Flat white vs. Flat white

On Ossington Avenue, there are a lot of options for a lot of the same thing, be it a coffee, a burger, or a beer. But we all have our habits. And even with the same option available elsewhere, I often find myself going to the same places most of the time. So, I take this challenge of lining-up two of the same option as an opportunity to try something the same, but experiencing something new, in my own neighbourhood.

two coffee cups
Flat whites to go: Crafted (Pilot Coffee Roasters) and Sam James Coffee Bar

I was introduced to a “flat white” by a former Crafted barista, over a year ago. Equal parts espresso to diary (mine, always lactose free), is more flavourful than a latte, but richer (if you like adding dairy or non-dairy milk) than a cup of drip.

As I only started drinking coffee on the regular about three years ago (thanks, Crafted), I’ve weaned myself off adding sugar to lattes or flat whites, and prefer the bitterness than often comes through.

Much like a wine tasting, each type of bean has its own flavour profile (chocolate, nuts, etc.), but I don’t tend to think too much about this…do you? What counts in my books: does it taste like coffee? (And to think, I once only drank tea.)

Crafted (Pilot Coffee Roasters)
Address: 135 Ossington
Price: $3.50
Taste? Espresso certainly stands out. Not too bitter though.
Scale rating (1 = poor, 5 = perfect): 4.5
Seating? Yes tables and chairs and a bench outside.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes
Atmosphere: Tables occupied by Macbook users. Line-ups and strollers, frequent.
How early can you grab a coffee before catching the 63 bus? 7:30 AM
How late? 6 PM

Sam James Coffee Bar
1000 Queen Street West (entrance around the corner on Ossington)
Price: $3.25
Taste? Sweeter. More creamy. (I’ve had a stronger cup before from their original Habord Street location.)
Scale rating (1 = poor, 5 = perfect): 3.5
Seating: Yes…though you won’t sit for long. A set of steps inside, where visitors can pause, and the shop and a bench outside.
Free Wi-Fi? Err, I forgot to check, but plan to visit again and try another cup. A distinct lack of laptops in this space since there’s no tables to sit at for long periods. I’ll post an update in the comments.
Atmosphere: High ceilings, stark white and black, standing room and Stussy (1000 Queen Street W) staff in blues and blacks.
How early can you grab a coffee before catching the 63 bus?: 7 AM
How late? 6 PM

Where do you like to pick-up a coffee on Ossington Avenue or elsewhere?