Looking at the other side of the style spectrum, I patronized two of the modern designed coffee joints in Toronto. Previously, I looked at Balzac and Dineen, which featured old timey classic architecture, marble counters and brass fixtures.
Reflective of the strong Asian culture found in Toronto (or Canasian as my co-worker says), Odin and Quantum borrow from minimalist designed you’d find in Japan. In turn, they were inspired by the rich wood interiors of Scandinavian coffee houses.
Located northeast of the revamped and trendy Distillery District on King Street in the Corktown hood, Odin‘s ceiling will remind you of the Metropol Parasol in Sevilla. The white countertops you’ll also find in the Blue Bottle coffee chain. When you see the clean lines, the modern art, natural light and fancy espresso machine that costs more than my car, you know you’re going to get a fine cup flat white.
The cafe also services sandwiches and local beer because sometimes you can’t decide between coffee and beer to drink. There’s also a connected outdoor space for the warmer months.
They put some serious thought into this space. I didn’t know if I should drink my coffee or study the design plans. Architecture Daily has a lengthy look at the thinking behind the concept.
Similar in color tone, Quantum roasts their own single origin beans. This is a more traditionally coffee shop with baked goods and light bites. For their pour overs, they use a state-of-the art Pour Steady machine. I’ve seen one before and it’s basically a robot pouring water. Yet, another barista looses his or her job.
Located on the corner of Spadina and King Street but on the west end in Downtown, Quantum is connected to a high-end backpacker hostel. Not to get off topic, but if you’re staying in a high-end backpacker hostel, just stay in a damn hotel or AirBnb.
Anyway, since the cafe is popular for college students and a nearby tech co-working space, the backroom seating area is filled with dudes and gals on their laptop working on the next big tech start-up that will ultimately fail.
For this coffee bottle, I’m going with Quantum for the coffee and more centralized location, but Odin for the design.