Saturday, December 29, 2007

Feature latte anyone? Yeah you do (fact)! It's Ethiopia Harrar... Not only is it highly regarded by pirates (aarrr), but the merc staff give it a thumbs up! Don't take my word for it - have a latte today.
I'm keen on Beans!
Kenya (Mathareini Auction Lot) - Intense, black currant, sweet, pink grapefruit, chocolate, savory.
Flecha Roja (Direct Trade Costa Rica) - Red fruit, caramel, crisp, clean, sweet
El Diablo (Dark Roast Direct Trade) Bold, crisp, black cherry, fruity, floral, smoky

Then we've got all the old favourites like black cat, kid- o, espresso, decaf swp, mad hatter, and extra butter...
So if you need beans... we've got 'em!

*Reminder that the goat fund is still going strong. It will be up until the 1st, so come on in, have a coffee, and make a donation. Think about get to buy a goat... but you don't have to keep it. You don't have to feed it. You get a goat and all the work is done for you! awesome... everyone wins!

Friday, December 28, 2007

It is three nights since Christmas morn' and not a creature is drinking coffee, not even a mouse. -"Girls say we gotta gotta gotta get home."
-"Well I was just about to go get drunk."
-"Yes you do that Willie, but I need a new song! Something about a shoe, a good ole' shoe." said the man in the yellow hat.
-"Don't these kids today know how to twinkle? All you gots to do is take two steps in the right direction and you're dancing" replied Willy with a smile.
-"Aww shucks, I got cottonmouth in my eyes and they lied about this whole spring chicken."
-Now don't get side-tracked! That's all scenery, stick to what you can prove in court.
-"But I'm a fine looking man, I ain't ever had a woman walk out on me before" blubbered the man in the yellow hat.
-"Ha! that's one duck that dog don't hunt! laughed Willy.
And just then a passing stranger burst upon the scene saying: "Are you Frankie Lee? The gambler? Who's father is deceased?"
-"No" replied the man in the yellow hat. "You must have be confused with someone else. We're just sitting here with Shotgun Willie drinking twilight tea, enjoying the new year air."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

"This is going to save my life," a sleepy-eyed Mercury regular was heard to remark, as he gazed queasily into the crema atop his americano.

"We save lives every day," came Alice Berg's uncreative reply.

Well, today it was literally true: a distressed bluebottle housefly was caught wallowing about in the Used Spoon Water, and after it was brought to my, Damien Elmore James Zielinski's, attention, by a concerned passerby, the Brave Little Man was promptly rescued from the scum, and given a dry piece of paper towel to dry off his wings and legs.

That was 10 minutes ago, and as we speak the Little Trooper is resting up. A bad scare and a few bumps, but it looks like the little feller is GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.

I'm Damien Zielinski, and this is The News.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holy Cro-moley! nothing makes you want coffee more than a bike ride in the winter. Don't believe me, ask tofu. moving on....
Get 'em while you can (1/2lbs)

kid-o $9, black cat $9, extra butter $9, mad hatter $8, espresso $8, decaf swp $8, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe $9 (feature latter at the moment $4.75)

El Diablo (dark roast)- Bold, crisp, black cherry, fruity/floral, smoky
If you want a bold brew this is your lucky day. $9
Flor Azul Nicaragua- Cocoa, sweet fruit, nuts, balanced, light molasses, hint of spice
If you tried the Los Delirios and love it, this is it's BFF (also a Nicaragua). $9.50
El Cuervo Guatemala- Sugar cane, red fruit, milk chocolate, bold, invigorating, clean
Just the right way to wake you up from a winter slumber. $9.50
El Gallo (breakfast blend)- sweet, spice, fruity, smooth, rich, caramel, clean
If it's a plate of bacon & eggs or soy milk & a wheat free muffin, this is a great cup to start off your day. $9
Celebration Blend- sweet, red currant, caramel, crisp, molasses, cinnamon
Tastes like a celebration... blend. It's like warm clothes out of the dryer.
It's a great balanced and clean cup. It will warm you up and leave a splendid taste in your mouth. $9

Things We Have
-We have Lactose Free Milk right now! sorry for all of the times we run out, but if you come in soon we will be MORE THAN HAPPY to make you a drink sans Lactose.
- Cider... and it can be yours for $3. It's awesome if you're one of the many that can't have caffeine after noon (my heart goes out to you really and truly it does).
- Alex and Alice keeping you company all night long. Springsteen playing, shots are pouring, and the cafe is peaceful. I dare you to come in here and shake things up. Triple Dog Dare you!!!

what? wait.. what? WHAT!!! I can't hear you... you're breaking up! you'll have to come in and tell me in person.
over and out
Alice "GT's" Berg
featuring Alex "lets talk bikes" Tran

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

MMmmm, apples. On a wet day like today the coldness just goes right into the bones. Let us warm you up with a nice fresh mug of hot apple cider. We won't offend you with that powdered stuff- only the real deal from your friends at Mercury.

With any luck, the rain will mean milder conditions for the next little while. Uh, no, that won't mean iced drinks are coming back, but who knows what this crazy weather will bring?

Damien Sez:
In other news,
have you seen our NEW curtains? I already blogged about how we got curtains, but now we have NEW ones! I'm tellin' ya, you GOTTA see 'em. Two layers of double-lined velvety goodness that wash over you like a shower of warm juiciness every time you go in and out- unbeatable. Heck, I thought the other curtains were nice, but these ones are a couple of real dandies. Yep, I guess you could say they do for your body what our cappuccinos do for your face.
Editorial note: I call this paragraph of the blog you just finished reading 'Curtains 2.0: The Remix'. It's all about our new double-lined velvet curtains, and how I really like 'em.

p.s. Real Talk - R. Kelly. CHeck it out.

Alex and Damien

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hey Alex I like your sweater!
It's not a sweater alice... I'm not wearing clothes

Word on the street.

If you like these two handsome sheep you should stop by and check out the ones on Alice shirt. No I'm not talking about her "sweater cows" but the wonderful patterns on her actual wool sweater! It's my favorite Berg garment. On a day like today I love seeing people in their colourful, crazy sweaters. Warm sweaters are very comforting on a day like today and also very necessary, kind of like cappuccino, or a latte. Perhaps a hot apple cider is your cashmere? Or a press of Los Delirios is your cardigan?

Show me yours and I'll show you mine. Zing-zang zoo zoo.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Adrian and I are having a delightful afternoon just pullin' shots, staring into each other's eyes, thinking about lollipops and iced cream. Darling.

Intelligentsia has arrived!
Here's the scoop

El Cuervo- Guatemala
flavour: Sugar cane, red fruit, milk chocolate
Acidity: Bold, round, invigoratring
Finish: Chocolaty, clean
It's a fine coffee indeed. Great as a press.

El Gallo- Breakfast Blend
Flavour: Sweet, spice, fruity
Acidity: Bright, Lively
Finish: Smooth, rich, caramel, clean
What a way to wake up in the morning!

There will be live music in the Merc this Sunday afternoon. I think it all kicks off around 4. I'll keep you all posted with more details. But there a better way to spend a sunday afternoon... we think not.

If you happen to be walking past, or pop in for a brew, you should check out the Mercular Family on the window. The Merc staff in press form...GT's GT's.

Alright I'm over and out. Neil and Damien are in tonight so come by and hang out. Good times are in store.

-A wall and the Prince (fact.)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Well it's cold outside and it's brisk inhere but my thoughts on the matter are as follows:
a) It is only going to get colder, Fact.
b) If more people come inside Mercury we can use body heat to warm the store.
c) Body heat is a renewable resource. It's also organic. Well how about that!
d) Think about how lovely it would be to snuggle up close with all the Merc staff and regulars... I guess Christmas has come early.

Moving on
New News
WE HAVE GIFT CERTIFICATES. They come in $5 and $10 amounts. Tell all of your friends, or better yet get them one. They'll like you three times more than they did before!

We also have FRESH CIDER!!!no powder for this guy! 9 out of 10 dentists agree, it's awesome (the 10th dentist said it was rad). Try a cup for $3 and see for yourself.

Intelligentisa has not arrived yet but we are expecting the shipment today... so very soon our shelves will be overflowing with marvelous beans in little red bags. However, we still have a variety of delicious beans from Dark City (decaf swp, mad hatter, espresso, and extra butter) you if you are in need of a fix.

Adrian and Ben look beautiful today. That's all I have to say about that.
Off the record, on the QT, and very hush hush
this is your barista Alice saying
Over and out

Sunday, December 02, 2007

There's no doubt about it, it was a beautiful morning. I expected a bit of snow, a few centimetres perhaps, but there was a full-on foot of it outside my door when I stepped out. But why stress out? It was obvious no-one would be getting anywhere fast. What a perfect morning to take it easy.

It wasn't too cold out, so I walked around the neighbourhood doing small errands-- picking up some salt, buying a croissant, doing a bit of shoveling-- but nothing strenuous, as the snow was powdery and light. The sun gave us light, warm and diffused, familiar and friendly, there was hardly any traffic, and I began to feel somewhere else, somewhere other than the big city. The south of France, perhaps, the unhurried rhythms of a easy wake-up and a day with no responsibilities, a day to relax and enjoy.

I made up a French press of Nicaraguan Los Delirios for Matt and myself, the course grinds fresh and fragrant with chocolate and spice, and when the time was right, we shared it out and enjoyed its sweet, creamy flavour. With time to spare, the press was just the thing for the moment-- unhurried, uncompromised. What a lovely morning. So come on in and we'll make one up for you, too.


Friday, November 30, 2007

Well, it's official: we have a curtain at Mercury. The fat Summer lady has sung, and Jack Frost has planted a fork squarely in Fall's backside; the show is over, and Autumn is cooked.

But, I gotta say, it almost seems worth it now that I can walk into Mercury and pass through a veil of fabric which can not help but remind me of the last episode of Twin Peaks, or of the very Birthing Process itself, (the trauma of which I'll probably never fully recover from.)

Anyway, I was just buttering you up like a Prize Sow for the real blog, which starts now:

if you've never been Born Again (have you heard the Good News?), OR, you never saw Twin Peaks, OR, it's cold outside, OR you want to talk to the coolest people in the city of Toronto, OR you want to try the Unstoppable Coffee Craze that continues to rock Leslieville, OR you want to drink some delicious Ontario apple cider steamed to super-perfection, OR you have a Winter's Tan and need to deal with it, OR you like Awesome Music and want it to shoot at your ear holes a little bit, OR you want to show some support for a local pillar of ethical business practice, OR you want to hear the sultry vocal stylings of electro-acoustic phenom Jacqueline Rendell (every other Sunday in the late afternoon), OR you want to internet it up on your laptop, OR if the Human Mouth is your personal favourite orifice for Coffee Drinking, OR if you have the Meaning of Life in your blazer pocket and want to share it, OR if you see No Beauty anywhere in your life and want to understand why we're all in a pretty good situation, OR if you're tired of ignoring people that tell you "Dude, you need to go to Mercury right now because their cappuccinos are indescribably good,"

OR if you want to cross through our brand new fancy curtain,

well, you know what to do, innit?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I just have one question....

What does your shirt say?
Sunday. The lord's day. A day of rest. But not for us! Never! We're here at the crack of dawn, ready to make your day splentacular, or fantabulous, or even magna-doodle. Why just this very morning Ben and I made ourselves a press of Oaxaca and made our own days extradiferous. If you feel like a little something from south of the border down Mexico way then La Perla De Oaxaca is just what the good doctor ordered to spice up your Sunday. Or any day of the week for that matter.

Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Oaxaca, (said in a Fozzie Bear voice) is a blend that will give you the warm "Fozzies" inside. It's got a real chocolate and honey flavour with what Ben calls herb tones, a juicy citrus acidity and a clean finish. Sure to be a big hit round these parts. Come on by and get a cup of the finest coffee Mexico has to offer for the low low price of five dollars (plus tax) per press.

See y'all soon!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

That's what Neil looks like when he gets stuck in the rain: Mad, Cold, and about 10 lbs lighter. If this cat were wearing tight red pants.... it'd be Neil for sure.

Muyongwe. Muyongwe? MUYONGWE! That's right, we are going to have Muyongwe, Rwanda's Golden Cup of greatness on press this week. We may not know how to pronounce it, but you can rest assured that we will certainly be able to drink it, and so can you. Pop on in and try out the number one Rwandan coffee that has been described as both elegant and complex, kind of like Alex Tran.

Or, if you are into underdogs as opposed to top dogs, then be sure to experience the sensation that is Kanzu, Rwanda's fourth place Golden Cup. The layers of chocolate wonderfulness run deep in this bombastic bean. With a blackberry (not the electronic device), dried fruit, and caramel body this is bound to be a surefire hit round these parts.

Alex sez:

It's gonna rain!

-Alice "smooches" Berg, Alex "slaps" Tran

Monday, November 19, 2007

MAN it has been busy in here the last few weeks. If you've been jonesing for a blog, that'd be the reason. But we have news since we last spoke: In-coming is this year's Celebration Blend from Intelligentsia!

With a sweet red currant flavour and molasses tones, Celebration has a warm and full mouthfeel, with a touch of cinnamon and spice. Really, it's an ideal coffee any time, but it's only available for the season, so you should come down and try a press! If you like it, we'll soon have it for sale by the half pound. And we still have all your favourite Intelli and Dark City blends, including El Gallo (for a limited time).

French presses, by the way, are becoming quite popular. It's still perhaps the best way to enjoy a coffee, and it'll introduce you to nuances that you never knew your coffee had. We'll be happy to tell you about what you're drinking, give you tasting notes, and teach you to slurp your coffee in a way that would offend your mother. (But seriously, that's how you do it.) We love coffee, and we want you to know exactly why.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

And so it is...
On Press- all are 5.oo + tax
El Cuervo Guatemala - This stuff is great! Its got sugar cane, red fruit, and milk chocolate to start, has a bold invigorating acidity and finishes off chocolaty and clean like a kiss from Alex Tran!
New Guinea- This is like the V8 of coffee (if you go for that kinda thing). First it hits you with a smack of lime, and sweet creamy spice, the lively acidity is bright and finishes off with smooth, rich citric fruits. It's a lot like alice at 3am...why? it just is!
Los Delirios Organic Nicaragua- You'll get a whoop of creamy caramel and wild honey, it's acidity is smooth like butter, and finishes you off with all spice, cranberries, and baker's chocolate. Kinda like a blog from Damien... Or maybe just his hair...

Stefan Berg has his linocuts up on our walls ( they're real and they're spectacular). If you have not come into check them out, you don't know what you're missing.
They are all beautifully framed images from his book LET THAT BAD AIR OUT - Buddy Bolden's Last Parade. If you don't get a chance to see them this month (or you love them and want more) you should come to the book Launch! It's on Tuesday December 4th from 6-8pm at David Mirvish Books (596 Markham Street).

On the subject of art and music we have Jacqueline Rendell come in every other Sunday (the 1st and 3rd of every month) to entertain the masses from 2-4pm. She is totally rad. If you haven't heard her... well you just should. She also has an EP called We Are Rich if you like what you hear or want to check her out. She will be here next on November 18- come chill.

over and out from your trusted homefries and the Merc
Alex "ain't got no pan" Tran
Alice "Sober?" Berg

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Dear Mercury Customers,

This evening around 5pm, Damien and I witnessed a tragic event that I had feared for about a year and a half now. A patron of ours had just left our cafe and was crossing Queen St. at Morse and was struck by a passing car. There had been countless close calls at this particular crosswalk, far more that I'd like to see and I feel that this was inevitable.

My condolences goes out to the family and friends of the man who was struck and with a heavy heart I warn others who are reading this: Don't trust cars to stop at the crosswalks. A couple seconds of waiting or using the intersection at Carlaw would make a world of difference.

Damien sez:

In other news, everything else about today has been beautiful- my latte art is getting better and better, my shots are reaching a new height of consistent greatness, and my service courtesy is at an all time high (I dare you to come into the store and see how nice I am). Generally speaking, I absolutely love working at Mercury. Some high school kids told me they were writing a report about the store for an assignment, and I basically gushed ad nausea about how great every facet of the whole Mercury phenomenon really is. I won't gush too much in this blog entry cause Lord Knows I've already done enough of that, but let me just gush a wee gush:

There's something about this environment that seems to cause people to connect with one another. I've met so many amazing and wonderful people since I started working here, but sometimes I look around to notice that total strangers are striking up conversations spontaneously, as well. Cool people seem to be drawn here like bears to honey, and I'm just fine with it. Why can't all of Toronto be more like Mercury?

In light of the accident we witnessed, such light-hearted musing seems a little bit inappropriate. Perhaps I can contextualize the saccharine sentiment by saying that I feel truly lucky to work where I do, to have the life I have, and to be surrounded by the wonderful people I encounter every day. If you're reading this blog, you're probably one of them! Anyway, let tragedy and harmony both inspire us to treasure whatever it is we've been blessed with and appreciate the moment at hand.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday. Vibe: Chilled Out. Baristas: The Damien and Alex Bean.
We're happy to report that we still have 3 presses of the Esmeralda left. It's only a couple more days from going stale though so if you fancy a press, get on your track bike and scuttle down you coffee hipsters.

On a another (musical) note, the lovely Ms. Jacqueline Rendell muscled out a fantastic live performance amid the flanges of a Sunday afternoon baby caravan. Those young toddlers seemed to appreciate the stylings of this particular ball-o-sunshine, who happened to just release an EP recently. She'll be back for another staggeringly militant set not this up coming Sunday but the one after that. Come out and be charmed.

Closing: 9 pm as usual. Dinner: Jim's Best. Riding: Dirrrrty



Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hallowe'en Poem (a little bit late)

I woke wednesday morning
With a chill and a fright
Knowing what would happen
That very night,
A shiver went through me,
Deep down to my bones,
At the thought of the goblins
And ghouls who would moan
And groan in the darkness
Demanding from me candy--
I had to steel up my nerves,
But what had I handy?
I went down to Mercury
Where they brew liquid courage;
Threw back two shots,
Felt my energy sur-age.
I had a few more
To even it out,
Became braver and stronger
And two times more stout.
Now I could handle
Those ghouls and those ghosts:
Caffeinated, I'd be
Up all night, or almost.

PS. Hacienda la Esmeralda gives you extra-paranormal powers. True! Ask a barista.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's cold out there HoneyCAt! Come on in and warm up with us.
Neil is giving out Free Hugs Today. Just as and you shall receive.
We have been listening to a lot of Tom Waits today. I feel this trend extending as long as possible. =I'm sure Alex can't only last so long without death metal.
Like a fish out of water, at some point you give in or he dies.

On Press!!! $5.00 + tax
Costa Rica Flecha Roja- There is nothing shy about Flecha Roja. This coffee is bursting with red fruit sweetness, citrus acidity, and an underbelly of caramel. Its finish is astoundingly crisp and clean… enough to make your lips smack!

Los Delirios, Organic Nicaragua- Delightfully creamy! Caramel and wild honey provide sweetness while dark chocolate, baking spice and a tinge of fresh cranberries compliment the finish. Well-balanced with a buttery mouthfeel.

Kenya- Kianderi Auction Lot- This is one of those coffees that can leave one speechless with wonder. It all begins with the aroma: intense and enticing. A gorgeous combination of floral and citrus scents provide a preview of what will be found in the cup. As the coffee cools, a classic black currant flavor emerges and resonates all the way through the finish. The sweetness is abundant and omnipresent, greeting one at first sip and trailing off serenely several seconds after swallowing. It all ends with a shadow of sweet currant lingering a few moments before disappearing cleanly and leaving a silly grin of pleasure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

If you missed the Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha Jaramillo Especial last week you have one more chance to order it from us before you have to wait a whole year. This coffee has been top shelf for 3 years going on and we're bringing it Leslieville one more time. Just check out it's curriculum vitae:

#1 2004 Rainforest Alliance Cupping
#1 2004 SCAP Cupping #1 2005 SCAA & SCAP Cupping
#1 2006 SCAA & SCAP Cupping
#1 2006 Rainforest Alliance Cupping
#1 2007 SCAA & SCAP Cupping
Imagine That!

We'll be selling presses for a mere $25. What what? How dare you call that a "mere" $25? Well if you want me to break it down to you here it goes:

Last year this coffee was going for $50 a pound - green beans. On top of that you lose about 20 % of the gross weight after you roast it. But THIS year it's going for a record $130 a pound. Each press requires about 25 grams of coffee so $25 a press is about the gross price. WE ARE NOT MAKING A PROFIT! Yeah ok, I guess that's pretty cool of you guys. Damn skippy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It's in homies! What do we have? Well sitting right now in our high-security safe we have one of the best coffees in the world that won the C.O.E. three years in a row! It's the heavy weight champion of the world and he's just chilling, waiting for his big debut in Toronto tomorrow around 2pm. So if you took out a second mortgage to try this once a year King of Commodity coffee, come and get it. Time WILL be working against you. Coffee like this waits for no man/woman. Get off your butt already!
Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha Jaramillo Especial
"Words fail to properly capture this coffee. From the very beginning it mesmerizes your senses with its intense aromatics of jasmine and coffee blossom. The ethereal nature of this coffee will befuddle and captivate you – making each sip an urge for another. As you taste it, notes of lime, honeysuckle and tangerine undulate atop a crisp, citrus acidity. The potent sweetness transforms into a finish of white grape and jasmine flower. La Esmeralda is a truly unforgettable coffee experience. "

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Music has always been a predominantly noticeable feature here at Mercury (besides our kick-ass coffee of course) and upon walking into our humble corner you'll find yourself at the nexus of the universe where great espresso and cheesy 80's songs intersect to produce the greatest vibes known to Toronto. We started out with strictly rock 'n roll and have now evolved to encompass everything but classical and jazz. Let me tell you, there are endless possibilities.

Enough of that for now.

Coming in from Chicago on Wednesday will be:

Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha Jaramillo Especial

"Words fail to properly capture this coffee. From the very beginning it mesmerizes your senses with its intense aromatics of jasmine and coffee blossom. The ethereal nature of this coffee will befuddle and captivate you – making each sip an urge for another. As you taste it, notes of lime, honeysuckle and tangerine undulate atop a crisp, citrus acidity. The potent sweetness transforms into a finish of white grape and jasmine flower. La Esmeralda is a truly unforgettable coffee experience."

There you have it. This was quoted from the Intelligentsia website and I don't think I could've said it better. If you have a moment on Wednesday, stop by... we'll be caffeinated...very caffeinated.

In other Mercury-related news, we'll be allowing our customers to get to know a different side of our staff via some oh-so-righteous coffee bean caricatures. In representing each staff member as a personalized coffee bean on our window, resident Art Star Alice Berg has, with the unerring hand of a trained surgeon, cut straight to the heart of each Team Mercury member's soul, producing not only a shockingly accurate physical effigy, but also a disturbingly Real account of the very fibre of our respective beings. Plus, they are rather (to borrow the parlance of the young people these days) 'jokes.' I stand behind them One Billion Percent.

Monday, October 15, 2007

MAN but it got chilly. Mornings are dark and cold these days as we get nearer to winter, and the only way I make it through is with a toque, a sweater or two, and a steady supply of cappuccino. Fortunately, we are now open even earlier during the week-- at 6.30 in the A-M, Monday to Friday. You know, just in case you're one of those poor souls who has had to drag themselves out of bed at an ungodly hour so they can make it in to work at a profoundly blasphemous hour, and have had to cope with profane office coffee because we were still snuggling in bed-- all of us, together, warm and safe-- while you drove by in the pitch black morning drear. Aye, now we join you in companionable misery, five days a week.

Well, I don't. I don't have to open during the week! Bahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

--Ben, the jerk.

I'm a bigger jerk!

--Neil, the bigger jerk.

It's true. I hardly seem a jerk at all, compared with Neil.

--Ben, who really isn't a jerk at all, not like that Neil.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hey Kids. This is a photograph of Damien and I back in the day. Man was he a fox or what?!?

Here is some more great COFFEE NEWS from Mercury...
We will soon be featuring the Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha Jaramillo Especial as a press. This will be taking place on the 18th of October. We will be doing this pressing by order only, so email/ call/ or come in and sign up. The pressing will be $25.00 a pot (I know it's a bit on the steep side, But SOOOO worth it!). Here is what Intelligenstia is saying about the Esmeralda:

Words fail to properly capture this coffee. From the very beginning it mesmerizes your senses with its intense aromatics of jasmine and coffee blossom. The ethereal nature of this coffee will befuddle and captivate you – making each sip an urge for another. As you taste it, notes of lime, honeysuckle and tangerine undulate atop a crisp, citrus acidity. The potent sweetness transforms into a finish of white grape and jasmine flower. La Esmeralda is a truly unforgettable coffee experience.

