TAN Coffee (Baldwin Village)
T.A.N. Coffee in Baldwin Village is little brighter and airier than Toronto's original T.A.N. at Queen and Ossington, but it offers the same warm cup of single-origin, fair trade organic coffee.
There's something about Baldwin Village that I simply can't resist--it's pedestrian but not pretentiously so, laid back and yet always gently buzzing. And T.A.N just seems like a perfect fit.
Light pours in to the open space, even on the cloudy day when I arrive. Two lime green walls are offset by two white ones, along with simple wooden chairs and tables, and track lighting throughout. A couple of tables are occupied by students making use of the free WiFi, so I slip into a lone spot and take in my Americano ($2.50/$3.00).
It's exactly how I like it; full-bodied and bold, and goes down smooth. Plus, there's something about coffee in a rocks glass that I simply can't resist.
>T.A.N. roasts its own beans at its location at Queen and Ossington. It also offers Kitimai loose-leaf teas in varieties such as chamomile, rooibos red, and vanilla cream. And to eat, there are pastries from Circles and Squares, treats from Sweets from the Earth (which is always delicious, and the carrot cake ($3) was certainly calling my name), and Panini "by someone named Hannah."
"Sorry, that's all I know!" the staffer behind the counter told me. They come in grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and veggie (vegan), and are made with locally-sourced ingredients ($6.99).
T.A.N. stands for The Alternative Network, and its focus is on coffee, also selling 12oz bags of various blends and varieties. Founded by LayYong Tan, the first café opened in Nova Scotia about four years ago, and the brand has since grown to eight locations.
This latest incarnation is keeping with tradition (though with an extraordinarily loud espresso machine). The walls are currently decorated with local photography, as well as an old sign advertising a prix fixe meal at $1.95 that was literally salvaged from a trash heap behind the café. (Apparently there's also a clawfoot tub still out there for anyone looking for an ambitious restoration project.)
But the focus, again, is clearly on the coffee, with bags of Espresso, Ethiopian, Sumatran, Peruvian, and more proudly displayed in eco-friendly bags on a couple of wooden shelves. Definitely worth a browse during a Baldwin Village stroll.
Open Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak