Cheri and I finally made time for a lunch date to visit the newly re-branded and re-designed Second Cup Cafe.
From the outside, the location looked clean and not that inviting, in my opinion. They kept the thick, black metal support column (as before) right by the entrance. Not much was done in terms of their new sign - looking a tad too sterile and not memorable. The most interesting part was the lighting by the door - numerous incandescent light bulbs on the top give it that old theatre marquee feel - quite appropriate for the area.
Upon entering, we found the interior quite impressive - whites and greys predominating - grey marble counters, stylish wooden wireless phone charging stations and plenty of high chairs.
After taking some time to stare at their pastries on display and reading the menu boards, we approached the cash register and bluntly asked what drinks utilize their steam-puck machines. The lady was excited to show us the wooden clipboard menu by the registrar - called “Slow Bar”. We decided to try their Bullet drink. I am pretty sure Cheri picked it because the other 3 names were long and complicated to pronounce. The lady informed us that that their steam punk equipment is like a french press but with a kick. Supposedly the method helps to bring out the oils from the bean.
We also ordered two if their scones with the option to get them warmed up. Lastly I got a tea, plenty to pick from. I was told they hope to start steeping them with some of their fancy equipment at the punk bar.
We sat at their circular slow bar and utilized their hangers right under the counter - a small but useful addition. Their modern steam pink station was a bit like an alchemist lab, with a bean grinding station, presses, even simple and stylish dripping equipment. James, their friendly barista, was self-thought and answered all our curious questions.
We savoured our scones under an attic roof-like imitation ceiling. The White Cheddar Chive Scone was my favourite, it was just the right texture and the flavours worked very well together. We also had their Bacon and Cheddar scone, which was everything you'd expect.
We chatted with James a bit more. After asking him about the display containers filled with green, light, medium and dark beans, he made us a sample of their drip light roast coffee. It was quite a show being there. Their light roast was very different after a medium, when tasted side by side. They were both very flavourful and unique.
We really enjoyed the atmosphere. There were a few bright yellow elements (like the espresso machine) to shake up this stylish neutral interior. On their main back wall, there was also an illustration collage of various landmarks around - beautifully executed and timidly centered on the wall. We also really appreciated their paper cups - featuring local artists' work on them. On our way out we had to try their taps at the milk bar. Overall, this experience gave us a different kind of appreciation for coffee.