Hot Black Coffee
Hot Black Coffee is an innovative euro-centric cafĂŠ on Queen Street West. Complete with a high-tech reverse osmosis water system, under-counter Mod Bar, and multi grinders, this tech-savvy cafe aims to bring competition-level quality and consistency to every drink served.
Replacing Cards and Presents, a former stationary shop, the space has been stripped to its bare bones into a minimalist open-concept cafe, complete with an over-sized community table, skylights, glazed cement, alert red walls, and suspended copper pendant lighting from Klaus .
With a logo inspired by a traditional rock n' roll style tattoo by Meta Design, Hot Black Coffee is the brainchild of former Soho House and Montecito General Manager, Jimson Bienenstock, co-owner Robin Bienenstock and Momi Kishi, General Manager and National Competition Barista.
Hot Black has allied with Detour Coffee to bring direct trade, single and multi-origin blends to the table. "We want to emphasize the colour palette of coffee; there's more to coffee than just black and white," says Bienenstock. There's even a specialty Hot Black blend for those who love the taste of exclusive, with a multi-roasting program for snooty coffee connoisseurs.
In the basement, Bienenstock shows me the underbelly of the water system; an external wire circus with 250-litre storage tanks, UV sterilization, pumping carbon-filtered mineral rich water. Sparkling and lightly carbonated water are served on tap at the stationary counter above. Nice.
Behind the bar, every drink is measured, weighed and scaled to pretentious perfection. The espresso is smooth, made from water that tastes, like, water. The baristas double as AI robots, careful and deliberate between grinding, tampering and counting numbers. This is the future of coffee; minimalist and mathematical.
"We use Nova Simonelli Climapro grinders, sensitive scales to measure our group heads and the weight of the dry espresso coffee...the final espresso has the best extraction rate to ensure consistency," boasts Bienenstock.
On the menu, there's everything you expect: cappuccinos ($3.75), cortados ($3.75), lattes ($4), whatever your winged heart desires. Teas ($3) are from Pluck Teas , with a Muskoka Chai Latte ($3.50) to entice cottage-goers.
If you're hungry, Foodbenders provides salads, with an enticing selection of Ginger Molasses cookies ($2.25), Pecan Butter Squares ($2.50), brownies ($2.50) and more.
Photos by Hector Vasquez.