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Food

Coffee Therapy #4: Caffe Artjava

Posted by Christy / September 13, 2006

Caffe%20Artjava.jpgLet's start with a story. Imagine two people, Betty and Charles, healthy kids who meet in college and get married after graduation, culminating several years of hygienic sex. Their wedding is done in taupe and mauve, and soon after they have a daughter, who they name Karen. They raise Karen, send her to a nice school, take her to soccer practice and send her to summer camps. And then, one bright day, Betty and Charles troop Karen down to the family basement, and eat her.

I tell this story because I recently came back from an afternoon of coffee at Caffe Artjava and, while I was there... it came to mind.

I'll explain.

First, let's concentrate on the coffee. My espresso arrived ten minutes after I ordered it, tepid, and loaded with indifference. On a first taste, black, it lacked both the complex aroma and clean finish of Caffe Italia's espresso. It was, at least, warm, and had a slight flavor of oranges, but upon dumping in half a thimble of 2%, the espresso chilled to the temperature and texture of mellowed spit.

One of the first things you notice when you walk into Artjava is that their space is designed for the maximum capacity of "see and be seen." Tiers of tables backed with sexy red and black face high windows to the street, with tasteful coffee-related "art" on the exposed-brick. It's a marketing wet dream. Your mere presence there states, "Calm success." It is not a place designed to appeal to the badly-dressed.

That would be excusable if there was love and care behind it. There isn't, though, at least not on the day I was there. The food is attractive, but overpriced. My napkin was soaked through from being wrapped around still-wet silverware. My saucer was stained. The bathroom was dirty. The cashier never met my eyes.

These things might seem small, but taken against the backdrop of what Caffe Artjava pretends to offer, it's cynical. I tried hard to like their coffee and I know that, hell, it's only a coffeeshop, but when you stack it against places with incredible quality, (like Vieille Europe), or community, (like Caffe Italia, which has both), it starts to look like one of those insidious hairline cracks in the window of society. You sit inside and just wait for it to all come crashing down.

Caffe Artjava is located at 837 Mount Royal Est.

Discussion

15 Comments

mike / September 13, 2006 at 07:23 pm
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christy, you are too gosh darn funny. demonizing "hygienic sex" made me snort laugh.
Christy / September 14, 2006 at 09:25 am
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Midnight Poutine: proud sponsors of the unshowered, drunken withdrawal-method for the last, oh, 16 hours or so...
rrrobyn / September 14, 2006 at 11:30 am
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if we had a rotating slogan banner, which we should have, that one should be in high rotation, omg haha
Christy / September 14, 2006 at 11:38 am
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My other favorite was, Midnight Poutine: Our cats LIKE to watch.
Ariadna / September 18, 2006 at 11:42 pm
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This post is hilarious.
Marcus / September 24, 2006 at 12:43 pm
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Cripes Christy, you hit ArtJava on a bad day. In a year, I've have less than perfect coffee there maybe twice and the service was slow once for a soufflé that fell. I wouldn't recommend ordering that or the waffles but pretty much everything else on their breakfast and lunch menus are spot on. I've tried them all.

You also missed out on the Art in ArtJava by not letting the barista add the milk for you (which is always warmed so as not to create a "mellowed spit" temperature. Jeez, you really sounded like you were ready to kill some kittens -- surely when you go back to see <a href="http://weingolb.blogspot.com/2006/09/five-things-to-eat-in-montreal-canada.html";>this </a> you'll change your tune!
Christy / September 24, 2006 at 03:04 pm
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Maybe I was a mean old grinch that day, but since nobody even OFFERED milk for my espresso, I can't say my mood is much lifted. If it makes you feel any better, later that day a homeless dude yelled at me and I knew that, in my own small way, I'd made the world a meaner place.

BAD ME.
Marcus / September 24, 2006 at 09:06 pm
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Christy,

Don't beat yourself up for being honest. It happens. I'm just saying that it's impossible it'll happen twice. There's actually a new location of ArtJava opening off the Plateau near McGill Metro, President Kennedy at University... Sounds like it could be a fresh start for you.

But I do need to let you know that when you order an espresso, it is pretty much expected that you'll DRINK IT BLACK. Doesn't mean you can't ask for a creamer but you really can't expect them to come offering milk. It's kinda like ordering filet mignon and then a waiter asking you if you'd like ketchup with it. Okay, maybe not that bad. But milk + espresso = macchiato, so maybe that's what you should be ordering when you go back.

Anyway, check out dairy art that comes with the <a href="http://weingolb.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_weingolb_archive.html#ARTJAVA";>ArtJava macchiato</a> and lattés. And why not pick one up for the vagrant while you're at it. It'll be smiles all around -- I promise!
Christy / September 24, 2006 at 09:25 pm
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Hey, thanks for the clarification. As I've mentioned, I don't know beans about fancy coffees. I just know what's warm and delicious. And me, I had TWO espressos that day, one with cream and one without, just to be sure. Neither were all that warm, OR delicious.

Those pretty pictures are damn beguiling, you know. Don't make me go back and conjure more angry homeless men into existence with my futile rage.
golu dolls / March 26, 2019 at 05:54 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 26, 2019 at 05:54 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 26, 2019 at 05:54 am
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nice post
Herbal Powder / March 26, 2019 at 05:54 am
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nice post

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