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Sunday, 18 August 2013

Coffee Shops of Vancouver

So I've already written about Blenz in my Food (and Drink) for Thought, and recently covered Beaucoup Bakery in the Review: Beacoup Bakery and Cafe post but since we've been here we have covered a lot of coffee shops. We simply love coffee. We're a coffee kind of couple.

So here's my take on a few of the places we've visited recently and why you should or shouldn't visit.


Trees Organic Coffee 

Trees Organic Coffee was an early discovery. We stumbled upon the branch on Granville Street and decided we had to give the place which lays claim to the 'Best Cheesecake in Vancouver' a go. Between us we shared a piece of chocolate cheesecake and it was simply delicious, at the time we thought it was a tad pricey hence why we only got one slice, but the serving was large even for the 2 of us, and came on a neatly presented plate with cream and 2 forks, so in the end I think it was pretty reasonable for what we got. In the first few crazy days of being in Vancouver I don't think I really took in how good this place was and it's taken us this long to realise we actually love it.

We recently went again, this time to the one on Richards and I tried the mocha, which was lovely, though I would say very sweet and chocolatey and not particularly coffeeish, it was more hot chocolate than a mocha. (Not necessarily a complaint if like me, you love chocolate!)

Then this morning we returned for another coffee hit. Ian got an espresso, which he says is probably the best he's had in Vancouver. I myself sampled the espresso machiatto, which was perfect, hitting that perfect balance between the intenseness of coffee with the milder, calming milk. I also attempted (Ian talked me into it I swear) a slice of cheesecake, and I somehow managed to eat the whole damn thing. Seriously check these guys out, we haven't had one thing we disliked and we'll be making it a  regular haunt.



After some considerable research we decided to visit Revolver as it is supposedly one of the best in Vancouver. We heard it had a yuppie sort of hippster vibe which some didn't like, but due to the incredible reviews on the actual coffee we were eager to try it out. On entering you're met with quite a stylized interior, with warm woods and contrasting cold metallic decor such as nails in the wall which are shaped like the continents of the world. On the shelves they sell coffee beans, and various coffee utensils for brewing at home, which are a tad pricey but pretty to look at. It feels a lot less stuck up than I'd anticipated and I was quite comfortable in my jeans and t-shirt.

Revolver has a limited menu with just a few basic coffees (see above!), along with taster flights and a few snacky type foods available. I wonder if having such a small menu means that they are able to perfect each one because I can honestly say their's is the best latte I have ever had. And I've been back 3 times to make sure. It's so drinkable I could drink about 5 in one sitting. One criticism some have mentioned is that drinks are served in glasses. I actually like this touch, it feels different and quirky, and I didn't find the heat of the drink affected my ability to hold the glass, as some people claim.

Ian's drink of choice here has been the macciato, and he say's Revolver's is really, really good. Not the best he's had but high up there. He also says the espresso's are great, and that if you were an espresso fan they'd be your idea of heaven.

Amongst the food we tried, the chocolate cake is delicious, its sweet, sweet, sweet and the most delightful consistency, quite thick but not too stodgy. Ian has tried one of their power cookies, which he enjoyed immensely, and we've also sampled the pecan pies slices, which are very tasty but a little on the small side in my opinion.

All round a great place to hang out, the staff really know their stuff and the latte's are INCREDIBLE.


AGRO Cafe, Yaletown

So we tried out AGRO as it's flagship shop is pretty close to our apartment and it was well reviewed, but honestly this has probably been my least favourite so far. The coffee was nice, but it was just that nice. It wasn't horrible but also not much to write home about. The shop was pretty quiet, with just us and one other patron there, and the setting/decor lets it down. While the coffee is nice, and it's situated in the hip Yaletown area, the shop itself is just a bit...blah. It's kind of dull looking, compared to the others which have so much personality and life! In other coffee shops you can tell they have put effort and serious thought to how they want to be presented, this place seems pretty lacklustre. That being said the lady that served us was lovely and chatty, and we had nice art on our drinks, but really you can get a much better experience elsewhere.


The Buzz Cafe

The Buzz Cafe is one of my favourite places. On our first visit I went for a Hedgehog Mocha (which I believed involves chocolate and hazelnut) and was delighted to be met with these beauties (see right!), before I promptly dived into mocha heaven. It was creamy, chocolatey and sweet and just yum.

I love this place for so many reasons, the staff are chatty and informative, the menu is extensive and caters to pretty much anybody, all the products we've tried have gone down a storm, and the places location and feel is amazing. I just love it. The place is situtated within an art gallery so not only do you get great coffee you get to look at beautiful art while you drink. The art makes for great conversation, and makes the place feel very relaxed, open and chilled out. It's easy to spend lots of time here.

On a hot day we popped in for cold drinks, and I tried a fruity shake named something along the lines of a Pamela Ander'Sun' which involved peaches, ice and I can't remember what else. But it was refreshing, cooling and ticked every box for what I wanted. On the same occasion Ian had the David 'Hazel'hoff, which I think was a hazel/coffee shake and which he immensily enjoyed too. We've also checked out the macciato's (yes, amazing!) and I've had the Rolo Mocha (nice, very sweet, but I didn't really get Rolo coming through as a flavour.) This place just keeps on giving, there are so many things to try, so much variety and is such a great place to just sit and chill out, we can and have whiled away many an hour here. Love it.


So that's a wrap for now, though I'm sure we'll try new places soon! If anyone can recommend any new places they think we should try out, drop me a line!

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