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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Food & Fine Dining

Food & Fine Dining Hungry? Come on down to Wings - Fun, Food and Drinks.
Top Restaurants in town? Got a good recipe to share? Share culinary info or post up photos of your delicious dish. #revsceneVLS

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Old 08-31-2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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Where Is Your Favourite Coffee Shop?

Hey folks,

I'm looking to see how many coffee drinkers we have on RS. Just looking to see where your favourite coffee shop is and why. Also, what's your drink of choice?

For me, it's Gene Coffee Bar located at the triangle block where Main and Kingsway split off. They serve coffee roasted locally by Vincent Gentile's Casa Del Caffe. My drink of choice there is a medium Americano. The use of the Kahla cups and saucers really retain the heat well and is a very nice compliment to the espresso shot pulled by their Wega machine. End result is a dark nutty espresso flavour with hints of berry and cloves. The only drawback to this location is they serve mainly espresso and milk drinks. You won't find a frap here. It'd be nice if they served some single origin but the location is too small.

Please share!
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
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Well, I was going to suggest cafe artigiano.

That was until I saw you comment on the CUPS AND SAUCERS used that Gene.

You're obviously more hardcore than most.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:51 PM   #3
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Nothing wrong with Artigiano! I used to hate them with a passion but they slowly cleaned up their act and stopped boasting their business based upon winning barista championships. This only happened after the Piccolo brothers decided to sell Artigiano off to the guy who owns Earls in order to concentrate on 49th Parallel Roasting.

I haven't been to Artigiano in a while but I would say most coffee shops use good quality porcelain cups and saucers. I won't get into the specifics but a high quality porcelain cup helps retain heat and taste properties. Small coffee shops that use ceramic mugs don't cut it.
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:08 PM   #4
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I went to Artigiano twice and wasn't impressed. They don't have a very good temperature control on both the espresso shot and milk, giving inconsistent cups.

I'm gonna try Gene Coffee because I miss all the good coffee I had when I was living in Italy (where I learned how to appreciate coffee). Making a good cup of coffee is a science...

You can tell whether a barista is doing a good job by checking the crema that's on top of their espresso shot. Forget any machine made (ala Starbucks) ones. The crema should naturally just fill the top section of the shot glass without much depth or uneven-ness through the layer. Too much means either too hot or the bean isn't properly ground (usually too chunky) and too little means the opposite but ground bean being too dense.

And most importantly is the temperature of the coffee, ideally, you want to keep it near 86 degree Celsius at time of tasting and 92 degrees when just done to take advantage of the aroma. People stir the coffee not simply to add condiments but also to lower the temperature.

Last but not least, is the minerals in the water. Here in NA we have a much different mineral content in our water and has something to do with how we process our water, the real reason why European always say we have shitty coffee. The very best coffee I've ever tasted in NA was done by an old retired Italian gentleman who runs a B&B about 200 miles outside of Cheyenne Wyoming. He uses filtered water from the stream that runs behind his house and it was so good that I actually made a run back there when I was driving to Yellowstone (first time was a road trip with friend to NYC)
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Old 08-31-2010, 11:13 PM   #5
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Shit, and here I was thinking Starbucks was good enough....

I need to start going to good coffee houses more...
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:17 AM   #6
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Haha... Starbucks is good for general public, but for a serious coffee drinker, a good coffee is like tasting a good bottle of wine. There is so much depth in the aroma and flavor that sometimes it's hard to describe, hence making it difficult to teach people about it.

I learned how to drink coffee because when I was living in Italy, the landlord was a very serious coffee drinker... he has equipments worth as much as a car... just to make coffee...

For general coffee, I personally enjoy the Fresca Medici from JJ Bean, it's an iced coffee drink with honey, just ask it with extra cream and you are in caffeine heaven during a hot day... (not recommended for people who has problem sleeping though, it has 2 shots in it)
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I went to Artigiano twice and wasn't impressed. They don't have a very good temperature control on both the espresso shot and milk, giving inconsistent cups.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I haven't been to Artigiano in a while but I find it interesting that you weren't impressed. What's interesting is that they (used to anyway) pride their reputation in serious barista training. I am no professional, but temperature control on both the espresso shot and milk are serious grounds on becoming a good barista. Not only that, they pride themselves on the basis of using "the best" machines which is a La Marzocco.


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I'm gonna try Gene Coffee because I miss all the good coffee I had when I was living in Italy (where I learned how to appreciate coffee). Making a good cup of coffee is a science...
You may or may not enjoy their espersso at Gene Coffee Bar. The roast is the Espresso Gran Bar from Casa Del Caffe, roasted by Vincent Gentile. Not sure if you know about his background but he apprenticed in coffee roasting in Italy for 7 years and has been in the business for 25 years in Vancouver.

The roast is a lot more darker for most North American paletes but the shots pulled at Gene Coffee Bar instantly reminded me of the same tastes and quality from what I had in Prague, Dresden and Vienna. I personally love their Wega machine used, a true E61 grouphead so the consistancy is there. Their baristas can be quizzed if you want to.

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You can tell whether a barista is doing a good job by checking the crema that's on top of their espresso shot. Forget any machine made (ala Starbucks) ones.
Not many baristas do that anymore. They should occassionally pull a blank shot to taste to determine whether adjustments need to be made at the grinder. Superautomatic machines suck.

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The crema should naturally just fill the top section of the shot glass without much depth or uneven-ness through the layer. Too much means either too hot or the bean isn't properly ground (usually too chunky) and too little means the opposite but ground bean being too dense.
The latest hot topic amongst baristas is that crema is not always a sure-fire indication of the final product, which eventually is taste. I've personally found that when sticking to the general guidelines of pulling a shot is that a 2oz. double shot should typically be complete at around 30 seconds. It's the under and overextraction that can really ruin the taste of the shot, nevermind just the crema alone especially if its blonding too early or too late. Of course, temperature control, grind quality, dosing and tamping and the beans are crucial to the final product.

Hehe, you seem to have a good understanding of espresso. Let me know where you like going and how you find Gene Coffee Bar. I'm always there, it's like my 2nd home!

Just to throw it out there, this is my coffee rig at home. I have some beans coming in from Stumptown Coffee Hair Bender roast by the end of this week and an El Salvador single origin for the pourover next week.




(Not pictured: Hario V60 ceramic pourover dripper & Hario stainless steel kettle.)
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:43 AM   #8
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:16 PM   #9
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, I haven't been to Artigiano in a while but I find it interesting that you weren't impressed. What's interesting is that they (used to anyway) pride their reputation in serious barista training. I am no professional, but temperature control on both the espresso shot and milk are serious grounds on becoming a good barista. Not only that, they pride themselves on the basis of using "the best" machines which is a La Marzocco.
The problem with their barista is that they focus too much on the appearance, or how the cup look at the beginning. As for temperature control, it might be my personal preference, but I tend to like the milk at 93 degrees when adding into the espresso to bring the aroma up along with the creaminess of the milk. The first time I was there, they had it in a slightly lower temperature, making the drinking easier in a sense but losing the aroma in the process. The second time I was there, I asked it to be a lil bit warmer due to the first experience, their espresso came out too quick sacrificing the body of the coffee.

And if the barista is really good, equipments cease to matter, it's the attention to detail that they put into making that matters. Good equipments simply facilitate the process.



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You may or may not enjoy their espersso at Gene Coffee Bar. The roast is the Espresso Gran Bar from Casa Del Caffe, roasted by Vincent Gentile. Not sure if you know about his background but he apprenticed in coffee roasting in Italy for 7 years and has been in the business for 25 years in Vancouver.

The roast is a lot more darker for most North American paletes but the shots pulled at Gene Coffee Bar instantly reminded me of the same tastes and quality from what I had in Prague, Dresden and Vienna. I personally love their Wega machine used, a true E61 grouphead so the consistancy is there. Their baristas can be quizzed if you want to.
I think consistency is key in a coffee shop. I don't expect any coffee shop to brew "my" perfect coffee due to the subjective nature of tasting. But if they can put out consistent products and flavors, they have been doing an amazing job, will sure let you know I'm heading.


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Not many baristas do that anymore. They should occassionally pull a blank shot to taste to determine whether adjustments need to be made at the grinder. Superautomatic machines suck.
Yep, very true... and yet sad.


