REVIEW: Collective Coffee

2 Mar

Collective Coffee
220 20th street West
http://collectivecoffee.weebly.com/index.html

Hours
Weekdays – 8am – 5pm
Saturday 10am – 5pm
Sunday – Closed currently

Friends who live in Riversdale told me that a new coffee shop would be opening in the new Two Twenty building on 20th Street. Not aware that this shop would be an artisan coffee spot, I was not excited, nor was I expecting anything other than the status quo. On Saturday, I found their Facebook page and ‘liked’ them. Their status was promoting a free shot of single origin espresso. I got the feeling that this place might be different than the norm. Since I can’t pass up free high quality coffee, I dragged my Fiancee down with me.

Coffee Collective is a beautiful little spot. The emphasis is on little! Seating is very limited, but don’t let that deter you from trying it out. There is ample room by a very large garage style glass door. I can’t wait until summer when that door will be open spilling the aroma of coffee yum all over 20th! Rich browns dominate the space at Collective Coffee. The bottom third of the walls are covered with an interesting lacquered wood. Looking closer it’s revealed that the wood is plywood.

We both ordered the sample espresso and a cappuccino. I’ll start with the free espresso. First, the smell was really nice! It smelled toasty, rich, and almost chocolaty. Second, it tasted very acidic. The bitterness was surprisingly low, and the texture and mouth feel was good. The tanginess was just too off-putting for me. Generally, excessive acidity is a sign of poor quality beans. I’m sure that low quality isn’t the case here since they use a very reputable product and a tremendous amount of care and experience goes into pulling each shot. I would guess that it was caused by something not quite perfected with the extraction process. I’m very certain that these kinks will be worked out.

This cappuccino was yummy. Made from medium roasted beans, It had a pronounced acidity from the espresso (discussed earlier). In the drink, the milk softened the acidity. The crema was densely rich and the milk foam was airy and creamy. One other issue I would have was the temperature of the drink. It was a little cool. Well, lukewarm is a good descriptor. I know that proper steamed milk isn’t overly hot, but this was a little too cool.


“Our vision is to join the ongoing effort to bring the city of Saskatoon to the next level of Coffee awareness…”

After trying Museo earlier that week, and experiencing Collective Coffee, I am very excited that Saskatoon is becoming more interested in and passionate about coffee! For many years I have longed for a spot where ‘real’ coffee is the focus. Sure, Saskatoon has the Broadway Roastery, Starbucks, and other small coffee shops, but they are all alike. Their espresso is over-roasted and their drinks are pumped out with out any care or cognition. Collective Coffee, Museo, and Cafe Sola seem passionately determined on informing us Prairie folk on the idiosyncrasies of Coffea Arabica. I will definitely be back!

Check them out @
Collective Coffee on Urbanspoon

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7 Responses to “REVIEW: Collective Coffee”

  1. Casey March 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    This is in no way a criticism. And sorry if this comes out as snobbery. You would have had two different espresso’s likely. The single origin that was up for grabs was from Fernwood, and based on them I would guess the flavour notes were what they were going for. I also had it and I agree it was a bit acidic for my taste as well. The espresso being used for milk drinks (which he was pulling on a seperate group head) is the Black Cat espresso from intelligentsia. As for milk temperature good milk should be about 145 degrees. I know this is a new machine for him, I don’t think he’s worked on a Synesso before this, it’ll have a learning curve for him. It’s a very different machine than at his other shop. As a note to add to, the pressed coffee being offered was locally roasted from Museo as well, an awesome thing for Saskatoons scene. They’ve got it right though, It’s good in the hood.

    • Flavour Country March 3, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      No snobbery taken. I talked to him when he was making drinks and he said that he was still working through kinks in the extraction. I can’t wait to try their drinks again. May be even this weekend!

      • Casey March 12, 2011 at 8:37 am #

        I’ve been able to make it in 3 times now only, each about a week apart. Unfortunate living in P.A sometimes. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement with each visit. This last visit was to see Josh, the roast master of Level Ground coffee. They’re getting a handle on the machine, we’re even starting to see some latte art appear.

      • Flavour Country March 12, 2011 at 9:42 am #

        I’ve been by a couple more times as well and it does continue to improve. I’m kicking myself for missing the Level Grounds event. I love their coffee and would have loved to tell him that. When I was in last Jackson was training a new barista how to make cup art. It seems like it’s all coming together.

  2. Haha February 9, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Who paid you to write that

    • Flavour Country February 9, 2013 at 11:10 am #

      Just curious why you would think that? I have never been asked to review a certain restarant or been paid any money or food for for a review. It is a very good establishment and deserved that review.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Toastyrich Coffee Beans - May 11, 2011

    […] REVIEW: Collective Coffee « Flavour Country It smelled toasty, rich and almost chocolaty. Second, it tasted very acidic. The bitterness was surprisingly low, and the texture and mouth feel was good. The tanginess was just too off-putting for me. Generally, excessive acidity is a sign of poor quality beans I’m sure that low quality isn’t the case here since they use a very reputable product and a tremendous amount of care and experience goes into pulling each shot. I would guess that it was caused by something not . […]

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