Sweatshop coffee – what a nice minimal interior with muted greyscale tones. Matching walls and t-shirts. Non-minimal decorated tables and coffee-cup art. Located at 232 Metropolitan Ave. Two people were working with their laptops on the main table, I chose to have a quick seat on one of the small square tables. Recommended by our generous hosts, we passed by the cafe almost by accident. Beans once again by Counter Culture.
Parlor Coffee‘s popup is housed at the back of Persons of Interest Barbershop. I walked through the entrance, observed two men looking at haircuts in a magazine, then identified the coffee bar and headed towards the rear. Vanessa pulled a shot for me and I regretted not being able to visit their roastery and cupping. We chatted a bit about other coffees and California. The shot was spot on.
Oliver Strand and the Scoop weren’t kidding. Beautiful indoor space, bathed in flowing light, with a bright green living wall and exposed brick. Bright yellow signage and demitasse cups and saucers. The coffee was darker than I’d like but it was fine. I think the barista was in a bad mood as he made a face and seemed annoyed at me for asking about their coffee options. Yes, they are all Colombian. I don’t want to knock on their service completely, though. The other staff member behind the counter, she smiled in warmly and wished us a nice day as we were exiting that left us feeling like we started the day right.
Stopped by Brooklyn Roasting Company in Dumbo for a meeting and some coffee. Paper cup, what? It was pretty good. It’s a surprisingly big space. I got some food there as well and wasn’t a huge fan of the prepared food in the fridge. I should have gotten more donuts. There were a lot of people there, a number of small groups of people who looked to be in meetings with once another. Yellowy lighting, neat spot. Some roasting was happening, which is always fun to be around.
We met up with friends whom I see far too infrequently at Southside Coffee in South Slope, Brooklyn at 19th St and 6th Ave. We have babies now, but the barista and the patrons were cool with that. The woman next to us hanging out with her young son offered us an extra chair. I had a George Howell espresso, and it was excellent. The croissant not as great but that’s not why I visited. Friendly barista, cozy vibe. Wish I lived there, because that’d be my neighborhood joint. Thank you Southside, for a fun visit.
We met with my sister and her family at The Coffee Bar in Washington, DC on 12th & S NW. Neat place, rustic, reclaimed distressed-wood type interior, beans from Ceremony, and the normal crowd of young folks on their laptops in the hip U street/Logan Circle neighborhood.We got the usual, an espresso and a latte. Heart-shaped rosetta this time around.
Square One Coffee in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a new favorite spot when we are in town. It’s situated in a nice spot downtown, and is a few blocks away from the Central Market. They roast their own beans, and they do it well. There’s a hip crowd and a good macchiato.
After coffee, we walked to the Lancaster Central Market to get some lunch and then continued on our trip.
Dineen Coffee Co
I missed Dineen coffee the last time around, but was close enough this time for it to be my first stop. The warm Bay Area weather made being outside in Toronto a bit of a challenge. But I layered up on three jackets and borrowed a hat and felt alright.
You’re greeted by a busy floor, large brass chandeliers, and elegant columns. This place looks like a classic hotel lobby from the 1920s.
They had a selection of pastries and parfaits and sandwiches, and also a nice wall of syrups, coffees and teas available for purchase.
The espresso tasted classic, much like the vibe of the cafe. The baristas were especially friendly here, and while I was taking photos reminded me to tag them if I put mine up on Instagram. And I did!
Milano Espresso Bar
Milano Espresso Bar just opened about a week ago. They have a neat space on Adelaide St that felt.. springlike. I wouldn’t have known it existed if I hadn’t seen their A-frame sign out on the sidewalk.
Christian walked us through the blends that they had available. We opted to try both La Futurra and .. the other one. I can’t remember the name now. Both shots were well-balanced with a more traditional Italian roast profile. We had missed them while on our trip in Vancouver, where Milano Espresso had originated.
Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters
Early Bird Espresso
My favorite spot of the trip was Early Bird Espresso on Queen Street West. I was excited to see that they had espresso from Pilot (a place that I definitely need to see next time) and it was the best I had all trip. It was fairly bright, with a citrusy fruity punch. The wooden serving plate and demitasse were a really nice touch as well. It was quite crowded in there but we were still able to find a table to sit for a few minutes.
I wish I’d known about this place earlier. It’s a little cafe at the entrance to the Frank and Oak store on Queen Street West. I saw people doing a cupping through the window and had to stop in out of curiousity. They do cuppings ever Sunday morning. They serve Stumptown but I also saw that they were cupping some 49th Parallel beans. Beautiful aesthetics in there and friendly folks.
There was bike stuff too.
There were a lot of people on their bikes despite the weather, which apparently did not go above freezing for the entirety of February. This bike looks pretty stuck: