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Cafe review - Stick in the Mud · 7.07.07 by colin newell

There is still a pleasant buzz when great specialty coffee comes to a city the size of Victoria B.C. (200,000).

So, you can imagine the palpable excitement when better than average coffee came to Sooke B.C. Canada.

Some 25 miles down a windy West Coast highway, Sooke is a town with about 9700 souls. From personal observation, there is not a lot of great coffee to rave about. That changed today as the Stick in the Mud cafe opened for their first full day.

Photo at right: David Evans enjoys the first-day energy at “the Stick in the Mud” Cafe – click photo for larger view

Stick in the Mud is the pipe-dream of one very youthful David Evans. At 39 years of age, David has been drinking coffee for about 4 years. And although he did not just wake up one morning deciding to bring fantastic specialty coffee to this small town, he did have some help from some talented foodie friends.

None other than Markus of Sooke’s own Markus Wharfside Grill took David to Discovery Coffee 6 months ago. For David it was a defining moment.

Within 4 months, the Stick quite literally rose from the mud on the quiet Eustace Avenue, one block away from Sooke’s downtown junction of West Coast road and Otter Point Road. And however out-of-the-way this caffeinated alcove might be, the Stick offers its guests the options of a colorful interior or 3 or 4 outdoor patio tables to enjoy their brew.

And wonderful brew it is! Powered by beans from Discovery, Hines of Vancouver and (soon) Coffee Warbler of Vancouver, David holds court behind his La Marzocco espresso machine. He managed to keep up a lively patter with a near endless series of patrons and at the same time pulling flawless beverages.
We had iced de-caf lattes and soy macchiato – and they were spot on.

The Stick in the Mud cafe joins an impressive (and growing) pack of fine specialty coffee outlets (all independents of course) on Southern Vancouver Island – our initial impression is that it has quickly moved up the ranks to destination cafe on day-one… based on my first taste impressions that is. Few can claim that; Discovery, the Habit, and Coyote Coffee to name a few.

The Stick is in good company.

Colin Newell lives in Victoria B.C. Canada and spends a lot of time in coffee shops – some of them great coffee shops!

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