Tuesday, April 24, 2007

As the Raptors head into game 2 tonight I am forced to wonder if their performance would be enhanced by the power of coffee. Not just any coffee, but Mercury coffee. I can see Bargnani sipping on a cappuccino, or Chris Bosh downing a single shot mocha right before a game. I can't see Sam Mitchell getting too amped up before the game just cuz he'll already be on edge, but on his off days he'll be drinking Lactose-Free Lattes. Caffine is, after all, a LEGAL performance enhancing drug. I would totally volunteer to be their road-barista. I would scout out the best quality shops across North America before every game just in time to see the fruits of my labour transformed into alley-oop dunks. if only. Go Raptors!


Monday, April 23, 2007


Well, it's the beginning of another week here at the Merc AND BOY is this place hopping. Matt and I both feel like we got caught with one foot off the Merry-go-round today. That being said, please feel free to hop on into Mercury and try an ICED beverage (we have ICE)! Ice is a marvellous state of matter and anyone who has read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 Hundred Years of Solitude knows exactly what I'm talking about. How would you react to your first encounter with ice? What would you think? How would you feel? Discuss! Shucks look at me I'm rambling again. Some of you might be interested to know that we're spinning some classic Pixies tunes at the moment. Others might be excited to hear that Vicki baked croissants today and will hopefully will gives us all a repeat performance for tomorrow.
- "Spring has Sprung" said the Walrus. "Don't Jump the gun" said the carpenter. "Don't shoot me I'm just the messenger" said I.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ladies get out those halters, guys bust out those camo shorts, patio season is in full effect. Well, at least for this weekend anyway. Please be advised our hours will be changing to 7 am to 9 pm EVERYDAY starting next month. Also, tomorrow our Iced drink menu will be back.

I'll be pulling shots of Kid-O all weekend until it runs out so come in and get it quick. Our Ethiopia Sidamo is having an identity crisis; it thinks it's a blueberry. But you'll have to find out for yourself. My new signature drink has also been finalized, but again, you'll have to come in and ask for a Trendy Sunshine in person.

The patio is out, though we don't have the luxury of a fence yet but I'm sure you'll be able to deal with that. Grab an iced cold fresh pressed lemonade, park yourself on one of our chairs and enjoy molting season! Let the games begin.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This is just a test.
I will come back very soon and re write some of this post. So in fact, it might be better than just any other post... for you see, you get to read it twice!
The Feature Latte: Ethiopia Sidamo from Dark City
The Feature Espresso: Kid O Organic Espresso from Intelligentsia
News: New grinder. it's really nice looking. It says Espresso Italiano on the side. It makes the other grinders look slow and old school. It's the belle of the ball. Matthew has a new toy.
-Barista Competition...Matthew 4, Alex 7
-Don't you just love Quinoa? I really do. Just saying.
-Heads up. Don't know if anyone has said this... but Vicki is our baker. She has her own place now. it is called new world organics. If ever you are in need of organic baked goods, she is your lady. 647-435-4885.
- I still have to take a side on the hubba bubba chewing gum issue. The new stuff it a big let down.

That's how I roll (for now)
-Alice "Honeycat" Berg

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Okay, I have finally broken. After drinking the perfect shot of the 49th Parallel Epic Espresso the other day, I have to admit it is one of the most, if not the most delectable espresso I have ever had. I cannot wait until it returns!


Monday, April 16, 2007

Hey, Nick here. I guess it's not too often I post on here, so it's time to make all that up. I was recently called the "most elusive barista in Toronto," and I guess that's not so surprising all things considered.

It's my first shift back from a brief, hectic trip to Vancouver. I got back just in time to catch the Eastern Regional barista championships, where our very own Alex Tran and Matt Taylor represented. I laid low this time out, the combination of my recent Western sojourn and the fact that it's bloody end of term and why the hell would anyone schedule a barista competition at end of term? (Hello, what's the number one college job? You fill in this one: ________).

It was awesome to see Alex and Matt represent, and they came out in full force. Alex had the Mercury mainstay Dark City in tow, while Matt opted for the fantastic 49th Parallel Epic Espresso (I admit my bias: I used to work for 49th, but seriously-- it's the best espresso in Canada, maybe even North America). Also competing were my bros Matt Lee, who had the brass to pull out a Mazzer Major grinder at an event sponsored by Elektra!; and Sam James, who works at Cherry Bomb and has only been at this thing for 6 months. Matt Lee had Intelligentsia Organic Kid 'O', which comes as no surprise since he reps Intelly for Toronto, while Sam had his shop's blend of Dark City, which he had doctored with some Yirgacheffe for good measure.

I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow, except to say my boys made me proud. Both Matts had very impressive signature drinks-- Taylor had a nice combo of blood orange, espresso and amaretti; Lee had a cappuccino infused with rosemary, ginger and grapefruit rind juiced over an open flame! Sam was all pro in spite of his rookie status-- his performance was one of the most polished of anyone there (even though he re-pulled a shot and adjusted his grind mid-competition! What balls, and he stayed under time). Alex's laid back delivery and impressive latte art similarly belied his rookie competition status-- nice job.

For all of the professionalism these guys put out, I sure wish it could have been reciprocated by the organizers. Sound problems, a lack of video projector (jesus, the crowd is bored enough watching person after person make coffee, the least you can do is give them a close up view and audible vocal levels!), extremely drawn out lags between competitors and especially during the lead up to announcements, and fluctuating temperatures in the venue wreaked havoc on the day. I'm holding out for the Canadian Barista Competition this September in Toronto. It'll be a more professional event, and I bet all of the judges will even be coffee professionals! Still no certainty if they, unlike some this weekend, will manage to listen to competitors' instructions for how to consume signature drinks, or even drink more than a sip of each beverage. But here's hoping!

Oh and FYI-- I'm pulling shots of Epic Espresso in the shop today. Got a little bit left, you don't wanna miss this stuff. Such a sweet, syrupy bottom end, it's a very nice straight espresso. And I'm out.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

What a relaxing Sunday.
I love waking up too early and taking in the extra minutes by looking out the window from my bed, waltzing into work and just being in an exceptionally good mood. You should all try it some time. I hear it lowers blood pressure and enforces hapiness. But so does wine anyway, for those who might be late risers.

So come by and take advantage of all the smiles, because we all know I'm far too serious most of the time.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Hello everyone!
What a crazy day! Thanks for stopping by, and we apologize if Alice and I weren't so full of sunshine to each and every one of you, but we were very busy! Always remember we love all of you.

We've also just run out of the Organic Epic Espresso from 49th Parallel Roasters. If you haven't had a chance to have some, don't you worry! We'll very likely get some very soon.
(I personally am not too fond of it, I really missed the really great sweet under tones of the Dark City blend.)

And speaking of sweet things, I can't stop reminiscing about Vicki's absolutely, wonderfully, incredibly, delicious croissants. And yes, they really do deserve all those adjectives. If you ever see her, tell her they're amazing... and that she's amazing too... for making them so good.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's a fine day here in Leslieville.
Well first things first....
1. For the next few days we will have a Feature Espresso in the grinder. It's the 49th Organic Espresso from the 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters. It's made of carefully sorted coffees from Brazil, Ethiopia and the South Pacific. Very unique and wonderful on it's own or with milk. Medium body and high sweetness. Well, that's what the package says... so come in and see what you think. I dig it. The espresso I've had from them is some of the best I've ever had (and that's not on the package). So come in, have an espresso, maybe I'll have one too, and then we can both feel jacked all day long!
2. The Canadian Regional Barista Championship is this Saturday (April 14). If you want to see Alex rock to Barons and Lengthy and Matthew roll to Do Make Say Think then be there or be square. So come support the merc, and the guys behind the bar.
3. I went out a few nights ago (anyone who saw me the next morning knows it was a crazy night), and I saw a band I really like.
They are called Mariposa.
They are really swell.
They are my pick of the week.
Go to www.myspace.com/mariposawilleatyou or go to the EP Release @ the NOw Lounge w/ Foxfire Forest April 21st.
4. Barons and Lengthy are playing tonight at Sneaky Dee's (that's Adrian's band...you know the guy who works here with the big eyes and the sharp smile...). Well I'm going to be there...and it's going to be awesome. All the cool kids are going and so can you.
5. The Feature Latte right now is the Yemen Mocha Matari. We think it tastes like a night out with the Merc staff... on second thought it tastes nothing like beer and smokes...
It's more on the chocolaty side of life. Come in and try one.
Well that's all the news that's fit to print. See you at Mercury.
that's how I roll.

Monday, April 09, 2007

G'day! G'day!
SO! It's set and final and this is it. Alex & I will be competing this Saturday in the Canadian Central Eastern Barista Championship at Steamwhistle Brewery (255 Bremner Blvd., just south of the Sky Dome). I think there's around 15 or 20 competitors this year from all over Ontario. Come on out and see some of the best baristas in Canada do their thing. See what kinds of crazy concoctions they've come up with this year. Also........ if you can stick around, there will be some rockin' and some rollin' after the comp. My band, Soup Kitchen Line-Up will rock yer socks off with some good 'ol country fried rock 'n roll. So come one come all!! It's free admission and probably something you've never experienced before.
Rock On!!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

(There should be a photo here... but I'm not so good with these things)
This Is Alex and Eve. They Work Here. Now When You Come In And They Are Working You Can Say
"Hey I Saw You On The Blog!"
that's how I roll