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Cafes

Crafted by Te Aro

Posted by Elizabeth / Posted on July 24, 2010

Crafted by Te AroCrafted By Te Aro is the latest addition to ever growing Lower Ossington. An outpost, if you will, of the popular original Leslieville location, Crafted brings westward a fancy "cold drip coffee" that takes 6 hours to filter through a mad scientist looking contraption.

Crafted by Te AroNo doubt in my mind, the people behind Te Aro's two locations are coffee lovers. Aficionados. Crazy, mad scientists of coffee. And they're totally into experimenting with all the different ways to get coffee from the bean into my cup.

Crafted by Te AroI am amazed at all the different ways you can get a cup of coffee here. Methods vary from the simplest drip coffee, which is easy enough, to a custom ground French Press ($3.15, 2 cups). If that's not good enough, there's a "Pour Over" ($3.15), or if you're really in the mood for something experimental, "siphoned" coffee complete with science class style Bunsen burner - which I'm told is still a bit of an experiment for the staff but entertaining nonetheless to watch.

Crafted by Te AroThe most impressive of Te Aro's experiments has to be the cold drip coffee. Fashioned with glass tubes and a plexiglass stand - this coffee takes 6 hours, dripped from distilled water ice cubes through winding glass tubes, into a carafe which is then kept in the fridge to give it even more flavour. This is limited availability coffee, obviously due to the lengthy process. In Brooklyn, where this method is becoming wildly popular, people call ahead to reserve their morning cup. I can see why. The flavour is outstandingly smooth and way less acidic than anything I've ever had before. ($4, 4oz)

Crafted by Te AroAside from the methodology, Crafted by Te Aro roasts their own selection of Direct Trade beans, and they like to change it up seasonally. Of course, there's also your standard cafe fare, espresso ($2.10) etc. Look for something interesting called "Flat White", which is an extra long shot of espresso with latte style foam. Teas are available from Tealish.

Crafted by Te AroThe atmosphere is pretty casual with a bare wood bar, industrial chic tables and chairs, and a rolling garage door style front window. They've really done a great job at transforming the space that was last home to the dearly departed Get Real Cafe. Mason jar lights, funky cafe-themed art and good tunes make this a relaxed place to hang out. At midday the place had a steady stream of customers. There's also the familiar patio out the back that offers a bit of quiet from the busy interior.

Crafted by Te AroTreats from Circles and Squares like scones and brownies are available for $2.50, and in the near future there will be sandwiches and vegan cupcakes added to the menu.

Crafted by Te AroCrafted by Te Aro is open Monday-Wednesday 7:30am-6pm, Thursday to Sunday 7:30am-8pm.

Discussion

43 Comments

Alex / July 25, 2010 at 07:09 pm
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This is such a great addition to the ossington strip. Incredible coffee, and friendly and knowledgeable staff. I'm looking forward to spending lots of time here.
laurie / July 27, 2010 at 09:41 am
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looks nice... but i really miss get real. :(
Marion Cobretti / July 27, 2010 at 09:49 am
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Very nice spot and any alternative to the Fauxhemian lunacy that is Ideal Coffee is welcome. Coffee et all was excellent, although my wife (I believe the kids today call them "partners") said the Banana Bread Blew (BBB).
TSK / July 27, 2010 at 11:08 am
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I like my coffee to be made from drops of dew collected from a field of lavender.
Bartek / July 27, 2010 at 11:12 am
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Cold brewed coffee not just done right, but done in a unique way? I like the cut of this shops jib, will definitely make a visit.
Erica / July 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm
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I stopped by on Sunday after brunch across the street and had a nice cappuccino. We sat on the back patio which was really cute and quiet. Will definitely be going there more often!

They also already had the vegan cupcakes out on display.
Gloria / July 27, 2010 at 01:27 pm
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I would like a single plum floating in six-hour cold-drip coffee, served in a man's hat.
Jason / July 27, 2010 at 01:57 pm
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Good coffee and staff are friendly. I've been a few times. The ice-drip coffee was smooth and not acidic, but it's not worth $4 to me (though I understand why they charge that much). I tried a "Dark and Stormy" here the other day, which is ginger ale, espresso and sugar. I don't know if I would have it again - I'm not big on pop - but I appreciated the creativity and it didn't taste bad.

Other great local coffee spots I would recommend are Luna Cafe at Argyle and Dovercourt and El Almacen on Queen between Dovercourt and Fennings, which is a Argentine mate cafe. Great staff and authentic food.
TheWord / July 27, 2010 at 02:28 pm
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Holy coffee beans! Talk about pretentious.

