Manic Coffee Knows Their Brew
Manic Coffee is the new cafe on the Bathurst & College block, catering to local hipsters, computer salesmen and firefighters alike.
I stop in on a weeknight with some friends and there's room to spare. We place our order and settle into the always entertaining window seat.
The menu here is short and relatively concoction-free. With few exceptions, it's really all about the coffee. Owner Matt Lee, has a great love and knowledge of his beans and is bringing that to the Manic counter. He's even served up the legendary Panamanian La Esmeralda Special coffee for $15 a cup (and that's actually cheap!), but we're just here for the regular chalkboard offerings today.
The Cappuccino ($3.25), Macchiato ($2.75) and Hot Chocolate ($3.75) are all presented with darling coffee art creations swirled delicately into the foam.
While the coffees are (as we might have guessed) truly as good as it gets, the Hot Chocolate lacked the key element of hot - leaving it a slightly bittersweet mix of tepid chocolate.
Across the table, the owner of a Soy Chai Latte ($3.75) is falling in love with it and offers up his oversized Vegan Pumpkin Cookie ($2.50) to make up for the so-so hot chocolate.
The cookie is soft and pumpkin-y sweet... so fitting for a cool autumn evening. Just as someone remarks that it doesn't seem vegan at all, the barista, overhearing, mentions that she's heard that from others but it's true. They're just that good.
On that delicious note we decide to try something else and go for the Apple-Cranberry Scone ($2.50). Again, I can't help but notice how soft it is. I start to wonder if I'm just getting used to the dry, crumbly *other-coffee-chain* scones that somebody always brings in to staff meetings.
Inquiring, the barista proudly informs me that the scones and some other baked goods are brought in from local baker, Wanda's Pie in the Sky.
I returned the next morning for a Clover drip coffee ($2.50) and another scone, which looks to be the winning combination for starting any day off right. While it's a couple quarters more than I usually spend, sometimes flavour has got to take priority. I'll certainly be back.