Hailed Coffee on Gerrard
Hailed Coffee is all about coffee and cardamom. Like its original Leslieville location, this sleek cafe brings the Arabic tradition of brewing aromatic coffee to College Park, along with a few new additions to its menu.
A small space, this second iteration stands to serve the morning crowd with a quick-service, to-go feel that eschews the more relaxed vibe of its location on the east end of Gerrard.
Decor-wise, the cafe is relatively the same. It's blessed with tons of natural light, and owner Salim Bamakhrama has maintained the Scandinavian-inspired minimalism he seems partial to with a clean palette that makes the cafe feel less tiny than it really is. There's no seating here, though there is a patio out front with about four two-seater tables, for those who don't mind braving nearby construction. As for the menu, lovers of hail (cardamom in Arabic) will be happy to find that the cafe has expanded its list of cardamom products.
The cafe now sells 150-gram bags of whole cardamom from Guatemala ($16.50) and India ($17.50) for anyone who wants to take some of these highly nutritional pods home.They're not cheap, but as far as cardamom goes, are fairly priced. Cardamom seeds are $17.50 per bag.
A more convenient buy might be Hailed's new cardamom satchets, which come in packs of 25 for $14.95. Steep these like regular tea bags in any beverage for added aroma of your fave spice.
There's a variety of pastries here to get your morning off on a sweet foot, most notably Hailed's selection of very decadent croissants. Options include raspberry ($3.25), Nutella ($3.95) and butter croissants ($2.95), plus an energy-boosting muffin made with dates.
An awesome za'atar croissant ($3.25) uses the popular Arabic mix of spices — including thyme, sesame, sumac, and a little olive oil — to add a savoury addition to the croissant roster.
As usual, all of Hailed's coffee comes with an option to add Hail syrup, which is cardamom-infused, for an extra 75 cents.
The Hailed cappuccino ($4.50) comes equipped with the spice already. It's definitely a favourite and sums up what the cafe is all about nicely.
The caramel iced latte ($4.75) also comes with cardamom, and is a luxurious, cold drink that make most other lattes seem flavourless in comparison.
If you're not feeling coffee, Hailed is also the first cafe in Toronto to sell Camellia Sinensis tea, a Quebec-based brand with a few organic and fair-trade options.
And there's definitely no shortage of sweets here. Still offering its usual offering of Nakheel Alya dates and chocolate bars, Hailed now sells ma'amoul cookies and a very delicious cardamom chocolate chip cookies that's worth trying. The cafe has also added bags of coffee beans ($16.50) that range from 250 to 375 grams, save for the Arabic coffee blend, which is $19.95 for 375 grams.
Those who've tired of run-of-the-mill coffee should drop by this little boite and give cardamom coffee a try.
It's easy to walk right by this tiny cafe, but in an area where big coffee chains are aplenty and local shops are surprisingly under-represented, stumbling on Hailed is a pleasant surprise.