By the way, it's empirically insane - or simply sociopathic - to spend $1/oz on bean water when almost half of the people on this planet live on less than a $1/day.
Empirically Insane replying to a comment from TheWord / July 27, 2010 at 02:36 pm
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What are you typing your comment on, a stone tablet? A med cup of joe at this joint costs under 2 bucks.
simply sociopathic replying to a comment from Empirically Insane / July 27, 2010 at 02:43 pm
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agreed
TheWord replying to a comment from Empirically Insane / July 27, 2010 at 03:55 pm
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@Empirically Insane: I was referring to the cold drip coffee - which is priced in the article at $4 for a 4oz cup. The math is simple even for me: $1 / oz.

But if a regular cup of coffee goes for under $2 count me in. I'll fit right in on their patio with my coffee and iTablet pretending to read the New York Times in my skinny jeans and graphic-t.
jl / July 27, 2010 at 04:15 pm
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any way of finding out what happened to the folks of "get real?" would love to eat their food again!
Neil / July 27, 2010 at 04:30 pm
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My new favourite place for coffee. Attention to detail and quality shows at this place. If you are really into coffee, you will really get a lot out of this place, that has some really interesting single origins and different brewing methods. If you are not really into coffee, you will still appreciate the flavour of the coffee here - the brewed coffee, and caps are also really good. Circles and Squares stuff is the same old stuff.
Empirically Insane replying to a comment from TheWord / July 27, 2010 at 04:53 pm
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The reason it costs $4/4oz is because it takes 6 hours to make a carafe. It's hard to tell from the photo how big that thing is, but I wouldn't think it's more than 12 oz. Obviously, they aren't doing it to make dollaz, they're just providing options. Think of it as a treat or a one-off. I think calling it empirically insane or simply sociopathic is over the top.
Jane / July 27, 2010 at 06:41 pm
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I'm a complete convert. Starting going for my morning coffees here, and i don't think i will go anywhere else. Great service, nice relaxing atmosphere, and excellent coffee. They really know their stuff. So glad they're in the neighbourhood.
Ychhh / July 27, 2010 at 06:53 pm
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Thank goodness the Te Aro folks arrived and set up a top-notch alternative to the swill available around this neighbourhood (I'm referring specifically to Ideal Coffee & Luna).

These good folks take an artisan approach (read: they care a lot, and spend time working on the details) to roasting and brewing coffee.

I'm going here from now on for my coffee bevvies and to buy beans for home.

P.S. the back yard is really nice too.
Ychhh yuk replying to a comment from Ychhh / July 27, 2010 at 07:10 pm
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I've never had i deal coffee, but to call Luna "swill" is the most pretentious thing I've heard yet.
sthom / July 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm
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the coffee is great at Te Aro but what's up with those sipee cup tops? they deliver hot liquid expressly to the roof of your mouth. no way to temperature-test with tongue or lips. ill-designed. wish they would get normal lids. even if it means being like everyone else.
lc / July 28, 2010 at 01:22 am
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Yeah I miss Get Real! What an amazing brunch they had, especially enjoyed on the back patio.
Ange / July 28, 2010 at 07:40 am
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Get Real was amazing, but it's gone! This is the perfect replacement. Very well prepared coffee and really great staff. No pretentiousness here, they actually spend the time talking to you about coffee (if you want!). Love it.
Marion Cobretti / July 28, 2010 at 08:07 am
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Yea, nothing like talkin' coffee with my "barrista". Sample chat; "So, uhh, is there any booze in this? No? ... Soooooo. Dipedee doo .... Uhh, when does the Painted Lady open?"
Rachel / July 28, 2010 at 09:39 am
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"Te Aro" is the Maori name for New Zealand. New Zealand has a reputation for crafting the best coffee in the world (and a fondness for superlatives), just ever so slightly edging out Australia for the title, but Oceania is definitely the place to go for quality brews and I'm glad to see Toronto has an outpost. Flat whites (and long blacks) are the norm down under, but if Te Aro is really going all the way down under, I hope to see a dusting of chocolate on their cappuccinos but no big deal if they skip that.

