2021 has finally arrived! While we’re relieved to have put the final nail in the previous year, we could definitely use a little wide-eyed optimism to carry forward. What better way to make this happen than with a little kick of caffeine. We might not have shaken off all of the dust from 2020 just yet, but these roasters, cafes, tea houses, and java joints will keep us alert, nimble and ready for anything that 2021 tosses our way!
Black Tiger Coffee
Some schools of thought think that coffee is only as good as what you dunk in it. By that metric, Black Tiger is a must-visit for any self-respecting connoisseur. While their beans are sourced from the finest local roasters, it’s their donuts that bring the taste sensations full circle. Quickly becoming a cult favourite for pastry hounds, their flavours range from Maple Brownie, to Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cookie Monster, and likely their most famous concoction to date, The Homer-modelled after the famous Springfield snack. With these treats up their sleeve, plus a wide variety of vegan and gluten-free options, it’s no wonder Black Tiger has become many commuters’ first stop of the day.
West Village Cafe
For anyone looking to chronicle the first steps of your coffee journey, this is the spot to do it. The gorgeous interior of West Village Cafe is the perfect backdrop for a sipping snap. Sit with a rich Italian macchiato or a dark hot chocolate with an espresso shot and ponder the finer things in life. Or peruse their menu of fresh pastries, healthy salads, and hearty sandwiches when your workday starts to lag a bit. They even offer a selection of BC wine and craft beer if you decide to clock out early.
One of the best places in Vancouver to have a peaceful cup with a friend, or quietly get work done, Cultivate Tea offers zen with every steep. A Japanese-styled tea house, this Main Street location has a wonderful collection of international tea leaves, with expert staff to help you find your perfect pot. Their house-made kombucha and cookies only sweeten the character of this one of a kind cafe.
You need only look for the inverted heart symbol, and you’ll know good coffee is near. As a self-described hub for creatives, Nemesis and their various YVR locations exude the energy of honing your craft and broadening your know-how. From the high quality of their coffee, pastries, and lunch items, you can tell every ingredient has been meticulously workshopped. It’s this dedication to improving that makes the Nemesis brand stand out among their peers. Oh, and did we mention the damn fine coffee?
Paragon Tea Room
If you were ever in any doubt that tea could be elevated to art, you need only visit Paragon Tea Room on Cambie. Known as a Tea’spresso Bar, Paragon offers hot and cold drinks that are as delicious as they are visually appealing. Their Iced Hojicha Oat Misto’s natural colour layering gives a satisfying glow when caught in sunlight, a moment only outdone by how perfectly the toasted tea leaves compliment the creamy oat milk. With every frothy whisk, something special is created, and we haven’t even mentioned their outstanding bubble waffles that fill the room with a warm sweetness.
Granville Island Tea Co.
Walking through the Public Market at Granville Island, you can’t help but marvel at this stall and how high their selection of tea leaves reach. Almost into the rafters, Granville Island Tea Co displays their assortment of leaves like some a potion shop from Harry Potter. It’s a sight to behold, eclipsed only by the heavenly scents that waft from each tin. Savoury or sweet, there’s a tea for every taste and occasion. Their Masala Chai is famous for a reason, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better way to awaken your senses on a groggy morning.
Old Crow Coffee Co.
A perfect example of a community cafe, a visit to this New West coffee spot never ceases to make us feel like we live just around the corner. The friendly staff are warm, knowledgeable, and genuinely excited to be there. It’s a wild business model, but it seems to be working for them! Sourcing beans and leaves from local artisans like Great Wall Tea Co, Timbertrain, and Bows and Arrows, you get a real sense of all the people contributing to this project’s growth. To drive this community nourishment home, they even have a pintsized table for youngsters with selected kids’ books and toys.
Grounds and Greens Cafe
Any health-conscious resolution would be well spent with a little White Rock greenery! This plant-based cafe and snack spot has become well known for their use of whole and organic ingredients. That’s not to say that their product isn’t delish, everything is so good that you’ll wonder why you didn’t explore greener pastures sooner. If lattes are your game, then try on the Ice Queen for whipped coffee and frothy oatmilk sprinkled with cocoa nibs. Or there’s always the Billionaires Gf with matcha, ground ginger, vanilla, and peppermint. Your resolution has never tasted so good.
Faebrew Coffee Bar
There’s something about sitting at a bar facing your barista that just elevates a coffee experience. Faebrew Coffee personifies that experience to a T. The passionate Faebrew crew will personally curate your visit with everything you require and even a few things you haven’t seen before. Chances are you’ll learn a thing or two about coffee before you leave. Not only are the staff well versed in all things java, they’re excited to get you onboard as well. We suggest starting by bypassing the menu and putting yourself in their skilled hands. It’s just like they say on their website, “We don’t just drink the coffee, we IMMERSE ourselves in it.”
Rocanini Coffee Roasters
One of Richmond’s best places to grab a cup, Rocanini has been keeping their guests well stocked with quality beans for over ten years now. Staffed by a crew of aficionados, their take on things is a little more scientific than other roasters in the area. Roasting and preparation of beans are taken with the utmost seriousness, and you can taste the fine-tuned results in every sip. Not content to hoard their technical secrets though, they hold barista training, sell premium coffee equipment and ship out their beans wholesale to the masses. It’s a testament to their love for good coffee.
More than a few options to keep you on your grind and focused! Even though the holidays have passed, our Season of Giving campaign continues on by highlighting some of our favourite small businesses across the Lower Mainland. Many of them are likely headed for a few quiet months, so consider supporting them any way you can! Just follow our lead with our latest Instagram contest where we’ll be giving away gift cards to a few of these terrific spots! Here’s to helping out the little guy, and enjoying good coffee and tea while we’re at it.