The Vancouver Coffee Snob is an anonymous coffee shop reviewer based in Vancouver. His identity may be a mystery but his love for the city's bustling café scene is no secret. VIVA wanted in on all the caffeinated action, so here he tells us about his favorite unique venues and what to try in each. Here's the lowdown.
You won't find a more delightfully eccentric coffee shop in Vancouver if you tried. Aubade is located on East Pender, in the front section of an immense antique homewares store called Space Lab. Eldric, the owner, goes to great lengths to source the best coffee on the planet and then brews it using his award-winning Aeropress method. Couple this with the fact that he's one of the most fascinating people to talk to about coffee and you have one of the finest coffee shops around.
Tip: Ask them to recommend the coffee they're most passionate about and you'll leave impressed.
When it comes to true specialty coffee in Vancouver, Moving Coffee sits at the top of the list. It's run by a charming husband-and-wife duo who import and roast their own high quality coffee beans then brew them either by a delicate pour over method, using imported japanese copper drippers, or via their top-notch espresso machine. You'll receive a cup of coffee that's pretty incomparable.
Tip: Their sweet blossom roast is divine, but if you're lucky, they may have some ultra rare Geisha coffee available.
Tucked away in a small strip mall in Richmond, Faebrew is an ultra modern take on a coffee shop, with a fairy theme and (believe or not) $25 cups of coffee. That's right, you heard us correctly, Faebrew source and sell some of the rarest coffee you'll find in Vancouver, but you'll have to pay a pretty penny for it.
Tip: If you're not a coffee connoisseur then stick to the cheaper stuff.... at $12.50 a cup!
Blink and you'll miss this place, as it's nestled in an unexpected residential area in East Vancouver, very close to the PNE. Parker St is a small cafe with a big drinks menu, a killer grilled cheese and a great team of staff who you can challenge to play one of their many board games.
Tip: Try their cold brew coffee – regular filter coffee brewed in cold water for up to 24 hours – it's impossibly smooth.
Part coffee shop, part high-end homeware store, Kahve is an incredibly beautiful venue in the trendy Kits district. They source their coffee from the immensely popular Phil & Sebastian Roasters and their in-house menu is created to complement their extensive drinks list. This includes homemade Kombucha and the best London Fog you'll every try.
Tip: Start with a latte and their delicious avocado smash, then follow up with an order of grilled banana bread and their nitrogen-infused cold brew coffee.
33 Acres Brewing
33 Acres started life as a beer brewery but made a wise decision to purchase a $30,000+ espresso machine. Known as one of the most Instagram-friendly venues in Vancouver (seriously, just point your iPhone in any direction and you have an award-winning shot), you can enjoy a huge selection of espresso-based beverages, scoff down their artistically-presented food menu and then wash that down with a pint or two from their ever-rotating beer selection. Go for a pint of '33 Acres of Darkness', their award winning Schwarzbier.
Tip: Start with one of the best lattes in Vancouver, along with an order of their famous beer-infused waffles.
Vancouver isn't the most pet-friendly city in Canada, so what do you do when you need a feline fix but live in a 'no pets' apartment? Visit Catfe! Sit down and grab a coffee with up to 12 of the cafe's four-legged friends. As if that's not adorable enough, Catfe is actually a cat adoption service so if you happen to bond with a particular purring partner, you can possbily take them home.
Tip: Go for a Catpurrrrcino or a Meowcha, and remember to bring a sense of self control, because you're going to want to steal a cat.