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Cafes

Nespresso

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on October 14, 2013

Nespresso TorontoNespresso, the flagship Toronto boutique and cafe from the international coffee magnate opened last week where the Cumberland Cinemas used to be. The space, transformed by Italian architect Goring and Straja SRL is unrecognizable from its past life as a theatre. Now, the sleek and vibrant coffee bar, lounge and showroom boast a polished and bright interior, impressive high ceilings and a dangling metallic chandelier.

For a retail shop it's quite grand but as a cafe it's yet to be seen if the locals will embrace it. It's beautiful but also heavily branded, so even when sitting in the lounge upfront it's hard to forget that $600 coffee machines (median price) are being peddled in the periphery.

Nespresso TorontoThe neighbourhood is already highly caffeinated. In fact, there's more than a dozen places to get your fix without crossing a light. The European-based brand saw Yorkville to be inline with the posh global addresses of its other boutiques like the Champs-Elysees location in Paris.

Nespresso TorontoI can't help but wonder who the store is for? Is the ambition to glean tourists with international recognition? Or, maybe they're after visiting 905ers buying up the convenient machines for the office, the house and the cottage? They don't do coffee to go (which is weird by my North American sensibilities), ruling out local workers and dog owners.

Nespresso TorontoAt the door a receptionist seats guests and offers a menu dedicated to coffee based beverages, plus breakfasts, savoury plates and sweets from chef Jean-Charles Dupoire of Loire Restaurant.

Nespresso TorontoThere is a Croque-Monsieur ($16) layered with sliced ham, gruyere and truffle bechamel sauce sandwiched between toasted challah and covered with melted cheese. On the side comes a mix of root vegetable chips. While tasty, the price seems absurd even by Yorkville standards... for goodness sake, it's a ham and cheese!

Nespresso TorontoVegetarian options include a Quinoa Kale Salad ($14) mixed with raisins, bell peppers, herbs and apple maple dressing. Or, there is a Goat Cheese and Mushroom Quiche ($12) served alongside a simple green salad.

Nespresso TorontoAt the coffee bar there is the option to try Nespresso's 21 Grand Cru coffees which range in intensity and boldness per different degrees of roast. A single shot cost $4, a double goes for $5, or, there is the option to have hot or cold specialty drinks ($4-7).

Desserts might be the best bet; an espresso and petit four pairing is $6. Stunning sweets like the Nougat Glace ($10) feature frozen soft meringue with crushed pistachios, shaved dark chocolate and berries over a base of passion fruit syrup.

The showroom also boasts an iPad bar (yet to be installed), a machine gallery and a recycling depot for the Grand Cru capsules.

Nespresso TorontoThe Nespresso boutique bar is open weekdays from 9am to 9pm, on Saturdays from 10am to 7pm and on Sundays from 11am to 6pm.

Photos by Morris Lum

Discussion

51 Comments

Joseph / October 14, 2013 at 06:36 pm
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Nespresso is owned by Nestle, a Swiss not Italian Brand.
dw / October 14, 2013 at 10:52 pm
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just can't separate that brand from instant coffee
TJ / October 15, 2013 at 08:41 am
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Nespresso is excellent! By far the best pods or quick and easy coffee making. Tassimo or Keurig doesn't even come close.
Marco / October 15, 2013 at 08:45 am
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Still not better than Voodoo though!
cathie replying to a comment from dw / October 15, 2013 at 09:03 am
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Exactly. All these pod thingys are nothing more than glorified instant. True coffee people want real whole beans ground on the spot. Convenience wins, of course. And this place doesn't do take out coffee? that's just weird.
andrew / October 15, 2013 at 09:09 am
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If it's so bad, why do so many Michelin-starred restaurants serve it? http://www.aeonmagazine.com/being-human/julian-baggini-coffee-artisans/
Steph / October 15, 2013 at 09:19 am
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Quit talking about 905ers like they're bloody foreigners though.
the lemur / October 15, 2013 at 09:37 am
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Who buys Nespresso? People who live in and around Toronto who own Nespresso machines. Not hard to figure out.

