Monday, October 10, 2011

Campus Area Coffee

Coffee: Part of a student's diet
Take a sweeping glance at the great academic masses that swarm between the University of Alberta’s buildings and one may observe that between 40 and 80 % carry coffee cups. Coffee is indeed an inextricable component of university life, and the U of A is fortunate to have three brilliant coffee houses within walking distance.

Leva Cappuccino Bar (11053 86 Ave.) Leva, if proper descriptors exist, can only be described as “retro-futuristic-chic.” In other words, the sleek décor (robotic-looking espresso machines that line the back, brightly coloured round tables, aerodynamic glass display case) look as though they leapt out of “The Jetsons.” Leva serves only Danesi; this quintessential Italian coffee is roasted in Rome and produces both a bold, smooth espresso or a laid-back, subtle latte. Baked goods and savoury dishes are available as well. The biscotti, which are available in creative flavours like apricot-white chocolate, are especially recommended.


Da Capo Lifestyle Caffè (8738 109 St.) Easily the most European of the university-area coffee houses, Da Capo offers a tantalizing selection of coffee, sweets, gelato and thin-crust pizza (which may just be the tastiest pizza on the south side of the river). Coffee is assertive, just like Da Capo’s industrial-modern décor. Da Capo’s coffee is roasted only for them and is available, in bags, for the ambitious to brew at home. Remember: do not ask for an Americano. Da Capo calls this interpretation of coffee a Canadese (that is, a Canadian).


Good Earth Café (8623 112 St.) This is the most North American of this coffee triumvirate. It’s just a hop, skip and jump south of HUB and has, at any one time, at least three different roasts/beans brewing. Don’t expect to get any deep thinking done at Good Earth, for it’s perpetually busy and shares a noisy space with the Green House (which specializes in salads). Expect, however, to enjoy a bracing mug of coffee and, perhaps, a whole grain cinnamon bun that nicely balances the nutty goodness of whole wheat with the cinnful indulgence of cinnamon and brown sugar.


-LS Vors

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