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.
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.
There 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.