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Oct 28, 2008 08:39 AM

Cafe Myriade

Cafe Myriade is the latest player in the Montreal coffee scene. The cafe is owned and operated by Chowhounder, Canadian National Barista Championship finalist and former Veritas-fixture Anthony Benda and his partner Scott Rao, himself a coffee guru and author "The Professional Barista's Handbook". A few hounds have already discussed it here: but I think this place merits its own thread.

Myriade is offering a wide range of single-origin beans and blends from Canada's top roaster, 49th Parallel. In addition to espresso-based beverages from their Mirage machine (the only one in Canada!) and bevy of Anfim grinders, you can have your coffee brewed using french-press, siphon pot or Eva Solo techniques, each of which offers a unique way of coaxing different flavours out of the beans. Clearly Myriade is a place that takes their coffee very seriously.
For those less coffee-inclined, they are also serving excellent hot chocolate and offer an impressive range of high-end teas. They were also offering chocolates and a few pastries during my visit yesterday though I did not try any of them.
Basically, I can't recommend this place highly enough. The espresso I had yesterday may have been the best I have ever had-no small claim considering the recent growth of espresso options in our fair city. I think Myriade is a welcome addition to this growth. They treat coffee as a culinary art-form without any of the pretentiousness that can sometimes turn casual customers off.
I'm sorry if this review sounds a little bit too enthusiastic but I honestly cannot think of anything negative to say about the place. I look forward to visiting Myriade again and again as they definitely offer something unique within the Montreal coffee scene. I wish Anthony and his team every success and I look forward to reading about what others think of the place.

Cafe Myriade: 1432 Mackay St. (between St. Catherine and de Maisonneuve)

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  1. I am by no means and expert but I had a delightful cappucino there this morning. They made coffee art in my milk.

    I'm very excited to finally have good coffee in the Concordia ghetto and will definitely be passing up Java U, Cafe Depot, Second Cup and Starbucks in favour of Myriade.

    1. Count me as another fan. Just had a single shot after my lunch, and the taste is still lingering. Slightly acidic, mildly fruity coffee with amazing body and crema. Zero bitterness, nothing like crappy bitter overextracted espressos I had to endure in the environs. The tea list also look very interesting. Friendly people to boot.

      Good news is the place was 3/4 full already, and I hope they will never have to close. It would be impossible to go back to any of the semi-crappy coffee places in town.

      1. The teas are from Camellia Senensis ( in Montreal) and Rishi ( in Milwaukee), the chocolate from Soma ( in Toronto), which Anthony says is excellent and better than anything he's been able to find locally, and the pastries from Première Moisson (the fallback after Fous Desserts and other artisanal suppliers didn't pan out; Myriade would probably be open to suggestions for other high-quality sources). Based on Anthony's track record (he's pulled some of the best shots I've ever encountered anywhere), the involvement of Scott Rao, the obvious dedication to quality, the stupendous machine and the pre-opening drinks I tasted (not made with 49th Parallel beans, however) -- not to mention the smart location (near a university, a densely populated residential district, downtown office buildings and a public transit nexus) -- I predict success. Here's hoping it inspires others and pushes local coffee culture to the next level.

        8 Replies
        1. re: carswell

          Will they sell baked goods from Reema? Pretty please!

          1. re: emerilcantcook

            Do you mean "cocoa locale"? If so, I'll visit in the next few days and try it; delivery is pretty important, however, and she may not deliver. thanks for the suggestion.
            -Scott from Myriade

            1. re: bigabeano

              I don't know how she would deliver. She's a one-person operation doing everything.

              1. re: bigabeano

                Yep, Cocoa Locale. But I kind of agree with BLM that delivery will be tough... On a second thought, it might be better for me if you guys don't carry her baked goods. A brownie/cupcake a day will definitely be my demise.

                Thanks for opening the shop. You guys really made my workday better, and this is only after one visit.

            2. re: carswell

              Thanks for listing his sources. When I went there yesterday, I didn't see the Soma chocolates, although their hot chocolate machine using Soma chocolates was up & running.

              1. re: BLM

                Re Soma: I was referring to the hot chocolate. If they're going to carry Soma bonbons, it's news to me.

                1. re: carswell

                  We don't have the truffles but we do have two of their packaged bars, the 'Dark Fire" and the 'Hispaniola'. Not sure how well the truffles would travel or keep.

                2. re: BLM

                  It turns out I did see the Soma bars Monday morning, but I didn't realize then they were chocolate bars. I was back at Cafe Myriade yesterday. Scott clarified things for me. They also have Fairmount bagels which I didn't see Monday. Going to Cafe Myriade has been great for me, in learning to know more about tasting coffee.

              2. Looks like Myriade has a website, though it's a placeholder for now:

                1 Reply
                1. re: carswell

                  Anthony told me their Cafe Myriade website should be up & running in about 3 weeks.

                2. wow! their espresso is sensational! so far much more consistent than gamba. this place is a winner.