So for this week’s post, I decided to go with something new and refreshing. I’ve been officially in the coffee scene for almost a year and a half now and I have learned a lot during this time. I noticed my taste in coffee shops has changed rather significantly so I wanted to showcase different perspectives from other food instagrammers as well. Personal preferences and standards are different not only if you compare between baristas and clientèle but also with food bloggers such as myself. Baristas tend to be very strict with their preferences because that’s their professional domain, bloggers/food instagrammers tend to be in the middle -acting as consumers with a critical eye, and finally everyday consumers who just appreciate the general experience.
I chose foodie Instagrammers that I enjoy following and asked them to pick their favourite coffee shop in Montreal and attach their instagram photo of that shop. These are people who are passionate about the coffee/food industry like I am but who are also still just everyday clients. Their picks were surprisingly refreshing as these were not the super trendy shop listed on some site and some are even borderline ‘coffee shops’ in terms of definition. This goes to show how flexible the definition can be and also what holds a priority in their preferences. As a guideline, I asked them to provide me with a short blurb to accompany their IG photo, with the following questions in mind:
- Although Montreal has a lot of great coffee shops, most of the time, if you had to pick, which would be a coffee shop you frequent the most and why?
- Was it an experience that stood out like a personal memory/anecdote?
- Is it the convenience of the location or the people you meet and interact with?
- Is it the food that’s served that draws you in or is it really specifically for the quality of the coffee?
Thank you to everyone who contributed, this meant a lot to me! Here are the results:
“If I have to choose a favorite, it’ll be L’artiste affamé. Why? It’s one of the few where I truly have coffee conversations. I learned a lot from talking with Jesse. Not only that, I’ve met great people through my quest of wanting to learn and share about coffee. He opened my eyes to that lovely world (I was just a coffee drinker) and it’s been a crazy ride since which has only been a year, at best. If the café was closer, I’d never leave.” –Khai (@sumtimw0ng)
“I was introduced to the Independent cafe scene in Montreal almost two years ago. In those two years, I have visited almost 50 of them, and although it’s difficult to pick a favourite, Buck15 Espresso Bar is my number 1. I tried to pinpoint a specific reason as to why it’s my favourite, but I think it all comes down to the overall atmosphere. The coffee is amazing, and if coffee isn’t your thing, then I’m sure you’ll love their creative toasts.
The coffee shop is run and owned by genuine and welcoming people who take the time to talk to you and make sure you have a pleasant visit. I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve spent there just chatting away with other regulars while enjoying a warm cup of coffee. It’s a comfortable and cozy place, and I hope more people take the time to check it out.” –Kathlene (@kathlenee)
“Montreal is often compared to its European counterpart, Paris. The French language, Old Montreal’s cobblestone streets, the architecture, and our restaurants and cafés all have a certain European allure. So where do I go to grab a coffee and get a taste of that old world charm? La Croissanterie Figaro in the Mile end. This spot has it all- great coffee, brunch, god-sent croissants, and atmosphere. The one thing they don’t have only adds to its appeal- wifi. That’s right. No wifi. Only conversation, coffee, and good eats here. Come summertime, Figaro opens the loveliest terrace- one of my favourites in the city. So visit Croissanterie Figaro, order a latté en bol and a croque monsieur and transport yourself to Europe without ever leaving Fairmount Street!” –Cally (@montrealmaven)
Locating in the south of Plaza St-Hubert, Café 8oz isn’t the most accessible café for me, but I would make a trip there just for their coffee. They use Tandem Coffee Roasters, from Portland, Maine. The place is spacious, and lots of sunlight when the day is nice. The place is quite busy, but I always manage to get a seat and get my work done. There are a lot of books and newspapers available even if you walk in empty-handed.
My go-to drink is the malted cold brew, which is only available during the summer. I first had it just because they ran out of cold brew. The barista recommended the malted cold brew, and I fell in love with it. It’s smoother than regular cold brew. The malt extract acts as a sweetener, which no additional sugar is needed. Besides nice coffee, they also carry the baked goods from Patrice Pâtissier.” –Eva (@eatwitheva)
“My favourite place for a pick me up, afternoon stop or reading spot is Cardinal Tea Room in the Mile-End. They have a great selection of teas, including a smokey one that reminds me of bacon (mmmm, bacon). Whether it’s your first or 19th time there, their blueberry scone is consistently delicious, and don’t forget to order it with the clotted cream. The decor and furniture brings you back to another century in an English home. They do lack internet, but who needs the web when you can have a face-to-face conversation?”-Olympia (@olympialui)