The Remarkable Bean
The Remarkable Bean turned my Saturday afternoon from a thumb-twiddler to something more special than I had bargained for. If the name is a boast, I'll go ahead and condone it - two thumbs up with a smile full of cheddar broccoli savoury muffin.
The day was gorgeous, so the line was long - most stepping in and out for a coffee on the go, although there's a nice amount of seating inside. I couldn't resist the aforementioned scone ($2.52), looking so sassy by the cash register, and paired it with a cappuccino ($2.67 for a small). I took a seat and stared at the gorgeous old Leonard Cohen photos on the wall. A host to art shows every couple of months, Remarkable Bean displays the art and photography for continuing enjoyment (or creepy staring, a la me).
The place, open for 15 years, has somewhat has of a cult clientele in the Beaches, and for several valid reasons. One, they bake everything on location. When any of those babies come out of the oven, you can smell it on the street and WHAMO! Instant lineup. Two, they serve fair-trade, organic brews and wear their social conscience on their sleeve, acting ethically, being environmentally responsible.
The third (and best!) reason is that The Remarkable Bean roasts all their coffee on site. As in, right in the store front. As in, the owner gave me front row access to the roasting process, opening up a bag of raw beans and demonstrating the process in intriguing detail. They import fair-trade beans from numerous countries including Colombia, Ethiopia and Papa New Guinea, and prepare new batches every 1-2 weeks (after that, the oils in the beans start to go rancid). The process takes about 10 minutes from raw to toasty, and the room fills with an amazing aroma as the beans turn a chocolaty brown. Once the beans are cooled, they're either sent to the front for daily consumption or divided into bags for selling in shop. The leftover mulch from the bean is used for composting. Everybody wins!
After that amazing display, I walked out to the sunny sidewalk to see a crowd of pleased coffee drinkers socializing outside. If The Remarkable Bean is a landmark in the Beaches, there's a reason - they're serious about their brew.