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Dec 6, 2010 11:28 AM

Thor Espresso Bar - anyone been?

Curious if anyone has tried this new spot at Bathurst and Niagara. They're selling themselves on their super cool espresso machine, which is called the Slayer (coolest name for an espresso machine, I'll give it that). Cool Scandinavian design, pastries from Circles and Squares (paninis to follow) and some pretty good advance reviews. They also create a different playlist every day which they post on their site. It's a bit of a trek for me but I've been known to travel pretty far for a great americano. Anyone been?

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  1. Their logo is pretty sweet. I may take a trip out on the weekend because of it...

    1. was there a few days ago, can tell the staff really cares. translates well to yummy drinks :]

      1. Depending on who's counting 8 or 9 new cafes opened in the city last week including this place. Is it possible the market is about to become over-saturated?

        7 Replies
        1. re: bytepusher

          People don't typically travel too far for coffee, I can't imagine the market is over-saturated. There is no cafe in St Lawrence Market area still!

          1. re: kwjd

            No but if you were to slip and fall on the sidewalk anywhere random on Queen W some part of you is going to land inside a cafe, if you splay out a little, you may be in two.

            1. re: kwjd

              Yes there is: Hank's on Church.

              1. re: detritus

                Coffee took a hit after Sam James left, but I was still going. Then it completely changed into more of a restaurant, which made me stop going for just coffee.

                1. re: kwjd

                  One might argue that just because you stopped going, it doesn't mean that Hank's isn't a cafe.

                  There's also Bisogno, a few blocks in the other direction.

              2. re: kwjd

                There's Bisogno, Hanks, Cafe 260 and B Espresso all within walking distance of the SLM, as well as a few espresso places in the south market building of varying quality.

                1. re: kwjd

                  Sure there is - Bisogno on Sherbourne between King & Adelaide.

              3. I went last week and was impressed.

                The Slayer machine is beautiful, with a lot of solid, tooled metal and beautiful wood.

                For the straight espresso drinkers out there, the shot was complex and layered. Bright acidity at the beginning, some red wine like notes and then cocoa and buttered toast on the finish.

                Most espresso in the city tends to be a little one note, but this was quite the ride.

                I also had a cappucino and it was executed with panache. Velvety textured foam, creamy milk with a nicely integrated coffee/chocolate flavour. No sugar required, the milk wasn't overheated and was quite sweet.

                This was based on one visit, so we'll see how consistant they are in the future, but I can say I would rate them highly on the CGFS (Coffee Geek Fervour Scale).

                2 Replies
                1. re: Pantz

                  Ha - the CGFS - I am all over that!

                  Thanks for the feedback. This place sounds worth of a detour.

                  1. re: peppermint pate

                    Yes it is worthy of a detour. The machine is a sight to see, as is the wall mural and the coffee is very good. Be warned though as there is limited seating.

                2. Well, I've now been twice and enjoyed both visits. Excellent cappuccinos with luxurious creamy microfoam and a deep rich flavour. I know there is much to be said about not overheating the milk but I prefer a slightly hotter drink. My friend had the americano - crema looked good and he liked it but I didn't try it.

                  The tiny space (with seating for maybe 10?) is cool - modern Scandinavian design with horizontal wooden panels, a striking painted mural, Eames-esque moulded plastic chairs with cozy furry throws, etc. A stack of books from the "Hip Hotels" series and other coffee table design books. And of course, the star attraction, the Lever espresso machine, is sleek and gorgeous. The place feels different from the other indie cafes in town, more mod European and I liked it.

                  Food offerings are a bit scant though - there's a decent but not outstanding breakfast sandwich and a bunch of pastries. The mini pain au chocolat looked quite good, as did the muffins. I took a bite of a butter tart, though, and it was WAY too sweet - literally couldn't eat more than one bite.

                  All in all, a good new addition to the ever burgeoning indie coffee scene.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: peppermint pate

                    Good coffee, terrible hours!! Our 'hood needs a fulltime coffee shop because this sux!

                    They should have opened on Bay Street with these limited hours!

                    1. re: justsayn

                      Ha, yeah, I know what you are saying. Managed to get an espresso once but been in that area so many times and I would have been drinking it more if it was just open!

                      1. re: justsayn

                        I like the setup and the machine is impressive but the results not so much. I tried it a while ago maybe I need to revisit as I was not impressed. Cappuccino was acceptable but the espresso shot was terrible. Maybe it was an off day but the shot was undrinkable.

                        1. re: elvisahmed

                          I just came back after having a cappuccino there. Things haven't improved. The cappuccino is way to milky and I feel like I am drinking a latte. They did have a special brunch for TIFF that looked good for 18$ but heck I was full as otherwise I would have surely tried it.