Found myself downtown today for a few things and decided to venture down Elgin Street to check out The Ministry of Coffee (279 Elgin Street, Ottawa) which I had heard rave reviews about.
Located just south of Somerset Street in the same building as the Fox & Feather pub, the Ministry of Coffee is a small coffee shop with decent amount of seating in the front and a small counter in the back serving all types of coffee. You want an Americano? they have that, you want a cappuccino? They have that. Want a boring old black coffee? They have that too.
I visited shortly after 12 Noon to a couple of tables enjoying their coffee and one person being served at the counter.
I normally do not like anything extravagant coffee wise. So no Americappucino stirred over flame with hot or cool whip drizzled in some chemical chocolate for me thank you very much. Just simple coffee will do.
I was next and placed my order.
The Order: 1 Medium black coffee.
The guy behind the counter looked at me quizzically and asked if I wanted an "Americano".
Um...no... I double checked the menu above his head and said I wanted a regular Medium black "drip" coffee.
The guy ventured over, poured a cup and I was off to complete a short walk over the nearby Corktown Bridge to the University of Ottawa. A quick tip, the Corktown Bridge is a great tourist walk to get a great view of the not only the University on the east side, but the Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, Chateau Laurier and more. As well this is Ottawa's edition of "Lover's Locks" where people attach padlocks to the bridge with names written or engraved on it of two people supposedly in love.
The medium coffee? Was a bit smaller than it's Tim Hortons' brethren. At $2.10, it's also more expensive than a medium from Bridgehead ($2.00), Tim Hortons ($1.60) and Second Cup ($2.05). Taste wise, the Ministry of Coffee's Medium was superior. A nice tasting coffee that was slightly stronger than a Tim Hortons, but not too strong like a traditional Starbucks blend. Not bad for a coffee shop.
Overall, the Ministry of Coffee is a great addition to the Ottawa scene. There are a plethora of tea shops scattered around Ottawa with every type of tea of imaginable. The Ministry of Coffee appears to be now trying to do this with coffee. Thus, a slight premium price may be in order on the average cup of coffee compared to it's competitors. But, for it to survive, it needs to ensure the price gap does not get to large. If so, I believe The Ministry will lose the average coffee drinker like myself. Hopefully, with continued operations of serving a superb cup of coffee, the Ministry will spread and I for one could get used to this type of religion.
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