Pallet Coffee Roasters (Kingsway)
The new Pallet Coffee Roasters on Kingsway was probably my most anticipated coffee shop opening of 2016. They’ve had a venue in East Vancouver for quite a few years now, so it’s great to see they’ve become successful enough to expand out to another location, especially the no mans land around Kingsway and Knight Street. Mrs VancouverCoffeeSnob and I looked at buying a house in that area, but decided not to because of the lack of coffee shops as well as minimal parking for our Rolls Royce. We are snobs after all.
Just kidding, we only have two healthy incomes, we can’t afford to buy a house in Vancouver!
Cortado – $3.60
This little beauty was served up by their head barista, a chap named Charles. The milk was steamed perfectly, the espresso shot to milk ratio was excellent and you’ll always get some sort of flair in the design on top. When he’s not winning trophies at the last couple of Espressotec latte art competitions, Charles raises Meerkats. OK I made that last part up because I figured he’ll likely read this. Charles, please start raising Meerkats.
Pour Over (Colombia Geisha) – $3.80
Wait, what? Pour over for $3.80? GEISHA pour over for $3.80? Honestly, I doubt you’ll find a cheaper pour over in the city and I can almost guarantee you won’t find Geisha that cheap! I had it brewed Chemex style on their Modbar. The end result had great body with a slight citrus kick to it. It was great to drink with a Pecan Tart, as the sweetness of that bought out the sweeter notes of the coffee for me. I think that next time I try this coffee I’ll get a paper filter, rather than the Able Kone metal filter. I think this is the only way it could taste any better.
They also have a vast selection of non-coffee drinks such as tea, hot chocolate and matcha.
Beef Brisket – $10
This is definitely more a ‘Vancouver brisket’ than a ‘Texas brisket’, with the amount of beef being relatively low compared to our rotund, sweaty neighbors to the far south! Don’t let that put you off though, as the combination of sliced beef, salad and cheese were perfect for a lunch time meal, backed up by a simple green salad. The bun was fresh and there was a nice garlic aoli that pulled the whole thing together to taste amazing.
Pecan Tart – $3.80
As mentioned above, this paired perfectly with the pour over. Sweet but not over the top with sugar, it was wrapped with some expertly baked pastry and then dipped in chocolate. I think it may have been the chocolate that worked well with the coffee, but further investigation is needed here (the things I do for you people).
Total honesty here – I’ve met lots of their staff already at various events, so it’s no surprise I like them. I think it’s important to see a turnout from any decent coffee shop when it comes to local events, such as those thrown monthly by Coffee Pot Luck. The above mentioned Charles (when he’s not raising Meerkats) is lively and friendly as face of Pallet Coffee Roasters. Their management are always keen to chat about the ‘Pallet story’ and their head roaster, Ben, is a treasure trove of information about coffee and the local scene as well as being a great chap to drink a beer with (hint – their opening night had their coffee beer collaboration with Steamworks). This is how it should be – relaxed, unpretentious coffee lovers slinging great coffee.
Pallet Coffee Roasters have taken the original East Van ‘shipping pallet theme’ and sexied it up with high end wood finishing’s, stylish seating, a communal table and about a hundred hanging light bulb fixtures. It’s got the character of their other shop, but with none of the rough edges. Their La Marzocco espresso machine has a custom made steel front to it, adding to the industrial look. Love it.
This area desperately needed something decent in it and I think we’ll start to see it turn into a fun neighborhood as the city grows, but at the moment it’s a bit sparse. That being said, there’s lots of parking around the back streets, paid parking on Kingsway as well as heaps of buses stopping close by.
Two of them, both clean, well appointed but one is a bit too small for a lanky and uncoordinated fool such as myself. Not a huge issue though, I’m 6ft4 so I’m in the minority.
Pallet Coffee Roasters is one of those places that has obviously had a great deal of time and effort spent on it; from the aesthetics, to the staff, to the food and to the drinks. What you get from this is an absolutely fantastic experience end to end, making it one of our favorite places to drink coffee in Vancouver. Also Meerkats.