As well as food and beer, coffee has quickly become another obsession for me. Fuelled by a trip to Melbourne a few years ago (the Flat White habit is hard to kick) I’ve sought out coffee in London and become fairly skilled with my Rancilio machine and Baratza grinder. Whilst good coffee is a great treat, it is definitely an art and once you’ve had a few good ones the bad and downright awful excuses for coffee that are sold by most other places become pretty unbearable. In which case I wholeheartedly admit I am a coffee snob.
So finding myself in Montreal for a morning, a city noted in the guidebooks for its coffee, I set off on a random mission to find some. And I most certainly was not disappointed. Starting off at a small chain place I was served a perfectly acceptable macchiato, but then on the way I stumbled past Café Différance and could smell the beans from outside.
I wish I’d come here first, but hey-ho. I dropped in for another macchiato since I couldn’t resist. Attempting to order in French was amusing, particularly as the server then turned to her colleague and spoke English. But I could see from expert jiggling of the grinds in the portafilter and the twist of the tamper this was going to be good. Quite a dark roast compared to the slightly more modern beans in the UK, but deliciously rich and balanced, with a perfect bit of foam and even some great foam art. This gave me the kick I needed for the bus to Ottawa.