Coffee Monday – The Abbott – Indie Coffee Passport

First of all – you have a little under a month to use up your Indie Coffee Passport! It’s crunch time people, let’s get caffeinated. I rarely write a post from the cafe I’m sitting in, but I’m breaking that trend with this one (I also rarely go to these spots on weekdays so I’m just changing everything around this time. I went into the Abbot today in Parkdale after running over to Liberty Village for a quick second. It’s on Spencer Avenue, which is a tiny avenue just off King street. There is a half step to get in, and it’s kind of hidden off to the side, under a staircase. I’m not sure if I would have had as easy a time of finding it, had JC and I not been there before. What’s on offer with the Indie Coffee Passport: They charge extra for non-dairy milk. So I ordered a double espresso. Service was friendly and quick. The barista seemed to follow the ICP trend I’ve noticed this year of being really positive about the Indie Coffee Passport, which wasn’t always the case during last years run (not here, just in general.) It’s a small and comfortable space, the big windows let in a lot of sunlight, and I love the little tables (there are 4 tables that seat two comfortably, and one large communal table that could probably seat 4-6 depending on personal space requirements.) My Coffee The more coffee I drink, the fussier I’m getting…

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CSI Coffee Pub – Coffee Monday – Another Indie Coffee Passport stop

This weekend and last weekend, JC & I went to the CSI Coffee Pub. The first time we weren’t armed with our Indie Coffee Passports (I should really just keep that in my purse…), but we were in the neighbourhood because of the APieCalypse Now! Grand Opening and it seemed like a good spot to meet up. The Coffee Pub was on our radar almost entirely because of the ICP & I can see this spot turning into a semi-regular hangout. There is ample seating, it’s warm, inviting, and the baristas are friendly. (Also, as an added bonus, there is wifi, and workspace – both for individuals and groups.) I think I’ve been in this space before, but for a python class with Ladies Learning Code, or helping to photograph one of the LLC sessions some time in the last few years. It might also just be that it feels very CSI (Centre for Social Innovation.) People with computers, people with ideas, it was quiet every time I’ve gone in, but it still seems to be full of energy. They brew coffee from the Fresh Coffee Network, and on the days I went in were using So Nice soy milk (and they also have almond milk). There is no extra charge for dairy alternative. What’s on offer? The first visit, I just got a soy latte (no indie coffee passport means anything goes). And it came in a giant mug. This weekend, JC & I shared a cortado and a cappuccino.…

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BIVY – Indie Coffee Passport 2013 – Coffee Monday

We went into BIVY on Sunday this weekend. It’s one of the cafes on this session of the Indie Coffee passport. It’s another one of those spots that has only been open for less than three years. They opened in mid-July 2012 in the Brockton Triangle/Brockton Village area. They do food, coffee, and weekend brunch. It felt like more of a restaurant than coffee shop (or as they say an “Urban Food Outpost“), but they didn’t seem to mind us only ordering coffee. Service was super friendly, the latte was totally my style (but JC didn’t dig it as much as I did.) There are a bunch of options for their Indie Coffee Passport offerings, but we went with the usual – soy latte. BIVY appears to have their own Bivy Collective espresso blend, which I really liked. The latte had a nice thick foam, and the coffee had a rich full flavour. They also sell a variety of products in the back corner, like my favourite chocosol chocolate, stasis preserves, Social coffee & tea bags, cup cozies, and a bunch of other things that I no longer remember. Overall, I really liked the space, it was warm, inviting, and as an added bonus they have wifi (that they even invited us to use.) Vegan menu options seem fairly limited – to potentially nonexistent (unless you count salad,) though you might want to ask about the soup (according to the website the soups are always dairy-free). In case you’re curious, the…

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i deal coffee on Sorauren – Indie Coffee Passport Stop – Coffee Monday

