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Discussions > Regional > Canada East > Decent espresso...  
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Clark
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Apr 2004
Posts: 346
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Synesso
Grinder: Robur-e/Anfim
Posted Thu Jul 21, 2005, 6:15pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

RKEM Said:

Well, there was yellow watery crap on top of the Franke shot but in my book that's not crema.

Posted July 21, 2005 link

Well yeah, that's what should have been there.  Agreed it's not crema, obviously.  I just thought you were saying the Franke produced a black shot.

That map is correct.  Take the Queensway to Parkdale, Parkdale down to Wellington and go West 9-10 blocks.  Can't miss it.  Nice little place that just opened up a couple years ago.
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Clark
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Apr 2004
Posts: 346
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Synesso
Grinder: Robur-e/Anfim
Posted Thu Aug 11, 2005, 1:12pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

A few people who frequent coffeegeek told me they thought Planet Coffee in the market was doing some good things, and I was in the neighbourhood this afternoon so I dropped in.

I guess those of you who recommended Planet Coffee ordered milk drinks.  I thought I would be bold and go for a double espresso.  I didn't even bother to look at the grinder before ordering.  After ordering I noticed the doser was half full of stale grinds.  The "short" double was at least 3oz with a lovely ring of "crema" a few millimeters wide around the outside.  It was roughly a 5 second pull.  Yum.

I hesitated to taste it for a while, because the last time I'd tried espresso with the "One Ring" around the outside it was at Starbucks and I fealt nautious for about 10 minutes after drinking it.  Well this one tasted like a full bodied stale moka-pot coffee, so at least I could drink it.

Not very impressed to say the least.  Was it just the barista I had?  I'd like to think they can do better than this.

P.S.  Sunday is my last day at work at the Bagelshop.  I leave for the UK a week later.  It's a bit pricy, but you should still be able to get a good espresso there (hopefully...).
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davea
Senior Member
davea
Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 708
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Press
Posted Fri Aug 12, 2005, 1:09pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

Ian,

I think that Planet can be variable, but I haven't actually ordered anything from them in some time.

I've had a relatively good cappuccino there, for Ottawa, but have also seen a straight shot with almost no crema. This last wasn't helped by the fact that they were oddly using Equator's very dark Ethiopian to make their espresso :-?  They have since changed to another local espresso blend, which I have used at home and which should be capable of a decent shot if it is fresh.

I since noted on a visit a little while back that one of their employees was still unacquainted with making espresso drinks, despite having been there for several months.

Sorry to hear that you did not have a good experience. 5 seconds?! yikes.


In speaking with Francesco's staff the other week, they have some safeguards in place. One of their staff described to me how they will only serve a drink if the shot met expected criteria, otherwise tossing the shot and starting over. I see a lot of faces there, however, and I'm sure that results vary.

Enjoy your time in the UK!

Dave
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RKEM
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 180
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Isomac Gran
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Nope
Roaster: Z&D
Posted Mon Aug 15, 2005, 7:20am
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

In 3 days I'm moving on Lewis and Cartier, has anybody ever tried the placed called "Hava Java"? Is it any good?
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Clark
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Apr 2004
Posts: 346
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Synesso
Grinder: Robur-e/Anfim
Posted Mon Aug 15, 2005, 1:49pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

Hava Java:

It's a nice spot, but it would be way better if:

1)  It didn't have a lame name
2)  It didn't have a tacky sign out front
3)  There wasn't a Bridgehead right across the street

These may seem like non-factors at first, except they are very significant.  Because of #1 and #2, probably 95% of people walking by looking for a coffee will go into Bridgehead instead.  For this reason, Hava Java is not a very busy place and as a result has very stale coffee.

It seems to be run by the owner, an older fellow who seems to know a thing or two about his business.  As I said, it's a really nice spot however the coffee is really stale.  I've only had espresso there and the timing of the shot was good (although it was pretty long at about 2oz for a single) but it was really stale.  After drinking it I walked down to Rideau, the whole time feeling as though I had just licked a rock of charcoal.

The owner could do a really good job if he had fresh roasted coffee that was ground to order.  Maybe if you bug him about it every morning.
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davea
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davea
Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 708
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Press
Posted Sat Aug 20, 2005, 3:33pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

Clark Said:

I finally went around to Francescos ...  Some good things they did that surprised me:

Heated the demitasse with boiler water
Cleaned out and dried a portafilter
Used mostly fresh ground coffee
Cooling flush before brewing!

Sadly this list is a bit misleading.  The cleaned out a dried a portafilter, unfortunately it was the one that was sitting in the group where my shot was going to be pulled from.  The portafilter that was used for my shot was sitting cold on the counter.

Posted July 19, 2005 link

Speaking of variability ... I know that I could get a better espresso from Francesco's than I had today. Previous conversations with one of his longtime staff highlighted their policy to inspect each pour before serving it, at least visually. I got the impression that at minimum it would have to have crema or be pitched. Hopefully that also meant key characteristics like shot time, colour, etc.

Well, at the risk of badmouthing a place that I really want to support, this isn't what I experienced today. I'll stress that this is anecdotal -- I hardly ever order much aside from beans, and Pietro has a number of staff with - I expect - varying skills. I don't want to highlight their weaknesses, but I plug them quite a bit and I should maintain some semblance of objectivity.

Francesco's was sporting clean, but warm, portafilters today -- all four or so laying along the cup warmer, rather than cold on the counter or still in the group. No fresh ground coffee :-(  and a fast on/off pull with multiple flicks of the brew switch. The volume was good (I'd asked for it short) but it was not espresso; no crema and very thin.

One experience from the front. I am still pleased to have heard that Francesco's does aspire to a higher quality product, even if not all of his staff have the hang of it yet. The person that helped me today was really on the ball for my beans, though.

Dave
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keninottawa
Senior Member
keninottawa
Joined: 29 Aug 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Brikka
Grinder: Black and Decker
Drip: Cuisinart Brewcentral
Roaster: Someday, perhaps...
Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005, 12:36pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

Hello, all!

I'm a new Ottawa forumer, and I just wanted to introduce myself.

As for a decent espresso, I'm biased towards Bridgehead and I'll recommend their decaf espresso roast any day -- it is by far the best decaffeinated version I've tasted.

Cheers,

- Ken

 
Dark Roast.
Dark Roast.
Dark Roast.
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,208
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
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Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005, 12:38pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

Hi Ken, Welcome to the Coffeegeek forums! {:-D

 
http://twitter.com/CoffeegeekCraig
http://www.facebook.com/craig.andrews.169

Excellent coffee doesn't just happen!
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davea
Senior Member
davea
Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 708
Location: Ottawa, ON
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Virtuoso
Drip: Press
Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

I'll add to the welcome wagon, Ken. Always great to see another bloke in Ottawa.

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!


Dave
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keninottawa
Senior Member
keninottawa
Joined: 29 Aug 2005
Posts: 16
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Brikka
Grinder: Black and Decker
Drip: Cuisinart Brewcentral
Roaster: Someday, perhaps...
Posted Mon Aug 29, 2005, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: Decent espresso in Ottawa?
 

Thanks, all!

 
Dark Roast.
Dark Roast.
Dark Roast.
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