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City, Food

Coffee Therapy #3: Caffe Italia

Posted by Christy / September 5, 2006

Caffe Italia may be the least obnoxious cafe in Montreal. It is a cafe for and by grandfathers. It has plain formica counters, giant TV screens, some old soccer posters--and if that's good enough for its plainspoken regulars then it damn well better be good enough for you. It wants you to grow up, get a job, raise a nice family, and stop dreaming those crazy dreams, you crazy dreamer. If you want to write free verse in Caffe Italia, you must have very, very large balls.

And, of course, it serves an excellent and grandfatherly espresso. My notes on the flavor, in this context, are ludicrous, since I'm from wine country and only know how to describe beverages in metaphor. The pencil smudges on my paper say something about "tobacco bouquet," "sexy on the tongue," "blackberry finish," and, for some reason, "indiscriminate spankings." But, honestly, this is not the point.

The point is, you will have to look very hard to find another cafe in Montreal where no one cares what you look like, will not judge you by the book you have in your hand, nor is the least bit interested in the obscurity of your dissertation. What they do at Caffe Italia is serve damn fine espresso. And thank god.

(Caffe Italia is located at 6840 St-Laurent, (514) 495-0059)
*photo courtesy: radio-canada.ca

Discussion

18 Comments

J Mac / September 11, 2006 at 04:49 pm
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I don't drink coffee, so I can't even presume to to question your evaluations, but I do wonder whether there's some kind of organized crime connection to this cafe or something that's causing the usually-vocal commenters to stay silent. Or do people just not go to Little Italy?
Christy / September 13, 2006 at 09:34 am
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Don't ask me. I'm pretty sure my apartment was firebombed last February by the cheese mafia.

Let's see what happens when I tear Caffe Artjava a new filter.
Lonnie / August 23, 2007 at 05:01 pm
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I love coffee. I discovered Caffe Italia through the eGullet.org coffee and tea forum. So hubby and I drove up to Montreal from Syracuse (yes, for a cup of coffee), thankfully also discovered the Sunday market, and discovered a piece of coffee heaven in Caffe Italia. It was everything the forum folks said it was. And it reminded me of the unpretentious little cafes in 1970's Spain where I first learned what coffee is supposed to taste like. Thankfully, I now have an excellent roaster about four blocks from my Syracuse home. His coffee is almost as good as what you can get every day at Caffe Italia. But alas, the grandfatherly ambiance is not there because there aren't enough comfortable little tables to sit at (there aren't any!). I'll make sure my roaster guy visits Montreal before he opens his planned sit-down cafe. In the meantime, we will be driving again to Caffe Italia, soon, before someone figures out that the walls simply must be painted ochre and olive.
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