So if you are into unforgettable experiences then you will have to try this one out. I would say it has to be like spending the night with Damien Dancing.

Some more coffee buzz. Our next feature for pressing will be the Las Temopilas, Nicaragua Cup of Excellence: Fourth Place.

From one of the same producers as our Organic Los Delirios, this 4th place Nicaragua Cup of Excellence winning lot is impeccable. The coffee introduces itself to you with an abundant sweetness that indicates just how careful Sr. Canales was in ensuring the selection of fully ripe coffee cherries during harvest. Notes of fresh raspberries and lime blossom on the back of a crisp acidity as it finishes into a clean milk chocolate denouement.

NEW STORE HOURS!!! We will now be open at 6:30am all weekdays. So from Monday- Friday come in extra early for your cup of joe. If you feel so inclined you could drop in and start your conversation off with "Boy it sure is early!"

I'm sure the staff will love you for it.

That's all the news that's fit to print. So have yourself a wonderful evening, and pop in if you feel like it. We love the pop in.

- Damien "looks great eating a apple" Zielinski and Alice "don't mind if you hack a dart, dude" Berg

Friday, October 05, 2007

Haha! Fooled you. You thought you were having the best coffee in Toronto all this time? As if. We've been saving it for ourselves. But we've repented, we've changed our ways: we're ready to tell you everything we know.

We are now offering featured French Press*-prepared coffees for your tasting pleasure. Right now, you can choose between two Latin American single-origin beans: Tres Santos, a Colombian micro-lot, and Los Immortales, from El Salvador. We'll grind your beans fresh to order, and give you the low-down on how long to steep it for, how to taste it, and what wonderful aromas you'll be experiencing. It brings coffee drinking to the next level. But hurry! We're already running low.

*Get it? Huh? French Press! Huh? Huh? Get it?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Damien sez:

"Well dudes, if these snuggly unicorns don't make you all warm and fuzzy-feeling (you soul-less scoundrel), then don't worry cause I got some fancy news that will make you all happy and stuff:

Mercury is an unstoppable crazy train of incredible savage goodness, and it's getting more off-the-rails every day. Evidence? Glad you asked:

1) Intelligentsia has landed. We're currently brewing the Black Cat and Kid-O around the clock (while we're open, anyway), and both of them are outstanding. I'm drinking a delicious shot of the roasty and refined Black Cat as I write this dribble, and am I enjoying it? You betcha!

2) We got a new refurbished Ditting grinder that absolutely grinds anything we put into it. If that doesn't sound exciting, then you haven't seen this thing. Oh, buddy.

3) Robert Farmer's astonishing artwork is now hanging on our walls, and I pretty much don't care where you live- it's really worth the trip out here just to see it. A surrealist romp through a dizzying postmodern world of symbols, Farmer's technically stunning Last Supper series reconfigures everlasting icons within the context of an era characterized increasingly by transience and interchangeable cliches. The result is a fascinating and wonderfully fun juxtaposition that proliferates new meanings while calling into question the very connections we tend to force between the signifier and the signified.

Well, that's what I get out of it anyway. Come see the pieces already, so we can wax art.

4) Alice Berg still works here, and she gets better every day. So you need to come back every day even if you already think you know how awesome she is.

I love Mercury. It makes me really happy. Thanks for reading what I have to say."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

INTELLIGENTSIA is coming to Mercury!!!

This coming Wednesday we will be switching some of our old blends and picking up some new ones from Intelligentsia. If that doesn't sound like a big deal, then let me assure you that it totally, totally is.

Intelligentsia is a swell bunch of dudes hailing from Chicago, who in many ways are analogous to Mercury itself. This is to say that they are unstoppably passionate about coffee, and just so happen to be on the cutting edge of ethical business practice as well. They have pioneered a groundbreaking system of coffee importation known as Direct Trade, which involves purchasing coffee directly from the coffee growers themselves. On average, the Direct Trade arrangement puts 25% more income in the pockets of the farmers when compared with Fair Trade. Thankfully, sound morals don't have to conflict with the quality of the product, as your first sip will immediately confirm.

People get ready for:

The Black Cat Espresso Blend
has a combination of coffees from Latin and South America. full body/ notes of chocolate, caramel, and dried fruit/ lingering sweet finish. Black Cat produces a sublime shot of espresso, and is equally dazzling for traditional coffee.

Kid O
has a combination of coffees from Indonesia and the Americas that produces a creamy and slightly nutty espresso with hints of fruit. Equally good for traditional coffee.

Speaking of traditional coffee, we are also please to be bringing the french press into our everyday line up.

Our first feature will be
The Tres Santos, Colombia- Micro-Lot: Melange is a combination of two exemplary coffees, perfectly complementing one another’s characteristics in the cup. With it's smooth maple sweetness, balanced body of crisp red apples, baked pears, and molasses, finishing into a clean, crisp, mildly citric aftertaste, you'll be hooked. It's a fine press indeed.

Damien and I are passing time cleaning and listening to Otis... if this sounds like a good time (I assure you it is) then come on down, pick up a broom, and groove a little with us tonight. Ok so we won't make you clean, but we will happily make you a coffee and dance as we do it.

Off the record, On the QT, and very Hush Hush
Alice " it's not brain science" Berg
Damien "it's not rocket surgery" Zielinski

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Monsooned Malabar: A Coffee With a Cool History

By Ben

When the British finally came around to enjoying coffee (though not as much as tea, I guess), they looked to their colonies to provide them this vital, vital resource. Temperate India was a logical choice for growing beans, and it became a major supplier.

But the trip back to Europe was a long one by sea, and the beans, stored in the leaky hold of the wooden trading ships, went off, ever-so-slightly. The resulting coffee was mysteriously delicious, however, mellow and dark, smoky, but not too acidic. It was like blue cheese I guess? But not blue, or made out of milk.

Since then, we have made huge advances in having ships that are not made out of wood technology, and so this peculiar kind of coffee has undergone a change as well. Now, beans grown in the Malabar region of Kerala, in India, are allowed to become dampened during Monsoon season before they are dried out and roasted. The process is called, awesomely, "Monsooning." It is the opposite of sun tanning, scientifically speaking. And so, now we can all enjoy Monsooned Malabar, available at your friendly neighbourhood Mercury Espresso Bar for a measly nine bucks per half pound.

The end!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hey there buddy! I Alice Berg have made it out of the rabbit hole and back to Mercury. As amazing as my time off was, I'm happy to be back in my east end hang out. I'm pulling shots with Damien (my blog buddy) tonight.
Seeing as this is the first blog in a while I would like to take a little time out and say "HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAMIEN." Our very own Damien turned 25 this weekend (they grow up right in front of your eyes don't they. Well he doesn't look a day over 24. Skin like a baby's....
If you are in the market for beans I tell you "Look No Further!" We have a huge selection bagged up for your take home enjoyment. We have the classics ( Quick Silver, Mad Hatter, Espresso, Decaf s.w.p) as well as a few more feature bean. The Extra butter seems to be going quick. Great if you are into the smooth and dark side of things. There is also the India Monsoon Malabar, and the Yemen Mocha Matari (My very favourite) if you feel like going for something special. The feature latte is the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe- classic.
Damien do you have anything to say?

"Yes I do, Alice. I'd just like to take this opportunity to hate on Nuit Blanche for a quick second. What's the deal? Scotiabank dangles a carrot in front of the Art Rabbit and we're all supposed to piss ourselves with gratitude that our city is 'getting cooler?' Sorry but I'm not convinced. I love art as much as the next guy, and any forum for it is, at the end of the day, a welcome one, but here are some things to consider: 1) ask anyone who's been working on organizing the 'art thing' and they'll freely tell you how compromised the work of the involved artists has been due to the corporate money driving the whole operation. 2) this exemplifies my theory that structurally, it is totally impossible for anything revolutionary or even of lasting impact to come from something so top-down. Almost by definition, top-down culture is synthetic and prescribed. The power of globalizing forces in co-opting independent expression is one of dilution and digestible commodification. In other words, such art can be entertaining and little more. Hopefully I'll be proven wrong this year.

