Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > B.C. (inc. Vancouver) >
Jul 2, 2008 04:20 PM

ISO 49th Parallel coffee around Vancouver

Having recently been indoctrinated into the goodness that is Epic Roast, I've been trying to find places (other than the flagship store on 4th Avenue) that dispense this liquid gold. I know that Cafe Medina, the Edge Cafe and Prado have it but surely there were others as well, I thought. So I went to the 49thP website and sure enough, a list of where to buy. But lo and behold, none of the three places I know have it are listed? What gives?

I called the store on 4th and was told that they are "particular" about who they list on the website" (!). When I noted that the places listed were selling the beans rather than brewing/making cups, I got a few more names, a mix of restos and cafes as follows:

Beans (on Cambie)
Bean So Good (on Heather)
Bin 941 (brewed)
Boulevard Company (UBC)
Bump'n'Grind (on Commercial)
Cactus Club (brewed)
Figmint (brewed)
Salty Tongue (brewed)
Chow (brewed)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My favorite place to have the 49th Parallel espresso is Elysian Room at 1778 West 5th Avenue, right off Burrard. I actually think they're better than the 49th Parallel flagship store, as they have a better machine and baristas.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Malik

      Noted, thanks -- on my way to work : -)

      1. re: Malik

        The machines are actually near identical.
        Synesso was started by a Mark Burnett, who used to work for La Marzocco, in Seattle. There are things I like about both, and things I don't like about both, but they both produce excellent coffee.
        Elysian used to have a La Marzocco Linea in their shop (can be modified to be as good, but the old models are not as good as synesso/mistral) Now they are distributors for Synesso, so I don't see them switching back.

        1. re: Malik

          A great place for 49th parallel coffee, goodies, and sandwiches is The Buzz Cafe & Espresso Bar located at the entrance to the fine art gallery of Harrison Galleries, Homer Street and Smithe in Yaletown. Great coffee, a relaxed atmosphere, WIFI, browse the gallery with your java or simply crash among the artwork in one of the many seating areas around the gallery

        2. While I enjoy good coffee, I'm not a connosier at all in this area. Why is 49th Parallel so popular? Sorry, not trying to hijack the post.

          6 Replies
          1. re: gourmet wife

            Me neither, but I know what I like :-). For me it is the smoothness, lack of any hint of bitterness and the almost chocolatey aftertaste. I'm sure there are others who could explain it better but that's my take.

            1. re: grayelf

              It is an excellent roaster - perhaps the best in the country and one of the best anywhere. They source much of their beans by going down to the specialty coffee auctions.

              Have a look here at the last "Esmeralda" auctions here:

              Vince Piccollo (master roaster) was also a champion barrista and founder of the Artigiano chain..

              1. re: fmed

                To clarify:

                Mike Piccolo is the roaster.
                Sammy Piccolo (still with Artigiano) is the barista champ.
                Vince founded Artigiano, and is a better barista, but has never entered a competition.

                1. re: barrett Jones

                  Nice to see you around here barrett. Thanks for the corrections.

            2. re: gourmet wife

              I'd say 49th is popular in Vancouver (and a few other cities) because they are dedicated to top quality, great tasting coffee. They are the only roaster in BC that pursues some of the highest quality auction lot coffee (and usually is successful in their bidding). The coffee is roasted to very exacting standards and the Piccolo family is a bit of a brand name when it comes to coffee. They built the Artigiano empire which so many Vancouverites believe is the pinnacle of coffee perfection so it's no surprise that they've found support in their newest ventures.

              1. re: peter.v

                What they said :-). And FWIW, Artigiano used to be my favourite...

            3. gratyelf, does the above mean "Bean So Good" only sells beans? I've got to find me a cup of this coffee now, preferrably close to Broadway & Cambie!

              2 Replies
              1. re: ck1234

                I answered my own question. They do both. Just went for coffee. Very, very good. Thanks for the thread & bringing it to my attention!

                1. re: ck1234

                  You're welcome, thanks for the extra research and glad it was good. May I also point out that the Edge Cafe is very close to Bway and Cambie (on Yukon at 8thish) if you need an alternate source. They have really tasty food, the cafe is very nicely appointed, the owner Judy is great and of course the coffee is great with lovely cappuccinos etc as well as brewed.

              2. The Buzz Cafe & Espresso Bar, Homer and Smith-Yaletown

                1 Reply
                1. re: mainecoonsrock

                  Nice one, mcr. I noticed that a while back but forgot to update this thread!

                2. The Cafe for Contemporary Art in North Vancouver has 49th Parallel Epic. They also have Stumptown El Salvador/Kilimanjaro Blend and Black Cat Intelligentsia (all of which you can buy in 1 lb bags).

                  Nice Space and friendly staff.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fmed

                    The flakey Place Link feature is flakey again....second try

                    Cafe for Contemporary Art
                    140 Esplanade St E, North Vancouver, BC V7L, CA