PHOTO: CAFEGRAVITY.COM

City offers many unique and tasty coffee experiences for when you need caffeine to get you started, keep you going

Did you know that Calgary has a few coffee places that have some hot brewed goodness created from the freshest ingredients? It’s true. You don’t have to go to the supermarket or your local Starbucks to get your coffee even though it is convenient. Like anything, if it’s local, it’s so much better. You can smell, taste, and feel the difference when you have a steaming hot cuppa in your hands. We can’t grow coffee here but we can certainly convert the beans into a nice cup of Joe or find places close by that can. 

Many of us need a pick-me-up whether it is when you first get up in the morning or just getting off a hard day of work. There are several different coffee shops all over the city but only a few that actually deliver a caffeinated experience like no other. How many of us can say that we have freshest coffee in our cups? What are the best coffee companies/cafes here? Here is a list to help you find the best coffee ever.

Café Gravity

A little live music to go with a good cup of coffee can be found in this cozy, classy cafe. A high-end coffeehouse — that is also a family business — is giving a whole new meaning to taking a break. Calgary’s own Five’21 Roasters — operated by the folks behind the show — supplies the beans for this coffee bar, an amazing coffee company that hopes it will help the community one cup at a time. Starting your day with the Blue Bird medium roast is not only a boost for the population but yourself as well. A little taste of South American cocoa is found in this cuppa and will bring a smile to your face.

1221 8 St. S.W., cafegravity.com.

Café Alchemist 

In the heart of Downtown Calgary is a tiny little spot where the coffee is always top-notch and roasted to perfection each morning. This is a café where chemistry and unique flavours are discovered every day whether it is one of their health-conscious dishes or hidden tastes in the ingredients of their hot beverages. There is always something new to discover here. Such as their best seller which is the Inferno Coffee — a full-bodied coffee that has concealed caramel and toffee notes. A perfect coffee for anyone with a secret sweet-tooth. 

850 2 St. S.W, cafealchemist.com.

Sucre Patisserie and Cafe

Calgary’s sweetest coffee shop in the Beltline has a lot to offer. If you are in search of a macaron, cake or cookies then look no further — especially that chocolate obsession cake. You will be obsessed after that. However, their coffee brews a new kind of fixation. If you look at the Guatemalan coffee that comes from the Onyx Coffee Lab in Arkansas you will know for sure. Take their Catalogue coffee for example; it has the wonderful tastes of cooked marshmallows, nutty walnuts and a slight hint of sour fruits. A well-balanced coffee that can go with everything whether it is a cake or a sandwich. Then again, everything goes good with a hot cuppa. 

1007 8 St. S.W., www.sucrecafe.com.

Good News Coffee

Where is a cool, hip place where you can get an honest latte and some ice cream? Good news! It’s in the heart of Inglewood. Any time you can find a shop that has a new feature coffee that caters to every coffee nerd’s taste is worth checking out. Whether it is an Ethiopian bean roasted in BC or a company from Bucharest, Romania that roasts Brazilian beans, you can travel the world one cup at a time. Maybe pair it off with an ice cream sundae to go with it. Such as their latest; Sloane Anaerobic Mondo Novo with its fruity notes and chocolate rum nuttiness along with a caramel soft serve ice cream. A match made (not in heaven but) in Calgary. 

1608 17 Ave. S.E., goodnewscalgary.ca.

Rosso Coffee Roasters, Stephen Ave

Downtown is always the place where many people like to stop in for a quick cup to go. With many awards under their belt and positive working relationships with producers from all over the world, quality is assured in every sip. Take their Hti Ta Maung coffee from Myanmar, for example — people who drink it say it’s like having a warm cup of comfort. Creamy caramel notes, with the juniper and grapes create a balance of that sweetness and makes a good hot drink. 

140 8 Ave. S.E., rossocoffeeroasters.com.

Good Trade Coffee Company

Another coffee company that has a wonderful philosophy. They get all their beans from Colombia — but they do much more than that. They get the beans from low-income farmers, which helps their families and the communities surrounding them earn a sustainable living, get better education, and achieve economic growth. So, the next time you are enjoying a cup of their Parcero coffee with its citrus notes and tastes of rhubarb, just know that you are helping a whole community of people. That is something to feel good about. 

1154 Kensington Cres. N.W. .goodtrade.org.

PHOTO: CHRIS LANDRY

Congress Coffee

More local music and bold bean flavours are in the offering at this northeast hub. The community-driven, independent, ‘90s-inspired coffee house — including old-school gig posters from Calgary’s past alt-rock scene — opened its doors last year in the Tuxedo/Highland Park/Greenview area promising a return to the basics: dark, rich coffee, great conversation and community- focused initiatives. If you’re wanting to warm yourself on the upcoming cold winter days ahead, there’s plenty to put in your mug, including a Pumpkin Pie or Cinnamon Dolce Latte, or a Hot Apple Cider. Check their website for upcoming events and food and drink specials.

1A 215 36 Ave. N.E., congresscoffeeyyc.ca

Monogram Coffee

What started as a pop-up coffee cart has grown into a full-on business that is filled with a rare bunch of wonderful people. Always looking to serve others with their best coffee, Monogram looks to inspire wonder to the public and with their wild flavour profiles — and they have surely succeeded. If you have a sip of the Elida Estate Gesha, you can taste how true that is. Look for the flavours of Earl Grey, Fruit Loops, and peaches when you try it. Does more need to be said? Speaking of trying something new, they have different coffee classes from a Home Brewing Class to Milk Steaming/Latte Art Class. 

420 2 St. S.W., monogramcoffee.com.

Fratello Coffee

Nearly 30 years of roasting has put this company on the map and made them famous all-over Western Canada. Committed to making a splash in the world of coffee, their work shows that they are detail-oriented. Because they work closely with the farmers that produce the beans, it is a true farm-to-table experience. If you have a cup of Nicaragua coffee you get a taste experience like no other thanks to its black tea and jasmine flavours. 

4021 9 St. S.E., fratellocoffee.com.

Milano Coffee

Italian coffee with Canadian spirit? Yes, please! In the lively Beltline neighborhood, you will find this brick-and-mortar shop. A strong supporter of small farm, fair-trade, organic coffee beans, Milano combines numerous Arabica beans from around the world. Famous for their espresso, this contemporary coffee shop is a favourite for the people in the area. Although they have many choices, you can never go wrong with the Milano Classico — a combination of strong and sweet, you can find an innovative mixture of sweet anise, rich dark chocolate and spicy cloves. 

#102, 602 11 Ave. S.W., milanocoffee.ca.

PHOTO: MARIAH WILSON

Calgary Heritage Roasting Company


This is a special place that was founded by wildland firefighters that still fight for the environment. By buying a bag of their coffee, one tree will be planted in the wilds. Now that is an excellent philosophy to go with some organic coffee. Some of their coffees are named after Alberta’s wildlife (e.g. Bison, Burnt Timber) or from the countries that they get the beans from (e.g. Indonesia, Guatemala). Whichever kind of bag you get, each cup will have a chocolate taste, perhaps a little caramel mixed in and a nice smoky finish.

2020 11 St. S.E., calgaryheritageroastingco.com.

One-of-a-kind cafes in Calgary are always a favourite for anyone needing a caffeine fix, but they are so much more than that. Coffee shops are meeting places for friends, a quiet cozy place to focus on work or homework, and a favourite for first dates. Coffee certainly creates a lot of starts for us. Let’s face it, folks, serving a good cup of coffee is a public service.