Mad Bean Toronto

Mad Bean

The Mad Bean Coffee House on Eglinton West prides itself on its artistic arteries. Its exposed brick walls are obscured by photographs and paintings by local artists while a large bookcase shelves everything from Dan Brown to a slew of Penguin classics. The cafe hosts regular poetry readings, concerts and oddball events.

"We started thinking about opening a really comfy, inviting coffee house that would have cool music playing in the background, local art hanging on the walls, a nice big bookcase full of books..." says owners Brian and Lisa Roxborough on their website .

Mad Bean Toronto

Rushing in from the cold, I'm greeted by both Roxboroughs with warm hellos and friendly small talk. The two, along with son/barista Cody, make an amicable trio worth the visit alone.

I order an espresso (sgl $1.81; dbl $2.39) delivered to my table with a small glass of tap water to cleanse the pallet. The shot is incredibly smooth, almost sweet and hits the mid-to-back of the tongue with an herbal finish. Mad Bean's beans are supplied by Reunion Island Coffee in Oakville and come with a certification or label such as Fair Trade, Direct Trade etc.

Mad Bean Toronto

The latte ($3.62) I order next certainly rivals the espresso in flavour, but the Rosetta design is sloppy.

Mad Bean's menu includes an extensive list of espresso-based beverages, coffees (sml $1.81; lg $1.90), teas from Nourishtea ($1.80) and cold drinks such as Italian soda ($2.50). They have a number of perks for penny-pinchers such as free specialty milk (including almond milk) and free WiFi.

Mad Bean Toronto

They offer a selection of pastries by Circles and Squares and tea infused shortbread cookies by Tea Aura . Also of interest is their mint hand soap ($4.95 per bar) by B the Balm that has Mad Bean's house coffee beans sculpted in.

Mad Bean Toronto

Despite being an overall charming joint, it's hard to say whether Mad Bean's granola atmosphere and art-focus will be enough to survive on a strip of Toronto brimming with competition including (but not limited to) Second Cup across the street, Starbucks one block east and Coffeeholic to the west.

Mad Bean Toronto

Photos by Dennis Marciniak

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