de Mello Palheta Coffee – Toronto
Located in uptown Toronto, just north of Yonge and Eglinton, this little coffee shop and roaster has been making quite the stir in the neighbourhood. With it’s modern decor and shelves littered with interesting brewing equipment, walking into this shop feels more like a research lab than a cafe. They’ve only been open for a few months and already have a slew of followers in the area. To be perfectly honest, anytime I’m in North Toronto, I’m definitely stopping for a latte.
Brother owners, Felix and Won Cha, have years of coffee knowledge under their belt, specifically from one of the world’s largest cafe meccas, Melbourne (did you know that this Australian city has over 2000 cafes!? – stats come from: http://www.futuremelbourne.com.au). They brew and roast coffees that will please any bean snob and even open their eyes to new flavours or techniques.
The decor is very industrial and modern. Roughly painted walls, refurbished furniture, Edison bulbs and a handful of black umbrellas hanging from the the ceiling in the main room. It actually looks like any of the venues located on the Ossington strip (didn’t want to label anything as “hipster” but you can draw your own conclusions). The flow of the shop is a little strange making it hard for a lot of customers to cram into the narrow space. Their beautiful espresso machine is the focal point of this cafe but it forces the barista to face away from the clientele and therefore making the whole experience a little impersonal. Lucky that their tasty coffee makes up for this!
Also, if you’re feeling peckish, the cafe features some pretty neat looking pastries. They are all made in house by the resident pastry chef (who is often in the front describing the goodies). To be honest, the food is not really the highlight at the locale but its worth it as a companion to your coffee. I can recommend the cheddar scone, it was one of the few items we tried that day and probably the tastiest. It was very buttery, flaky and cheesy throughout (big deal since most places only put it on the top).