de Mello Palheta Specialty Coffee Roasters
Toronto is just beginning to settle into its still-fresh coffee scene, so de Mello Palheta Specialty Coffee Roasters is seizing the opportunity to do something different (and be truly independent).
The cafe is a departure from the usually polished appearance of Uptown Yonge: graffiti and safety-caged light bulbs adorn the almost industrial looking space, but black umbrellas hanging from the ceiling add whimsy. The long space has plenty of places to sit, and a tiny patio out front is optimal for people watching.
At the back of the cafe is what sets de Mello Palheta apart: a huge Diedrich coffee roaster churns away, while beside it the in-house pastry chef creates desserts and baked goods daily. Owners and brothers Felix and Won Cha leverage their experience in coffee from having worked in Melbourne, one of the world’s coffee capitals. Their nose and taste have yielded exceptional blends and custom roasts: espresso is medium roasted and has subtle floral tones, a slight sweetness, and perfectly balanced acidity. A trio of siphons behind the bar elevate coffee drinking to an experience, and while drinking it black is recommended, there’s no elitist attitude to prevent customers adding sweeteners or milk.
Pastries range from standard morning fare to exquisite. The “slow baking” dessert menu changes seasonally, and include a Rustic Pear Frangipane Galette that would hold its own at some of the best restaurants in the city. Drinks and pastries are supplemented by beans available by the half- pound, bottles of cold brew coffee, and home brewing equipment.
Coffee drinkers are satiated all day, with de Mello Palheta Specialty Coffee Roasters open early morning into the late evening, to grab a cup or kick back over a dessert and latte.