C Market Coffee
“Y’all are stuck on the CO QUIL A LAR HAR HAR?”, the lovely lady with a Louisiana accent from the OnStar car rescue place said to us over speakerphone, as we tried to dig our car out of the snow on the side of the Coquihalla.
This was around 15 years ago. It was the first time I was first introduced to how Canada can have some bizarrely named places.
I’m used to it now. However, as this is my first review of a shop in Coquitlam, I definitely had to mention that this place, too, has a silly name to a Brit.
For the record, I grew up near a road called Seamons Close. We don’t do naming any different in the motherland.
Perhaps people from Chillwack built that road, then moved to Climax, BC?
C Market Coffee is a beautiful cafe/roastery, in the heart of CO QUIT LA LA HA HAM. It’s got a killer coffee program, a massive selection of brunch food and some truly awesome sweet treats.
NOTE: At the time of publishing this review, we’re in the midst of the COVID crisis. As such C Market is currently pickup only and you can order online.
What’s the Coffee like in C Market?
C Market is run by Bridgette Hyun, who’s a Q Grader. These are essentially the Sommeliers of the coffee world, so you can expect a pretty amazing experience when it comes to your drinks. C Market roast all their coffee in-house.
C Market are also on Siply, which means if you use that app to buy your drinks, you save a bunch of money. I’ve highlighted the savings I got after each drink.
If you want to learn more about Siply, click here.
Price – $4.3
Price with Siply – $3.35
Beans: C Market Espresso Blend
Before we get into this drink, please note that C Market are NOT playing to the wanky Gastown light roast crowd.
By the way, I firmly put myself in this camp.
First sip is a bold punch of espresso toastiness, but not on the dark end of things. There was a rich molasses sweetness running through the whole drink. The milk was steamed well and was at a great temperature. Vancouverites, I’d say this is very close to what you’ll get at Kafka’s.
Price with Siply – $4.68
Beans: C Market Ethiopian Single Origin
Now we’re moving way more into my territory, as this was a much lighter roast.
There were some fruity notes as it cooled. Grapefruit seemed more predominant than anything else. Then it finished with some flavours I couldn’t quite pin down, but I think were cocoa like.
Either way, it was a great example of a filter coffee and you’d be hard pressed to find anything close to this quality in a huge radius.
What’s the Food like at C Market?
C Market have a huge focus on great food. Their kitchen is run by Ru Lee, an incredibely talented chef.
They’re constantly evolving their menu so by the time you read this, the lineup may have changed. Don’t let that discourage you though, as this should give you an idea of just how great the grub is here.
PRAISE THE FRIED CHICKEN GODS, THIS THING IS LIFE CHANGING!
This actually might be the best fried chicken I’ve ever had. Anywhere on the planet. It’s crisp and crunchy on the outside, perfectly cooked and tender on the inside and the spice level is a perfect marriage of heat and flavour. There was a salad and rice combo going on under it, which is also delicious. I honestly can’t describe to you just how flavourful this whole thing is.
They also sell a baguette version of this chicken too, which is just as intensely tasty.
In a word – perfect. It was moist, not too sweet and the frosting was delightfully tart. The addition of some seeds on top gave it a ton of texture. Finally, the size of it was even big enough to fill the belly of a greedy bugger like myself. An incredible example of how to do a carrot cake right.
Alright, I know what you’re thinking – it’s in Coquitlam. If you live there, it’s fantastic! The roads there are huge and easy to navigate. Highway 1 is also on the doorstep. There are heaps of free parking spots outside and a bunch of buses stop close by. No Skytrain I’m afraid though. If you see someone on a Mobi bike close by, buy them a beer because they’re about 50K out of the catchment zone.
C Market Coffee is light, bright and airy. It’s in Coquitlam, so the outside is your fairly typical commercial space, but they’ve created a welcoming and stylish atmosphere inside. Tables are exclusively two-seaters, but they can be pulled together for bigger groups. Again, it’s not Gastown, so don’t expect a Gastown look.
One of my favourite parts of the venue is on the right as soon as you walk in. You can see their roaster on full display and if you’re lucky, you’ll see them roasting coffee.
Long before I actually got to know some of the staff, I did my usual anonymous visit, where I asked uncomfortable amounts of questions, made bad jokes and generally was probably quite annoying
I’m happy to say that all the staff smiled through the whole experience and I came away from each interaction thoroughly impressed by their personalities.
The co-owner, Bridgette, has built an amazing team of talented front of house staff that vary from super coffee nerds to just, well, general lovely coffee people.
In addition, C Market have hosted a ton of fundraising events, a latte art throwdown and several months of evening events. They obviously want to make their mark on the local community and are doing and amazing job of it!
There are three of them which is a huge amount for a space this size! I’ve been in two of them, they’re large and always impeccably clean.
I know that most of you are in Vancouver, and Coquitlam is a bloody long way away, but C Market really is one of those places worth the trip. For the locals, it’s about as close as you’re going to get to the Gastown coffee scene without having to make the journey towards the coast.
The food is outstanding, the coffee program is the best you’re going to find in a huge radius and the staff are like a combination of the best downtown coffee lovers mixed with the suburb friendliness that honestly puts us city folk to shame.
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