Cafe culture Winter 2009 marathon post number four · 7.02.09 by colin newell
On any given day or week I might discover 1 good cafe. If it is great I might come back again – actually, even it is a little bit sexy, I will come around for another shake.
At left – Stovetop Chambourd Coffee maker from BodumUSA.Com
Today was unusual. I stopped by The Parsonage/Fernwood Coffee Roasters and Khona Coffee in the same day. Each of these is going to get a blog entry all to their own – but for the time being, I will combine them in this mini-review.
The Parsonage eatery on North Park (off of Cook Street) in Victoria has had a devoted following for over a decade (if memory serves me correctly) – for its rustic approach to food and drink.
And when business partners, Ben Cram and Rob Kettner had the opportunity to snap up the Parsonage and leave behind their old jobs… they jumped at it.
Ben is a red seal chef with a colorful and successful career anchoring local haunts like Pescatores and the Bear Mountain Resort.
Rob is a professional journalist and videographer whose skill behind the lens has taken him to Afghanistan and beyond.
(Rob and Ben) – Two very different guys with a lifetime of friendship, they appear to compliment each other. These boys grew up in Winnipeg where espresso coffee was not exactly ubiquitous – but common in this City’s Little Italy.
The backbone of the Fernwood Coffee operation is a 23kg Deidrich Roaster which rests in a space formerly occupied by a bicycle courier business. The energy here is palpable but still in development as these “brothers in coffee“ learn the ropes.
Andrew Khoo has owned (and created) Khona Coffee for 2 years. He combines a zeal for cafe culture with a mastery of fundamental business principles – to push his creation to the leading edge of the caffeinated wedge. I first visited Khona Cafe today after an over-stimulated day of cafe visiting and talk story with Mark Engels of Bubby Roses Bakery. And walking through the door (of Khona) was much like walking on stage at a rock concert… while it’s in progress. Now that’s energy!
Not satisfied to just make coffee, Andrew makes education and inspiration a primary goal – to deliver knowledge to his customers, to make it fun and to make darn sure they are getting the best product possible. Oughtred Coffee of Victoria-Vancouver provide the raw materials (single origins) and Andrew (and his uber-skilled baristi) deliver the goods in a refreshingly new way; coffee brewed in French press or Aeropress! Oh yes, and the espresso coffee can be a single origin too if you want.
I tried an espresso, an almond macchiato and an Aeropressed Sumatra: The espresso’s were single origin and the Sumatra was amazing – again, a full review is in order and will be delivered shortly.
Needless to say, I am still buzzing.