The Edge Cafe: Guest Cafe Review

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Raul of hummingbird604 passed over a guest review for The Edge Cafe in Vancouver, just off of Cambie and Broadway. Here is Raul’s review:

“Had an opportunity to share a coffee with Jonathon Narvey and, while I did recall I had swung by once a long while ago, I had never had a chance to spend any time there. Since I’m a big supporter of local business, I thought I’d write a review. Particularly since I was SO positively impressed with it. And to be fair and balanced in my review, I should also point you to mixed reviews on DineHere.

The Edge Cafe looks very much like a chic, sophisticated restaurant. But the funny thing is, while it’s rather posh and nice looking, customers seem to come from all sorts of avenues of the world. And the prices are NOWHERE near the ultra expensive ones. They have created a “menu for the economic crisis” with soup and a sandwich for $ 6.50. That’s lunch, and that’s probably as inexpensive or in the neighbourhood of Wendy’s or Tim Horton’s.

They also seem to have wireless, although I’ll admit the laptop I am currently using didn’t want to connect to any of the networks. So, I’ll believe it when I see it :) Finally, I should also point out that while I see very comfy couches and chairs, I don’t know whether they have enough power outlets to sustain as many people wth laptops as, say, Waves.

The Edge Cafe is spacious and well illuminated. The restaurant/cafe has a lot of windows and amazing natural light. The coffee was actually really good, I have absolutely no complaints about that. Despite the fact that I wouldn’t work here for an extended period of time, I would be more than happy to try The Edge Cafe for brunch sometime. Anyone want to join?”

Thanks to Raul for the review! And don’t forget to hop on by his blog. If you have a guest review of a cafe anywhere in Vancouver (please don’t review a cafe you own or work at!), I’d love to post it! You can reach me by email.

The Edge Cafe
2450 Yukon St, Vancouver
Tel: 604-876-7228

Moja Coffee

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We’ve spent the last few weeks enjoying our coffee from Moja Coffee in North Vancouver. Originally a roaster, Moja Coffee recently opened a cafe (M-F 7:30am - 3pm). The space is gorgeous! Simple, modern, comfortable. The location is a little odd for a cafe, so hopefully you’ll go out of your way to check it out.

I’ve had about a dozen or so Americanos from the cafe, as well as two batches of coffee beans for our home. This past week, it’s been a daily staple for us as our home renovations have forced us out to for food & coffee each day. Everything we’ve had has been great (scones are tasty too). Americanos have all been perfect - smooth, flavorful, creamy & lovely.

Now that we’re further away from many of our “standard” cafes, we’ve been buying a lot of beans from JJ Bean. Which got a little repetitive after being used to trying new beans all the time. Moja Coffee offers us that variety back.

The handmade level-operated espresso machine is the jewel of the cafe. That’s the only picture I have to share for now - despite all the times we’ve been to Moja, we’ve been in a rush without our camera! Hopefully we can fix that some visit soon.

Moja is the roaster behind the coffee at Raincity Coffee, as well as many other coffee houses, restaurants & hotels.

Also check out the Moja Coffee review from cleanhotdry.


218 Mackay Road

North Vancouver

North East corner behind the Canadian Tire complex.

Waves Coffee

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On Friday, I ushered in the summer by taking a long walk in North Vancouver. Despite the heat, I decided to go for a coffee. I went to Waves on Lonsdale and 1st.

The coffee shop was wonderfully air conditioned and beautifully decorated. There were not quite as many people there as I would expect on such a nice day, particularly considering the free wireless that is heavily advertised for all Waves locations.

Waves serves Organic Fair Trade coffee that is roasted here in Vancouver. As with all my first reviews, I had an Americano. It was made well - a very subtle taste, but nicely roasted. Definitely above Starbucks par. There wasn’t very much crema to the shot, and it was a little watery, but the taste was ok. It’s a place I’d go to hang out, for sure, and to enjoy the nice patio.


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Raincity Coffee

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I popped into the new Raincity Coffee here in North Vancouver at East 2nd and lower Lonsdale today.

I can’t seem to locate any online reference to Raincity - no website, news or anything - which is a little odd, but it does appear to be local to North Van.

I thought the cafe was in a great spot with lots of light and a very open atmosphere. It was fairly casual, but not upscale. Reminded me more of cafes in Italy than the standard Vancouver-style cafe.

I had my normal Americano and found it to be a little better than Starbucks, but not top of the line. I was hoping to find more about their coffee from their website, but that didn’t seem to happen! They sell beans in their store, but they are branded with Raincity - I do recall seeing that they were roasted in small batches, so perhaps they use JJ Bean coffee.

