Cafe Pamenar has recently opened at the northern tip of Augusta Avenue, adding to the already congested coffee scene in Kensington market. But while the market sure has a range of cafes, something tells me this spot will do just fine thanks to its well thought out design, front and back patios (opening in the Spring) and commitment to high quality, artisanal coffee.
Owner Pouria Lotfi spent one year constructing this cafe with designer Guido Costantino (who sourced items from Junction store Smash), but nearly six years planning it. Inside, there is plenty of smooth concrete, clean glass and of course, re-claimed wood. A long wall across from the counter is reserved for photography (photographers take note: Pamenar is looking for serious submissions).
The first thing I ordered was a shot ($2.38), and it took the barista two tries, but it was worth it. Watching the barista sewer the first shot, I knew my coffee was in meticulous hands.
The shot had a good head of crema, well-pronounced tiger-striping and was fairly elastic. I was told this was a blend, and it tasted the part. This was a complex espresso with a variety of flavours: citrus, dried berries and cocoa.
Next, I ordered a cappuccino ($3.10), and it was equally satisfying. The coffee held up to the milk and the 5 oz. size was a refreshing change from some of the enormous milk-dominated cappuccinos that many cafes serve. That being said, I would have preferred a denser tasting milk.
As Cafe Pamenar has only been open for a few weeks, they are still getting their legs. Right now, the pastry case is filled with a few Circles and Squares pastries, and some loaves from Wanda's down the street. With plans to expand their food selection to artisanal panini and soups, this will be a spot to watch in the market.
Cafe Pamenar is located just south of College on Augusta, and is open from 9 am until - 7pm. Cappuccino and latte are $3.57, shots are $2.38 and macchiatos are $3.10. For a brew, the french press is $2.14.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak