The Calgary Coffee Drink Off

With a lot of java bean love in Calgary, it’s easy to find fantastic shots of the black gold. I don’t know if it’s the business market, or the fact that Calgary has some very particular coffee drinkers (John Manzo for example), but there is so much more than Starbucks in this city. Loving well made coffee more than the average person, I told Sarah we would be drinking a lot of it. I don’t really know if she, or for that matter, our stomachs, were up to the task but we did our best.

Aiming to hit The Camera Store near by, we started our coffee adventure at Kawa Espresso Bar. Rocking a clover machine, this trendy downtown coffee bar does double duty as a wine bar. Our afternoon arrival meant that most of clientele were drinking coffee and utilizing their laptops instead of doning high heels and wine glasses.

As became the standard order for this trip, I ordered an espresso to go along with our everyday americanos. I know that might sound crazy, but I wanted to sample the product both ways. The coffee here at Kawa was a solid welcome into the city, and I found the espresso similar to what I’ve been enjoying tremendously at Da Capo.

As we planned to visit the Calgary Farmers Market, Phil & Sebastian’s was our second stop. Maybe one of the first places I had a real coffee experience was right here at this location, so it’s always held a soft spot. The lineup was huge, like always it seems, but we were up at the till in a timely fashion.

With a clover machine here as well, Sarah opted to change her americano order for a Guatemalan bean done clover style. The coffee was a huge success, but my espresso not so much. It took a good 15 minutes to pull, as the barista was not happy with the results it seemed, and the finally product was still pretty blah. Perfectionist or not, this was the first time I’ve ever been let down by P&S.

Feeling like a third establishment would only be fair and add more to the comparison in our belly’s, we ended up making a visit to Caffe Artigiano. Originating in Vancouver, and always on my list of places to stop when I’m on the coast, I was excited to see how things were here. With yet another Clover machine, we made a mental note that the prices here, were the highest of the three. Both Sarah’s americano and my espresso were really good. Actually, my espresso was so good I went back for another round. There is just something amazing about a perfectly pulled shot of espresso.

After way more coffee than anyone should drink i a day, I can safely say our Caffe Artigiano experience was the best. This isn’t meant to take away from Kawa or P&S, because I don’t think you’d be losing anything by making either of them your regular spot. As we drove home, we agreed that Calgarians love their bean.

4 thoughts on “The Calgary Coffee Drink Off

  1. What a full caffeine-fueled day! You must have been blazing on the QE2 back home with all that jolt in your system. 🙂 I’ve tried all three of these places as well in Cowtown – probably learned the most from P&S and enjoyed it the most. The Camera Store is a great little place too, hope you managed to pick up something. 🙂

    • Blazing and a little hunched over from the belly pains! No treats from the camera store (sold out) but it was full of interesting options and knowledgeable staff.

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