Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Parsonage Cafe

Address: 1115 North Park St. (off Cook)
Phone: (250) 383-5999
Price: $2.75 on on the 'Africano standard'
Notes: Try the cold brew. Has produced two Western barista champions! Home of Fernwood Coffee.

I somehow always forget about the Parsonage even though it's easily within walking distance of me. Partially I think it's because they are ever-so-slightly off the beaten path. Also, I think they used to have weird hours, but lately things have shifted and the hours have become more like typical coffee place hours. They also recently had a reno, and things are looking Very Modern in there!

The atmosphere is different than their direct competition, fitting neatly in the middle between the uber-casual Discovery and the occasionally pretentious Fantastico. This tends to net them a bit of an older crowd of coffee nerds and neighbourhood people. The people behind the bar certainly qualify as coffee nerds - especially as several of them have competed at regional, national and even international competitions as baristas.

September 3, 2011
The presentation of our drink was fabulous - it's hard to see from this photo, but the glass, water and shots are served on a silver tray. The service was quick and friendly even though they were busy.

There is a seat actually at the bar here, but sadly we were beaten to the punch by the Jagasilk people (not that I'm complaining, they are far better candidates to food-nerd-it-out with the baristas than I am!). Still, I totally eavesdropped on their conversation (I am pretty much a professional eavesdropper so it's hard to break the habit when I'm not at work) and the amount I could have learned had I sat at the bar would have been epic. If this seat is free when you visit you will leave wiser for the time spent here.

September 3, 2011

Cold Pour
We came with one purpose today - cold brew. We tried their cold brew with some Feintman's tonic at the recent "For the Love of Coffee" event and it totally rocked our world. We had closed out the Moss St. Market but weren't quite ready to head home for the weekend. Chilling out at the Parsonage sounded like a great way to relax before tackling some messy home improvement projects.

The process of making cold brew is pretty epic - it take six hours and uses a fancy machine like this.  We learned at the coffee event that eventually they want to have a wall of the machines so that cold brew is just constantly, well, brewing. Also it would look ridiculously cool and quite steampunk which I am pretty sure is a factor in the decision.

I have to say, cold brew is definitely where it's at... the flavour you get when it's extracted in this unconventional way is phenomenal. There is absolutely zero acidity so you just get pure, caramel and coffee flavour. It's sweet without any sugar. When we sampled it with the tonic at "For the Love of Coffee" it was nice because it wasn't a bit sharp. The San Pellegrino option is pretty tasty too. If you love coffee and you haven't tried this I highly suggest you get down there before the summer weather ends and drinking cold drinks becomes too unappealing.