Matchstick Coffee Roasters
Matchstick is the latest addition to a growing collection of hipster coffee haunts, spearheaded by Gene in Mount Pleasant and Revolver in Gastown, that are all fantastic alternatives to the ubiquitous and annoyingly mediocre Starbucks. Operating in a large, airy, light-filled space on the same block as Les Faux Bourgeois, Matchstick encourages lingering over their long communal table or sidling up for a quick espresso, standing at their narrow, taller coffee bar, reminiscent of those common in continental Europe. Their space channels Canadiana cool with two of their walls covered in blonde veneer as well as minimalist antlers marking the restroom doorway – however there is something wholesome, earnest and warm about the beautiful raw plank of wood cut from a single naturally fallen Douglas Fir that serves as the shared table. The service matches the room with young(ish) staff manning the counter and espresso machine who are cool but welcoming and serious about their craft.
Décor aside, Matchstick should be frequented for its coffee, the star of their show, which is currently supplied by Phil & Sebastian out of Calgary. But as their name suggests, the goal is to be sourcing and roasting their own beans in the back of the space by April, demonstrating just how serious these folks are. Employing the much-lauded pour-over method (praised by coffee geeks the world round) in which a steady and slow stream of hot water is poured over coarse grinds in a cone, they respect and coax the fullest flavour out of their roasts. Their cappuccino is a bold but balanced drink with a deep espresso that hits you hard, co-mingling with sweet, perfectly steamed milk. Americanos are a fantastic option, really highlighting the quality of their beans. A range of house-baked goods including croissants, muffins, scones and cookies are tempting and the walnut apple cookie with rough chunks of both titular ingredients was a yummy home-style treat, tasting much like a breakfast cereal (in a good way). Matchstick offers a variety of sandwiches for a more filling alternative. Open from 7 to 6 daily, its hours are not quite as luxurious as Starbucks, but trust us the coffee is much, much better. We’re looking forward to trying their house-roasted beans in the spring.