We’ve been working our way through the Indie Coffee Passport but I’ve only gone back to one of the spots repeatedly, and it’s this one. Of course – it’s also somewhat in my neighbourhood so that helps. i deal coffee on Sorauren Ave was once called Balluchon. Now, It’s basically the same place, but better. Overall, I like the atmosphere, I like the staff, and I feel comfortable sitting around for an hour or so with my coffee or tea, or muffin, or whatever. It’s off the beaten (walking) track, but there are usually a couple people sitting inside, and a few people coming in and picking up coffee or bread to go. The staff is friendly. Service has been nice every time I’ve gone in. Every one of the folks that works there seems to be decent, knows how to make a coffee, and i deal coffee seems to have a really good team going on. I guess that’s why I keep going back for more. 221 Sorauren Ave is also home to Prairie Boy Bakery, so there are almost always fresh loaves of bread available. All prepared sandwiches I’ve seen when I’ve walked in have had cheese or meat on them, but vegan baked goods (cookies or muffins) are usually available. They have a variety of loose-leaf teas and coffees, both in bean form and immediately drinkable. They also have soy and almond milk at no extra charge if you are anything like me, and want your coffee a…

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Amani Earls – Indie Coffee Passport

We’ve managed to visit a few Indie Coffee Passport stops around the city, but our very very very first one together was at Amani Earls in The Junction. Last month, we opted to walk the hour or so over to the furthest west spot on the Indie Coffee Passport 2013/2014 map on the first day of snow. It was also a good excuse to go outside, and it seemed like the perfect excuse to go to Pho Huong for vegan pho, and visit Bunner’s on their third anniversary. If you’ve seen the vegan restaurant/Indie Coffee Passport stop map I put together, it’s only logical that we would visit both of these places with the Amani Earls trip! Like all of the Indie Coffee Passport participating cafes this year, Amani Earls is a newcomer to the Toronto coffee scene. They opened up in June of last year, and it’s is a cozy, but simple space with lots of large pieces of art on the wall (at least when we went in – there was work by Brice Hall) and some bar style seating at the front, and a collection of tables, benches and chairs in the back. When we walked in, there was one person typing on a computer in the space, and the server – but of course, it was a Decemblizzard, so barely anyone was outside. They have a variety of the usual cafe coffee options – espressos, Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and teas. I noticed they were brewing…

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Things I Love Thursday – Local Vegan Toronto Gift Ideas 2013 Edition

For 2014 – please go here. There are lots of general vegan gift idea lists out there, so please do check them out (I’ll link to some of them at the bottom of this post), but it’s worth looking locally to tap into the great community of creators and crafters, bakers, makers, and ingenuous entrepreneurs that we have in our city. There are also some wonderful organizations to support this time of year, as well as food and products to buy, made right here in the GTA. So this year, yet again, is my totally biased, occasionally random, list of local/GTA/Vegan Gift ideas. You’ll see some repeat names from last year, because they’re still awesome, but you’ll also see some new faces (because the vegan business community has really grown in 2013.) I welcome your suggestions for other local vegan friendly businesses and organizations to support, please add them in the comments. Vegan Food Apiecalypse Now! With exciting news just around the corner, there are also APieCalypse Now!’s mega awesome gift baskets to take advantage of. Available in both gluten free and glutenlicious varieties, in large baskets and in small, you have a lot to choose from. The baskets are full of almost entirely hand-made things, made with organic locally grown flour, fair trade sugar, and horizontal trade chocolate from ChocoSol (They’re even on the Food Empowerment Project’s Chocolate list.) Check out what else is on offer in the ApieCalypse Now! online store. (you have until December 15th to pre-order the big stuff…

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The Indie Coffee Passport. Less than Three Edition

Since 2010, the Indie Coffee Passport has been helping me explore Toronto and all the independent cafe’s within it. I’ve found places I keep visiting, I’ve found places I never wanted to go again, but the important thing was that I got to check them out, and see parts of the city that I might not have ever ventured out to otherwise. The Indie Coffee Passport in Toronto is doing something different this year, and I think it’s a great change. This round started on October 1st, and is going on until April 2014, and they’re highlighting coffee shops in the city that have only been open for 3 years or less. I have fond memories of doing the Indie Coffee Passport by myself in the first few months of living in Toronto by myself, with new pals, and then later with JC in the early days of our dating life. It’s a lovely opportunity to explore the city, check out new places and neighbourhoods you may never have visited before, while also enjoying a delicious cup of coffee or tea. (Also, by the way, the Indie Coffee Passport makes a great gift!) Here are the participating coffee shops arranged by soy tax, or no soy tax. I’m going to define soytax as an extra fee for any dairy milk alternative. I’m not sure yet what kind of non-dairy milks these locations have, but I will designate the ones where you’ll have to pay extra for your non-dairy latte/fancy coffee/tea –…

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