There’s a good case for making Edmonton the number two coffee hot spot in western Canada, behind Vancouver. Of course, Edmontonians aren’t as precious about how they roast and prepare their coffee as the wet coasters.
Still, there are always new coffee shops popping up in Alberta’s capital. After profiling half a dozen places a couple of years ago, I figured it was time for a fresh visit up north.
The first stop was The Colombian Coffee & Roastery, next door to the venerable Vi’s for Pies in the city’s leafy Glenora neighbourhood; the roasting happens at the back of the long, narrow space. It seemed like an odd, generic name, until I learned co-owner Santiago Lopez was from Colombia and that some of the roastery’s beans come from a family farm there. Talk about farm to cup.
The place was hopping on a dreary Saturday morning, with lots of folks ordering avocado toast to go with steaming mugs of java. Good stuff, evidence that if you build a good coffee shop in a nice district, the neighbours will come.
Somewhat harder to find is ACE Coffee Roasters, on a little side street south of Whyte Avenue in Edmonton’s Strathcona district. It’s a lovely, spacious place with high ceilings, exposed ductwork and a gleaming marble coffee bar.
My Americano was one of the better ones I’ve had in Edmonton. The coffee is nicely chased with donuts baked at partner Café Leva in Garneau.
In the attached space, separated by a glass wall, is the company’s Caffe Tech, where you can drop a few grand on high-end home and commercial espresso machines. Think I’ll just let the expert barrista pull the shots for me.
The Columbian Coffee & Roastery
1, 10340 134 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta
Weekdays 7 am-6 pm, Saturday 8 am-6 pm, Sunday 9 am-3 pm
ACE Coffee Roasters
10055 80 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta
Wednesday to Sunday 8 am-4 pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday