Wednesday, October 21, 2009


myriade fig. a: cappuccino @ myriade

Lest one get the impression that Montreal is some kind of coffee world also-ran... Exhibit A: Café Myriade.

Without question, Myriade has been our café of the year--here, there, or anywhere. Montreal may not have its very own world-class coffee roasting operation, but at least we have people who know what to do with world-class beans when they see them.

Their formula? Top-notch beans, most of which come from Vancouver/Burnaby's ambitious and gifted 49th Parallel. Precision equipment, including a veritable arsenal of French presses, Nordic flasks, and super-high-tech Japanese siphons. Talented, meticulous, and ultra-attentive staff, all of whom appear to have been drilled in the art and science of proper coffee and tea brewing. And, get this: an in-house professional barista handbook author and an in-house competition barista who just placed second in the national championships. What's not to like? Hell, even their drip coffee is outstanding, because they make it to exacting standards and never allow it to sit any longer than 20 minutes before making a new batch.

The thing is, none of this would be worth a hoot to us if Café Myriade wasn't actually a pleasure to visit and its team wasn't so darned friendly. Which it is. And they are. In fact, sometimes, especially when the weather allows, and those big sliding glass doors are wide open, a seat at Myriade, with that perfectly prepared cappuccino (see above) sitting right in front of you, can be positively dreamy. As in: when I'm away from Montreal, as I am right now, Myriade is one of those places I dream about. A lot.

Café Myriade, 1432 Mackay, 939-1717


p.s. full disclosure: thanks to our friend LC, we got to meet the above-mentioned competition barista/co-owner, Anthony Benda, a few months ago, and when Anthony found out that Michelle was a pastry chef, well, the two of them started bouncing ideas off one another. The result of those discussions was the signature drink that won the eastern regional championships and that was showcased at the national barista championships.

Now, Anthony happened to mention that he had collaborated with Michelle on his signature drink when he was interviewed by the CBC's "Home Run" a few weeks ago, and ever since people have been stopping by to request "Michelle's coffee drink." Let us clarify: the drink was absolutely, positively Anthony's, and, unfortunately, signature drinks tend to be competition-only affairs. But, that said, Michelle is thrilled that her collaboration with Anthony was such a hit (and she hopes to get a chance to taste it herself one of these days).


Kristel Salesse said...

Splendid! I have been searching for a Café of such a caliber for a long time. Thanks!

Meaghan said...

I agree with you, Myriade is wonderful. I first heard of it on the (now seemingly defunct?) tragically unhip blog, and tried it soon after... & was not disappointed. All of the staff are nice, the coffee is incredible and it's such a cozy little place. We've started buying an organic coffee from 49th parallel there for making espresso at home, too, and it's excellent.

Geoff said...

Thanks for the tip. Been going here every day on my way in to the city. Really hits the spot. Shame it'll be off my beaten path in a few days.