Mercury is a perfect example of the many grassroots movements around the city that are breeding grounds for culture I would deem actually meaningful.

Note: When I turned 25 I immediately became 36% more cynical. Thankfully, my latte art also improved 17%, and my shots are 22% more delicious."

Over and Out
A wall and D bird

Thursday, September 20, 2007

G'day fellow coffee consumers and customers,

Alice is on vacation catching up on her sanity. But no worries, Matt, Neil and myself (Adrian) are in manning the ship, pulling the levers and grinding the gears. Good news for all you espresso fans out there: not only are we pulling Kid-O organic espresso from Intelligensia but as of today we are serving 49th Parallel's Elysian espresso which has been maturing in our cellar for the past week. Get it while you can, because after tomorrow's morning rush it's over. Okay, now let us dispense with the java jive.... jingo jango. Ok, I don't really know where Adrian was going with that but now that's he gone I'm left here to pick up the pieces. That's how we roll here at Mercury. We got each other's back. We're like firemen rushing into a burning house in pairs to we make sure everyone makes it home safely and soundly. We've got the best team (in my opinion) of baristas in Toronto. And with great teamwork you get amazing espresso. Trust me, I'm a barista.

Time for some shameless plugs. This Saturday the Barons and Lengthy will be playing at the Exploding Face zine launch. Come out to the Smiling Buddha at 961 College St. just west of Dovercourt on the south side. Like I said, the Barons will be playing, DJ's will be spinning, we'll be painting bikes and most importantly: COME CHECK OUT THE ZINE. It's pay what you can so you can still afford an espresso the next day when you're nice and hung over. I'd love to see you there. Especially you, the cute one.



Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Kid-O's in tha' hizz-ouse".

Doug's been yelling that for the past two days and I must agree with his enthusiasm. It really IS the shizzle. Of course any good coffee can be pull badly so that's why I encourage you to get it pulled here at Mercury. But now, if you're stuck in the west end and you need a hit, look up MANIC COFFEE at Bathurst and College on the north east side where Colbalt used to be. They're rocking the only Synesso and Clover machine in Toronto. I must congratulate Matt Lee on opening an establishment that will set the bar even higher in terms of coffee making in Toronto. I look forward to frequenting his joint and geeking out with my fellow nerds.

Congrats to all the participants at the National Barista competition! I was definitely inspired and hope to climb aboard next year's competition and get some free swag, I mean win some medals (or tampers or whatever). And Kim if you're reading this, you'll always be top dog in my books!

BLast off!!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Alice Says: Mercury is really like a '69 two door Dodge Dart...
moving on.

Damien and I are having a marvelous time cleaning and pulling delicious beverages. It's a fantastic day out there sports fans. It might be a touch on the cool side, but the sun is beautiful and the air is fresh. Sounds like walking weather to me. Maybe you all should stand up from your computers/ Blackberrys / iPhones , and take a hop down here for a nice warm drink.

Damien Says:
Here I am! I'm going to shamelessly exploit this opportunity to shamelessly plug the launch party for EXPLODING FACE, the shameless publication put together (in part) by the two most shameless Mercury employees. The party will also feature a live set by the unstoppable force known as Barons and Lengthy... which features another of Mercury's finest. The whole shebang is on September 22nd, which is also my 25th birthday and a Saturday. If you're the kind of person who reads Mercury's blog, then you're the kind of person who's warmly invited! There will also be other radical events that night, like a bicycle painting party, readings by the mag's contributors, and righteous DJ sets. You should come to the Smiling Buddha (just West of Dovercourt on the South side of College) on the 22nd, basically. Do it.

Alice Says: If I were in TO I would be there with bells on. So due to the fact that I cannot attend, I encourage you to go! Have a great night, hang with Damien on his BIRTHDAY, check out a killer band, AND check out Exploding Face.

P.S - There is still some Kid-o left. Get it while you still can!

Over and Out
-D bird and A cat.

Monday, September 17, 2007

That's Right! It's Otis and Alice taking you through Sunday night. I hope your Monday is that much better because of it.
If you pop in Monday you will find a stocked counter filled with ginger molasses/ trail mix / and chocolate chip cookies. And if it couldn't get any better they will be hanging out with Banana Mango and Zucchini Raisin Muffins!! Oh me Oh my.

Feel Like Crap? we have Lemon-Ginger Echinacea Juice (Hot or cold it will surely make you feel better). OR you could try some fresh pressed Lemonade. It's really nice Hot... and ALWAYS made with love. We are all about the love here at the Merc.

We are featuring the Yemen Matari right now. You know what's wrong with this latte? NOTHING! it's awesome.
And a heads up... WE HAVE KID O. Ben says "it's the choice of 9 out of 10 Ninjas", and he would know. So come on down and have an espresso. It might change your life.

over and out
- A wall and Otis

Sunday, September 16, 2007

If Neil and I were goats, this is what we would look like. I must say I enjoy this image for another reason... it's like one of those ink blot things... what do you see? crazy dancing goats? neil and alice? A 1987 Lotus? A '69 two door Dodge Dart?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Matt was by with some of his gear for the Barista Championships that are goin' on this weekend and it's some pretty fly stuff. It's like a P.Diddy Party. You'll see what I mean in a few days, when all the innovation comes home to the Merc, but until then, if you want a sneak peak, you better scoot down to the competition this Sunday and Monday at the Canadian Coffee and Tea Show and see how it all goes down. It's serious. Matt's serious. I'm serious. Serious about coffee! It's LIFE, man. In a microcosmic cup. Swirls of primordial brown and white, gradually taking form, solidifying. No wonder coffeehouses are such hubs of art and philosophy: coffee is the very stuff of it.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Like the Sax Riff in "Never Gonna Dance Again," Basically

sweaty and mental,
Like Some Kind of Disgusting Animal;
cliffside over crashing waves,
I scream this slobbering ode into torrid sheets of wind for thee:

"Mercury! Who loves ya, baby?
You know, it's not so much the crazy beautiful people that traverse your terracotta tiles,
nor is it the delicious espresso that courses through your veins and out your metal pores-
For how superficial would my 'love' be if that were all?
The truth is that I adore, my dear, adore those tiles and those pores,
and with loving gesture and fond caress
do I shammy your every nook and j-cloth your every cranny."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The cooler weather is moving in and summer will soon be out... But if you move to Florida you would miss Mercury too much. Good thing we have hot drinks.

Our feature is the Papua New Guinea Mawari. Its mellow (not so yellow) and you should really try it.

Heads Up!
The Canadian National Barista Championship is this coming weekend! You should come out and watch Matthew compete with Canada's killer Baristas for the National Barista Championship title. It takes place at the Toronto Congress Centre - 650 Dixon Rd - Sunday September 16th from 12pm-5pm. Then the final is Monday September 17th from 12pm-5pm. So if you want to watch the cream of the crop you should check it out.

Now I will spend some time cleaning (and maybe spend a little time lookin' at spiky, weird plants- if i find any). And here is a little something to look forward to... Tomorrow our very own Damien will be writing a very impressive, very amazing blog! SO RAD!

Over and Out
Alice "HARDCORE!" Berg

Thanks for the coffee and the postcard Angela. You are a real sweetheart. The Merc missed you while you were gone.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

It's a lovely Saturday afternoon and Matthew is back behind the bar. Time to crack the whip he says. I agree. Ten points for anyone that can spot what's missing since his return.

Also returning after a long absence is the Papua New Guinea Mawari roasted by Dark City. Matthew would describe this bean as fan-frickin'-tastic. Actually besides that he says it has a nice caramel sweetness, with a nutty aroma and a spotless finish. Kinda like my closes. HA!

Also if you're in the mood for a musical treat, the lovely and talented Jacqueline Rendell will be playing here on Sunday at around 5pm. She just finished printing her new EP and will also be playing at the Drake on Monday night if you can't get enough. Check out her stuff:

Blast off!


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I believe that this button was created for Ben and I. We are 100% bling.

We've started a new rap group called Lumbajack 2. We've been heard exclaiming 'TIMBALAND' behind the bar.

Think about it.

