September 27, 2010
Photos courtesy of Kaffeehäser und ihre Besucher (Ueberreuter, 2010)
The coffee culture in Toronto just got a whole lot richer. Vienna, Paris and Istanbul, take notice. Last week, a new house called Full of Beans opened in Little Portugal. To this latte-loving laptop lugger (yes, there’s free WiFi), this was like the arrival of a new indy bookstore. So hop on your bike or jump on the 505 streetcar going west and get off at 1348 Dundas St. (647-347-4161).
The first thing you’ll notice, apart from the beaming smile of Lori, the owner and my friend, is her artisan Jabez Burns roaster set up in the window (it looks like the one pictured above). Lori sourced her roaster online a few years ago when having her own coffee house was just a dream.
Lori prepares the beans every morning, pulling in early risers and joggers with the aroma (the scent lured me in this morning). Ask her and she’ll demonstrate how it works, firing up the gas flames and pouring the beans into the rotating drums. Because the roaster was manufactured during the last century in a plant, long gone, at the corner of 43rd and Eleventh Ave. in New York City, there are no timers to say when the beans are done (imagine, Edith Wharton and O. Henry got their coffee this way!) But Lori’s nose knows when the beans are roasted to perfection. “Coffee is my passion,” she says, pointing to a range of single varietals and blends on sale. She pours the beans out of sleek, glass canisters set up along the house’s exposed brick walls. Take a bag of beans home and they’ll still be warm by the time you pour them into your grinder, or…
better yet, stay for a cup or two paired with …
… a delectable baked treat made daily by Lori’s mother-in-law.
Bring your paper or grab a book from the house’s packed bookshelves (I spotted a first edition of Barney’s Version and a good selection of travel and art books). Lori encourages book swaps.
Or just go to sip and to get noticed.
And be sure to check out blogTO‘s review of Full of Beans.