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A Brief Guide to Coffee in Downtown (Part 2 of 2)

This is a continuation of a Brief Guide to Coffee in Downtown, Part One.

Next up was Sleepless Goat. I don’t always love the atmosphere here. It has its charms but sometimes I find it too busy, too loud, and too messy. The tables are pretty rickety and the surfaces aren’t always the cleanest. That being said, it is not without its charms. You can stay here indefinitely. There is free Internet. They have board games. There is lot of stuff happening in this coffee shop. They also serve vegetarian food (which I am not a huge fan of secondary to it being quite greasy) and desserts.
coffee, espresso, cappuccino, The Sleepless Goat, downtown Kingston, OntarioHere is the cappuccino. The steamed milk isn’t quite as even as Coffee and Company but the espresso was really quite nice. It was very strong, fragrant, but maybe a little one-noted.
coffee, espresso, cappuccino, The Sleepless Goat, downtown Kingston, OntarioHere is the latte. Again, the steamed milk is a bit nicer at Coffee and Company but the espresso was pretty tasty. If you like strong coffee and really want a buzz, their shots will hit the spot.
coffee, espresso, cappuccino, The Sleepless Goat, downtown Kingston, OntarioWhile I am not a big fan of their vegetarian food, I do really enjoy their desserts. The dessert counter is huge with many many cakes being served at any given time. This is a triple mouse dacquois (dessert cake made with nutty meringue and mousse). The chocolate “enjoy” was cute.
coffee, espresso, cappuccino, The Sleepless Goat, downtown Kingston, OntarioThis really was a delicious dessert. It was rich without being too sweet or heavy. As such, you didn’t feel disgusting after eating it. Overall, I really like the desserts at the Sleepless Goat. Their espresso shots were pulled nicely but they could steam their milk a little nicer. While I have mixed feeling about the atmosphere, the desserts will bring me back again and again.

Last but not least was Coffeeco (in Kingston Centre). It isn’t technically downtown but I included it anyway. There is a location on Johnson St. and I hear that they are opening a location on Ontario St. They are all about organic, free trade, Bull Frog power etc etc etc. That is all nice but for me the bottom line is a good cup of coffee. The atmosphere is a bit sterile and it is often quite empty so if you are going for coffee to feel less lonely… this may not be the best place for you. They offer free Internet.
coffee, espresso, cappuccino, Coffeeco, downtown Kingston, OntarioBoy, do they deliver. This is the cappuccino. You can see how even the foam bubbles are. It was delicious. The espresso was complex, strong, fragrant, and invigorating. I really enjoyed this espresso shot the most.
coffee, espresso, cappuccino, Coffeeco, downtown Kingston, OntarioAnd this is the latte. Our barista didn’t go for latte art but you can see how perfect this steamed milk is. The bubbles are velvety, smooth, and have an even texture. It almost looks like clouds. Again, the espresso is wonderfully strong and fragrant. I am so glad that there is a Coffeeco in Kingston and that they are expanding!

Overall, I think the pictures illustrate for themselves the variation in quality of steamed milk from these four vendors. You will have to go to these shops to see if you like the flavour of their espresso. I am again continually impressed with Coffeeco but today I was surprised to find out how much I liked Coffee and Company and the espresso at Sleepless Goat.

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16 thoughts on “A Brief Guide to Coffee in Downtown (Part 2 of 2)

  • December 14, 2010 at 12:41 pm
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    Good article. I truly second your thoughts on Coffeeco. I would accept a "decent" cup from a fair trade super-green business, but this place knocks it out of the park by selling what is, in my opinion, the best cup of coffee in town, if not the world.

  • December 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm
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    Coffeeco also has a really great selection of teas on their menu. And right now they apparently have a festive Egg Nog Chai Latte among their offerings. I'm almost afraid to try it.

  • December 15, 2010 at 11:02 am
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    I liked the goat a lot better before they got free wifi. Now students (and others, to be fair) go in, order a tea, and take up a table for 3 hours. I'd prefer the junkies they used to have, junkies at least have places to be and move along once they finish their soup.

  • December 24, 2010 at 8:05 am
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    I've had a lot of espresso and coffee in a lot of different cities, some of them very highly rated. I have to say that Coffeeco is up there – they are hands down the best coffee shops in Kingston, and I would say the best this side of Toronto.

    • December 26, 2010 at 12:54 pm
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      Oh, come on this is getting a bit over the top and silly now. Coffeeco is quite good and local and we should support them, but let's not exaggerate too much…

      • December 28, 2010 at 10:57 am
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        Coffee talk always gets silly fairly quickly. Look earlier with 'best cup of coffee in town, if not the world'….. sure. Calm down people. Overselling is not the way to go. :)

        • December 28, 2010 at 11:39 am
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          Exaggeration…maybe. But I don't think there's anything wrong with hyping up some of the local businesses, especially when the quality is deserving of such praise.

          • December 28, 2010 at 9:34 pm
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            I thought we were talking about Coffee and Co earlier (the one on Princess/King), and I've always enjoyed it but the last three times I've been in there have been disappointing. The first time I got my coffee and then discovered there was nowhere to sit – might have been good to have been told this before I bought my 'sitting in' cup – and then the other two times I could see there was nowhere to sit so left again (and went to Starbucks – my daughter will have stern words with me!).

            Then I realises most of the talk was about Coffeeco – so I tried it out today and, I have to agree, it's the best cup of coffee in Kingston. Not crowded, but then it's between Christmas and New Year, so all the kids are away. But looks like a good place to go and read a magazine for half an hour or so. Great latte and, as a local company, with very reasonable prices, I'll be back.

  • February 24, 2011 at 9:07 am
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    I too am always on the lookout for a well pulled espresso, especially when out of town, I find it's a great way to get to know a new city. If it's especially good I will keep it on my radar and return time and again when i'm passing through but as a rule I will not return–no matter how good the buzz–to cafe's that still use styrofoam. There are so many places using bio-compostables (which ultimatly help to preserve the flavour which styrofoam or wax lined cups seems to destroy) that it seems like flagrant disrespect to do otherwise. Prticularly when the cost per cup keeps going down as more nd more places make the switch. I say to all the coffee lovers out there–you know who you are–offer a friendly reminder to your local baristas and see if we can't get kingston to go styrofoam free (it works with all take out continers and utensils too!)
    If you get the chance to expand the guide–which is great by the way–try Pan Chancho, every now and again they make a spot-on latte.
    Cheers

    sorry about the spelling, i'm notoriously poor at it.

  • February 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm
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    Guess what…i'm currently sitting at coffee co drinking an excellent latte in a bio-compostable cup!

  • March 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm
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    My husband and I recently tried the Mug & Truffle. We both ABSOLUTELY fell in love with the coffee. We had their dark roast, which wasn't over powering. It was very smooth. Along side the excellent coffee we did sample some truffles and other chocolates that just made the whole experience more wonderful. Free wifi and very friendly service will keep us coming back. I just wish they would redecorate, as it feels a little too "country" ?

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