RIP Get Real, a wholehearted welcome to Te Aro!
Robert replying to a comment from Rachel / July 28, 2010 at 02:52 pm
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Sorry, Te Aro is Maori for "The Facing", not New Zealand. Was that a guess of something?
Liz / July 28, 2010 at 05:57 pm
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Had cold brew/dutch drip coffee in Seoul last summer...it was all the rage. It's delicious, strong, and has a sweetness that's missing from regular coffee.
Nice to see it's finally here.
Mason / August 2, 2010 at 05:52 pm
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Love the cold coffee here. I saw this in Portland last summer, great to see one in Toronto. Love the decor of this place - you could seriously hang out here all day - it's casual, bright and they play good music. The owners are great, not pretentious at all, and the staff are equally as friendly and seem to have built up a regular client base already.
LB / August 8, 2010 at 10:30 am
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I love the baristas that work here. I want to work here! This place is the best.
Greg / August 30, 2010 at 09:08 pm
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Went here on Sunday for the first time. Friendly service, nice decor, peaceful (when I went) and relaxing. I am admittedly not very experienced in terms of cafe-visiting.
Arby / October 10, 2010 at 07:51 am
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I was very impressed with Crafted, the physical space, the staff and the awesome espresso I had. And I'm sold on air roasted coffee. Well done Andy! The West end is doing very well. I don't think any indy coffee shop in the vicinity of Crafted comes close in terms of quality espresso, even though there are some not bad spots.
Jamison / November 3, 2010 at 04:59 pm
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This is an awesome gem of a cafe. This is for people who really appreciate a good coffee. The baristas are experienced, friendly, and love to talk about coffee and the various brewing methods that are on the menu. It's also just a great place to hang out. Comfortable seating, bright, lots of magazines, good music.
Raegirl / November 5, 2010 at 04:14 pm
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I ADORE this place. Beautifully finished - lots of reclaimed wood, coolest lights, has the best feel - you could stay here all day chatting with the coolest staff and drinking the best coffee. If you are a coffee geek, you have found heaven. Love the pourover, only pourover bar in the city, and it's so good. Also the cold brew is so different. Love that they take what they do seriously, and pull it off so well. Best coffee in the area by far.
Culineerd / November 16, 2010 at 02:31 pm
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My favourite espresso bar in the city. Great attention to detail - from the coffee, to the service, to the food, to the design of the space. When the Ossington strip picks up during the day, this will be the place to go for coffee. It can already be hard to find a spot at this place.
Ronnie / December 27, 2010 at 10:35 am
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Te Aro coffee is the best in Toronto. the owners are so attentive and really care about what they are doing.
Han / January 3, 2011 at 05:06 pm
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Not only is the coffee great, but the staff who work here, along with the owners, really make this place. The girls deliver excellent customer service and you can only expect the highest quality from each drink you order.
AJ / May 6, 2011 at 03:56 pm
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Extremely rude!

Asked us to purchase more since we were staying longer than 15mins! WTF is this shit.

Good concept, poorly executed! Find better staff - that wont kick people out because they don't have a full coffee in front of them!
Arby / May 6, 2011 at 08:34 pm
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Well, I'm going to comment - as a way to re-subscribe, since I accidentally unsubscribed.

I don't know the answer - other than ditching a money system, which I'm down for - to the problem of small biz owners' needing to make money or die and having to deal with customers who unintentionally interfere with the profit making.
Stuart / November 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm
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Te Aro is not the Maori name for New Zealand. It's the name of a suburb in Wellington (the capital of NZ) The Moari name for New Zealand is Aotearoa (land of the long white cloud)
As a Kiwi who has moved to Canada I was excited to find a cafe named after an area in one of favorite cities, and what a pleasure it was to find out it made excellent coffee as well!
doug replying to a comment from AJ / December 5, 2011 at 05:17 pm
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i agree with AJ, we both went there and just having our discussion as loud as we wanted, and then got told we should leave. i only ordered a water and AJ just ordered a small coffee but then we stayed and talked and talked and caused huge issues there. anyway AJ is a great guy but it's sometimes hard to keep him quiet, and i guess what i'm saying is i think they did the right thing by asking us to leave.
Dripcoffeemaker replying to a comment from Alex / January 29, 2012 at 08:12 am
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mee to great coffee on pic 2
Bill Willy / August 23, 2012 at 01:29 am
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Te Aro has good cookies but the brewed coffee is horrid. I like dark roast and all they have is this super acidic rancid weird Ethiopian coffee which I don't care how "bright" it is it just tastes like crap.
AB / November 12, 2012 at 03:16 pm
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DIRTY -

the barista(s) handles money and then hand press the coffee into the basket.
VILE

watched them do it over and over, didn't wash hands once.

WILL NEVER GO BACK
keri / May 8, 2013 at 03:23 pm
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Worst service ever! Do not go! Horrible workers. They made me the wrong drink and I told them and they said it was my fault! "you have to pay again" I don't drink coffee lattes or any type of coffee! I ordered a tea latte...they said I would have to pay again! Are you kidding me!? I told them to keep the drink I can't drink coffee.
Matt / July 10, 2013 at 07:17 pm
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really crap service. Won't go again
both servers were unfriendly. Go to ideal instead. This place sucks

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