fully operative in the next few months. As you no doubt know they have been using Intelligentsia coffee, under the Black Cat brand, roasted in Chicago. My understanding is that they'll be sourcing many of the same beans from the same plantations through broker Tim Castle in Los Angeles (amongst others), but now they'll have full control.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stong's Grocery store has had Peets in the past. I haven't looked recently, but they usually have a very extensive selection of coffee. I will look when I am in the store later this week.

Vancouver, they also have Peet's coffee at Urban Fare, at $14.99-$15.99.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stong's Grocery store has had Peets in the past. I haven't looked recently, but they usually have a very extensive selection of coffee. I will look when I am in the store later this week.

Vancouver, they also have Peet's coffee at Urban Fare, at $14.99-$15.99.

Thanks Ling! I also stumbled onto it at Choices recently. I guess they are distributing here now. :smile:

I stocked up at the Peet's Cafe in Seattle on my recent trip down and got both the Espresso Forte Blend and Major Dickanson's. :smile:

I noticed that the selection in the supermarkets here did not have a roasting date. :sad: They did have Major Dickanson's though. :smile:

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anybody have any thoughts on Prado or Lupos?

Prado: I've been twice. And i think the room is beautiful and minimalist. High ceilings, big windows, exposed brick, hardwood etc. But i'll drink espresso in the shed if it is good. My espresso and my espresso macchiato were average [this is unfair, they were better than avrg.but look around]. The shots pulled - like almost everywhere in the city - are too blond and overextracted. They are serving Black Cat Coffee too. Maybe it is not as fresh - hey its from Chicago. They have the slick Marzocco machine and the automatic grinder-doser-tamper thing that drives me bonkers. (it wasn't busy). The steamed milk was dry - if you like it that way, good- but i don't. I'll go again because they are better than most, and the room is nicer than most.

Lupos: A place that gets sizing (to me) right. Espressos that are on the restrtto/short side, nice milk texture on macchiatos and caps. The shot was blond, but short enough not to be bitter and dead.

My friend ordered a cappucino which was served in a 12 oz. cup. I thought this was a mistake or something. Maybe i'm ignorant. Made me wonder if the barista we had the day before would pour it differently...

which leads me to say that consistency is something that eludes almost all of the coffee places i've tried. I like Alistair's policy of tossing out the subpar shot . Cafe O is good for this too, you will wait until the espresso is satisfactory (to the baristi).

3WC

Drew Johnson

bread & coffee

i didn't write that book, but i did pass 8th grade without stress. and i'm a FCAT for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Arne and 3WC for the directions to and reviews on Prado. I know exactly where it is now -- it used to be Artistico Greek Cafe. We went looking for it this morning and unfortunately drove right past without a clue. Ended up at JJ Bean where dear husband ordered an Americano (deemed to be good) and I had a latte (just okay).

Will make attempt number two on a Prado reconnaissance mission tomorrow.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anybody have any thoughts on Prado or Lupos?

Prado: They are serving Black Cat Coffee too. Maybe it is not as fresh - hey its from Chicago.

Just so you know,

The Black Cat was roasted on Sunday and Arrived in town by Tuesday, just enough time to degass. You won't find too many coffees locally this fresh, that I can guarantee.

which leads me to say that consistency is something that eludes almost all of the coffee places i've tried. I like Alistair's policy of tossing out the subpar shot . Cafe O is good for this too, you will wait until the espresso is satisfactory (to the baristi).

Artigiano's dumps just as much coffee as it serves because it's policy is to only serve great shots. Just wanted to let you know as well. Problem with the Black Cat today is that it's a little to gassy. (i.e. to fresh!!!!!) Once Artigiano starts roasting locally we are going to experiement with different packaging that will allow coffee to be not only fresher but more stable. Something that you won't see locally unless you try old coffee.

Vin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info on black cat and freshness, vin.

I appreciate the theory that Artigiano's ascribes to - ie. throwing out as much as they serve to get the perfect shot. I just find that its on the person working that day to put the theory to praxis.

Drew Johnson

bread & coffee

i didn't write that book, but i did pass 8th grade without stress. and i'm a FCAT for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi 3WC,

you're right that you have to rely on Barista's to throw away shots. How I have rectified this problem is to have my Barista's try a bad shot and compare the shot to how it should taste.

The problem with most baristas is that they have worked for owners who get real angry when coffee is thrown away. They scream that they are throwing away money. Well in our cafe's the owners are screaming when the bad shots AREN'T thrown out. The cafe realizes that we are only as good as our last shot of coffee and strive through out the whole day to perfect our coffee.

Also putting theory to practice must be an issue at the cafes that you ascribe to as well. Don't you think?

I put safety nets in place where I have a manager at all times on my machines so no newly trained Barista would ever dream of serving something that shouldn't be. There is never one Barista on our machines through out the day. In fact there are 3 Barista on a machine for most of the day. It's funny but they seem to compete with each other and this competition of quality police's itself.

vin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi 3WC,

you're right that you have to rely on Barista's to throw away shots. How I have rectified this problem is to have my Barista's try a bad shot and compare the shot to how it should taste.

The problem with most baristas is that they have worked for owners who get real angry when coffee is thrown away. They scream that they are throwing away money. Well in our cafe's the owners are screaming when the bad shots AREN'T thrown out. The cafe realizes that we are only as good as our last shot of coffee and strive through out the whole day to perfect our coffee.

Also putting theory to practice must be an issue at the cafes that you ascribe to as well. Don't you think?

I put safety nets in place where I have a manager at all times on my machines so no newly trained Barista would ever dream of serving something that shouldn't be. There is never one Barista on our machines through out the day. In fact there are 3 Barista on a machine for most of the day. It's funny but they seem to compete with each other and this competition of quality police's itself.

vin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also putting theory to practice must be an issue at the cafes that you ascribe to as well. Don't you think?

No argument here. The places i mentioned have the same issues. I think because of the volume your establishment enjoys you have the option of affording the three baristas and their friendly comp/policing. They can also keep up with the millions of people coming through your doors. All the places i mentioned staff less and when they get slammed have to suffer through it. Often resulting in some 'underattended' shots . As you know, some places get around this bc its easier to pass off a less than perfect shot under twenty ounces of steamed, flavoured milk. Others by assuming the customer can't tell the difference. (oh i hate that).

To be honest, when i pass on an artigiano coffee - it is more often cuz i want to sit in a different room. You guys have already made it.

Good luck with the roasting.

3WC

Drew Johnson

bread & coffee

i didn't write that book, but i did pass 8th grade without stress. and i'm a FCAT for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

vin, welcome to the madhouse that is eGullet! :biggrin:

As I'm such a coffee plebian, I'm really appreciating all of your learned comments. May I be so bold to ask which fair coffee establishment you're working at? Is it Prado?

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...