Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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T O R O N T O IN A SURREAL EMULATION of S.E. Hinton's cult classic The Outsiders, I stepped out into the muggy air from the comfort of a jet onto the tarmac of Toronto's Pearson International Airport with only two things on my mind: a ride to the nearest café and the coffee I would be served there. My travels have taken me to Canada frequently enough, but never before to the capital city of Ontario. I looked forward to spending the next fi ve days gathering knowledge of the coffee scene within the greater Toronto area, which touts a population of 5.9 million people. Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world, according to 2016 census data, with more than 51 percent of the population holding dual passports. The city sits on the north- western shore of Lake Ontario and is about 88 miles from Niagara Falls by car—just drive counterclockwise along the lake's edge. Really though, the only water I was interested in on this trip was that which was mingled with coffee grounds. I fi rst had the notion to visit Toronto to attend the second Bean- stock Coffee Festival in late May, held six months after the inaugu- ral event in Vancouver, B.C. I started tracking Beanstock via social media and was stoked by the enthusiasm of local roasters and shops. My fi rst real face-to-face conversation about local coffee happened at Reunion Island Coffee Roasters in Toronto's Ronces- valles neighborhood. A latte art throwdown and panel discussion on inclusivity and diversity sponsored by the newly formed Unfi l- tered Coffee Community drew me to the spot. Reunion's roots go a long way back: Founder Peter Pesce started Bourbon Coffee, considered Canada's fi rst specialty-coffee oper- ation, in 1978. Peter has also been very involved with the Coffee Association of Canada, serving as its chairperson multiple times. He founded Reunion in 1995, and his son Adam—the current own- er—joined the company in 2005. Amongst the tasty roasts, a singing highlight was Reunion's Opposite page, top: Sherry Craig lounges on the Community Garden Car in the Kensington Market while sipping a drink from Casa Acoreana Coff ee. Casa closed at the end of May a er 55 years in business. It was replaced by Jodie's Joint, a hemp-themed café owned by local Jodie Emery, a cannabis activist also known as "The Pot Princess." Jodie and partner Sam James serve Cut Coff ee at the café, and once recreational marijuana is made legal on October 17, the café is set to feature cannabis-infused treats. Below: The "Toronto" sign in Nathan Phillips Square was erected in 2015 and originally designed to be temporary. It's been so popular with tourists and locals alike, however, that the city is trying to make the LED display a permanent fi xture. This page: Toronto photographer Siva Haran and his growing family get drinks at Jacked Up Coffee at Yorkville Avenue. This 1975 Citroen van is affectionately called the "Blue Monster." Owner Jack Provan opened his second location—another van—this summer on Hanna Avenue. Both vehicles are mobile and can be hired for private events. Jacked Up features Cut Coffee and killer pours by staff members. 33 www.baristamagazine.com

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