Flyjin Café: Third Wave Coffee Hits the Old Port

You love spending your nights at Montreal underground club Flyjin, and now owner Alex Brosseau has the sweetest little spot for your mornings: Flyjin Cafe

Flyjin Cafe is the shiniest of hidden gems in the Old Port with everything you need to start your morning in a happy place. Tucked away on St. Pierre, this quaint little coffee shop is still putting on its finishing touches, but we love what we see. Their specialty is, naturally, the coffee, but it’s not just about the finest quality. Flyjin Cafe is all about fair trade beans from local brands roasted in micro batches, which Brosseau explains is part of the Third Wave coffee movement. Coined by Los Angeles food writer Jonathan Gold, the term Third Wave refers to small-scale Cafes who are bringing artistry back into roasting, holding coffee to a higher standard than chain coffee shops like Starbucks (second wave) or mass produced brands like Folgers (first wave). You’ll find Anchored Coffee brewing at Flyjin Cafe, a brand from Nova Scotia whose beans are purchased seasonally from small farms and roasted weekly. Another favourite is Kittel Coffee, which is roasted locally in Montreal.

If Flyjin is selective with its brands, it’s even more particular with its technique. The Cafe’s superbeans are roasted in “the Ferrari of coffee machines,” La Marzocco, which is calibrated each morning by a passionate Flyjin barrista. “It sounds crazy, but the taste of coffee can be affected by the smallest things – the temperature, the humidity – so we adjust every morning to ensure a perfect shot,” Brosseau explains. And it doesn’t end there. Flyjin uses Société Orignal‘s special “hipster milk,” which comes from “happy cows” belonging to a handful of families out in Waterloo.  

Aside from its specialty coffee, Flyjin serves up artisanal teas by local brand Camellia Sinensis and fresh pressed orange juice made in one of those fancy Euro presses that turn hand-picked market oranges into liquid heaven. And if you’re looking for an afternoon pick-me-up, the Cafe has you covered there too. An array of artisanal sodas made by Flyjin’s very own bartenders (it doesn’t get more local than that!) are kept deliciously ice cold until the second you order. On the snack counter, you’ll find chocolate from Marou, a fair trade bean-to-bar chocolate maker, as well as a selection of fluffy, handcrafted doughnuts from Trou de Beigne in flavours like salted caramel, lime coconut, and Nutella banana. Good luck resisting that. Finally – la pièce de resistance – you can order it all from the street through Flyjin’s über-awesome takeout window.  

While it’s easy to miss, a discerning eye will catch the design similarities between the Cafe and the original club; the high-gloss burgundy walls, the industrial bar stools, the wood used for the main bar, and the slated wood pattern, which Brosseau explains is used to improve the acoustics. “It was important that the Cafe fit with Flyjin,” says Brosseau. “I wanted it to feel like its cool little brother.” Brosseau, who conceived the space himself, even installed the same kick-ass sound system found in the club. “Acoustics are always a big thing for me,” Brosseau explains, pointing out the ceiling that’s covered in acoustic foam – the same material used over Flyjin’s DJ booth. “A space can’t just look pretty in a picture.” While the Cafe incorporates Flyjin’s cool characteristics, it still forges its own identity. “I wanted it to feel light and positive,” explains Brosseau, who incorporated white marble tiles and exposed brick to give it an airier feel. “I love (Flyjin mural artists) Sticky Peaches, but that’s not the first thing you want to see in the morning.” Instead, Brosseau commissioned local artist Alain Ganev to create colourful, upbeat murals for the Cafe. “I just love what he does,” says Brosseau. “It’s cool, not in your face, and fits with the vibe of our clientele.” 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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