It's been a GREAT yet busy morning. I think many of you must have read the blog and misunderstood my joke about free beer and pizza. Ha ha... right.

Tomorrow is a Thursday. Will it be a theme Thursday? I hope so. We may even take it to the extreme and make Friday one too. I miss those days.

The Feature Latte is Ethiopia Yirgacheffe
(A Wall drops some Beats) I think it's great, I think it's real swell
it's a cheap thrill that won't send you to hell
We have mad coffee skill so it all tastes better
We're so hot you better take of your sweater
and respect
(Tony here...)Our espresso is never blonde and always brown
Harmony milk that respects the cow and crema that takes the crown
we got mad skills and talent that thrills/we're organic, our milk won't grow off pills.
We pour our lattes freestyle, we ain't about to spoon-feed y'all some swill.
one life we need to do it right...respect
Our skills we check, to protect our rep, so calm and collected as we go tete a tete,
With the latte set, try a cap and we'll bet, by this time next year round you'll drink espresso yet.
It's a finer grind, open up your mind, you'll never find a surer shot, we leave all others behind,
so kindly form a line, we'll serve you all in time
to get to work with a cup of perk from your favourite Merc, sublime.
Word is bond.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ok so no beer or pizza BUT there is Alice and COFFEE at mercury... so it's not so bad.
We received all of our beans today so the bean shelf is stocked. For all of those who were denied The Mad Hatter Blend or Extra Butter come on it and pick some up (before it's gone again).

special Tuesdays means you can come by and get a special hug from everyone you know along with your coffee, then guy smiley pops up from behind the counter and asks you questions about your grade 5 English teacher... and if you get it wrong, your coffee gets confiscated and given to a homeless child. you might feel sad, but seriously dude, don't be so selfish eh? homeless need coffee too you know.
*That Last part was from Yoni...

Anyway, I hope you all has a beautiful long weekend and I look forward to seeing you all bright and early tomorrow morning. Beer and Pizza anyone?
Oh! and James has not yet had the baby. I'll keep you posted.

A Wall
(off the wall and on the job)

Monday, September 03, 2007

WOW!!!! I found this pic, and I thought it was so cool!! Hawks are so rad! Maybe the best bird out there... but moving on....

No one wants to see Neil dance and that is why he is now taking the reins of this entry. Howdy! Today was truly a Labourious Day, what with all those coffees Alice and I made in the span of three hours. I'd say we made so many that you could fill a swimming pool with them, or maybe a hot tub....I think that's more appropriate for the contents of said pool/tub, although not so appropriate for today's climate. Whew!

Now with the elegance and grace of this here hawk Alice is swooping in to steer us back in the direction of cohesion.

Thank you Neil. IT has been quite a day here at the Merc (as holidays often are). I must give a shout out to Ben and Adrian who gave their all this morning and who still looked amazing by the end of the shift. I should also give Doug a shout out for being so great and good looking.
I'm going to be holding down the fort tonight, so if you feel like winding down your long weekend with a coffee... you know where to find me.

For those of you keeping score out there I have now been orbiting around on this planet for about a week, so I think it's nigh time we erase that "Please Welcome Mr Neil Rankin" sign from the fridge, although Doug has just told me we should keep it. I feel very welcome indeed.

Well loyal travelers, I am off to the races, the bicycle races. See you all when the sun comes up.

Sincerely, Al ICEBERG & Neil Stankin' Rankin.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Captain's Blog, Star Date 29082007:

It has been four days now since I, Neil Rankin, landed on this little planet known as Mercury, the closest one can get to the sun without catching aflame. At first I thought I would need my spacesuit to survive on this terrain made up of espresso and milk, how peculiar it was to discover that I needed no oxygen tank to breathe in this climate.

I find the habitants to be most friendly and very approachable (which is a giant step for mankind compared to the last planet I found myself on). Upon leaving the bubble of my Foxfire space shuttle I encountered a remarkable being known as Alex Tran, he showed me how to use the natural resources of his home planet. I have not been the same since.

Knowing now that I can live off of what this planet has to offer I'm sure I will find myself very happy indeed. I think I'll stay awhile. I look forward to meeting all of Mercury's other inhabitants and realizing the full potential of the planet Mercury.

End Transmission.

blog blog
blog blog

hey sports fans! If you come in and see a new face behind the counter it might just be Mr.Neil Rankin!
Do you know Neil Rankin?
If not, here is your chance!

In other news...
Beans Beans Beans
I'm really keen for these beans.
The Mad Hatter Blend- The best cure for your AM blues! It's got a little extra kick to get your morning started. Think about it... After a cup of that stuff you could look and feel as great as Alice Berg! ooohh baby!
Quick Silver- It's like Ben, but in bean form. Awake but not crazy, not too in your face, and super eco friendly. Great anytime, anywhere.
Espresso- Great as a brew, perfect as an espresso. It's like when Adrian found $20.00 in the street and took me out for ice cream.
Decaf (swp)- Best decaf around! It's like missing a party for a great night of sleep. Sure the party might be fun (especially if I'm there), But sleep is so RAD!
Extra Butter- It's dark, it's rich, and it's awesome. The guy upstairs buys it all the time. I'm Sold!
Ethiopia Yirgacheffe- It's sweet, a bit fruity, and a staff favourite. Great after a meal.

Over and Out

Sunday, August 26, 2007

OK, one parting gift. In honour of our new Quicksilver blend, I give you vintage Kevin Bacon in a film of the same title:
It is with a heavy heart that I, Nicholas Brown, pen this blog on my last day of employment at the Merc. I'm moving on, but my heart remains with this beacon of light in the burgeoning Toronto coffee scene. It's been about a year since I moved here from Vancouver, and I'm happy to say that this young shop has made a huge impact in a city where orders of "expresso" are still a regular phenomenon (though not here-- our customers are a cut above).

I may live in Parkdale, but I'll still be making the regular bike ride across Lakeshore to visit, sip a cappuccino and stoop it (that is, until Winter rears its ugly head).

So fare thee well young Mercury. It has been a pleasure.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Today Mercury Espresso Bar welcomes young Damien Zielinski to the fold- the latest in a hallowed lineage of lucky employees. He was reportedly heard to remark "this is, perhaps, the greatest day of my young life." With unstoppable vigour and an enthusiasm impossible to deny, he has surely embarked on a life-changing and irreversible transformation process.

"I used to work for a Starbucks on campus," said Zielinski, 25, "and you better believe it was a different scene. When you're used to serving McEspresso to University of Toronto slaves all day on behalf of a multi-national corporation, it's amazingly refreshing to begin serving a product you believe in to people you respect (and on behalf of people you respect). I look forward to approaching Mercury's Elektra with an attitude of humility, diligence, reverence, and love that will hopefully manifest itself in delicious shot after delicious shot of organic Fair Trade espresso. I take this position and the positivity that it allows me to spread in the Leslieville community very seriously, and plan on working very, very hard."

Monday, August 20, 2007

Back when the Hudson's Bay Company (a private business) owned most of Canada and 'venture capital' was counted in beaver pelts, suffering for fashion was an everyday business. All those beavers found their way, eventually, into hats-- fuzzy, felted top hats. It took a special kind of hatter to process the pelts, to remove the hard, spiny hairs using mercury-- a toxic element-- day after day after day. As we now know, mercury (the element) is something that we don't want to have too close or prolonged contact with (I'm contrasting this, of course, with the establishment of the same name whose blog you are perusing, where you want to be all the time, obviously.)

The long-term effects of mercury were known back then but tolerated due to the lack of any other effective way of treating the furs. Those few who practiced this process slowly started to show the symptoms of mercury poisoning: drooling, sweating, and general dementia. They are best remembered in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, in the form of the Mad Hatter.

But humanity has had a much longer relationship with mercury due to its perceived magical properties, which were readily seen in its liquid state at room temperature. Alchemists prized this integral tool, using it liberally in their studies of transmutation, and quacks dosed their patients with this miracle cure, the solution to all cases of syphilis, cancer, mumps, flu, plague, pox, ticks, lice, demon possession, and general wifely disagreeability. This was the power of Quicksilver.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hey, it's a darn good day for a good ol' cup of espresso. Y'all should try it in a ceramic cup, considering paper ain't all that great of a seasoning.

C'mon down y'all.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hi. Did you miss me?

