I drink coffee and I drink it black. Yes, because I enjoy coffee, not what you get if you put a shot of coffee in a 20oz cup of milk, sugar, whip cream and flavourings.
Right then... so with that established, let me also make a point of saying that its really hard to find a good cup of coffee! 2nd cup has one or two flavourful brews out of their lot (usually), Starbucks is pretty much bitter gas-tank dribble (there's a reason they have so many flavour shots), and Tim Hortons... well, usually if you're having it, you don't have many other options (ie. on the road to Napanee).
Last night, I happened to stop into the Ethiopian House (4 Irwin St) and tried the house specialty Ethiopian coffee...
Sweet heaven in a miniature cup.
The coffee here takes about 35 minutes to prepare. I was there for a birthday dinner, so with plenty of time to spare, I figured I'd give it a try.
Having had Ethiopian coffee before (and not being notably impressed) I didn't expect that much... general goodness and definite freshness. The hosts here had a different idea.
A little while after ordering the pot, the waitress came around with a wooden tray of roasting coffee beans, shaking them around us at the table so that we could take in the aroma. After going the length of the table, she left, leaving only the smokey air wafting around us behind.
20 or so minutes later she returned with a wooden pot and tray with tiny coffee cups for all and even the hesitant folks gave it a try. The slickest move came from a couple bitter-fearful friends who added a spoonful of sugar into the wee cup and subsequently ended up with a cup of caramel-y sweetness (bad move!).
The coffee was strong and yet sweet enough with almost a berryish twist to it. Really, really good... and satisfying too. I refilled a couple times and felt like I'd had a whole big cupful.
While I wouldn't have gone back for the food here (little expensive, even on the so-so veggie side) I would definitely return time and time again to sit with this coffee and just relax.
The freshly roasted and brewed pot costs $12 and serves about 6 or so bean-lovers.
Ethiopian House - 4 Irwin St., just West off Yonge, 2 blocks North of Wellesley