Fahrenheit Coffee: the Latin dance party of espresso bars

24 Jun

This review has been a long time coming. When I wrote about the best coffee in the downtown core, I intentionally left out Fahrenheit Coffee (@FahrenheitTO), and not just because it’s closer to the St. Lawrence Market than King and Bay. Fahrenheit is more about good friends hanging out than wanker bankers talking about the next deal. Fahrenheit is where you want to go, not where you have to go.

fahrenheit 2

When you set foot in Fahrenheit, it’s like stepping into your living room when you’ve got friends over for a party.  The baristas know everyone – I often go there with Alice and, when either of us go alone, they ask where the other is!  The Latin music is just loud enough to create a fantastic energy without making your conversation a yelling contest. The layout is communal – the long, narrow wooden table in the middle of the space all but forces you to be social.

fahrenheit 1

Fahrenheit would be a winner solely based on the fantastic atmosphere. However, it manages to do what only the very best establishments can – marry a great ambiance with truly high-quality products. Crudely put, the espresso is fucking awesome. These guys have mastered the art of extracting subtle flavours and notes out of an incredibly intense beverage, to the point where their selection of beans “on tap” comes with tasting notes. The Diablo is a mainstay, and their Brazilian option is well-balanced, with the surprisingly specific flavour of peanut butter. However, of all their current offerings, the Sulawesi espresso is the standout. It is reminiscent of a 2009 Savigny-lès-Beaune – pleasantly acidic, with delicate fruit and earth tones but a powerful structure. If you could classify espresso like wine, this would be a premier cru.

If you go to Fahrenheit, be prepared to be just as invigorated by the ambiance as by the coffee. There’s no better place to start your day this side of Yonge Street.

4.02 out of 5 brown thumbs up.

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