I am not ashamed to admit that I came all the way here for the novelty of their skull shaped glasses. This little shop is the perfect fusion of coffee and bourbon, all under one roof; as such, they offer the possibility for coffee cocktails for those who like their vices two fold. This was yet another concept I have yet to see in Vancouver, that got me excited during my visit to Toronto.
I missed its all black exterior the first time pass. It’s open eye within a heart logo caught my attention the second time around. On a sunny day like today I could see comfort in the simple patio, with minimal shade from the awning cover. A great spot for people watching.
Inside, the walls were covered with chalkboard menus, written in some of the neatest chalk print I have ever seen. Scattered around the place were knick knacks and collectables worth starting a conversation over. A four print series of antique revolvers framing menu placards. The antlers of what look like a deer mounted by the ceiling. And a silver tea set with vials of dried leaves and flowers ready for service on a tray.
I propped myself up on their bar. It was a cozy seat amongst a cozy setting. I sat by their espresso machine, and got a view of their milk frother and hot water machine, just below their shelves separating spirits with coffee beans and loose leaf. It’s sanded down and paint peeling wood counters gave the place character and made for some great-rustic-morning-coffee-time photos.
What I appreciated most about this place was the conversations that approached me. I had a lovely girl suggesting places for me to visit during my stay in TO. She herself had been to Vancouver recently and we originally connected over that. I guess my wearing a toque in May and yoga pants with chucks gave my non Torontoian vibe away.
The coffee menu had all the classics espressos and green and black teas, and flavoured lattes and hot chocolate under “specialty drinks”.
The bourbon cocktails menu didn’t list ingredients, but only mentioned names. It was a good show of trust in your bartender to have them recommend you the right one; or it would at least encourage a conversation with them over what was in a “the troubled cousin”, “suffering bastard”, or a “black magic”.
I asked and ordered specifically to ensure I got one of each coffee and bourbon in a skull shaped glass. A bourbon cocktail in the middle of the day followed by coffee to wash it down, yes I am planning to have a good today. Though, ironically I don’t like coffee and am not the biggest fan of bourbon. Yet I drank both all the way to the bottom, all for the love of trying new things and to not be anymore wasteful than I have been. Trying things for the experience of it and not being able to finish in order to fit in more.
I clearly ordered the “Wu tang clan” for its name. And for similar reasons, the “Voodoo child” coffee ended up in my cup too. Both were strong and packed a punch. A great paring for the rest of my walking tour. Although as much as I am going on and on about the glasses, they were not easy to drink out of. It was almost cumbersome drinking experience. The glass just didn’t rest neatly between your lips, your lips didn’t cup the edge of the glass just so. It forced you to breath in sips and enjoy what you worked so hard to take it.
Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Sadly, because I am neither a fan of either of the genre of two drinks they specialize in, nor do I reside in Toronto, I do not see myself returning. However, for the coffee connoisseur this one is worth stopping at. Don’t deny your cravings.