Coffee Island is an international chain of cafes brewing their own direct trade coffee, and this is the first one in North America.
On the surface it might appear like any other coffee shop, but it’s a coffee nerd’s haven with all kinds of different brewing methods and even the chance to take home a bag of your own DIY custom blend.
The interior is relatively cramped and busy, a lot of displays and products filling up the small space, but there’s a patio off to the side and it’s a far cry from the condo office that used to be here.
Direct trade coffee beans from around the world are sold in bulk, ranging in price from about $3.50 - $5.30.
They don’t just do coffee, but also sell and brew a range of teas ($8.75 for a box to take home) made using their own hand-picked herbs from Greece, where the company originated.
The syphon ($4.25) is just one of many specialty methods available at the microfarm brew bar, where they brew using single origin coffee.
Other methods include V60 drip ($3.50) and aeropress ($3.35), and even the grind on the beans is specified to produce the best cup of coffee from these methods.
They’re known for their ibrik, or Greek coffee ($2 - $2.90). They uniquely boil the coffee in the traditional small copper pot in a tub of sand rather than on a stovetop. Coffee Island makes a special blend and dark roast specifically for ibrik that tastes a little more floral, citrusy and complex than your average Greek coffee.
They also do a hefty eggplant, pesto and tomato sandwich ($5.50) that’s full of healthy veggie fuel to get you through any caffeinated study session.
It’s Jules that’s responsible for pastries like their renowned blueberry danish ($4.85).
They’re selling their chicken leek quiche here, too.
Desmond & Beatrice does this ultra-decadent sweet and salty caramel brownie ($2.65).
Iced flavoured chocolate ($4.75) is sweetened with stevia, and we go for a white chocolate raspberry pomegranate that’s sweet, rich, and also available to buy retail and make yourself hot or iced at home.
The filter-in bottles they use to cold brew tea are also available for purchase here. Teas like mountain and mint or herbs like sage are $3.25, the latter containing no tea for an incredibly clean and healthy beverage.
If there’s one thing Greece knows, it’s coffee, so trust this high end chain for all your java needs.