Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing for a freelance position to help further the Spice Safar brand. As a result, I was allowed to experience Spice Safar as a customer as well.
I entered the King West location in the morning, and approached the front desk. I explained to the attendant (I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes and call him a Barista) that I was here to meet the founder and CEO, Wilhelm Liebenberg. I was told he was in a meeting, and asked if I would like a coffee. Not hungry enough for a milk-based drink, and certain I didn’t wanted a full dose of drip coffee (I’ve been trying to cut back on the caffeine), I made a snap decision and asked for an espresso. This turned out to be the perfect choice… the attendant told me to go sit down and he’d bring it to me.
As I waited, I pulled out my iPod Touch and scanned for wireless connections. I saw one for Spice Safar, and when the attendant came over, I asked him for the password. I logged on, and happily checked my email (I love this wi-fi being provided for free to customers in many places downtown – right on, Toronto).
But more importantly, the attendant had brought a rectangular, white plate arranged with a small espresso mug on a little saucer, a beautifully shaped spoon, a long, thing bag of raw sugar, a shot glass filled with sparkling water and – my favourite, of course – a little bowl with the most perfect portion of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen – about 8 small bites on the spoon.
I was in heaven. The espresso had a light, frothy head, felt creamy to the tongue and tasted nutty and chocolaty with just a hint of coffee flavour. I wanted to savour it, so I took small sips and ate some of the chocolate cake in between. When I was done, the sparkling water was the perfect accompaniment to clear my mouth and throat of any stickiness. I find I always want water after espresso – Spice Safar certainly gets the whole experience right.
My partaking was complimentary, but Wilhelm mentioned the price being the same as what you pay at Starbucks. If that’s true, I think I’ll start going to Spice Safar more often!
Look out for their flagship store, launching in the next couple of months at King & Spadina.