Mercury Organic Espresso Bar, Toronto
Screw the endless, day-to-day, nonsweetened, percolated home brew routine. Mercury Espresso Bar in Leslieville, a virtual hot spot of PMS survivors and lululemon-wearing locals, will have you out of your lethargic haze and into a caffeinated vigour before you can say Double French Roast. After four years at this location, the espresso bar and wifi spot shuttered for a significant nip-and-tuck – fighting off pesky rumours of its unexpected demise – only to resurface with a shiny new look and re-worked coffee blends.
While the changes are in abundance, co-owner Matthew Taylor and Doug Tiller say that they were quite easy to implement. “We just went into the paint store and picked the colour we liked.” Old Mercury had a more cozy, warm neutral, almost autumn feel to it; new Mercury feels more open, with dark teal walls, black couches, tables, and quite cool burlap-sack bar-stools.
Dark-red tiles are out; polished hardwood flooring is in. The barista counter and cash register are now at the back of the room, making the customer seating area centre of attention. Keeping the exposed brick walls and ceiling tiles (complete with original random hanging wires as Taylor pointed out), the nostalgia of Mercury is still in the air.
Along with the renovations, the boys have another trick up their sleeves. Tiller and Taylor have been doing their research for three months now, playing around with different beans and blends, perfecting the taste of coffee. By blending Ethiopia Sidamo with Costa Rica Tarrazu , and cleverly naming it the Mercury Espresso , these mad caffeinistas have come out with one serious cup of coffee. If you drink coffee daily – and, really, you do – a taste like this is a treat. Well-balanced with a multi-dimensional flavour, you can taste the hard work that’s been put into it.
With the new Mercury comes a pour-over bar brew system, so customers can get their traditional cup of coffee as opposed to an espresso-based Americano (though that’s still available). They’ll also be continuing coffee-tasting classes ($60 bucks, about 6 people/class), educating coffee lovers on new coffee beans, blends, methods, and how they can create their favourite blend at home.
Address: 915 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario
Cuisine: Cafe Fare
Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30am-7:30pm
Price Range: $$ (Affordable)
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