220 20th street West
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!