In our continuing series on small, independently owned coffee shops that are walking distance from my house, today we pay a visit to Ezra's Pound.
Brand new to my 'hood, while the other location has become a favourite place to meet my uptown friends on Dupont, Ezra's Pound is a coffee joint with a conscience. Namesake owner Ezra Braves has designed the inviting space, all sunny Dundas-facing picture windows and Bellwoods corner patio, using lots of salvaged pieces. Take-away items are served in paper or non-toxic, biodegradable cups and packaging. Their cleaning products are all-natural. Eat in, and your water is Toronto's finest, served in reclaimed glass bottles. It's all spelled out on the chalkboard behind the counter: Ezra's, 99.5% All natural, recyclable, compostable, organic. "My big thing is, if you make garbage, you should be responsible for it," says Braves.
The lattes, complete with pretty foam art, are the opposite of garbage: The beans are Ezra's own roast, and for my money, are the city's best. He uses a pesticide-free bird-friendly source that is just one step removed from the farmer. "We're not hiding behind a label that's been produced by a third party," he says. "We know the guys." And his Faema E61, "is the machine from which all other machines were cut."
As for snacks, the food is mostly organic and includes continental breakfasts, salads and baked goodies like dense chocolate tarts and wild blueberry scones. All-butter croissants pop out of the oven every morning, still warm when regulars start streaming in.
Small lattes $3.71, croissants $2.62
Pros: Addictive coffee and croissants. Easy on the earth and the eyes.
Con: A little pricer than most. But I don't mind paying a bit extra for piece of mind.