Coffee in Calgary – thoughts from a local
This is my original article that was featured for COOL BEANS on Alfred Drinking Coffee
We’re a city known for its iconic tower, the Stampede, and yes, an incredible coffee scene. Calgary is an amazing city that loves having the Rocky Mountains just a short drive away. We love being the sunniest of Canada’s large cities, and did I mention we love our coffee? Just ask Cole Torode—reigning Canadian Barista Champ or Ben Put (Canadian Barista Champion 2013-2017 & 3rd place in the 2015 & 2016 World Barista Championships & 4th in 2017. Both of these men call Calgary home, and have incredible cafes located throughout the city.
And while I know Alfred already took a trip here back in 2017 and blogged about it, there have been a number of new cafes that have opened up that—as someone who calls this fine city home—I really think you need to know about!
Now I bet that many of you are already familiar with some of the big names—Rosso, Phil & Sebastian & Monogram—but what has taken shape over the past few years are some truly incredible independent cafes popping up around Calgary.
So here are my current top 3 “must-visit” cafés in Calgary right now!
Sought x Found
Location: 916 Centre Street N
They may be one of Calgary’s newer cafes & roasters, but they sure know what they’re doing! When people ask me what café’s to visit when they’re in Calgary, Sought x Found is the first one I recommend. Caleb and Kitty are a husband & wife team that have a clear passion for coffee and a real love for people. The customer service here is second-to-none. What’s really neat is that you can see their two San Franciscan Roasters (1lb & 6lb) right there in the back half of the cafe. They roast in very small batches and offer their beans for retail on site.
They have an amazing decor with lots of reclaimed wood. There is plenty of seating, and free Wi-Fi so you can get some work done. They have great patio seating out front to people watch along Centre Street. And the best thing of all, is there is FREE parking in the back. No need bleed cash just to get a few hours of work done, or to visit with friends during the day. They are also really kid-friendly and even have some fun books for kids to read under their retail shelf.
GO-TO DRINK: My go-to drink is their trad-capp with their Ethiopian Adado as espresso. It’s a drink I look forward to every time I visit. Make sure to stop by and check out Sought x Found.
Location: 2000 Veterans Place NW (Cambrian Wellness Centre)
Every now and then a café comes along that has a story so unique that it causes you to take notice. A few years ago, just after I moved to Calgary I got word of a coffee shop that was operating out of an old storage closet in a community centre! No joke, it was 25 square-feet! Just enough space for the espresso machine, a grinder, and a few baked goods!
But it wasn’t just the space (or lack thereof) that peeked my curiosity but also the passionate barista who ran the whole show! Kaffeeklatsch has since moved from its humble beginnings to a larger spot, but Jessica McCarrel has been the face of Kaffeeklatsch since day and this hidden gem is not to be missed.
Their beans are roasted in Calgary through Coffee Concept. Their green beans are sourced as well in Calgary through Apex Coffee. They currently offer a Costa Rican Tarrazu & as well launched a Kenyan. You can grab out Costa Rican at the cafe & online in a 1lb bag.
GO-TO DRINK: My go-to drink is their batch-brew of the Costa Rican. A lively coffee that has subtle notes of stone-fruit, chocolate & citrus.
Société Coffee Lounge
Location: 1223 11 Ave. SW
What really stood out to be from the very first time I visited Société, was that they were one of the only coffee shops in Calgary who were going with a multi-roaster approach instead of simply signing on with one coffee roaster! I applaud them for this bold move in a city that doesn’t have a lot of multi-roaster options. They bring in two new roasters every month and showcase their coffee’s in unique ways. One of my favourite drinks to get when I visit is their espresso flight. What you get is a shot of espresso and a trad-capp from each of their current roasters. It’s a really fun way of tasting the unique notes that each espresso presents, and then as well being able to see how they work in a milk-based drink.
They’ve got ample seating inside, Wi-Fi, lots of outlets to keep charged while working, and an amazingly comfy leather couch that is perfect for lounging on with your favourite drink and your significant other. Like I said, with a new roaster each month I make sure to pop in fairly frequently to check out what new roaster they’re featuring.
GO-TO DRINK: My go-to drink is their espresso flight! An ever-changing opportunity to showcase great coffee in two different ways
So if you’re planning a road trip this summer out to Calgary, make sure to add these three places to your list! This city really does have a lot to offer. If you want more suggestions connect with me through my blog or over on Instagram.