Café: Jimmy’s Coffee

Location: 107 Portland Street, Toronto, ON

Jimmy’s Coffee is located in an area of town that is trendy, as well it has former baristas from Hanks after the ownership changes. I really had no expectations when I walked in, just curious to find out more.

I went with my healthy compromising friend, and we walked in and I asked for an espresso. My pronunciation must have been off since I was corrected that it’s not “ex”, but “es”. Indeed I will be more careful.

I asked what type of beans were available. The answer was “Miscela Classica from Classic Gourmet Coffee in Concord. Are you familiar with them?” Sort of. I have no doubt come across Toronto’s largest roaster, but I’m not too familiar with them, nor do I have a strong opinion. The blend was described as a classic blend with strong chocolate and caramel notes that is smoother than their Super Bar.

After we drank the shots, I had an opportunity look at the coffee beans brought back memories of more classic Italian-style darker roasts. The roast itself was a medium dark brown, sometimes referred to as Full City where the oily drops are just beginning to surface. For coffee roasted to this point, most of natural coffee flavours are muted and are dominated by the roast flavours of bitter sweet chocolate and lots of caramel. The acidity becomes quite muted.

We were asked about size. I asked for a double, and my healthy compromiser friend asked for a single. More to come later on this.

The equipment was 2-group Nuovo Simonelli Aurelia paired with some Malkonig K30’s. No doubt, something you can pull good shots with. Timers were set up on top of the machine and used during the shot which was carefully ground, tamped, and poured while being carefully watched as they poured into classic tulip-shaped glasses.

For the single, there was hesitation, questioning if we were sure for a single, and then the shot was pulled with a single basket.

The Shots

The nose of my espresso was dominated by toasty and chocolaty flavours. The taste starts with an intense bittersweet chocolate that quickly fades into a mellow smooth toasty, chocolaty finish with a some caramel, and sweet bitterness. The finish is long, but very mellow, and the coffee has good body and low acidity.

My friend offers me a sip of his. It ends up being somewhat more acidic and having a bit of a grassy flavour. Barista indicates that this is because it is hard to pull singles.

Conclusions: In a Pinch (Ratings Guide)

This was one of the best smooth, classic, easy to drink chocolate caramel espressos that I’ve had recently with a slight bit of bitterness at the end instead of sweetness.

Everything about was nice, and it was well pulled, but there was no wow factor. I think my preferences seemed to seek more layers of flavours from the coffee, and a bit more intrigue.

As for the single. I refuse to serve singles at home because I can’t pull them well. I tell people not to drink the whole cup if they only want a single. I would expect coffee shops not to sell singles if they can’t pull them well and consistently, or just give a double when a single is ordered.

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