Café: Café Delices
Location: 197 Kent Street Ottawa, ON K2P2K8
Following the satisfying Bridgehead Roastery visit, I made a quick drop by visit to the downtown Café Delices to which I had once previously visited. Although I didn’t write about my first visit, I do remember being served an underwhelming shot by an inexperienced barista. I was hoping that my second visit would be better.
The downtown cafe is a 9-5 weekday operation also serving small sandwiches and chocolates to the downtown Ottawa crowd. The biggest attraction to the shop for me is that it serves Intelligentsia Black Cat Organic coffee. Don’t know why the choice is is the organic version of Black Cat, but my guess would say that it mimics Bridgehead’s organic trend. In terms of espresso equipment, the machine is a Nuovo Simonelli Auerlia paired with a Compak K10 Fresh grinder.
The owner of the shop was the cash when I ordered the shot, and the shot was quickly prepared once I ordered it by somebody else behind the counter. Preparation was mechanical as the coffee dropped into the basket from the doserless grinder, no grooming, straight tamping, and the shot was measured using volume as a visual clue.
The cup’s aroma was kind of flat and unmemorable as some small chocolate notes came out. The first sip startled the lips with its overly hot temperature, from which it was hard to recover. The rest of the shot tasted flat with bitter chocolate ending in mild fruity acidity. The shot felt generally unclean, and had an overly light mouthfeel from what seemed a shot towards a 50% ratio.
Conclusions: In a Pinch
Intelligentsia Black Cat shots are a treat when they are pulled right, but to get quality, it requires baristas skill and dedication. Unfortunately during my two visits to Café Delices, the nice shot did not materialize. Based on comments from a few readers, I don’t believe my experience is unique. My recommendation would be to only visit in a pinch and you are feeling lucky.