Forest Cafe is a stylish coffee shop caffeinating the neighbourhood with Korean dalgona lattes, cold brews and whipped cream-loaded croffles.
Hidden in the cluster of new condos and apartments on Forest Manor Road, this lovely cafe marks the first third wave coffee shop to hit the area community surrounding Fairview Mall.
Blessing residents with strong brews and a photogenic space with WiFi, Forest Cafe draws elements from Korean cafes, with lush plants, elegant accents and a great ambiance.
Owners Sujin Lee, Taylor Shi and Meejin Kim live, or used to live, in the area. Shi says the trio wanted to bring a community space to the neighbourhood that wasn't the Tim Hortons on the corner.
The cafe opened in 2020, so it makes sense that one of the menu's main features is dalgona coffee ($4.45), a drink that made its rounds on TikTok at the height of lockdown.
Unlike the make-do version that everyone was brewing at home, Forest Cafe's version uses actual espresso rather than instant coffee.
It also involves pure housemade dalgona, the Korean toffee sponge candy that the drink is based on. Pans of it are pounded before added atop the drink. It's delicious and dangerously strong.
The Einspanner ($4.95) is another kicker. Drink through a thick, foamy layer of cold whipped cream before finally getting to the Americano, made with two espresso shots.
In fact, all of the coffee-based drinks at Forest will push you to the edge of critically over-stimulated.
Homemade bottles of cold brew extract are $15, using a variety of beans. You can get up to five cups of coffee from these bottles since every portion should be generously diluted with water or milk.
Coffee beans range from bags of Ethiopian to Myanmar Moe.
Almost made in-house are three types of chung, or syrup, which can be added by the spoonful to any drink to create a fruity lemonade. They make grapefruit, lime, and lemonade for $25 a jar.
These chungs are the basis of their Ocean Ade, Sunset Ade, or Forest Ade, $5.95 each, large fizzy drinks to cool you down on a humid day.
There are plenty of baked goods behind the counter to hold your stomach down with all this coffee, like croissants or flower-shaped sausage rolls ($6.45).
For something extra sweet, opt for the housemade croffles, a croissant-waffle hybrid, with chocolate or cream and berries.
Expect it to get busy at Forest Cafe, given there's nothing else in the area in terms of coffee, other than the Tim Hortons five minutes' walk away.