Archive for July, 2006

A surprising side to Calgary

In my adventures as a barista in Calgary I have come across many things that differentiate this market from my more familiar territory in Vancouver. It’s an interesting area to look into, due to the many similarities and differences between these two major western Canadian cities.

1. The traditional cappuccino is a very popular drink.
Well, at my shop it is. Some days we sell more of these than any other espresso based beverage combined! Vancouver shops tend not to see drink statistics like that.
2. Vancouverites seem to know their espresso based drinks better.
Though they may not drink those traditional cappuccinos so often, the average Vancouverite will know the basic terminology and drink culture. In Calgary I will get customers with little or no knowledge of espresso drink culture daily. This is indicative I think of an untapped market for espresso.
3. Calgarians and Vancouverites tip the same.
Interesting isn’t it?
4. There is a shocking lack of good beans in Calgary.
Well, you can have Big Mountain, or you can have Big Mountain. (The word on the street is there may be a new way to get Vancouver beans in Calgary.)
5. Where are all the machines in Calgary?
I have yet to see a La Marzocco machine in my city. Comment or email me if you know where one is. All there seems to be are Elektras, Nuova Simonellis, Rancilios and the odd Spaziale. Oh, and the superautos. I know there’s a Synesso in Cochrane (Java Jamboree!)

There are more I’m sure. But it’s interesting to look at, especially with the similarities in income and the economy. You would think Calgary would support a more serious drink culture.


On tap

49th Parallel El Salvador La MontaƱa
Excellent coffee for everyday drinking. Well expressed acidity and classic El Salvador profile.

Bulleit Bourbon
By far the best bourbon available in BC for the price. $35 for a bottle gets you the highest rye content bourbon on the market. Lots of spice and typical bourbon corn sweetness. Excellent on its own, but also makes a mean Old Fashioned. Better than Knob Creek in my books and pretty close to Woodford Reserve.

The Phonograph

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