My search for the World’s Best Cup of Coffee

This scene from Elf makes me laugh every time,  of course, it has to do with coffee.  It seems like there are only two things we quest for, one is the meaning of life and the other is “where serves the best cup of coffee?”

As much as I have a been a Starbucks devotee since they opened their first store in Toronto, it’s just time for a change, time to move on from a tall Pike in a grande cup, and the calorie laden Cinnamon Dolce Latte.  In the past months,  I’ve spending more of my coffee dollars at smaller independent coffee shops

Here are a couple of new hangouts, in no particular order.

Manual Labour Coffee

One of the more interesting vendors at the Good Food Show and the best smooth, creamy and HOT cappuccino I’ve had in a while.  Manual Labour Coffee offers coffee catering service  from their 1969 travel trailer.  The man behind the  espresso machine is Matthew Taylor formerly of the Mercury Espresso Bar in Leslieville.  Catch them at events and on movie sets.  Check out their site at


It was bright and peaceful last Saturday morning as the sky was light from the many big snowflakes whirling outside, I sat and looked through the big windows enjoying an Americano Misto.   Located at 140 Yonge St. this heritage building was the former location of the Dineen Hat & Fur Co in 1897.  Now restored to its former glory, it is home to the Dineen Coffee Co .   Baristas masterfully prepare each cup carefully.  The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the coffee they serve.  A limited pastry choice, but all made with pure butter.  There are more choices in the sandwiches and quiche.  It truly is a beautiful building and it almost makes you feel like you’re in Paris or some far away place.  Go for the coffee and enjoy the experience. Take a look at the photos.

Sam James Coffee Bar

This is third location to the Sam James Coffee on Harbord Street. Situated in the PATH underground at St. Andrew’s station, beneath the SunLife building.  While the other two locations caters to hipsters and students,  this locations sees mostly suits looking  for a change from Tim Horton’s or Starbucks.  Rich, robust and flavourful blends, I always want more.  My cappuccino never lasts the long walk back to my office at lunch.  Think I’m going to start buying two at a time.  They feature doughnuts by Dough by Rachel on Thursday and Friday – a real treat and worth the walk.

Other notable independent coffee houses –

The Mercury Espresso, Leslieville  and Balzacs in the Distillery District.


One thought on “My search for the World’s Best Cup of Coffee

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s