Imagine walking into a café that’s a little rough around the edges, but polished in all the right places.
[105 King Street N6A 1C1 (London, Ontario, Canada)]
Located in downtown London, Ontario across from the coveted entertainment conglomerate, Budweiser Gardens (formally the Labatt Center) and the venerable Covent Garden Market, Fire Roasted is a marveled addition to London’s Starbucks infested core. Local lovers of the bean unite! Started by coffee, beer, wine, and chocolate enthusiast Dave Cook in 2005, the Fire Roasted Empire has since expanded to two café locations (105 King St. & 138 Wortley Rd.), a mobile café, and an offsite roastery (900 King St. 2nd floor of Western Fair Farmer’s Market), giving London’s coffee scene a touch of sophistication it desperately needs.
Quality of Service:
My sister and I were served by the hiptastic, Stephan. (Trust me! This adjective is suitable.) If his sweet demeanor and on fleek style doesn’t put a smile on your face, his extensive insight certainly will. Although newly employed at Fire Roasted, he wasn’t a stranger to the world of coffee. He and his co-worker enthusiastically described the origins, mixed genealogy, and expected flavors of their featured beans while they served us samples of each.
Quality of Product:
Their cappuccino (3.75 dollars) and double shot espresso (2.75 dollars) was brewed with their delicate, multi-origin Expression Espresso. Before you start cringing over the price, 90% of FRC products are Fairtrade certified. Yea for being socially responsible consumers! AND they are locally roasted and packaged. Yea for supporting local artisans.
Other beans “on tap”: Grand Bend Biker Blend & Brazil Santos. The former will give you the caffeine kick-in-the-butt you need (thanks to those added Robusta beans) while the latter is a much smoother, single-origin blend.
Quality of Atmosphere:
Typical café décor: wooden counter, chalkboard menu, exposed brick walls, and wrought iron furnished terrace. Frequented by professional, on-the-go clientele [white collar, telecommuters, and students] with a splattering of chill people watchers, day dreamers, and conversationalists. FRC has the makings of a free WiFi wielding coffice; I just wish they had plush couches for that added touch of comfort.
If you’re downtown London, and need a hiptastic ((๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و) place to study, meet friends, or get some work done while getting your daily dose of the glorified bean brewed by experienced artisans, FRC is calling. I mean the only other option is Starbucks… so… Your choice!
Helpful Coffee Tips:
Did you know that sweet, savory, and salty tastes are preferred during prenatal development while contrarily, bitter and sour are rejected? For those who don’t like the taste of coffee, don’t worry. It’s not your fault. Blame biology. Want to introduce a new food or drink into your preprogrammed catalogue of tastes? Frequency and quality play an imperative role in developing a preference for it.
Frequency: Coffee, like wine, beer, and dark chocolate, is an acquired taste, and so, you’re not going to like it overnight. It can take months or years to trick your mind into liking it. My magic number has always been 10 attempts, which has worked for sushi, beer, green tea, goat cheese, salad dressing, tofu, and Brussel sprouts. I’m still working on olives, but I might take my bitter resentment of those failed pickles to the grave. Damn you, olives. Damn you all to HECK.
Quality: Until quite recently, I hated coffee with a passion. Even after numerous shots of le petit noir, I couldn’t understand why people willingly drank burnt, bitter tasting water? Weirdos. It turns out, I was just drinking terrible, poor quality coffee my whole life. Thanks Nescafé instant. It wasn’t until I went to Belgium in autumn of 2015 that my previously accosted taste buds were introduced to a choice brew. And the rest is caffeine-saturated history.
So if you want to join the coffee cult, keep drinking. But only the good stuff.
Now go out and impress people with your random coffee knowledge.
“What makes our coffee different? Passion and intent. There is a belief in some quarters that foods know the emotions and intent of the person preparing it. If you truly pay attention to your product on a personal level, be there, the resulting product will taste better. We believe this to be true.”