I don’t consider myself a coffee snob by any means even though I do love the hashtag #coffeesnob on instragram when posting about some of my favourite café’s. I do however, know a good cup when I taste it. I enjoy a slightly bold flavour with a creamy smoothness when adding milk (or milk substitute in my case). A hazelnut or vanilla flavour to the roasted bean can sometimes be nice but that usually can only be found in specialty coffees or Hawaiian import beans, like Kauai Coffee or Kona Coffee. I would only add any flavour in replacement for sugar otherwise it is just coffee with almond or coconut milk.
I grew up with an Italian grandmother whom every day after lunch would make her espresso. Being a curious little girl and wanting to try everything I saw, I insisted I must use real coffee instead of playing pretend Tea Parties. My Nona mainly had Illy Café ground up to use in her old school espresso kettle. It made very strong coffee so for a 6-year-old, it would keep up into the late night. Needless to say, my mom was not impressed when she came to pick us up. Since I starting drinking espresso at such a young age I developed my taste buds early for a strong flavour. Which has made my appreciation for a well roasted and brewed coffee.
I did a bit of reading recently on what makes a good coffee bean and it really just depends on the environment it grows in. The areas where beans are grown are; Central America, South America, Africa and Asia. Each region has its own profile of what type of bean grows however, it does not mean all beans from the same area will taste the same. This is where the art of roasting and brewing comes in. Thus, the art of Coffee!
The art of brewing and creating a flavourful cup of coffee sometimes gets lost in the business of selling coffee to the masses, aka Tim Hortons or Starbucks. However, both companies are doing quite well. As a consumer we forget why coffee was invented in the first place. To sip, enjoy the flavour, socialize with friends or barista and to help with digestion. North Americans tend to drink coffee for the caffeine fix and want a large cup. During my college years that was exactly what I used it for, caffeine to stay awake and study. Now that the ‘adulting’ life started, coffee has become a very social thing to go and meet with friends or business meetings with clients. A few of the local Vancouver coffee houses and Café’s I love to go to are; Café Artigiano, JJ Bean, Thierry Café, Kahve and Café Orso to name a few.
So, traveling to the big city of Toronto I had high expectations to find a coffee place that was not only unique but had great coffee. My friend I was visiting found Bull Dog Coffee a few days before my arrival and knew I would apricate their coffee as well their tasty made healthy snacks. Even though it was a cold day I went for the featured special, a chocolate coconut milk latté. It was delicious! I was thoroughly impressed with the flavour and I drank too fast that I almost wanted another one. Since we had gone to the gym in the morning at 6am for a workout, I also tired one of the coconut power balls which was jam packed with protein and again tasted so delicious! Both the coffee and power ball gave me enough energy to last until lunch time. It was a perfect pair for my morning.
When leaving we noticed a sign that showed the Bull Dog, Stuart Ross recently won the Toronto’s Barista Championship. I can defiantly see why he won because everything was fantastic and I think everyone in Toronto should go and check out Bull Dog Coffee.
Even J-Lo recently stopped in during her last trip in Toronto.
All in all, my napkin review is 5 start⭐️ and next time I am in the area I will be stopping in.
Until next time.