Inspired by Taylor’s Coffee Hater’s Guide to Seattle I wanted to write one about Victoria’s great coffee scene. It was once my dream to make my way to the barista championships one day so I worked at a few coffee shops to learn some skillz. Didn’t quite make it to the championships but I did gain a wealth of coffee knowledge as well as an appreciation for great coffee. Here are my favorite coffee shops in Victoria as well as my favorite drinks at each place.
Disclaimer: If for a second you think to yourself ‘but Starbucks has great quality coffee why would I go anywhere else?’ please do not read further and we can no longer be friends.
Not only does Café Fantastico serve up a great good quality cup of coffee but they have a delightful drink on their menu that is essentially crack. It’s called a Zarah Buzz. This drink will put some fuel in your tank so you can make it through the day while floating on a cloud. It’s made up of I think three shots of espresso, Irish Cream flavoured syrup, soda water, and table cream (half and half). It’s served cold of course. The crema from the espresso froths when mixed with the soda water, the soda adds a fizz element to the drink and the cream and syrup add sweetness and richness. I know the idea of fizzy coffee sounds strange but I promise you you’ll be hooked.
Habit coffee shop really takes their coffee seriously, and so they should, it’s nothing that should be taken lightly. I love their mocha’s. It’s lightly chocolaty with a strong yet balanced coffee taste. I was so sad to find out all they use is chocolate milk to make their mocha’s but it works so well! So I guess just this once I’ll turn a blind eye to it and savour the taste of their great coffee.
Fernwood Coffee Company
My friend has said on many occasion that Fernwood makes the best Americano in Victoria, but I want to also tell you about their cold brew coffee. A cold brew coffee is brewed by a steeping method by which course grounds are steeped in cold or room temperature water for an extended period of time. The end result is a very aromatic cold espresso that is acidic on the palate but has a perfectly round and mellow finish. It’s a very smooth coffee that is sweeter and less acidic overall. They sell it by the jar too so it’s great to keep in your fridge for a coffee on the go. Mix an ounce with some cream or even try with tonic water for something a little different. Okay so here’s the warning and I had to find this out the hard way. I first had cold brew coffee at Blue Bottle in San Francisco where they serve you a tall glass of the stuff over ice. So you’re sitting there you sip it all down then you decide to maybe walk around after when BAMMM caffeine overload hits you and you feel like you’ve just shot crack in your veins (not that I would know). You start to float, then maybe break out into a cold sweat, then you just start to feel generally uncomfortable. So you have been warned have an ounce or maybe two at the most of this stuff because the caffeine in here is a whole different animal.
Dolce Vita Coffee Art
I used to work at Dolce Vita and they taught me everything I know about coffee. By far one of their most popular espresso drinks was a Spanish Latte. If you’ve ever had Vietnamese coffee it’s the same idea, a combination of condensed milk and espresso. These two ingredients could not be more perfect for each other! Absolutely delicious.