In Search of [More Coffee]

I suppose I’m a little obsessed with coffee, or perhaps more so with trying out new coffee shops and cafés. Interestingly enough, I don’t really go on a search for new coffee shops, they kind of just land in my lap over conversations with people, or rides to and from work. I spot a coffee shop that intrigues me and immediately pull out my list of places to try and add it. Then if the opportunity presents itself, I venture off to check it out.

One of the first ones that I visited since my last post and that really stood out to me was this place called Strange Love. It stood out because it looked very warm and welcoming. The floral design on their shop sign is so pretty and if appearances didn’t matter then I’m not sure I would have looked specifically for this place. Initial attraction? Check! I walked in and was immediately greeted by the two baristas that stood behind the small counter. I took a look around for seating and then started looking at the menu. I wasn’t particularly hungry so I just requested a large cup of drip coffee. (When I stay at a coffee shop, I prefer drinking my coffee in a mug as opposed to a paper cup). I requested a mug, but they only had paper cups. I wasn’t at all disappointed because the staff were apologetic and kind. They were very approachable and held up a conversation with me. I picked a seat that faced the window and was so pleasantly surprised at the tiny succulents placed at each table. They were so nice to look at and really made the entire place very special. In fact, I began to notice all the small pieces of art situated throughout the cafe. I was more so preoccupied with my own things, so I didn’t truly give the cafe the attention it needed to really notice everything. I think that I would definitely go here again because it’s a very bright, open and friendly place.

This next place gave me the feeling of having died and went to heaven. At The Coffee Bar Inc. I tried their warm almond croissant and had a “mouthgasm”. It is as good, if not better, than the one I’ve tried at Bar Mercurio. But, OH. MY. GOSH. It is the perfect temperature, and the filling inside is just so perfect – not too sweet, not too almond-y. The sliced almonds on top make for the perfect crunch. And if this was not the only thing that would make me crawling back here in the very near future (probably tomorrow), then there was the built in wireless phone chargers at the high-top ledge facing the window. I have not seen this at any other coffee shop – yet, and I think it’s super cool and convenient! One thing that did sort of annoy me was that their wifi kept cutting in and out… that’s an inconvenience in this day and age. To be very honest, if I looked at this coffee shop from outside, I would probably never walk in. The font they used for their sign is absolutely outdated. (I wish I took a picture of it) Otherwise, it has a warm cabin type of feeling with wooden furniture and accents. If you sit where I sat, you will also get a preview of the CN Tower. (Just the bottom half though)

Okay! Let’s talk about coffee shops playing old Bollywood music. Is this cultural appropriation (or misappropriation) or are they embracing diversity? I visited this coffee shop called Coffee Pamenar and instantly got this hip boho vibe upon entering. I wasn’t surprised at their limited menu because overall the place was very small (besides the fact that it was very looooong and lead to a back patio). I ordered an americano since they didn’t have drip coffee, and an almond croissant. I think The Coffee Bar Inc. set the bar pretty high for almond croissants since I was not at all impressed with the one at Coffee Pamenar. I sat down on this massive table since all the single tables were taken and immediately noticed a sign that read, “Please share tables and use hooks near the stairs to hang your coats.” I thought, well this is nice, at least they are encouraging sharing space with a complete stranger. After sitting down and setting up my laptop, I heard an old Bollywood song playing and was so surprised! This was the first coffee shop that I visited that I heard Bollywood music. It instantly caught my attention and I started to notice the music more. I even opted out of using my headphones and listening to my own music (which is something I tend to do if I’m not interested in hearing the music they play, or the noises around me). Anyway, a few songs later, I heard an old Arabic song, and in between the typical rock alternative songs. – but for the most part, the music was from a different era. I started to sip on my Americano and didn’t feel an instant satisfaction. It wasn’t bold or rich. It was just… meh. I couldn’t even compare it to the americano I had at Sorry Coffee, which was absolutely scrumptious. The staff were not particularly friendly and were mostly preoccupied with their own converstations. I don’t think that I would come back here as often as other places, or maybe once to try out the patio.

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Give me coffee shops that you have tried and loved to add to my list! Comment below!

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