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May 11, 2008 08:51 PM

Kawa (Calgary): is it open yet?

Does anyone know if Kawa is open yet or if not, when it does?

I'm looking forward to checking out our newest caffeine provider!

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  1. Soft open was supposed to be today and if I have time I will check it out, but we've been hearing this for months now so I'm not optimistic- original opening, if CHers will recall, was last October!

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Manzo

      the paper was down when i drove by this morning but still looked they were doing stuff...

    2. Well, I was in Cochrane on Saturday and spoke to some of the staff at Java Jamboree. According to them, Kawa will be opening this week - no exact day specified, but definitely this week.

      I can't wait!!! Personally, it's a toss-up between JJ and P&S for me, and Caffe Artigiano trailing closely. With P&S available only on the weekends and JJ all the way out in Cochrane, Kawa will probably be my go-to cafe, provided, of course, that they live up to the JJ standards.

      7 Replies
      1. re: can_i_try_some

        Okay, I stopped in today and 3 nice young staffers were wiping stuff down, ladders were present and no furniture, but they did make me a PERFECT macchiato. The issue slowing things down right now are inspections- Les was expecting "health" today but there is still electrical and plumbing; these might come tomorrow but might be a few days away, he's at the mercy of the city right now. Even so, one can see the space taking shape and god willing it'll be not more than a week!

          1. re: sarah galvin

            That would be an ESPRESSO macchiato, Sarah. One almost never sees latte macchiatos on menus on this side of the pond, which makes since since aside from the differences in assembling, a "latte" is basically the same drink.

            Espresso macchiato: espresso topped with a tiny bit of foamed milk- traditionally it's foam spooned onto espresso, but I like the "seattle style" macchiato, which is poured, not spooned, and it looks like a tiny, tiny cappuccino.

            Latte macchiato: Cup filled with steamed milk to which shots of espresso are added. This is often done in a tall glass so that the layers (which form naturally btw, this is not latte art since nature and gravity do the work) of milk, espresso and foam look pretty.

            I don't know what a caf(f)e macchiato is- is that a misto? Brewed coffee with steamed milk?

              1. re: lynnrb

                1333 8 St SW, in the office building across the street from the Best Western. 8 St and 14 Ave.

              2. re: John Manzo

                caffe macchiato is what you are calling espresso macchiato. it is the traditional italian terminology, surprised they aren't using it here.

                1. re: sarah galvin

                  I can presume that it's because "caffe" and "espresso" in Italy are synonymous.

        1. OhhhhhKAY: ONE more inspection (fire)- they've had building, health, electrical, and plumbing. After fire comes "final" but from what I understand this is a formality and they can open with the nod from the fire person (fire marshal?). Furniture is waiting to be moved in but the beverage case is stocked and dammit but this has been a long wait, much longer than was the case for Artigiano once official announcements came out (and THAT seemed like forever).

          Ottilia have me some fresh rosemary today since they had too much delivered- that on top of the free espresso.

          1. Just wanted to bump this thread. Kawa is very much open now and is beautiful. After goin 0/4, I've finally caught them the 5th, 6th, and 7th times. And it just got better every visit.

            If you get the chance, please do yourself a favour and drop by. The owners are lovely people and the baristas are very competent with coffee (three of them were competitors at the Barista Regionals, with two making the finals, and Brendan going through to the Canadian competition). They're open til 9pm most days, with Sunday closing at 6pm.

            Wine should also be available soon, when the permits are finalized. Darn that red tape!

            3 Replies
            1. re: can_i_try_some

              The patio is set up too! Sheltered along the 8 St side.

              I had to hang out here a little longer than I expected because of the cloudburst yesterday, and I sat in a comfy chair in the back (by the faux fireplace)- it was just so... cool, but not cold. The music is super, all buddha-bar chill and jazz too, and you just want to STAY there. Fortunately or unfortunately it's getting busy (though Ottilia reports sparseness from 6-7am... this is when they are lined up 30 deep at Artigiano so it must be the outside-the-core thing), but they're running a business after all :)

              1. re: John Manzo

                That's good to hear that they're getting busier. On my last visit, Michael had to do some purging of the grinder and the Synesso before he could produce a decent shot; it was so slow that day that he had to dial everything in again.

                The seats at by the faux fireplace are my favourites as well! I love how the interior is so spacious, yet because of the way they've laid it out, most tables still have a sense of almost "coziness" (not quite the right word, since cozy isn't one of the words I'd use to describe the interior decor).

                I do hope that they start bringing in pastries from Ladybug (or *fingers crossed* Manuel Latruwe) like they do at Java Jamboree.

                1. re: can_i_try_some

                  Purging of the Anfim grinders and a bit of dialing in of the machine should probably be done if the grinder has been sitting untouched for more than a few minutes. One of the biggest downfalls of the Anfim (my favorite grinder) is that the chute holds almost a whole triple shot's worth of coffee. If that stays in the chute for more than a few minutes, it's worthless as a straight shot or for smaller drinks... Cleaning it out is critical to constantly good espresso.

                  Case in point: I pulled shots at P&S today for a couple of hours and I cleared out the chute in our dedicated small drink grinder several times and we were by no means slow.

                  Back on topic, it sure is good to see Kawa getting busier. I've already got one of my friends hooked on espresso there since he walks by it every morning. Les, Otillia and their fantastic barista staff (Ashley, Brendon and Michael, among others I'm sure) have put together a great spot for Calgary. I can't wait for the wine to start pouring there.

            2. First trip to Kawa this afternoon. Latte was delicious: less acidic-tasting than Artigiano, espresso was bitter but not biting, milk steamed quite sweet but not as sweet as P&S. I rank it behind P&S and ahead of Artigiano. Beautiful art as well.

              However, the pastry I had was... concerning. This "mixed fruit" "strudel" was reminiscent of the plastic-packaged pastries found at the university convenience store. I will confess I ate the whole thing as I do occasionally indulge in said packaged pastries--I just don't expect to encounter them in a beautiful coffeehouse. The mixed fruit was akin to low-grade canned pie filling. The pastry itself was hard and chewy with a poor glaze. Granted, I was there late in the afternoon, but I am sure the pastry did not start out wonderfully in the morning. I hope they get decent baked goods in there soon!

              1 Reply
              1. re: aktivistin

                They do bake nice little muffins in-house, and they're supposed to be getting pastries from Ladybug, so fear not- anything poor now is a stopgap. I would suggest in the meantime you consider the chocolate ganache "cupcakes" in the front cooler case- they're great!