I think the cafe would be a nice one to sit in and do some work. It’s very bright and that’s a great change from many cafes.

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Cafe Crema Review

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A while back, we had the opportunity to try a new cafe on this side of the water - Cafe Crema in West Van, off the Ambelside strip.

You’ll be impressed with what you see at the cafe. It’s has a very upscale yet comfortable feel. The space feels very open and the decor is amazing - lots of wood, great photography. The design was done with very particular aims for the right atmosphere in the cafe, and I think they did a great job at that.

Cafe Crema serves JJ Bean coffee, and Ianiv and I both have only good things to say about it. A good cup of coffee combines good coffee beans with a good barista. We’ll definitely consider it our ‘coffee place’ in the Ambelside area.

Cafe Crema Address:
1495 Bellevue Avenue
West Vancouver

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The Boulevard Coffee Roasting: Review

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On Saturday we were at UBC for a conference and noticed a local roaster: The Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co. IMG_6806

The Boulevard Coffee Roasting Co.
5970 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z3

Ianiv and I both ordered an Americano. The beans used were from Brazil, although the barista didn’t know much about them. Boulevard Coffee uses only organic beans, roasted on-site. The owners are students, making this the first student-owned company on campus. Both owners have science backgrounds.

Our review of the cafe itself is quite positive. We enjoyed the atmosphere and design, the use of modern materials, and the display of community art. The service was okay, although the lack of barista education was obvious.


The coffee itself was not the best feature of the cafe. To me, it tasted acrid and over-roasted. Very little flavour of the actual coffee came through, and it was quite watery as well as bitter. I would be interested to know the taste of the drip coffee in comparison to the espresso, but UBC is a little out of the way so I probably won’t be back any time soon to try.

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Dunkin Donuts Coffee

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I was just in Boston for a business trip, and while there was indoctrinated into the Boston coffee world of Dunkin’ Donuts. Yep, coffee at a donut shop. Very a la Tim Hortons.

Now, aside from the fact that the donut was far superior to our own Tim Hortons, the coffee was still just normal everyday coffee - albeit a fairly good one.

Now, from what I gather, they do their own roasting or something of the sort. But, what’s unique is the way it is served as standard.

In Boston, at Dunkin’ Donuts, they’ll give you your coffee with milk and sugar - unless you tell them not to. And they are very very generous on both fronts (whole milk, it tasted like). Anyway, it made for a rich and sweet coffee, and with such a light roast, it’s hard for me to say what the coffee itself was like. Perhaps a good thing ;)

Anyway, I would indeed take this coffee any day over Tim Hortons. Better, but not a great cup of coffee.

Indonesia Flores Coffee

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Today we are drinking Indonesia Flores, roasted on February 27th. I am a fan of Indonesian coffees. Find them very pleasing from the first drop to the last.

The last batch of coffee, which we unfortunately didn’t write about, wasn’t as good. It started well right after roasting but didn’t last well as we continued to finish our half pound. Since we don’t get fresh coffee every day, it’s good to have one that can last a week.

The flavour of the coffee is not very strong. Perhaps it’s a little on the more flat side as opposed to many others we have tried that have distinct flavours.

About Flores:

The island of Flores was never really part of the Dutch East Indies. It was discovered by the Portuguese in the mid 15th century and was settled by them soon after. The Portuguese influence lasted for over 100 years before the Dutch drove them out. However Portuguese missionaries remained and today most of the population is Christian, unlike the rest of the country which is predominately Muslim. The island itself is a fantastic place- from the Komodo dragons in the east, to the volcanic lakes of Kelimutu and the friendly port city of Larantuka…vast jungles cover the island and many of the roads are narrow and allow limited access to the hinterland. The arabica produced on the island displays mellowness reminiscent of that found in Java.. Several large plantations produce beans for export, however again the small hold producers grow beans with unusual and very favorable qualities. - Source

Yemen Mocca Sanani

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Today we’re drinking… Yemen Mocca Sanani.

It’s a very fruity coffee. More funky in taste than a lot we’ve been drinking. A spiciness that was unexpected, even while being a smooth coffee. Many people think it’s akin to an Ethiopian coffee, but better (or so I can find in other reviews). I enjoy the finish of this coffee quite a bit - even more than the first taste.

I found it a little overpowering at first. It could be due to the fact that it was roasted only yesterday, which can affect the flavour profile.

