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Oct 1, 2007 07:51 AM

Good New Coffee

I just wanted to bring to everyone attention that Manic Coffee (college and bathurst) recently opened shop (they've been running for a good 3 weeks now) and hands down, has to be one of the best coffee bars in the city (if not the best). And there's some stiff competition with Mercury, Bulldog, Cherry Bomb, etc.

They have consistently poured be the best cap's and latte's everytime I've been in there and Intelli beans speak for themselves.

This very well could be on par with Vancouver's Artigiano's and Elyssian Room (i think Manic's owner used to work at the Elyssian room and one of the partners used to be at Artigiano's). Toronto coffee geeks should put this on their list as a "must hit".

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  1. I've been to Manic twice now in the past week, I am addicted. It's a bit of a trek just for a coffee, but entirely worth it. Both times I got a latte, am keen to try espresso but they seem to be having teething probs with the machine/grinder/new staff so I'll wait another week or so for that... Delicious! Full-bodied, chocolatey flavour, 3.25 % milk steamed to perfection (not too hot, too many places here make it way too hot and homo milk is not usually used). On my first visit I had a small brownie, sufficiently gooey.
    My only problem was the new staff who are obviously being trained in the art of coffee-making, they are young and a little too eager, and the wait time was about 7 minutes on my second visit due to decaf beans being out on the regular grinder. Hopefully those issues will be sorted out soon...
    Definitely my new favourite coffee place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kiwiFRUIT

      I've been in a few times now and have had no issue with the service being impacted by training. Have had espresso and cappuccino made both by Matt (the owner) and another very capable barista (didn't catch his name, tall, thin and mustachioed). All were amongst the best I've had anywhere in Toronto (particularly the straight espresso). My only disappointment was that the last time I was in I had my heart set on a cup brewed from the Clover, but it was being serviced.

      I haven't tried the food yet, but it's apparently being sourced from Wanda's Pie in the Sky.

      I also picked up a half-pound of Intelligentsia beans for home (a Salvadoran coffee). They were well priced for such high quality beans ($9, I think, maybe $8) and very fresh (roasted Monday of the week I bought them).


    2. I've been dying to try Manic! What are the prices like?

      7 Replies
      1. re: nicopop

        I also had a great cappuccino made my Matt...great coffee-art as well!!! The muffins looked delicious but I resisted temptation.

        1. re: nicopop

          A double espresso is $2.50, a macchiato is $2.75. I'm not sure about the cappuccinos and lattes, since I don't much drink them except they're definitely not more than $3. A small cup from the Clover is $2.50, but you can also get it large.

          Cookies, scones, etc. from Wanda's Pie In the Sky run from $1.25-$2.50.

          1. re: lsk

            More than reasonable for what sounds like amazing beverages. Thanks!

            1. re: nicopop

              No problem, but a few corrections: a latte is $3.25 and a cup from the Clover is $2. Prices for to-go Americanos and lattes vary.

              1. re: lsk

                Just found out the vegan friendly pumpkin cookies are not from Wandas! They are from another supplier. They are absolutely amazing. Definitely not what i was expecting from a vegan cookie (read hard, dry, bland brick). I've never had a cookie that was as interesting as this..and i'm not even vegan!

                  1. re: goodcookiedrift

                    I tried that vegan pumpkin cookie on your recommendation, goodcookiedrift, and I have to resoundingly agree that it is astonishingly delicious! I had a "I can't believe this is vegan!" moment when I bit into it because it was so good -- chewy with sufficient tenderness, flavourful, moist, and well-spiced. I heroically held back about two-three bites to give them to my friends and they too were amazed they were vegan.

                    I want to buy a dozen of them and give them to my newly vegan friend who's still adjusting to giving up traditional baked goods.

          2. Can't wait to try this place - where exactly at College and Bathurst? How early do they open on week-ends? Do they serve any cooked food or just pastries?

            4 Replies
            1. re: peppermint pate

              Went today. Service was great. They seem very happy to see new faces in the shop. They said the have been open for only a week and a half. They have just pastries to eat, but everything looked yummy. I can't remember when they open on the weekends, but I think it was either 7am or 9am. I know they open at 7 on week days. It's just a shame that the place is out of my way otherwise I'd frequent it more often.

              1. re: kmoore

                Thanks for the info kmoore. Where exactly is this place at Bathurst and College?

                1. re: peppermint pate

                  It's almost across from Sneaky Dee's. 426 College Street.

              2. re: peppermint pate

                ..the pasteries, I only saw squares when I was there at 2pm, are from Pie In The Sky, I believe they are also available at Whole Foods...

              3. Just went, this place was great, thanks for the tip off gcd...the staff was friendly and knowlegable, I ordered my usual, double espresso long, he explained that when they pull long it gets a bit bitter, so, they use more coffee per shot to make it strong...I gotta say, it was delicious, no bitterness and a variety of complimentary flavours...smoky, toasty, plus one heck of a buzz! (but no shakes)...the Intelligensia beans they use are quite special, as I was told, Intelli has set up its own type of fair trade with farms, basically employing them to grow organically for them and paying them approprately, and simillair to wine growing they monitor the fields closely and will produce limited releases if there is something special to be found in a crop, like a wine vintage...sounds good to me!...they are also bike positive, picking up on the vibe I love at Jet Fuel in Cabbagetown...

       new spot...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Recyclor

                  While we were there they were still taking all sorts of measurements... not sure what they have planned. You are correct recyclor, those are pie in the sky treats.

                  1. re: kmoore

                    Went this morning around 7:30. Really nice guys running the place. When I arrived, two of them were huddled around the espresso machine chatting about the thing -- I love coffee geeks. Very good espresso. Quite a thick crema, but surprisingly dark. I will be back, for sure.

                2. Rumor has it that Manic is serving the Esmeralda Especial. FYI, this is the bean that goes for $130 per lb and $16 for 2 cups. The idea of an $8 cup of coffee is quite ridiculous...almost to the point where the sheer absurdity of it has tempted and rationalized me to try it.

                  Not sure if this is true or not, but I will try to confirm this with Matt. Or if anyone else has insight, please do share.

                  ps: from friends who've had is definitely the best cup of coffee you will ever have.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: goodcookiedrift

                    According to the National Post (who had an article about Manic a couple of days ago), the Esmerelda will be available October 19). The Post says it'll be $15/cup:

                    It's not clear if this will be coffee from the auction lot, or non-auction coffee - I understand Intelligentsia had both.


                    1. re: detritus

                      It's $15/cup for an Esmerelda. which is a great deal because I heard Mercury was trying to sell it for $25/cup! ridiculous!

                      Manic is really well priced for what you're getting. Great coffee, great value!

                      1. re: detritus

                        you misunderstand, Mercury was selling it for $25 a press...that's about 24 oz. there's no markup at all