According to the typical Tinder profile, Vancouver residents are ‘outdoorsy’, love to hike, then climb, then hike to a climb… then scale a cliff to the summit in order to take a yoga pose Instagram photo. Oh and no drama, please.
Anyways, why am I going on about Spidermanesque hippies? Because on any given day you can find most of them hanging out in MEC, talking to a bewildered sales rep about how you “want to buy some climbing string” (I think that’s what it’s called, I don’t know) that will “see you up the most basic rock faces, but can also handle the harshness of Everest, because you know, one day you’d like to climb it”. Give it up mate, the hot employee doesn’t believe you.
Anyways, I’ll get to the point. For the longest time, the strip of Broadway between Cambie and Main Street was a no mans land of fairly boring shops, of which MEC was the jewel. Well, that all changed a few weeks ago when Modus Coffee Roasters opened their first coffee shop.
You need this in your life… it’s bloody fantastic.
Modus Coffee Roasters have actually been in business for a year and a half, but only roasting coffee, rather than pouring it. I got hold of some of their beans about a year ago and was immediately impressed.
Fancy Latte – $5.00 Espresso Bean: Dom
A regular latte, with a light addition of cardamon and saffron simple syrup. Whilst it was quite sweet, it was very well balanced, with the nutty flavours of the espresso coming through in the taste and the luxuriously steamed milk giving the whole drink a fantastic mouthfeel. I’d happily have my mouth romanced by this coffee again.
Pour Over – $4.00 Bean: Bare
I’m not usually a fan of Brazillian coffee, but holy hell was this coffee delicious. It’s hands down the best Brazillian I’ve ever tried. rich, slightly nutty, with some very light fruit notes in there, but the body and balance on this thing was perfect. One of the most exciting pour overs I’ve had in ages. If fruiter coffees are your thing, you can ask for the “Latif” bean.
In addition to the coffee drinks, they have a full tea selection, with some pretty fancy options that include tiny little flowers in them!
Kimchi Parmesan Scones – $3.50
Being British, it’s tantamount to treason to serve a scone without clotted cream and raspberry jam… made by my mum. Nevertheless, I powered through and I’m happy to report that this was delicious! Flaky pastry and a spicy garlic kimchi kick. I definitely feel it needed to have butter added to it, which I did when I took one home. That being said, maybe I’m just a chubby butter lover.
Chewy Almond Cookie – $1.75
THIS WAS FLIPPIN’ AMAZING. Chewy but not too chewy, sweet but not too sweet and just the right amount of almond flavour to it. One of the best cookies I’ve ever had in my life.
There are lots of other sweet treats for you to indulge in, should the above not meet your requirements.
Modus Coffee Roasters is run by a very personable young chap named Sharif. However, we all know that secretly his partner, Jess, is the brains behind the operation, leaving Sharif to take all the glory. The pair are both veterans of the Vancouver coffee industry, Jess having a tonne of experience managing cafes as well as Sharif coming from a great lineage, as one of the founding partners of Pallet Coffee Roasters. They’re enthusiastic, helpful, know their products well and are always keen to yap about coffee and it’s intricacies.
Their venue is a photographers dream, with buckets of natural light pouring in from their massive windows. The layout is great, with a huge bar, a handful of tables at the front and back, as well as a large communal bench.
They’ve definitely picked a tough spot to set up shop. It’s on Broadway, between Cambie and Main St, which means there’s likely not going to be a huge amount of passing traffic. But getting there is easy enough with a Sky Train station 5 minutes walk away, as well as plenty of buses. Parking is a bit of a challenge, with on-street parking being very hard to find, as well as the off-street lots charging an arm and a leg to use. My tip is to drive down to 7th or 8th and walk.
Immaculate, minimalist and stylish. There’s one bathroom and it’s got a strong Japanese influence to it, with a small kit full of bathroom goodies such as q-tips, mouthwash and wipes. It’s always clean and well appointed.
Despite their low key opening, this is definitely a coffee shop you should be excited about. They’ve paired amazing coffee, with a selection of really great small eats and set it all in a slick and comfy venue, that you can clean your ears in. Oh wait, you’re not supposed to use q-tips for that, are you? To be honest, I’m not sure why you want to clean your ears in a coffee shop anyway. That’s probably why you don’t get invited to parties anymore.