The complete review of Calgary Coffee by Coffee Bear

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October 20, 2014 by Beans Ahoy

A report brought to you by coffee bear.

Having visited 3 of the better coffee shops in Calgary the time has come to decide who has the best coffee. I must start by saying that all of the coffee was well above the local giants found on every corner. Calgary seems to have pushed ahead with good coffee shops certainly leaving Vancouver in its trail.

Now to the coffee:

Phil and Sabastian in the Chinook Centre
Flat White 8/10
Cappuccino 7/10
Espresso 6/10
Americano 5/10
TOTAL 26/40

Analog at 17th Ave., S.W.
Flat White 8/10
Cappuccino 8/10
Espresso 9/10
Americano 5/10
TOTAL 30/40

Cafe Rosso at 140, 8th Ave., S.E.
Flat White 7/10
Cappuccino 8/10
Espresso 7/10
Americano 5/10
TOTAL 27/40

A few notes on scores. In order to make sure Analog was deserving of top spot I went back and had another round of coffee. The Flat White was very good second time around however even taking the first attempt into account Analogs flat white came in with a 6 placing it ahead over all. On the whole the Americano style coffee was poor, too much water not enough coffee. Just a big mug of hot weak nameless coffee. I still wonder why people would drink this when they could drink some outstanding espressos, flat whites or cappuccinos. Americano’s seem to be the focus of more is better, but to me it ruins the otherwise good coffee. However, a friend drank her’s with half the water normally put in a cup and it was slightly improved but I still see little purpose to an Americano. I can only hope the likes of Analog, Cafe Rosso and Phil and Sebastian can teach the people of Calgary what great coffee tastes like. All three certainly have the skills and knowledge to do a great job and I enjoyed my visit to each one. Of note was the single shot of Nicaraguan espresso at Analog, quite outstanding and a worthy winner of my Calgary Coffee experience. Take a bow Analog and new barista Riley, good job.

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3 thoughts on “The complete review of Calgary Coffee by Coffee Bear

  1. Bryden says:

    Very good assessment by a knowledgeable taster for sure. Thank you for the effort. I will be changing to Analog without delay.

  2. Sally Dutton says:

    Ahem…. this is the friend in Calgary.
    I feel compelled to come to the defence and “purpose” of a well made, non watery Americano. Chief Bean forgets that by diluting a beautiful espresso with milk ( YUK! ) one can still be left with a mug of hot, weak nameless coffee. The only situation where this would unlikely be the case is with a properly executed dry cappuccino or macchiato.
    Also, I don’t see any mention in your blog of a visit to the well loved Calgary coffee shop called Cafe Beano, the finest producer, in my opinion, of the Americano in this city. Perhaps some day in the future Chief and Mrs. Bean will again grace this mecca of caffeine to bring a fully comprehensive comparison of coffee establishments.
    Just saying………

  3. Coffee bear says:

    Ms Dutton,

    Very presumptuous to think you are “the friend” OH OK you are a very lovely friend. Now to your idea of good coffee. An Americano is by definition a watery mug of weak brown stuff. The water swamps any of the delicate taste of good coffee and one still has to ask why is more better? More is not better it is just more of a poor excuse for a great coffee, bastardised by to much water. Espresso is supposed to be short or a little longer, a double but to kill off the flavours in the per suite of MORE should not be allowed. As for Beano, the socialising is great, the coffee is bad and has little caffeine left as it has been burnt off in the process of over roasting the beans. The destruction of acidity and flavours does nothing to enhance the coffee drinking experience. While I see the attraction of Beano as a social gathering place it is not IMHO (OK not so humble) a place to get good coffee, Cafe Rosso and Phil and Sebastian have good coffee while Analog has excellent coffee. As a way of compromise how about you try a French Press coffee with the correct amount of coffee to water ratio now that is acceptable but shot of espresso filled up with water is not how coffee should be enjoyed.

    A HUGE thank you for driving us around Calgary trying out coffee. It was a treat no to mention a massive surprise to find such outstanding coffee in Calgary.

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