Aubade Coffee in Vancouver's Chinatown.

This coffee was something else.

There is no doubt I was remiss in not visiting sooner. Earnest shops are opening in Vancouver nearly every day it seems. What's going on at Aubade is extraordinary.

Passing through on a warm, late summer day, we opted to bypass espressos and pourovers - tempting as the offerings were - and give the two Aeropress options on the menu a side-by-side.

Tucked into the front corner of a very eclectic antique shop and facing the lively East Pender Street, it would be easy to wander off enchanted by the distractions. Not recommended. I'm sure Aubade owner, Eldric, would prepare your coffee the same either way but his method invites observation and his genial personality welcomes inquiry and conversation. Coffee without pretension is a gold standard in my mind and it's somewhat uncommon to have someone so honed in their process and so educated about their product share both with little airs.

Our Guatemalan and Ethiopian coffees - both washed process from Small Batch in Melbourne - were not the sour, thin sips you might fear in a modern cup. Roasting aside, each step of their brewing thoughtfully guarded against that end resulting in two very memorable coffees that showcased every flavour note the producers surely strived for throughout the intense growing and processing phases. Outstanding.

Juan Carlos Chen - Bourbon - Guatemala
Hayutadin Jemal - Heirloom - Ethiopia