Mast Coffee provides an independent option in an office-y neighbourhood swimming with chains. Mast, pronounced “maast,” is actual a Sufi term for an overwhelming intoxication of spirituality.
The cafe is extremely minimalist and coffee-centric, designed to focus on putting out a smaller range of the best quality products possible.
The space was a total blank canvas when Mast first came in, totally new built. Cafe owner Shawn Rauf (who ran cafes in different areas of Asia and the Middle East for years) had an architect come in for the basics, but did everything else themselves.
Mast’s intent is to refocus consumers on coffee rather than the variety of blended, specialty drinks and smoothies laden with superfoods that tend to oversaturate the menus of many cafes.
Their own special blend of coffee is locally roasted for them by Propellor, and bags of roasted Mexican, Kenyan and Ethiopian single origin beans are available for sale. They’re using a Synesso espresso machine.
Pourover ($3.95) is typically made with a Kenyan coffee, but they offer me an Ethiopian instead which I find bright, fruity and citrusy.
Sandwiches like a roasted vegetable ($8.95) with roasted zucchini and eggplant, hummus, roma tomato, and caramelized sweet potato are provided by local company Feast.
They do breakfast sandwiches as well.
Pecan butter tarts ($2.75) are just one of several options for baked goods furnished by local bakery Circles and Squares.
Wild blueberry crumble and blackberry orange muffins ($2.35) by the same company fill out the pastry case.
Naturally, they have to also stock their tall, flaky pain au chocolat ($2.50) with a thick dusting of powdered sugar.
Rauf also has a tea business, and those teas are served and retailed here. We try a lovely mango tea with a bold fruit flavour and beautiful bright colour.
A chai latte ($4.05) is made with their own masala chai made without any artificial syrups or flavours.
Cafe lattes start at $4.10 and are typically made using an espresso blend, a version of Propellor’s that’s been tweaked a little.
Books and magazines scattered in nooks and crannies plus local artwork on the walls lends a true indie cafe feel.