For as long as I lived in Vancouver there were dueling Starbucks coffee shops kitty-corner to each other at Robson and Thurlow. Seemed like a clever strategy as they were both equally lined up out the door. At the time I had a part time job working on Robson Street, along with a full time day job elsewhere, who enjoyed endless people watching. The hustle and bustle of Robson Street captivated me as did the draw to these two well established coffee joints. I can not tell a lie, I did enjoy their coffee as there were no other choices near by (don’t hate). Fast forward to 2012, and one of those Starbucks shut down due to a planned rent increase following a 23 year run, and inability to renegotiate their terms.
A resident Calgarian since 2000, I’ve spent the past several years being involved in projects that support local businesses in the food and beverage community. Check out YYC Pizza Week and the Culinary Race to learn more about some of the things keeping me busy. I admit to still buying the odd Starbucks bevy on occasion but if given the choice I will seek out the local coffee shop first. I love the habit and ambience some days more than I love the coffee.
Inspiration comes from everywhere and this is how #10DaysOfCoffee started. While sipping my typical dry, sugar free cappuccino in a coffee shop one day last week, the idea to do visit local coffee shops came to me. I started scribbling coffee shop names as fast as I could write on an envelope, and tweeting looking for suggestions from friends and locals. A list of more than 20 appeared and I decided this may very well end up becoming a 10 Days of Coffee Part I and II. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to prepare a proper plan since December was mere hours away, but we decided to visit a new coffee shop every day for 10 days between December 5 – 10th in Calgary. This post will be updated daily sharing my new coffee adventure.
It’s important to note the coffee shops have not offered any kind of deal or sponsorship in lieu of this promotion. All opinions, money spent, and photos are my own or those of my coffee dates.
We begin our coffee adventure at Fratello Analog Coffee on 17th Avenue. I’ve been to a couple of their locations in Calgary, however the one on 17th worked best for a meet up with friends for a coffee chat.
Analog Coffee is owned by the Prefontaine family who have been selling coffee and other hot beverages since 1974. This family run business believes a coffee house should be much more than just a place to get your caffeine fix, it should be the perfect spot to retreat and enjoy a meticulously-prepared beverage. Their goal has always been clear; don’t just drink the coffee, taste the coffee.
Serving up delicious coffee and items provided by the former Corbeaux Bakery, this little coffee shop on 17th Avenue gives you a true coffee experience. A variety of pastries and treats greets you the moment you walk in the door and challenges you to walk away with just a coffee. This is a place to take your mom or get caught up with a friend before or after strolling down 17th Avenue.
Check out Fratello Analog Coffee at any of their six locations in Calgary.
From a chance meeting in a digital circuits class in 1996, graduating as engineers, to opening their fifth brick-and-mortar cafe on Stephens Avenue this Thursday, December 8th, Phil & Sebastian have not only embraced the coffee culture but taken it to new levels new yet experienced in Calgary.
Visiting several coffee-producing countries annually to taste samples and decide on what beans to bring home and sell, these two friends and business partners roast the beans in a roaster using software they created themselves. Baristas in each of their locations train for up to 6 months before serving coffee. Each of their locations is unique, with a story to tell. Some offer beer and wine, others offer food prepared under the direction of an in house chef utilizing local producers.
Phil & Sebastian’s offer coffee classes and tastings, subscriptions, evening events, and an online store.