If you bother to find out anything at all about Nespresso's coffee sourcing you'll find that the coffee in the pods has absolutely nothing to do with Nestlé's instant coffee, even if it is the same parent company.

They also serve little squares of chocolate with their coffee, and guess what? Nothing like Nestlé Kit Kat. Weird, huh?

A croque monsieur is not a mere ham and cheese, although $16 is a bit steep.

I don't think the no-takeout thing is weird. Sometimes sitting down and enjoying something on the spot is not such a terrible thing.
J / October 15, 2013 at 09:51 am
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The Nespresso in the Bay serves up free coffee all day long. Singles, Doubles, Lattes, Cappuccinos - whatever you want. If you pay for coffee here, you're paying to sit in a fancy store.
Michelle replying to a comment from TJ / October 15, 2013 at 09:57 am
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anyone concerned about where the packaging of each of these little "pods" end up every time you have 1 coffee?

it is a completely wasteful to pre-package a single coffee brew in this way

just a way for them to $ucker you, like the shaving blade companies do with their $30 replacement blades for the $5 razor. wise up.

for lazy rich people who don't care about the environment
Hamish Grant / October 15, 2013 at 10:19 am
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Reusable pods/caps/packs/whatever are available, from online merchants like amazon, that fit any of these brands' machines. All that remains is to decide which hardware works best for you, if you like this method of coffeemaking. With a reusable container you can grind up your beans any way you like and proceed without sacrificing your "true coffee enthusiast" credibility.

the lemur replying to a comment from J / October 15, 2013 at 10:29 am
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The store in the Bay will offer (prospective) clients free coffee if they buy something (coffee capsules) or appear interested in buying a machine, but don't count on it. No food.
the lemur replying to a comment from Michelle / October 15, 2013 at 10:29 am
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The capsules get recycled at Nespresso's expense.
Richard Flohil / October 15, 2013 at 11:53 am
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Coffee machines are being "pedaled"???? It takes bicycle power to make this espresso? I think the word the writer was looking for was "peddled," as in "sold." Sorry to be such a pedant, but...
Craig replying to a comment from the lemur / October 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm
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"I can't help wonder who the store is for?"

Really, you "can't help but wonder"? Again if the author had bothered doing further research she/he would know that the capsules can only be purchased online or in a Nespresso store, so given the many thousands of people who own these machines in downtown Toronto alone one might "wonder" that many will be flocking to this location (another outlet is in the Bay on Queen).

Also the machines start at $199, not $600.
Emcee / October 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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I sure miss The Cumberland. It was a great small theatre complex that always had a great, slightly eclectic film choice.
MilaCam replying to a comment from Emcee / October 15, 2013 at 12:53 pm
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Me too Emcee. One of the few cinemas in Toronto that screened foreign films. Whether or not the author is right about the exact details the last thing this area needed was a corporate owned restaurant/coffee shop. Sad part is Canadians eat this stuff up. Small business are always overrun by these and no one seems to care.
BB replying to a comment from Michelle / October 15, 2013 at 01:19 pm
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Actually, nespresso has stands set up in almost every distributor store where you return they pods and they get recycled. When you buy your machine you are informed of this before you even pay for it. Research is awesome.
Brian / October 15, 2013 at 02:48 pm
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I think I will stick to Tim Hortons
NespressoFTW replying to a comment from Hamish Grant / October 15, 2013 at 02:50 pm
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Nespresso pods are only sold by Nespresso, either online or through their stores (which in Ontario, until now, was only the location in the basement of the Eaton Centre Hudson's Bay). Other brands of pods will not work in a nespresso machine.

The coffee in the Nespresso pods is "real", in other words, actual coffee grounds, and not instant coffee. Note that the first Nespresso machines were the only pod machines that used real grounds, now I believe some competitors have made the switch.