Taste of the Danforth is in full effect this weekend leaving Leslieville a desolate wasteland. Well, wasteland is kind of an exaggeration but that IS the theme of this blog.

We've got a Mexico Oaxaca Sierra Madre Del Sur for our Featured Latte. It makes me feel like wearing a poncho. No one can be in a bad mood while wearing a poncho. I was thinking of getting sombrero too. Imagine that! Having a sombrero/poncho combo, I'd be off my tits in happiness!

Mercury is also out on the hunt for a few good baristas. If you know anyone who has prior espresso bar experience we'd be happy to meet them!

Ghostface Killah is blasting from the stereo right now and Doug and I agree that he's the best Wu-Tang member. If Doug was a member it would be him. I think I would be Redman. Which member would you be? Ten points for anyone owning up to be ODB!



Sunday, July 29, 2007

Alice: OH! Well hello there, I didn't see you come in. Let me just put on something a little bit more....

Matthew, Sasha, and I are just hanging out here - I guess we are "working" not "hanging" but "whatever". If you'd like to join in on the fun you know where to find us.

We now have biodegradable lids! So once you have had your fix you can toss the WHOLE CUP into the green bin. AWESOME! Oh and a little reminder, if you bring in your own cup we take 25 cents off. We don't have to use a cup, you get a deal, it's win win!
well anyway, Green Shift says the cups take about 50days to break down. I say you test them. Not that I think they are liars or anything (because I don't), just that it might be sort of cool to see if its true.

Sasha: Hi! We at Mercury are also excited to announce that we are implementing a new method: The PK Dosing & Tamping Method. Pioneered (sort of) by Matthew Taylor, this should cut down on coffee waste, increase shot consistency, and elicit fascination, confusion, and crypto-mockery. It's all we talk about. That and our lids. We blogged about them the other day, and then again today. We're really excited. We might blog about them tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Oh, and we've got some delicious Ethiopia Harrar in as our feature; it has earned the coveted and rare thumbs-up from Alice Berg. Not just any coffee gets the Alice Berg thumbs-up.

-S and A

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hi, internet!

Woah, it's hot today. I know that it's been hot before, and that I've frequently written about it being hot, but woah is it ever hot. Woah. I expected my morning cappucino to spontaneously combust, and when I ran out for ice today, I felt as if I was going to melt into the pavement. However, at Mercury, we are not dissuaded by the heat - we consider it a test of our dedication and our incredible tanned physiques.

For clarity's sake: Our retail beans are now being stored and ground behind the counter. This will result in less delightful Three Stooges-style blundering, and it's really a better setup in all respects.

Also, we now have biodegradable lids! How exciting is that? SO EXCITING! Everything that your coffee comes in can be tossed in the green bin now. Well done, GreenShift!

Come sweat it out and biodegrade with us. We would like that.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Behind the counter stand Alice and Sasha; friendly, helpful, prompt, occasionally sarcastic. Filters in hand, fingers at the register, ducking in and out of the dishwasher, they are prepared to serve you a variety of delicious beverages.

But beware: When the night comes, or when the store empties, they become scurrilous rogues. They give each other makeshift tattoos behind the lemons, air guitar with unprecedented ferocity, and sashay about like a pair of trapeze artists.

Come and order our coffee, and marvel at the quality of our work and the seamless nature of our public personae. But all the while, remember that underneath lurks something primal, something savage, something else.

-Sasha, who read Where The Wild Things Are like three times last night.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Round One: Ben

The Scene: Mercury Espresso Bar, Saturday afternoon. A bustling day; the scent of fresh espresso is in the air, the buzz of anticipation of caffe latte, cappuccino, and americano presides.

Ben: Hark, on the horizon! It is Matthew, carrying divers delectables! Prithee, who is it who rides with him?

Alice: It is not who, Sirrah, but what! Could it be? A Mazzer Major! The Grinding Grail!

Matthew: Yea, it be true, one to join the other we have already collected upon our travails. With two, we shall be nigh unstoppable.

Yes, friends, two Mazzers; Speed, Power, and Flavour are with our heroes. Come and see them rejoicing and frolicking, grinding fine coffees and pulling impeccable shots.

Round Two: Sasha

I am here in the warm, comforting environs of Mercury, with a song in my heart, a twinkle in my eye, and espresso on my lips. (This doesn't look as good as it sounds.) We also have a new sign above the door; for maximum enjoyment, order your cappucino, stand in the doorway, sidle a couple of feet to the right, look up, and bask, then come in to enjoy your coffee. (This looks just as good as it sounds.)

As for coffee, you're in luck, as we're featuring the ever-popular Yemen as our feature bean, which unfailingly offers a smooth, rich cup of coffee. Also, for espresso, we're featuring the perhaps-even-more-popular Kid O, which is powerful and rich enough to knock a man down at fifty paces, yet just as smooth as Alex Tran. Alex Tran on a good night. Alex Tran on a good night, with the moon above him, shining just so, stretching his arms to yawn and seamlessly loop an arm around your shoulder.

It's pretty good, I guess.



Saturday, July 14, 2007

Hello. If you aren't doing anything Monday night and you're feeling a little high strung, come out for a bike ride with us. We're going to meet here at around 9pm and bomb around the city for about an hour. Where we're going has yet to be determined but the more the merrier! And maybe we can turn this to be a weekly thing!


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Well kids... the day has come... WE HAVE LEMONS!!! Big deal, I know. I will go to the store to by ice, and then we will be open for business (lemonade business I mean).

Adrian slept in today so I called our dear friend Ben over to help me out. Here is what he has to say:

He says nothing because he disappeared into thin air after consuming 10 espressos in a row. I thought I saw a brown blur whiz by and catch a cup falling off the counter but I can't be sure if that was him. I guess I'll find out what happened to him when I see him on Saturday. Peas out

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What the heck is this? Is this rain? It doesn't feel like it? If you stand really still it feels like the rain is rising up from the ground and floating sideways, creeping towards you like dirty old man. This kind of weather really gets me down. I love a good rain fall but this is something else. Is it mist? Fog? It's cheating us out of our summer sun is what it is. Kitties hate this weather too! It's impossible for them to avoid something they can't see.
Mercury, however, is dry. Dry and inviting. Come in we can talk about bikes. I LOVE talking about bikes. Maybe it's because there's so much I don't know. Biking around in Toronto gives one lots to chat about. So if you're sick of getting soaked by mystery rain today, stop by for a coffee.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

We still have no Lemons. Because of this we have no lemonade. Pro Organics is inspecting them right now, and once they pass the perfection test, they will be carried over on the backs of giant owls. Because of this, fact, they will arrive in the night time and be here in the morning. Sorry. I miss our lemonade too.

I'm not trying to get your hopes up... we will not at any point be serving hot dogs, hot doug's, or beef patties.. but I thought I would share this image with you. If ever you find yourself in Chicago I say go to Hot Doug's The Sausage Superstore and
Encased Meat Emporium
and pick up a real one.

Matthew and I are working today, and then in comes eve for the night shift... so if you feel like chillin' out... just saying.

A bunch of us went out to see the Final Fantasy/ Do Make Say Think show Sunday night. It was really Rad! It was quite windy, but I think the wind made the show sound even better. I also have to point out that our little buddy Sasha might know everyone in the world! ok, maybe not the world... but he sure does know a lot of people. If you want to make the long list of people who know Sasha come on into Mercury.

That's how I roll
- Ali bear and M dog

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Hey Kids,
If you haven't packed up and left town you can always come hang out at Mercury.
we have got lots of treats to eat like

-Banana, Apple cinnamon, and sunflower zucchini Bran muffins
-Spiced Brownies
-ginger or chocolate chip cookies

We have a new artist hanging this month. Her name is Renee Nault. She is cool. They are cool too. We like her. There are goats. Lots of goats and goat like things. I like them. They are cool.

The Feature Latte of the week is the Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. If you have tried it before you know that it is awesome...
and if you haven't I really think you need too.
I like it... just saying.

It reminds me of this one time...
I was walking with Adrian on Queen west, and he was all like "you are the best!" and I was all like "No, You are the best!" and then we went on for like 10 min talking about who really was better....
So it's like that in a latte. Your latte will keep telling you "YOU are the best!" and you will say to your latte "No, YOU are".

That's how I roll
- A "Wall" Berg

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"Doing dishes is like breathing."

