Hello all, it's been a bit frustrating reading through this board whenever the almighty espresso question comes up. The majority of the posts seem to be judging a cafe on their Americanos or Lattes. I can appreciate that everyone has their preferences but I find it impossible to judge the espresso when all the other elements are mixed in.
So, what are your favourite spots where you can enjoy a beautifully pulled shot without adding sugar or water or milk?
These are my faves in the city:
Voulez Vous Cafe - The spot I have been to the most this is partly due to it's proximity to my house. But due to an inconspicuous storefront, I was not expecting such a high quality shot. It was only after talking to the insanely friendly barrista and co-owner Sean, that I realized the extent of their quality control. Trying 50 different roasters and sampling 30 shots a day for over a month to come to the perfect blend, shows. More in the Euro vein of clean subtle flavours that you can literally scoop the crema off with a spoon. Crazy good and insanely strong.
Sam James - blew me away and I have only been once but I have bought their beans. Using the Toi Moi & Cafe roaster in Montreal, it's delicious and complex too. Also, Sam James is one helluva nice guy.
Cherry Bomb - Their shots were wonderfully balanced. Nice on the palette and a subtle ending. Really deceptive since they're longer than I would like my shot to be but they work perfectly.
Te Aro - It took me a couple of visits to appreciate this place. They air roast their own beans and the quality control is high. This is a roast which has flavours that are all but lost in a cappucino and latte. Its' really clean and a little nutty but not overbearingly so.
Mercury Organic Espresso Bar - I have been here many times. I love the vibe but they were kind of in a rut serving the Black Cat beans. I haven't had the opportunity to sample their new custom blend in store but I have bought the beans. I only have an aeropress at home so I can't comment on it yet but the beans are amazing.
So anyone want to weigh in with their favourites?
Mercury Organic Espresso Bar
915 Queen St E, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A, CA
Cherry Bomb Coffee
79 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto, ON M6R2K6, CA
Voulez Vous Café
1560 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L, CA