Was at the Ottawa Public Library returning a book and decided to try out a nearby coffee shop to see if it was any good. I visited Presse Cafe (140 O'Connor Street, Ottawa) shortly after 12:30 P.M. to find the modern looking Parisian deli style cafe full of federal government office workers enjoying their lunch.
I decided to line up to obtain my coffee. I started by walking past the deli part of the service area. Along one wall was a a deli with different meats, vegetables and salads with two workers behind it filling orders. Next was the cash counter where I stopped to wait for the two customers ahead of me to pay and leave.
First customer cooperated and was out the door in 30 seconds. The second, no such luck. She took her sweet time extracting her wallet out of her purse, finding the change and handing it to the cashier before trying to reorganize her wallet into her life story holder called "the purse". This delay meant one of the customers who was getting his order together at the deli was now breathing down the back of my neck to pay for his while I stood their empty handed.
I pivoted and went back to the deli and inquired with one of the deli employees if I could get a coffee. Sure came the reply and I ordered
The Order: 1 Medium Black French Vanilla Coffee.
My coffee cup was filled and brought to the cash counter where I got behind the gentlemen in line who was finishing up paying for his lunch. He was much more organized and was out the door. I paid $2.35 for the coffee (taxes included) and left.
$2.35 was a little expensive for a Medium coffee in the Ottawa area. Even worse, it is more expensive of "Ministry of Coffee" ($2.10) which, as an average coffee drinker, would be more of an authority on coffee than Presse Cafe. But was Presse's coffee worth the extra coinage?
The French Vanilla Coffee was pretty good. A little creamier than a Second Cup French Vanilla offering but excellent offering. It tasted like Cafe Presse added real cream instead of probably the fake or less than enough cream offered by their competitors.
Size wise, the coffee filled an equivalent cup to that of a Tim Horton's Medium. So quantity wise Presse Cafe doesn't skimp.
Overall, the coffee was a little pricey for an average cup of coffee. But quantity and quality wise it either meets or beats it's rivals. Prices seem to be a little higher as well for lunches ranging around $7.00 for a sandwich. But at least the ingredients look fresh and each lunch is hand made to perfection. Presse Cafe seems to be taken the restaurant plan of quality as well as quantity which means the prices are going to be slightly higher. Thus, Press Cafe is not necessarily your everyday cafe but a place to go if you are looking to celebrate a small milestone like finishing the work week or a tough work project.
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