I’ve now visited The Colombian three times. Typically, I like to give my first impression as it is often the most lasting, but I do revisit some places before writing full reviews as a result of one extraneous factor or another. In this case, the first time I went it was a “to-go” visit, and I like being able to sit down in a place before writing a review about it.
From my previous reviews, it can be noted that the aesthetic and atmosphere is important to me in it’s contribution to the overall experience. A warm wood interior seems to be a trend amongst coffee roasters as it makes for a beautiful setting, and it’s no different at The Colombian. They even have a huge stump as a table near the back; it’s a wonderful feature that I haven’t encountered at a coffee joint yet. The string lights keep the ceiling visible, opening up the space which is a necessity as the crowd pours in. Each time we’ve been, the tables are filled and the traffic in and out remains high. It’s safe to say that the community has embraced the presence of their little indie roaster. They even have a separate seating area in the back that I overheard Food Bike Tour would be hosted in.
I can certainly get behind a place that prioritizes the importance of a huge neon “COFFEE” sign over a sign with their name on it. Each time I’ve gone it’s been raining, and each time that sign has been like a beacon of hope. That being said, I’m pretty cheesed about my cappuccino experience here. Like I mentioned in my last review, foam is this girl’s best friend, and the Colombian just didn’t give me enough of what I wanted. Kind of like when you’re told you’re gonna get 12 inches, but you get a soft 10…from Subway.
The coffee was definitely better than I remember it being (the foam thing definitely skewed my initial perception), but I was prepared this go-around. What I wasn’t prepared for was the latte my boyfriend ordered having more foam than my cappuccino…but I digress. I visited again recently, giving up on the cappuccino and committing to a vanilla latte, and what a fantastic choice that was, as my faith in vanilla lattes has been restored. The Colombian has tamed the vanilla latte and made it tasteful – not overly sugary and sweet like most that I encounter. I enjoyed that I was able to taste the coffee as well as the subtlety of the vanilla, and the interplay of the two flavours finally made for one I not just enjoyed, but couldn’t strop drinking. While it isn’t a cappuccino, I’ve found my new favourite drink from The Colombian, and my go to vanilla latte in the city. It actually reminds me a little of the honey latte I recently discovered at Credo, mirroring the softness of flavours.
Also to be noted is the outstanding customer service at The Colombian (Levi is an actual gem). Everyone was patient with us while we struggled to land on the flavours of Apollo donuts we would get – we finally landed on Lime Mango and Blackberry Yuzu. The donuts as a whole were quite good. While bae had the better glaze (they’ve nailed down the Lime Mango recipe; sweet, tangy, and visually very satisfying) his donut was a little dry. I myself has a quality donut, but the glaze itself was just…good. It wasn’t up to par with the Lime Mango, which raised the bar to an unexpectedly (but definitively) high standard. Don’t take this the wrong way – I think when it comes down to it, the important question to ask yourself is, “Would I eat this again?” and for me, the answer is most definitely yes. I was told their passionfruit glaze was the best flavour Apollo currently had, and if it tops their Lime Mango, I’ll be floored. I should mention they do have a small rotating selection of other baked goods, but it isn’t donuts, so who gives a shit (just kidding, their croissants look amazing, and I’ll be back for these too).
Apollo’s donut itself reminds me of donuts you and your mom would spend an afternoon making at home. These aren’t industrial deep fryer donuts and you’re sure as shit not watching them get pumped out of a machine at K-days. They’re made by hand, and the glaze is made with no artificial flavours or colouring. That said, how awesome is it that they’re still able to get such vibrant colours for the glaze of each donut? Their presentation alone makes them appetizing. Apollo posts weekly flavours on IG that vary widely, and can be custom ordered in whatever combination you like at a half dozen minimum, or a baker’s dozen deal.
It’s awesome to see local support local, which is becoming more and more prevalent in the city. I’m excited to go back and sample the entire menu at The Colombian now that I’m living closer to it, as they are well rounded in terms of food, drinks, and service. As for Apollo, I’m thinking an order will be in the foreseeable future – what better way to spend a Saturday than crushing a half dozen?
Portion size: 2
Drunk n disorderly: 0