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The latest hot topic amongst baristas is that crema is not always a sure-fire indication of the final product, which eventually is taste. I've personally found that when sticking to the general guidelines of pulling a shot is that a 2oz. double shot should typically be complete at around 30 seconds. It's the under and overextraction that can really ruin the taste of the shot, nevermind just the crema alone especially if its blonding too early or too late. Of course, temperature control, grind quality, dosing and tamping and the beans are crucial to the final product.
I'm a more traditional type of coffee drinker, it has to do much with the gentleman I learned from. Therefore, an ideal shot, which consists all you mentioned plus pressure level and grind temperature (sometimes grind gets too hot, taking away the aroma originally existed in the bean, giving different performance on the same bean just one shot before and after), shows relatively clear in crema. I wouldn't say it's always the case, but it's a very good indicator.

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Hehe, you seem to have a good understanding of espresso. Let me know where you like going and how you find Gene Coffee Bar. I'm always there, it's like my 2nd home!
I have an Argentinean friend here (who comes from an Italian family) who makes a killer espresso at his place. He, too, is a crazy coffee lover, I will see if I can make him to give us a tasting opportunity (I usually just pay for the bean) and you can come to experience some coffee that I consider excellent.

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Just to throw it out there, this is my coffee rig at home. I have some beans coming in from Stumptown Coffee Hair Bender roast by the end of this week and an El Salvador single origin for the pourover next week.
Stumptown's bean is very good, I tried them when I was in Portland and was very impressed.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:43 PM   #10
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You can usually get a pretty mean Americano at Smartmouth Cafe in Gastown. There's also Milano Coffee also known as Turks near West 8th & Columbia for some serious Expressos. Try the Miscela Royal blend if its in.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:18 AM   #11
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these guys get 8 an hour, why do you expect a++ coffeee
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:00 AM   #12
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That's not necessarily true. A lot of independant shops pay their baristas $10/hr to start with generous increases. In addition, they get to keep ALL tips.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:32 AM   #13
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$4 dollars an hour or 8 bucks and hour doesn't make a difference.

you're telling me because I'm earning only 15 dollars an hour that I should care more about my job than I was when I was a kid earning 8 bucks... doesn't work that way.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:25 AM   #14
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just make mine at home
did anyone see jerry Seinfeld and the bit about the coffee drinkers lol
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:09 PM   #15
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I pass by Gene Coffee Bar quite often since it's across the street from my tattoo shop. I'll give it a try next time before my appointment.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:12 PM   #16
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Bean Around the World for me. Any place that Spyder Robinson shouts out in his books has to be good. :P
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:33 PM   #17
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:36 PM   #18
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I went to JJ Bean's cupping event today and got to sample new single origin beans from Guatamala, Ethiopia, and Kenya.



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Old 09-04-2010, 02:48 AM   #19
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Got some fresh Hair Bender beans from Stumptown Coffee in Portland, OR. Big thanks to Alphamale for the hookup!



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Old 09-05-2010, 10:25 PM   #20
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I usually brew coffee at home but if I want a latte, I go to Prado on Commercial Drive
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:54 PM   #21
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Big thanks to Alphamale for the hookup!
You can always count on Alphamale to hook you up with a nice Latino, East African, and Indonesian
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:04 AM   #22
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Anywhere in Vancouver that serves real Blue Mountain No. 1?
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:38 AM   #23
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Not in Vancouver per se but...

I don't know this 100% for sure but I do understand that the Aoyama Cafe inside Aberdeen Centre in Richmond has Blue Mountain. They are on the lower level in front of the water fountain. They brew to order using the syphon method however I have never tried their Blue Mountain coffee.

There is also a small coffee shop called La Cuisson in the same complex as Richmond Sushi and Yavis Club which serves Blue Mountain. I have been there before and the owner there is a serious coffee guy. He brews his coffee using Hario syphons which I've tried myself. The owner brews to order and you can watch him practice his meticulous skill as he prepares the coffee for you. He uses the Hario syphons which is far more superior than the competition out there. I understand that the owner also buys fresh green beans and roasts in-house to assure you get the freshest and highest quality coffee. If that doesn't sound tempting, he can also pull a mean espresso using his Nuova Simonelli Oscar machine. Definitely worth a try however, be forwarned that English may be a challenge.

Edit: Viva Java on Cambie in Richmond sells certified Blue Mountain beans however I don't know if they serve it.
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:52 PM   #24
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if there is one thing id really like to get into it's Coffee, enjoy it a tonne but I mainly drink pre-ground, or fresh from like Timmy's, i hate bux coffee
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:13 PM   #25
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