Confessions of a Pour Over Addict

That’s it. I’m converted. No longer am I chained to that drop of dairy or some milk alternative like almond or coconut milk. I have graduated. I feel grown up like I just ordered an aged single malt whiskey neat. I can now drink my coffee black. I have discovered the pour over. The catch is I only like it at one place…Quantum Coffee.

Perhaps I should say rediscovered. I have tried the manual pour over method before. It involves a barista freshly grinding coffee beans, using a cone brewer with filter, and then custom brewing a single cup by pouring hot water over the beans and letting it slowly drip into the cup beneath it drawing out the coffee’s best qualities.

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Full of floral notes, my Rwanda pour over is ready

The source of my addiction, however, is the Poursteady – the automated pour over machine used at Quantum and the first one to be purchased in Canada. Created by NASA Engineers in Brooklyn it is precision motor-controlled and beautifully designed with a sleek metal finish. The Poursteady can make up to 5 custom pour overs simultaneously. Watching it in full force is like witnessing an original choreographed dance being perfectly executed time and time again.

And it is perfection. Each time I drink a pour over from the 3 beans on offer it is smoothness, distinct flavour and reliability in a cup. I’ve never been disappointed. There is a small chance for manual error when the barista uses a pre-programmed app to use the correct setting. At Quantum, each of the 3 bean profiles has a different programmed setting that uses a different volume of water and spout movement. The friendly and knowledgeable barista Emmy tells me the water temperature is the same. I attentively watch the machine in action. I take a sip from each flavour profile and taste the nuances like one does with a flight in a wine tasting session. I am hooked.

Much like the Modbar elevated my daily coffee experience (see the post A Modular Experience), so has the Poursteady though the pour over sets me back more than an Americano costing between $3.5 – $5. My favourite, the Rwanda, is $4.52 including tax and uses a counter clockwise pouring pattern. My Nespresso at home feels abandoned.

IMG_3933There is nothing I dislike about Quantum so far from the buttery and flaky savoury scones and the other beverages I’ve tried, to the lighting evoking energy contained in a quantum field and the event space in the back with extra seating. But I’m going for the Poursteady, even if I have to wait a bit longer.

Our neighbourhood’s newest cafe is in the beautifully restored and renovated heritage building at 460 King St W at the north-west corner of Spadina. Whether you try the pour over or not, Quantum is worth a visit. The former blue painted brick backpacker’s hostel now has a stylish black and white Tudor-inspired exterior and serves the community rather than the tourists.

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