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Cafes

The Remarkable Bean

Posted by Wendy D / Posted on April 24, 2009

Remarkable Bean TorontoThe 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).

Remarkable BeanThe 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.

Remarkable Bean FrontThe 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!

Remarkable Bean BeansAfter 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.

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Discussion

40 Comments

Laurie-Lyn / January 16, 2009 at 08:28 pm
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If you are on a quest to find a great Carrot Cake look no further, it will not disappoint.
Sean / April 26, 2009 at 01:16 am
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Hey it's real nice to promote places such as this one, but could you go an extra inch and add the hours of operation?
Kelly / April 26, 2009 at 11:31 am
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I had not heard of Remarkable Bean coffee until yesterday when I was at an event at the Japanese Cultural Centre where they were serving it. WOW was it ever good. Great tasting coffee! I took a 1/2lb of Henri home to enjoy.
Grant / April 26, 2009 at 05:27 pm
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If you like The Remarkable Bean then you'll love TAN Coffe & Roatery at 992 Queen Street West. It a similar kind of place, great quality coffees, ethically sourced, expertly hand-roasted and fabulous fresh baked goods too. Great place to hang out. They also have plans to open the back garden in the next few weeks. Check it out...http://www.tancoffeetoronto.com
Arby / June 8, 2009 at 02:40 am
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I like the Remarkable Bean. For a change, I like a coffee shop not just for the friendly staff and nice ambiance but also for the coffee and eats. Almost never am I tempted by eats in coffee shops. But these folks don't do anything wrong! You'll be thinking about what you snack on here hours after the deed is done. The savoury muffins are an eye opener. The yummy tomato basil quiche is addictive.

To the coffee. I seem to like mine stronger than others. I would not agree that I like my coffee strong. What does that mean? I just want to be able to taste it. I don't need my head to explode. Maybe drinking it black, except for the odd macchiato or cappuccino, has something to do with it. I've tried a few coffees here, but the only one I can drink without feeling like I've spent money on hot water, is Rocket Fuel. It's billed as 'super strong', but it just isn't. It's not even strong. But it's strong enough that I can taste it and it's a fine dark roast. And there's few coffee shops where I can find simple, regular brewed coffee that I enjoy.

I do think the place needs a limited reno. The seating might be... interesting, but it's not terribly comfy. And if you're single and just want to read a paper, not all of the spots will allow you to easily do that. Lighting is a problem, for reading, for much of the store.

But the positives for RB are many. The people who own and run the place are friendly. Everyone I've ever dealt with here has been friendly. The coffee is great (although I'm not ready to recommend the espressos and espresso based drinks). The eats are awesome. The jazz station on the radio, not cranked up to distracting levels, is a big bonus. The nabe is another bonus. Grab a coffee and walk through the cool old residences to the lake, which isn't far away, Or just stroll up and down Queen St and window shop, perhaps selecting one of the many restos to stop at for your lunch or dinner. RB is a winner.
kirsten replying to a comment from Sean / August 18, 2009 at 03:25 pm
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the hours are 7 am - 10 pm every day of the year but Christmas day, when it's closed.
Dylan / August 25, 2009 at 08:29 am
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The savoury muffins haunt my dream. For those of you that don't know, a savoury muffin is a muffin that is not sweet. The flavours they had when I was there were Broccoli and Cheddar OR Blue Cheese, Walnut, and Pear. They were both unreal. If I could only have one meal for the rest of my life, it would be Rocket Fuel and savoury muffins from the Remarkable Bean. :)
Marites / November 18, 2009 at 10:27 pm
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I recently found this Beaches treasure and cannot wait to go back! I had one of their croissants and it was so mouth watering! I can't wait to try their quiches or muffins or cakes!!!
J|ake / December 30, 2009 at 09:18 pm
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I recently moved to the Beach and I am so glad that I found The Remarkable Bean. The Henri is the best coffee that I have ever had, and the muffins are to die for. What can I say The Remarkable Bean is just the best coffee shop in Toronto bar none.
Jet / January 1, 2010 at 03:33 pm
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The only coffee I drink is from the Bean. I will definitely miss this place when I move out of the Beaches :(
Ash / April 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm
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Completely agree. Best muffins in the city for sure, and one of my favourite spots to spend a day. Free wifi and friendly service makes this a great place to visit.
John / April 12, 2010 at 02:44 pm
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Wagamama pastries makes a much better muffin.
Sorin / April 13, 2010 at 04:59 pm
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I love to try muffins from different places...but once I tried their berry/cranberry muffin...it brought a whole new level of appreciation for this food. Absolutely to die for. Best muffin BY FAR.
Christina / April 17, 2010 at 09:23 pm
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I've always LOVED The Remarkable Bean's oatmeal cookies and their organic coffee. But when I tasted their savoury muffin recently --- WOW!!! So yummy and healthy-tasting! Plus it's filled with cheese in the middle. It's like a small meal --- veggies, protein and carbs. Really good!
Bixie / June 3, 2010 at 04:57 am
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Much better coffee is to be had at Prana coffee roaster at 2130 Queen E next to Mastermind.

