Last Thursday afternoon, as the icy cold air ripped through Toronto and the sun no-where to be seen in the sky, I scurried down Bloor Street West, if an effort to get all my errands completed. With my scarf wrapped around my face and a woolly bobble hat perched high upon my head, I looked like an over-dressed tea-cozy…but who cares about how we look, when Jack Frost is nipping on your skin.
After scratching the last item off my grueling list, I rushed along Bloor with the hope of arriving home in time before visitors arrived later that day. But something caught my eye. There; braving the cold in short sleeves and an apron, stood a girl holding a tray of coffee samples, offering them to the public as they walked by.
I initially pushed away my caffeine craving; telling myself to plow on, but as I stepped further away from the female barista, I told myself… go on, reward yourself with a treat. As I approached the girl, she kindly offered me a sample of the hot beverages upon the tray. With one sip of the SALTED CARAMEL LATTE, I was sold. I had to buy a larger cup.
Following the friendly employee into the Central Coffee, located at 986 Bloor St West, Toronto, I was positively surprised by how much of a hidden gem this cafe actually is. From the outside of the store, you would believe it to be quite small inside, but as Rebekah guided me inside…the open, relaxing and beautifully decorated cafe opened up before my eyes.
With comfy couches and tables dotted around the warmly lit customer area, single tables and chairs for the lone coffee-enthusiast and relaxing music playing through the sound-waves, the entire ambiance was everything a coffee shop should be.
Looking around, I could see friends chatting, office workers scribbling notes and girls on Facebook using the complimentary Wi-Fi, making me understand why this cafe is the perfect place to relax and unwind. Because when you are sitting there, it feels like you’re not in the city at all. With little noise coming from outside, Central Coffee is not only a place to escape to, but a place where you can have a genuine conversation with people over snacks, and not have to strain your voice over the passing traffic.
So what about my coffee experience? Needless to say, I went for the Salted Caramel Latte as without a doubt is the nicest I have ever tasted. I’ve been to several well-known coffee chains around the world, from England to Scotland, from the USA to Canada and right back to my home country of Ireland, and no Latte has tasted as nice as this one.
Plus, in Central Coffee, I quickly found out that the coffee is not the only reason it is popular. The reception that you receive from the staff as you enter, is second to none. Everyone wants to feel welcomed, and my server did just this. Learning that she too was on a working holiday visa like myself, allowed for a strike-up of conversation, which was was both comfortable and informative.
She spoke of her home country and even took an interest in mine, which was nice to see; as many coffee shops environments sometimes allow for limited communication between staff and customer.
As I paid my server, I thanked her and waved goodbye, taking in one last glimpse of the cafe as I left. I stared hungrily at the delicious selection of sweet and savory treats on sale, but promised myself…next time Sean…next time. As I bundled up my winter wear one final time; taking a gulp of my steaming hot caramel latte, I knew this was not my last time in Central Coffee. Since coming over here in April 2016, I have looked high and low for a cafe to call my favorite. And I think I have finally found it.
If you too are a coffee lover like myself, or are just looking for the perfect place to have a bite to eat and relax, then this is the spot to visit.
CENTRAL COFFEE is located at 986 Bloor Street West, Toronto and more information on opening times can be found by clicking HERE.