The Green Beanery: The Annex

by Amanda Cosco on January 11, 2011

The Green Beanery at Bathurst and Bloor: A Cultural Hub

Situated at the edge of Toronto’s historical Annex, Green Beanery caffinates the minds of some of Toronto’s most innovative thinkers.

Sunday morning at Green Beanery feels more like a cultural hub than a coffee shop. The cafe is located on the southeast corner of Bathurst and Bloor—an intersection now famous thanks to the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which showcases actors strolling by Honest Ed’s and the Pizza Pizza kitty-corner to The Bean.

The Green Beanery brews different beans daily, and most of their coffee is thick and full-bodied. If you’re looking for a tasty, off-beat treat, the menu at Green Beanery can’t be topped: try the caramel sea-salt brownie to satisfy your craving for both sweet and savory ($2.75) or a chocolate and pistachio-dipped shortbread triangle ($2.75).

The cafe also features an assortment of french presses, brewers, grinders, and espresso machines for purchase. Fifty dollars can get you a quality stainless-steel Bialetti stovetop espresso kettle, or, if you’re looking to invest, the Green Beanery also offers high-end machines that range anywhere from $700-$2000.

The Green Beanery offers Toronto’s best selection of coffee beans for take-home brewing, which range in price and quality. A medium Sumatra roast costs $10 a pound, whereas a bag of the rare and cultivated Jamaican Blue Mountain bean weighs in at $60 a pound. All beans arrive at the cafe green (hence, the cafe’s name) because they’re unnroasted; beans can be roasted and ground for filter machines and french presses or taken home whole to grind fresh daily.

Though the cafe’s features are fabulous, the service is hit-and-miss. Some baristas are kurt, whereas others will happily share their knowledge on brewing procedures and ethical coffee drinking. On busy days, customers clear tables to make space for themselves. Despite these shortcomings, the ambiance at The Green Beanery is one of the city’s best: open windows, great lighting, exposed brick, and  a futuristic wrap-around bar.

Warning: don’t come here if you absolutely need internet: though I’ve connected at Green Beanery before, the cafe doesn’t provide service, so connections are wavering and happen-chance.

The Green Beanery is a great spot for a creative business meeting (provided you don’t need internet), a first date (the ambiance is conducive for chatting, but it’s never awkwardly quiet), or a late-night reading session (the cafe stays open until 10 p.m. every night, with the exception of Sunday, when it closes at 9:00).

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