The folks at Prana know their coffee and it shows. Plain coffee over ice tastes great not edgy and that's with no cream or sugar. Gotta love the panini sandwiches there too. Prana's roast makes the likes of "Henri" seem bitter not better. Belgian Croissants at Prana are feather light and buttery not overbaked and dry.

Prana's wide openness at front of house is a plus too.The set up to get take out coffee is user friendly trumping the congestion and cramped set up at the 'Bean'.

For my money, i've "Bean" there and done that. My feet are walkin on over to Prana.



Workinggirl / June 3, 2010 at 04:57 pm
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Congratulations! Happy 16th Birthday to the Remarkable Bean! I have been a regular customer for a few years and was happy to learn today that my favorite coffee house is the oldest in the Beach! After purchasing my coffee from the Bean I just can't drink coffee from anywhere else!
Felix / June 3, 2010 at 06:50 pm
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Happy Birthday Remarkable Bean! I have been enjoying your coffee for the last 16 years. I have made many friends over the years and enjoy lively discussions with them while drinking your brew surrounded by your ambiance. May you flourish and prosper. All the best and may I still be sipping your coffees 16 years from now.
Jack / June 4, 2010 at 09:08 am
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Happy Birthday Remarkable Bean! I love your Rocket Fuel coffee!! :)
Rachel / June 4, 2010 at 06:02 pm
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Happy Birthay to The Bean!!!!!
Love your coffee, and always a great spot to relax and have a chat.
Christina / June 8, 2010 at 01:16 am
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The Remarkable Bean's organic coffee is rich and delicious, as well as being environmentally-friendly. Their cookies are beyond comparison. And today I had my first butter-tart, freshly-baked and really yummy! On top of that the staff are so warm and friendly. It's a delightful place to go for a treat.
Hal replying to a comment from Bixie / August 31, 2010 at 01:09 pm
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Gee, what a complete diss of The Bean.

Nice people (both behind the counter and in the comfy seats) and GREAT coffee at both.

Marisca, Brandon & staff at Prana, and Susan, Micah, Marianne, George and their coffee-drawers, each stand on the merits on what they do, with no need to put anyone down.

Prana hosts great events month-to-month, The Bean has amazing home baking.

Choose what suits you at any given time.


The habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut… must
be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive.
~ Edith Wharton
Hal replying to a comment from Bixie / August 31, 2010 at 01:11 pm
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Last comment was in reply to Bixie.
Marcia / October 26, 2010 at 06:16 pm
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Remarkable Bean makes the BEST red pepper quiche!!
My partner and I stop in before we catch a movie at the Fox and I always get a slice of the quiche and a homemade brownie... the best damn combo you can imagine!
beach girl / November 7, 2010 at 01:30 pm
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We recently moved into the area and have been meaning to try this place but there is always such a long line, some times right out the door. Anyhow today we decided to brave the line and we are so glad that we did. True the line was long but the servers were fast and the coffee the coffee was just so good. Add two more people to that daily line up snaking out the door of The Remarkable Bean. Great Coffee>
Sman / December 22, 2010 at 08:25 pm
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Was this picture taken before they raised their prices?
AJ replying to a comment from Grant / September 1, 2011 at 09:37 pm
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That place does not compare to the Bean. Period. Tried it. Learn to make espresson like the Bean. Then you can compete. No competition.
Oren / May 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm
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Unreal muffins
Matt / December 11, 2012 at 05:16 pm
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Best coffee shop sweets in the city, bar none. Their oatmeal raisin cookie alone is worth the streetcar trip from Dufferin.
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youtube views / September 13, 2013 at 06:51 am
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Remarkable Bean.

Regards
Sean / October 1, 2013 at 09:10 pm
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Inspected on: September 23, 2013
Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 3, Significant: 1, Crucial: 1)
Crucial infractions include: Operator fail to ensure food is not contaminated/adulterated
Philip / December 19, 2013 at 02:03 pm
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And two days later:
"September 25, 2013 - Pass
No infractions were observed under the Food Premises Regulation during an inspection."

http://www.toronto.ca/health/dinesafe/index.htm?show=detail&;id=97113
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Rokittt / March 13, 2014 at 08:54 pm
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The Remarkable Bean has been very good to me since they opened! I have spent many a day there and loved it! But times change as do people! I haven't been ther much in the last year as I look elsewhere and try not to stagnate in one place ! However, I have found a couple places that have better coffee without question! WUNDERLAND at Woodbine av and Queen across from the Firehall has much better coffee, also Coffee and all that Jazz at 72 Howard Park Ave is Amazing and totally worth trying, I'm sure you would love it! Get out and try something different for a change, you won't regret it, and you can actually park there and not have to dish out any money for it! We all enjoy what we enjoy but sometimes one should story from the norm and check out what this city has to offer ! Enjoy!
Sharon / April 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm
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Busy little coffee shop seem to always have line ups. Certainly very good coffee and wonderful baking. Love the carrot cake and the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies taste like the ones my Mom used to make.
My new hang out.
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