For a lover of coffee, and for a lover of convenience, these are the perfect machine. Couldn't be happier as an owner of the Latissima + for 2 years now. I imagine other Nespresso owners feel similarly proud + loyal.
Derek replying to a comment from Joseph / October 15, 2013 at 03:07 pm
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Learn how to read. No where in the article does it say Nespresso is an Italian company.
TJ / October 15, 2013 at 03:08 pm
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Lets talk space. It doesn't look like they used up all the old theater space, what happened to the rest of it?
Borte / October 15, 2013 at 03:31 pm
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The
balcony
is
closed.
the lemur replying to a comment from NespressoFTW / October 15, 2013 at 04:11 pm
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They also have an outlet at the Bay at Yorkdale.
evan / October 15, 2013 at 11:33 pm
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Every indie coffee shop in town can make better coffee than this, and for two dollars less. Pre-ground coffee is stale.
bobqs / October 16, 2013 at 12:04 am
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is this secretly a commercial for hell ?
Sasa / October 16, 2013 at 12:42 am
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Swiss is mix of 3 ethnicities including Italian too...
Miss / October 16, 2013 at 03:52 am
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I miss the cinema.
Joseph replying to a comment from Derek / October 16, 2013 at 10:56 am
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Learn to use common sense. Before I commented, the article stated that Nespresso was an Italian-based brand... It was subsequently corrected to state that Nespresso is a European-based brand.

But thank you for your great insight and condescending comment Derek
Edward / October 16, 2013 at 01:01 pm
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Another useless unecessary product that wouldn't sell if it didn't have massive advertising behind it. If they have to try that hard to sell it to you it's never worth buying. Stick with real coffee not this wasteful pre ground plastic heap producing garbage. When I walk by I laugh at anyone I see spending money here
John Connor / October 16, 2013 at 02:10 pm
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Nespresso is an all-encompassing coffee ecosystem. The purpose of the store is part sales-point (machiens, pods, cafes), part concept (oversized, abundance of artwork), part brand-building and exposure. There are many Nespresso stores around the world, so I am sure a hugely successful brand knows what it's doing by opening up in Yorkville, despite our intrepid author's doubts on the matter. Until now, a Nespresso customer could only get pods via mail delivery or at two small outposts in the Bay on Queen and Yorkdale. The depiction of 905ers as spendthrift locusts foraying into the big city to stock up on provisions is dated and cheap.
John Connor replying to a comment from evan / October 16, 2013 at 02:18 pm
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I'd like to believe this was the case. I'd agree that some places make a superior espresso (Mercatto, Terroni, Dark Horse), however I feel most indie shops are merely run by condescending self-important losers that think they invented coffee. Here they are, timing, weighing, srutinizing their pull (Sam James, Dineen notorious for this) only to put out complete acidic shit - meanwhile their barrista counterpart in Rome or Naples has humbly cracked out 12 flawless shots in the same amount of time. Nespresso sells user-friendliness, cleanliness, and consistency and is in large part successful at it.
ty replying to a comment from Edward / October 16, 2013 at 03:01 pm
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well said. commenting (or advertising) should be closed.
Edward / October 16, 2013 at 03:05 pm
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John Connor! How can you support the machines. You are suppose to be the savior of humanity. Have you been replaced by an advanced terminator and if so can you spit crappy corporate pod coffee out of your robot rectum?
evan replying to a comment from John Connor / October 16, 2013 at 05:36 pm
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John, you seem to have developed a taste for bland coffee. Coffee doesn't need to be over roasted, bland and stale. Yes, it's easy to do that style of coffee consistently, and to please people with it, there is proof on every street corner. But coffee can be roasted to highlight naturally occurring flavours that can be described in ways other than "bold". A viscous, juicy shot with acidity and bitterness in balance from a coffee painstakingly grown, roasted, and brewed to showcase the natural flavours is a worthy and delicious endeavour. To state that Dineen and Sam James put out "complete acidic shit" shows your bias and ignorance. I'm not saying overly sour shots have never been produced by these shops, but that's like saying a fine dining restaurant never put out an undercooked steak. There is more consistency at McDonalds, but the bar is set rock bottom low. If you're interested in learning something about coffee, you can read Espresso Coffee: The Science of Quality by Andrea Illy, and see why what you prefer is coffee done horribly wrong. I'll drink Barolo, you drink grape juice, and we'll both be happy.
Jen replying to a comment from John Connor / October 17, 2013 at 08:43 am
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"most indie shops are merely run by condescending self-important losers that think they invented coffee" totally agree, but I don't think Kraftspresso is the answer

Still, we are all tired of these snobby indie copyshops popping up on every TO block that have a 19 year old "barista" telling us how to have our coffee. The repetition is getting worse than Starsucks!

