Sarahicardenas
Artist. Performer. Designer
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The coffee haunt

The ever lasting journey into finding the coziest, most bohemian and trendiest coffee shops.

What's the big deal with Pumpkin Spice Latte? / Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe

The first question I have to ask is: do people really like Pumpkin Spice Latte? What is it that makes this beverage such a success? It has less to do with the pumpkin than the nutmeg, ginger and other secret holiday spice blends that they throw in there.

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Forget Me Not. When a coffee meets gift shop in Toronto.

As recommended by the owner, their specialty lattes are a must. A Nutella latte is their best-seller, I cannot wait to come back and try it! And on this National Coffee day I can’t be anything but thankful to have found this Toronto gem.

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A begginers guide into coffee roastears. Toronto's Hale Coffee.

Hi y'all! Welcome back to this little read on coffee matters. Ever since I've started my coffee research various coffee roasters have come to my attention. Most of the shops I've visited use blends from Canadian roasters. Among these, a couple names are more common than others. I spent this week exploring one of them: Hale coffee Roasters.

 

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Toronto's coffee co-op. The Ind_pendent

This coffee shop appeared at 96 Spadina, where ‘Sense Appeal’ used to stand. It was created out of a need for a friendly coffee co-op in the community. As one of the owners described to me; they seek to create a barista-customer relationship similar to one you might have with your local bartender. It seems to me that they are going in the right direction with this one! I always enjoy a place where the staff are approachable and chatty.

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Black Rock Coffee. Where rock climbing and coffee meet.

Remember those big windows for people-watching that I talk about all the time? Well, this coffee shop has its own unique version of this. Instead of facing the sidewalk, these windows face the establishment next door. And instead of watching people walk by in the rain (though there are also windows on the other side where you can do just that) these particular windows face a rock climbing gym.

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Dineen Coffee. The dreamy coffee escape from adulting.

Dineen coffee is an elegant and beautifully designed space to grab a coffee and a sandwich. Located right smack-dab in the middle of one of Toronto's busiest streets, it is no surprise that it is home to a constant flood of tourists and locals alike. From the colourful hand painted tile floor to the mesmerizing round chandelier, every design element ties perfectly together. The shiny marble countertops and tables give this coffee shop a sophisticated New York feel.

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My first coffee cupping. Roasters: The sometimes exotic Phil and Sebastian, interesting Counter Culture Coffee, delicious Transcend Coffee and strong April Coffee

The day has finally come! Today will be the day I put my taste buds through a challenge. I’m exited, yet nervous. I have no idea what to expect. I did get a bit of a preview the last time I visited Arvo Coffee. One of the baristas challenged me to decipher the different notes in the pour-over coffee he made for me. I didn’t do too good then. Hence my feeling a bit self-conscious as I arrived at Arvo's.

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A well made Cappuccino in North America should always transport you to Europe

After having the inevitable little chat with the owner about my tutu, we talked about my on-going projects and future plans and I finally decided to have a drink. They have a very classic menu so I decided to go for my all-time favourite, a cappuccino. Little did I know, this was no ordinary cappuccino. As soon as I took the first sip, I was transported to the streets of Barcelona.

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The process, secrets and art of making pour over coffee

My absolute favourite place to visit while in the neighborhood is the Distillery District, a complex of 47 Victorian Industrial buildings that have been converted into an entertainment, arts and business haven. Every two steps you will find a nice restaurant, a local business, endless art galleries or a coffee shop.

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“Anything is possible with enough coffee”

Cafe Misto, as described by my barista, is a drink somewhere between an Americano and a Latte, in other words, kind of like a small latte. Again, there is some discrepancy surrounding whether or not this is an espresso based drink, but at Krave it is. With their house espressos coming from Rufino Roasters, it is guaranteed that you will find an amazing range of flavour in any their cups.

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Cortado por favor!

Luckily enough, I had the owner there explaining how this was a purely espresso based drink, with a good amount of warm milk to mask the bitterness of the double shot. With origins in Spain and/or Portugal, (I’m starting to see a pattern here on how nobody seems to agree where the different coffee drinks were first made).

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The flat white

A couch, nicely displayed pastries and of course, a huge window were you could sit all day to watch people pass and snow fall. Some industrial style lights mixed with a chandelier and a few art pieces made by local artists gave this place a cozy home/gallery feeling that is always appreciated. From the very first second I felt comfortable enough to make myself at home, with the background tunes of Celeste by Ezra Vines this place was just the little perfect and warm oasis I was craving for.

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The bitter smell of morning coffee

The lack of coffee in my life went on for the following 10 years ( can you believe this!!!!!!!). Even when I would go back to visit grandma, mom would never let me have coffee, she would always say only adults were allowed to drink it. And so thats how I forgot the taste, the smell and how much I enjoyed having a little pastry with it in the afternoons. 

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