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Sam James Coffee Bar OPEN

Ender Aug 29, 2009 05:40 AM

Just got back from the Sam James Coffee Bar at Harbord and Manning and its not only open but delicious.

I had a machiatto that was perfectly poured and a croissant that's being supplied by J.P. Chalet, also excellent.

So if you've been waiting for Sam to pour you a coffee once again, run don't walk this weekend to his new spot!

  1. j
    jwhitereview Oct 22, 2009 03:24 PM

    I think Sam truly makes an exceptional coffee, just didn't love the beans. A great experience to watch the siphon though. Wish he had more seats as well - I want to sit down and at least have 10 mins to enjoy my coffee.

    1. m
      mikefly Sep 29, 2009 03:38 PM

      Swung by yesterday, had a siphon coffee, and would have also had a latte, but they have no tables - due to some sort of law that requires tabled places to have bathrooms.. anyhoo.

      I think the siphon coffee is not for your average joe, nor for your average foodie.. it was nice, and I didn't require milk or sugar.. but really, it was a teeny, tiny cup of coffee for $5. I'd rather have more, pay less, and add milk/sugar.

      The service however, was freaking unbelievable - I've never seen such attention payed to making and serving a coffee. Thank you.

      Not sure if I'll return though, as sitting down is pretty important to me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mikefly
        Pincus Sep 30, 2009 08:48 AM

        You can't sit down? Wow. That's the major attraction for me at a coffee spot, to linger.

        Still, I will swing by sometime and get a beverage to-go, especially after reading all these rave reviews. Not the $5 cup, though...

        1. re: Pincus
          Notorious P.I.G. Sep 30, 2009 08:55 AM

          Actually there are three or four seats by the window and two outside.

          Mikefly, a lot of the Coffee at Sam's is for the coffee connoisseur so maybe not your thing. For the amount of work and expertise being put into that Siphon not to mention the quality of the coffee I would gladly pay $5 any day.

      2. h
        helenhelen Sep 27, 2009 02:57 PM

        i live steps away and since i am not a regular coffee drinker (though i love the taste.. it's more because i don't want to become an addict, and wanna avoid the bad stuff that comes with drinking on the regular), took me awhile before i finally got to try the place. just grabbed a cappuccino and it is DAMN GOOD! will have to sample the espresso and americano next time..

        3 Replies
        1. re: helenhelen
          tree25 Sep 28, 2009 05:20 PM

          I think his americano is the best in the city. it takes me more than 30 minutes to walk to there, but i still go once a week to get my fix.

          1. re: tree25
            alvino Sep 29, 2009 10:13 AM

            I keep scratching my head over reviews like the above. I agree that the machiatto at Sam James is perfectly poured. Unfortunately, it does not taste very good. The espresso at Sam James is like the espresso at the vast majority of attractive, funky cafes in Toronto - overly bitter.

            1. re: alvino
              jwhitereview Oct 22, 2009 06:06 PM

              I agree Alvino!

        2. g
          goodcookiedrift Aug 29, 2009 04:56 PM

          I've consistently had the best cappuccinos poured by Sam. It truly is the city's best bar none. And I've scoured shops from Crema all the way to Mercury. I'm ecstatic that it's near my work.

          1. TeRReT Aug 29, 2009 03:49 PM

            unfortunately he is very much out of my way now, when he was at dark horse it was a 5 minute walk from my work, but it won't stop me from going at least once a week!

            1. Notorious P.I.G. Aug 29, 2009 01:42 PM

              I had a stellar Americano there this morning. So glad it's in the neighbourhood.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Notorious P.I.G.
                EarlyDrive Aug 29, 2009 02:13 PM

                Love it! Had a perfect shot of espresso this morning. It will be my regular stop now. (And what a cute place, too).

              2. TeRReT Aug 29, 2009 10:24 AM

                Thanks for the update. I went by last week but alas it was not open yet. Can not wait to go check it out, have enjoyed what he did at hanks and dark horse.

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