Spend some time in Europe and you will realize that the indie shops here are only good for free wifi and their hipster interiors.
Heather / October 17, 2013 at 10:59 am
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Nespresso is owned by Nestle - a brand responsible for thousands of infant deaths in the developing world every year. They are also responsible for negatively impacting agricultural and residential water supplies via their water bottling activities in the US and Canada. Their CEO is an advocate for privatising all water. Boycott. Learn more: http://www.infactcanada.ca/nestle_boycott.htm
the lemur replying to a comment from evan / October 17, 2013 at 11:01 am
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If you bothered to check any of the facts behind Nespresso and its coffee sources you'd see that while it IS pre-ground, it's not stale (whereas you can't always be sure of that at some espresso places) and the used capsules have nothing to do with plastic.
NativeTorontonianAl replying to a comment from Jen / October 17, 2013 at 01:07 pm
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Well said, but remember that Europe is Europe, and coffee and cafes is strongly in their culture. It's culture and an artform, without giving a second thought though.
evan replying to a comment from the lemur / October 18, 2013 at 01:44 pm
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I tend not to do my research on Nestle's website.
tracey replying to a comment from Heather / October 18, 2013 at 03:42 pm
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It can be a challenge to boycott Nestle because they own so much stuff - but this one is easy. Just say no!

"Advocacy groups and charities have accused Nestlé of unethical methods of promoting infant formula over breast milk to poor mothers in developing countries. For example, IBFAN claim that Nestlé distributes free formula samples to hospitals and maternity wards; after leaving the hospital, the formula is no longer free, but because the supplementation has interfered with lactation, the family must continue to buy the formula. IBFAN also allege that Nestlé uses "humanitarian aid" to create markets, does not label its products in a language appropriate to the countries where they are sold, and offers gifts and sponsorship to influence health workers to promote its products. Nestlé denies these allegations." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_boycott#Current_status_of_the_boycott
Dave replying to a comment from Michelle / October 18, 2013 at 08:06 pm
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Michelle,

The pods are recyclable at their locations. Being metal they are completely melted down and reformed into other purposes.
Emme / October 20, 2013 at 10:36 pm
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Ugh. So sick of "905ers" being used in a derogatory way. Do you not realize that most people who live Toronto were never actually born or raised there?
Emme / October 20, 2013 at 10:36 pm
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*in
Twyla / October 23, 2013 at 12:24 am
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I want Intelligentsia Coffee to set up shop in Toronto. If I'm going to spend $6 on a coffee, I want that one! www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/
Josh / November 28, 2013 at 06:56 pm
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Actually Jen, I'm 26.
Chacha / December 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm
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I really like the atmosphere,
I had a specialty drink which was the vanilla cafe latte.
It was really sweet and not strong, and it was $7.
I thought the waiters would be snobby and rude, but they were all very kind, funny and helpful!
I would go back for sure.
David replying to a comment from Steph / August 25, 2014 at 07:52 am
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Steph suppose I am one of the bloody foreigners you refer to. My wife and visit Tornto on a regular basis and love the city and the Canadian people . Although we've never met andbody as zenaphobic as you appear to be. We love the Nespresso coffee and have been using it for several years in England . By the way no body refuses to take our dollars and believe me we spend a lot on our trips. So STeph lighten up and try to be nice you might find you feel happier
David
lowrez replying to a comment from David / September 4, 2014 at 11:24 pm
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Steph is a 905er. Please pay no attention...
pinterest / September 22, 2014 at 07:34 am
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Make your images, videos, and infographics easy to pin by placing them on the page rather than displayed as a background.

Unfortunately, it's also introduced a host of ways to violate
intellectual property laws. There are different ways on getting invited to Pinterest.

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