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Coffee Review: Wired Monk

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We made it! This time we came in toting cash, and laptops ;)

So, I am comfortably seated in front of the fireplace at Wired Monk drinking my Americano. I was pleasantly surprised by the coffee, I do need to admit. Quite surprised. I’m even drinking it without milk or sugar. Quite surprised indeed. It has perhaps a bit too much water, but it had good crema, a strong but not bitter taste, and a nice smooth feel to it. The aftertaste is slightly more tart, but still nice.

Ok, so I had my preconceptions of this "franchise", as we all do around the idea of a franchise. It gets the standardized McDonald’s label, which usually means "consistent, good, but nothing extraordinary". So, let’s drop the stereotypes and say there are those franchises that can surprise.

The coffee roasted is from Fratello Coffee, a roaster I’m not overly familiar with. Timothy (the owner) tells me Fratello is run by three brothers who used to roast from Commercial Drive but now roast out of roast out of Calgary. Today’s espresso blend is the GodFather Espresso, "slight" acidity with "full" body. 

Timothy and Leah are the proud operators of this Wired Monk. Both pleasant and energetic, and I love that they operate as a couple. The decor here is very nice - lots of comfortable chairs, as well as some stiffer ones. Lots of little nooks, as well as a bar area seated around the barista. Tons of open floor space and windows all over the place really makes you feel open and at ease. I am particularly fond of the artwork around the fireplace - a plaster relief of the Monk and the logo, embellished with paint. Even if this is a standardized look across all Wired Monks, it’s new to me so I like it ;)

Tuesday, Friday, Saturday they have Open Mic - sometime 6 to 8 will start up. There is a ton of space in here, so I can see us coming back to hangout.

So, it’s no Elysian room that makes you go "wow", but it’s a big step above Starbucks and many other coffee joints, and I can see us coming in regularly for the coffee and the great atmosphere.

Maybe our next time around we can sit down with Timothy and Leah to see how they’re liking their new cafe :)

Location: 4th and Trafalgar

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Today we are drinking…

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A coffee roasted 5 days ago by Hines from Nicaragua.

Subtle flavour profile. Smooth. Nice. One of my favourite regions. It is a good everyday coffee for me - not too bold or tangy.

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Coffee Review: Soma Coffee House

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On Sunday we popped over to Soma, a coffee joint on Main (2528 to be exact). It’s lovingly called a "hipster haunt" by the Straight, which I can totally see.

There was a great vibe in there. Relaxed, artsy, comfortable. The chairs could use an upgrade, but otherwise a nice feeling.

So, it’s a great place to hang out…

… but it’s not a great place for coffee. Ianiv & I both drank our regular fare: the Americano. It’s a good test coffee. Not too complicated. Well… it was not the best roast to start with. It tasted burned, like a Starbucks brew up a little more sharp. Way too dark as well.

Ianiv found his so bad he actually put in milk and sugar. Big thing for him. Mine was drinkable, but I’d even put it a notch below "diner coffee" (the best of which is from Sophie’s, btw).

So, Soma is a great hangout, but not a great coffee joint.

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New coffee shop: Wired Monk

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Ianiv & I are headed off to the new coffee joint in Kits, the Wired Monk. It’s a franchise, so we’re a little worried about the coffee we’re soon to consume. But, hey, it’s their second day so we decided to stop over and see how it goes…

Will keep you posted.

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Coffe at Microsoft

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Robert Scoble points to a new Microsoft employee talking about his experience of his first six weeks working there. What may interest you is what he says about the coffee that Microsoft provides for his employees:

First, something negative that I hadn’t expected: the coffee. It sucks, all over the Redmond campus. I would never have thought that a company managed like Microsoft would be incapable of providing decent coffee to its employees. But it’s true. This stuff is gut-wrenching bad. Coffee-addict-repulsing bad.

Read the rest at Doug’s World.

Coffee in Disneyland

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Yep, I held true to the reviewing thing. I actually tried coffee from Disneyland. *shudder*

Oh, it was not fun, let me tell you. We went to what looked like the most “main” in terms of coffee at Disneyland, the Blue Ribbon Bakery on Mainstreet.


Now, the first clue here is that the cafe is sponsored by, and served by, Nestle. Oy. I was in for it there. Well, I decided to get an Americano, and Ianiv a plain old drip coffee. Can you tell which is which?


Well, the one on the left was the Americano. And you can see me trying below. What you don’t see is the grimace on my face. Oh my. I have to say it was as bad as any coffee from a random gas station that was brewed 4 hours ago kind of thing. And it was watery. So watery. Skimping on pennies for sure. Ianiv’s was a tad more horrible, and perhaps even more watery. Lovely.