They say to surround yourself with people with same hobbies and I guess I unknowingly did so three years ago. One unintentional gain for having started my blog is getting to know the coffee and food community in Montreal. I’ve met amazing people through this blog and I’ve learned more than I ever thought I could. Originally, it was really just a product of me trying to funnel my passion for exploring and taking photos of coffee shops into something that was tangible and accessible to other aficionados. Now, it’s become a continuous discussion among other Montreal foodies and coffee drinkers.
At the time I started in 2014, Instagram was starting to gain massive traction. But this desire to be the first one to discover new restaurants and cafes was not yet popular among university students. At least, it wasn’t such a big part of me and my friends’ lives in university – we were too focused on our immediate everyday life. Sure, we loved to discover new places. But this craving to document your life, to share and to contribute to the larger community had not yet matured. Now the feeds get closer and closer to real-time updates and the sharing extends further from just your friends. Back then, discoveries were from static blogs (thank you, @mayssamaha and @adbeus), researching, and the occasional Facebook post. Now, before I visit a coffee shop, I can go to their location tag, see the most recent check-ins and know how it looks, what type of food they have, and the roast of coffee being served that day – this could be a post from within the hour! At the same time, Instagram has really changed the way we view restaurants in general and I think we sometimes lose sight of what really matters.
Like a few of my other recent posts, I did not find this cafe through deliberate research but rather through a recommendation from one of my favourite Instagrammers, Kathlene. For that, I am glad because I absolutely love this coffee shop. I do not like it because of aesthetics alone. Nor is it because it has cool trendy chairs that I can take pictures of. Yes, the decor is beautiful and therefore a plus. The fact that the cafe is a corner shop surrounded by windows definitely adds a more airy, positive mood. More importantly, I like it because the baristas are all experienced. In fact, one of them I recognize from quite a few of my other favourite coffee shops so I know I’m guaranteed a delicious cup. I’ve been here more than five times and I get a consistently good cappuccino/cortado every time(I apologize to those who prefer filters, I enjoy filters but not enough to substitute my one daily cup with it so I don’t have a comment for that). I like it because I get excellent service from very friendly, polite staff members. Really, I just like it because there is a clear level of professionalism behind the shop that is lacking in quite a few others.
The team behind Cafe Origine is confident; they do not try to differentiate themselves with flashy brunch options or other instagrammable bait like some artsy branded logo. They stick to the fundamental needs of a coffee shop and they do it well. I also like the fact that they are spacious. Though the occasional hole in the wall is a gem, because of my work, I need to spend an hour or two at a cafe and I wouldn’t do that if I felt like I was intruding on limited space. Also, Cafe Origine had the foresight to think about what baked goods they will be serving, and what the logistics would be to ensure that the food is fresh and deliverable. All too often, I will find stale baked goods or the delivery would be late so I would have no food for the next hour. Origine, however, collaborated with Godley & Creme and are actually located right on top of the bakery’s new space (can’t get any fresher than that!). In case you aren’t familiar, most of the baked goods you find at Humble Lion, Myriade or Monopole are all Godley & Creme. I highly recommend their scones or croissants! Finally, they serve Pilot coffee, which is a good compromise between the darker types like 49th or Kittel but stronger than De Mello (I’m referring to the standard roasts because obviously depending on the batch, the tastes can vary). So if you like the roasts at Paquebot, Cafe Odessa or Cafe Fixe, you can expect the same here.
Cafe Origine is definitely a great find, and I’m glad I have great Instagram friends to flag me when they visit a new, quality cafe. It is now a community effort and here is mine. Go visit them!
Some practical information to leave you with: there is wifi and numerous tables if you need to do work. The baked goods served are brownies, croissants, and scones (no real meals here except for the Italian sausage sandwich). They’re also one of the few downtown shops that are open before 11 on the weekends so it’s good for the early birds.