-Amber Roga-Fox 4:01 pm June 20th

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hi internet! It's a deliriously hot summer day here at Mercury. It is throughout Toronto, I imagine. But I couldn't tell you. We're handling it though, Alice is sipping some basil lemonade, I have a smoothie, we're doing calisthenics, we're making iced coffee, it's getting okay.

Our patio is a real thing now! Before, it was just an imagined social construct based on a haphazard outdoor arrangement of tables and chairs. Now, it has a fence around it. You can come by and sip your cappucino on it and feel all the more cozy and secure. Try it. You'll like it.

Also, I'm officially letting the public know that as self-appointed Mercury Organic Espresso Bar Chess Champion, I am taking on all comers. If anyone successfully contests my title, they will be rewarded with fame, bounties of fresh fruit, and maybe a laurel wreath (or a pigeon trophy if Ben crashes into one that day). Let me know. I'll defend my title anytime, anywhere; and by that I mean at Mercury, when I finish my shift, if I haven't gone skipping off somewhere.

Really, why aren't you stopping by? Stop by.

Love always,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

... word on the street is that tomorrow we will have spelt coconut/mango AND spelt chocolate chunk muffins! It's always nice to know there is something to look forward to in the mornings. We also have in some spiced BROWNIES! If I were Paris Hilton I would say "that's hot" - but I'm not- so I won't.
New News
-If you haven't been in this week, we are featuring the Yemen Mocha Matari. It's like taking a walk with Adrian on a dark August night (so dreamy)... or like a bike ride with Alex at sunrise (if he could get up that early)... or listing to some eco friendly band with Ben (I'm not sure what an "eco friendly band" is, but I'm sure Ben does)... well whatever... all I'm saying is that it's a nice coffee and if you haven't takin' it for a spin you should.
-I saw Graham Powell today! In Mercury! OMG MAN! CTFM or RTFM or whatever man! I was so happy and so shocked I almost FO*. It was crazy. I was all like "LOL" and he was all like "I know" and I was all like "BRB" cause i needed to make sure I looked ok cause it's not EVERY day you see GP**.
*Fell Over
**Graham Powell

That's how I roll
-Alice "Honeycat needs ice" Berg

OH and a shout out to our dearest Josh! The Merc crew is singing you Happy Birthday right now (in our minds).

Sunday, June 10, 2007

12:47- A heart was broken, then a bird flew into a window. Lipstick Machine was seen riding their bikes along Harbord st. The trek down to Leslieville was rather uneventful even after stopping at the Yung Sing bakery on Baldwin st.

1:23-After 3 glasses of water at Mercury I could once again smell the wonderful aroma of coffee being ground. Everyone sitting in the cafe seemed to be enjoying the sounds of the Land of Talk.
All regrets of missing You Say Party We Say Die at the Horseshoe last night flew out the window after that first sip of liquid gold. I wondered what I would play at the shop today.
Metal and lethargy don't mix well.

1:56- I wished the lead singer of Foxfire Forest a Happy Birthday as he headed off on his bike with a coffee in hand. I thought about when I took a nose dive trying to negotiate a Slurpee in one hand and a tempermental bike in the other. No good can come of this I said.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


So the toilet-flusher-handle broke today (someone wanted to flush REAL HARD I guess), and resultantly I was sent out on an odyssey I'll not soon forget. I biked west to regal hardware, only to discover they had closed about fifteen minutes before. Reluctantly I turned around to head to the Home Depot, when a PIGEON flew into my face. I saw it, as if it were in slow motion: here, the bird, swooping low over the street, now fluttering wildly to wend-- just barely-- over a passing van, stalling in its ascent and dive-bombing at my cringing, unprotected face. I felt its oily wings whipping at my nose and forehead, and then, as soon as it had begun, it was over.

Some uncouth individuals have suggested that I ought to have licked it.

I find this idea abhorrent.

Anyway I got the handle at the Home Depot so now you can use the facilities as needed.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A new retro-fitted machine just appeared when I started my shift today and I must admit I was very excited. The extraction time, and temperature were the same but for some reason it just felt different. My ristrettos are sweeter than ever but again, it may just be all in my head. Someone asked me what the difference was between this setup and the old one.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hello my little dears, it's Eve here.
You probably see me lounging about Mercury more so than actually behind the counter, but that's why they love me here, really.

The weather is a litlle grim today, but I suppose it's a acceptable price for all the flawless days we had all month! I keep hearing about this great cafe in Stockholm that actually takes crummy weather quite seriously. The interior is entirely lit with specific daylight lamps and all the furniture is white. I'm quite sure you get a white robe aswell. It's purpose is to add a little "Summer cheer" for the duration of the long and dark nordic Winter months [which is actually the only time it's open] due to the large statistic of citizens who suffer from the seasonal depression. The owner got the idea from his own therapy! What a thoughtful guy.

Well anyway, maybe we don't have wonderful sun-happy interiors but Alice, Matt and myself here are always glowing that way. So come by. Go, go go!


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Light! It's the hot-button issue. Let there be light, we say. Doug informs me that Monday we'll be closing at 3pm to put in the new lighting. Please forgive us: we'll be back and better and brighter the next day.


(I'm new.)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

first, i would like to thank everyone for bearing with us as we try and get through this phase of renovations. it has taken a little longer than we had expected (it's renovations, they always do). but we are in the home stretch, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

and speaking of light, and all things light related...

in spite of what some of the baristas here believe, we are open until 9 pm... everyday. not 7 or 7:30ish "because of the lack of light" which seems to be the current "reason" going around. with the number of windows we have now, the natural light alone lights up this place like a friggin' cathedral till 8 or 8:30ish (i mean it's not like we live in the arctic where the sun sets at some ungodly, way-too-early hour). and not to mention (but i will) the 3 sink lights that do work and have always cast more than enough light to sweep from in the past.

so, just for the record, our hours are :

7am to 9pm 7 days a week.

there may be the odd time that we have to close for something unforeseen but we'll do our best to try to keep on top of things so that doesn't happen too frequently, and if we can, we'll give you as much notice as possible (though that sort of goes against the nature of something "unforeseen"). we will do our best.

again, thanks for bearing with us.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hi! I'm Sasha, I'm new here. Currently I can push buttons and take your order, soon I'll be able to push other buttons and make your espresso. I'm being trained (disciplined) under the watchful (unforgiving) guidance (yelling) of the other baristas.

It's a beautiful Saturday - the skies are blue, it's warm, the coffee is fragrant, and it seems like we're done with torrential rain for now. I'm sure you want to go for a swim or a bikeride or plan a picnic or a softball game, and you should! Go do that. Leave your homes, get off the internet. After you've picnicked, come by for a coffee. Renovations are going smoothly but not all of the lighting is installed, so we're open until Alex can't see the machines (7/7:30ish).

We would love to have you!


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Long time no blog!
Well... Things have been a bit crazy here... We are almost done the renovation work... a few lights and new windows, and we are set. Come take a look (if you have not been in already).
Oh! we also have some new staff members! Amber (watch out for your bikes...i hear she likes to take them on joy rides), Sasha (cute in a high school mod kinda way), and Ben (cute in a super eco friendly kinda way). They are all really super cool and fun, so come in and say hi to them.
We again have the Kid-O as the feature espresso. Those who like it, like it a lot. I am one of "those" who likes it. We also have the harrar on mean bar...umm...well anyway, that one great too.
I have been here a long time and I think I'm going to OD on coffee... i guess that's what the picture is all about. If I were a man in a yellow would be me.
Well that's all the news that's fit to print/ I can't go on like this for much longer.
See you all soon.
-a L i C e
that's how i roll

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hey Honeycat, It's cat fight thursday! So if you missed out on Fake Blood Friday, this is your last chance to see fake blood on Eve and myself. I guess this is what happens when the two girls on staff work together.
In other news...
We will be closing early Monday May 7- Friday MAy 11. We are doing some renovation work here in the shop, and will be closing at noon. So for those weekdays we will be open from 7am- 12pm. So come out and hang out, just come and hang early.

Right now the feature latte is the Yemen Mocha Matari (Yeah Man!).
I dig this one a lot, and if you miss it as the feature, you might want to grab some in bean form. It's my favourite to drink at home.

That's how i roll
-Ali cat