If you’re in any way close to the Vancouver coffee scene you’ll know this name already: Matchstick Coffee roasters. This Vancouver-famous cafe and roasters has a reputation that was always going to be pretty hard to live up to, given my snobby ways. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed the coffee, but my god, the staff were really, really bad.
12oz Latte – $4.25
I had huge expectations for this drink, I really did. Matchstick often gets grouped with such masters as Revolver Coffee, so it’s not unreasonable to expect a taste sensation, am I right? It was good, don’t get me wrong, definitely up in the top ten of the city, but it didn’t blow my mind the way I expected it to. The milk consistency was good, the espresso flavour strong enough and the temperature was great, but the overall drink just lacked a bit of the balance that you get from the finest coffee shops. Maybe it was the barista (more on this coming up) rather than the coffee. One thing’s for sure; I’ll be going back to give it another try to verify.
Pork Rilette – $7.95
In case you don’t know, Pork Rilette is kind of a cross between pulled pork and pate. It’s a delicious treat that you don’t see that often and Matchstick Coffee Roasters have definitely created a great dish with their version of this classic. The pork was smooth and tender, the bread fresh and soft and the mustard was delicious. I wasn’t a fan of the pickles that accompanied this, as they were sweet, but that’s just my preference and I’ll not be subtracting and points for those.
It’s easily accessible in Chinatown, there’s lots of paid parking in the area and the seawall is a short walk away. A multitude of buses will get you close and the Skytrain station is just down the road.
It’s a huge and very well appointed cafe. There’s loads of seating, communal tables and benches. The combination of white and wood is very visually appealing and I love that you can see into the kitchen.
Overall very tidy and clean. They were well maintained. No complaints here at all.
Sorry, this is where Matchstick Coffee Roasters fails in a huge way. The staff were terrible. Let’s start with the employee that took my order. She would barely talk to me. I asked her questions about the food items and got one word answers, no elaborating, no assistance and no smiles. I paid and again, no smiles, no thank you and barely any eye contact. The barista that made my coffee was slightly more friendly but then insisted on loudly whistling along with the music playing in the store – hugely out of tune and out of time. I could see people in the cafe looking at each other and rolling their eyes.
When I dropped my cups off at the counter and said goodbye I got a “yup” from the first employee… well I suppose at least she spoke to me this time!