By Akanksha Dhingra
A sunny day, a small cafe, and a variety to pick from. Nothing sounds better than a day out on the streets of Toronto and a chance to taste coffee flavours from around the world, without having to travel.
Boxcar Social’s Summerhill location is a two-storey cafe with glass windows, natural light and unique infrastructure. White walls, artistic decor and red bricks can be the background of your next Instagram picture.
Be it the coffee beans from Africa and South America farms or the coffee roasters of Oregon and Scandinavia, it is all accessible to Torontonians now thanks to the new and interesting initiatives put together by the Boxcar Social team. They say you can see the world through coffee, and now customers can come see for themselves.
Prior to now, tasting coffees from Burgundy, France and Tanzania was nearly an impossibility for me. Along with the welcoming staff, the calm, comforting atmosphere one experiences when entering the cafe is something you would not want to miss.
The story behind the bean
“We are a multi-roaster coffee house and our aim is to not stick on specific coffee flavours,” said Niall Curran, a professional coffee taster and host of the tasting.
The multi-roaster cafe is a concept in which the shop purchases and sells beans from various roasters instead of making their own product.
The cafe works with different roasteries that are located in different parts of the world. Not only do they serve coffee, wines and scotch, but they also focus on narrating the hidden stories behind the coffee beans.
“My job is to taste different coffees and approve them for the cafe,” explained Curran.
Boxcar Social does not rely on one bean but instead has an evolving coffee profile. Every week, new coffee samples come in that could potentially be served in the cafe’s ever-changing menu.
“We are really interested in why it tastes the way it tastes, and we get that flexibility by being a multi-roaster,” said Curran.
According to Curran, the cafe’s main goal is to bring together interesting flavours that taste good.
“It is a really fun way to operate this coffee shop, we bring the best wines and coffees of the places one cannot always travel,” he said.
You can tell how much focus the cafe puts on coffee, wine and craft beers as the Boxcar team hosts a free coffee cupping event every Saturday, which is often crowded.
The coffee cupping event is a thirty-minute process of grinding, smelling and mixing the beans. It gives customers the chance to grind coffee beans themselves, taste every coffee and decide their favourite.
Curran is a great host and storyteller who explained the story behind the bean and the country it belongs too. It would make you wonder about the coffees you drank before without knowing how the beans got to your cup.
Curran expertly guides customers throughout the coffee-grinding process and you can expect to go back home with some newly learnt coffee tasting methods. If you are a caffeine lover, this is your next go-to spot.