Posts Tagged ‘free Wi-Fi’

Trees Organic Coffee (Granville Street)

Some vegan options

Cuisine: Coffee and Tea
Tofu puffs: 3 out of 5
Price range: $
Times visited: At least a dozen
Location: 450 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 1V4
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Contact: 604-684-5060; www.treescoffee.com

Trees Organic Coffee

Outside Trees Organic Coffee on Granville Street.

Trees Organic Coffee is the second coffee shop that The Vegan Spoon’s reviewed, and while we don’t intend to make it a habit of reviewing every coffee shop we’ve been to, we do think there are a few that are worthy of mention.

The Trees location on Granville near West Hastings has been around since 1996, and we’ve been going there since 1998. In our dreadful pre-vegan days, we, along with everyone else, scarfed down their cheesecake. It is, after all, what the small Vancouver-based chain is most well-known for. It also offers a small selection of fresh sandwiches, samosas, croissants, and breakfast items—none of which are vegan. There are Italian sodas available, as well as juices, but we’re not sure if the soda syrups are vegan.

While Trees doesn’t have any vegan cheesecake, it does sell a vegan scone. And a fine scone it is, too. It seems to have the flavour of both a cinnamon-sugar donut and a cinnamon roll. Packed with pumpkin seeds, raisins, and dried apricots, it’s made with whole-wheat flour, so it packs quite an iron-rich punch. It also has a perfect moistness and texture that would convince any scone aficionado that it wasn’t vegan. We’re told that the scones are made fresh every day and that it’s always the same vegan scone on offer. This lack of variety is fine, though, because its cinnamony goodness is the perfect accompaniment to a soy latte. Don’t wait too late in the day to get your scone; by noon or late afternoon, you’re likely to find yourself scone-less.

Vegan scone

The vegan scone at Trees.

Speaking of lattes, it’s not so much the coffee at Trees as the soy-milk options that got us really excited. It’s the first place we’ve ever encountered where a dispenser of soy milk stands proudly next to cow’s milk and cream dispensers at the condiment bar. (Yes, that little station in a cafe where you get the lids and the sugar is called a condiment bar.) So, if you’re feelin’ the drip coffee, you don’t even have to pay extra for the soy. Some cafes will give you the soy-milk carton if you ask, but other cafes will still charge as much for soy as they would if you’d ordered a latte. And, at Trees, ordering a soy latte will cost you only 25 cents extra, opposed to the 45 to 60 cents charged elsewhere. Of course, still having to pay for subbing soy sucks.

While we’re discussing lattes, we’d like to say that whatever blend Trees uses for its decaf lattes is quite nice. It’s no Continental Coffee, but it definitely holds its own in terms of standing out from those other generic places. You know, Timmies, Blenz, and that other chain from Seattle? Star-something? Anyway, Trees’ decaf blend tastes, to us, very much like dark chocolate without the chocolate flavour, ya know? For some people, it might not be stellar enough to go out of their way for. But at $2.93 (before taxes) for a tall latte, we recommend giving it a fair shake at least once.

Soy lattes

Tall and grande decaf soy lattes at Trees.

Should you care to sit down to enjoy your coffee and scone (or tea, as there is an excellent variety of teas available), there is plenty of seating the length of the café, and there’s even a couch—right below the “tree” near the entrance. At the moment, the Canada Line construction leftovers on Granville Street make getting to Trees’ front door quite a hassle. That said, whenever we’ve been there there’s been plenty of customers who have made the roundabout trek to get into the café, and that’s gotta mean something when it comes to Trees’ quality. This also means that, while accessibility is usually no problem for the stroller set or peeps with mobility devices, at the moment this is not so.

Trees is also open later into the day, which is nice for date-night after-dinner coffee or for meeting up with friends before heading out for a movie or a bar. There is an events schedule on the Trees website, and it appears that the Granville location hosts music nights. Their Twitter feed has also mentioned movies. Lately, though, it seems that there is neither music nor movies at Trees. We assume this is because of the ghost town construction on Granville has created. When all is clear, we’ll update this post to let y’all know.

In the meantime, get your tush over to Trees and show ’em how much you love their vegan scones. Perhaps if enough of us show up and ask for Chi Cake, vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy cheesecake at Trees.

Continental Coffee

Some vegan options

Cuisine: Coffee and Tea
Tofu puffs: 3.5 out of 5 (what are tofu puffs?)
Price range: $
Times visited: 7
Location: 1806 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, BC V5N 4A5
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact: 604-255-0712

Continental Coffee

Continental Coffee on the Drive.

Honestly, the brew at Continental Coffee on the Drive has got to be the best coffee either of us at The Vegan Spoon has ever had. It was adoration at first sip. Seriously. We don’t mess around with this kinda stuff. It does Starwhoever to shame, hand over mug. The lattes at Continental Coffee are so good we take a one-hour return trip across town just to get a cup. We’d even bet you it is some of the best coffee to be had in all of Canada. Go ahead—prove us wrong.

The prices are fantastic: less than $3.50 (including taxes) for a 12-ounce cup with soy milk (they use Vitasoy). And they even offer rice milk, which is a rare option at coffee bars in Vancouver. Unlike some places we’ve sipped at, the folks at Continental Coffee are wise enough to use unfortified original Rice Dream, which doesn’t separate/curdle as much in your coffee as other brands of rice milk. If you wanna take some bean home with you, you can buy it right there; one-half of the back of the cafe is a retail beanery.

Our enduring favourite—the decaf latte with rice milk—is like the ambrosia of coffee, and this is why: there is a smooth, rich molasses-like note to the brew that is not at all bitter. The taste will make your tongue high-five your mouth. Yup, we’re talking coffee here, not wine.

And if you’re of the dogma of tea, you’ll find plenty of options in this regard too.

For people-watching, this is one of the best places in town to do it. With near floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding almost half of the cafe, and seating inside and out, this is a place where you can park your caboose and read a book, peruse the paper, or surf the free Wi-Fi. Nobody’s gonna hurry you out the door. If you’re inclined to mosey on down the street with your coffee, there are few places in town more funky than the Drive.

This, sadly, is where the love ends. Continental Coffee has no vegan munchies, the addition of which we think could only make the cafe that much greater. And recent remodeling of the inside did away with the cozy little nook that the new prep area currently occupies. A few coats of paint have really brightened the place up, and it looks great, but we preferred it the way that it was—a little incognito. Staying open past 6 p.m. on Saturdays would be a mighty sweet bonus too.

But really, we’re playing tiny violins here. The place is beyond awesome, and there’s little need to question why this place has been a veritable landmark for almost three decades.