Café: Bulldog Coffee
Location: 89 Granby Street, Toronto, ON


Bulldog Coffee can be arguably called one of the first spots in Toronto to start raising the bar on coffee in the city. The equipment that seemed unchanged since my last visit is a classically-styled 2-group San Marco with an large copper eagle on top, paired with some San Marco grinders. Didn’t get into particulars as the barista seemed bothered by the few questions that I did ask.

Most interestingly, when I did ask the barista (not the owner Ross Stuart) to describe the espresso, he replied that he did not drink espresso, but that he heard that it was chocolately and smooth. This answer surprised me. As if asking a chef at the Christ Ruth’s about the steak, and him replying that he is vegetarian.

Anyhow, my expectation for the shot had been lowered. The espresso blend is “a seven bean blend from Central and Southern America roasted by a private roaster up in Concord.” The long-looking espresso was served in a relatively thin-walled large espresso glass emblazoned with “Macchiato” on the side. The nose was strong earthy smell with hints of wineness and maybe some sourness. Relatively thin amount of light-looking crema was on top.

The shot was thin and watery in terms of mouth feel, and the temperature of the espresso felt to be brewed at a slightly too high temperature. Perhaps lack of flushing? The taste seemed to have relatively complex flavours of chocolate and earthiness, but was off putting because of dominating brightness and a long sour finish.

Conclusions: If You’re Desperate (Ratings Guide)

I have been to Bulldog a few times over the years and have never had any shots that have registered in my memory, until yesterday. Unfortunately, it will be a negative memory that I will not soon repeat, not only because of the bad shot, but also because I think every barista should be passionate about what they are serving.

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