Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tomorrow is Giving up Friday. I give you full on permission to wear your sweatpants all day. And hey, you say don't own sweatpants? Well show up in anything that says "I've given up"

Damien Looks super boss today. Come in and see for yourself. Dude and I are just chillin' to The Animals right now. He just confessed the me his long lost dream of joining the circus when he was "like" 7. Well the circus or The Animals... either one.
Wow dude, that's heavy. Thoughts? Comments?
Come on in and let it all out.

C- Colombia Tres Santos is on press right now. It's slammin'. Have a press for here, or wait the "like" 4mins and take one to go.

O- Oh! If you haven't seen the awesome quilts hanging up on our walls today is your last day. What comes next?

F- French Press. Did i mention the French Press...

F- Fresh Cider. Just like powdered cider but Fresh and not made from powder. At 3 monkeys a barrel you can't go wrong.
E- Ethiopia Yirgacheffe is still the feature latte of the moment. Get it before it's gone.

(steve Urk) E (l)- was the best character from Family Matters. Fact. The grandmother comes in a close second.

-Alice "I ain't no band leader" Berg

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


At four am the wind shook our hero awake and one thought was on his mind: "The Mercury sign! I hope it doesn't smash through our front window!"

Sure enough it hadn't smashed any windows, but across the street was a different story. The "?" sign that hung so loyally from its pole and chain was now swinging freely, smashing windows and lights in its wake. "Traitor!" cried Matt. The ? retaliated with a swooping lunge at the beer light shattering it in an explosion of sparks and glass. Just as it made another swoop towards Matt the police showed up to quell this roaring beast. Police tape at the ready the officer made a move to stifle the ?. He succeeded in getting some tape round the monster, but it lashed out again forcing Matt and the officer to roll away else it shatter them too.

After backing up his cruiser the officer pounced again this time tethering the sign to the wall where it whimpered as it tried to break free of the stranglehold the police tape had on it. Moments later the fire department arrived to unchain the mighty beast. They cut it down and put it in the alley away from where it could do any more harm.

As the firemen were packing up their ladder and getting ready to move onto the next sign Matt had an idea, "Say fellas....while you're here, I noticed that our sign is hanging on by a mere thread and I fear a similar situation brewing. You wouldn't perhaps want to slay this dragon in return for a cuppa joe would ya?"

And that's how Matt defeated the Mercury Espresso Bar sign.

Oh, and Neil was electrocuted. But he survived.

The end.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do you remember the good old days of Theme?
I do, and frankly I miss them.
So here is what I'm proposing...
Giving up Friday!
I double dog dare you to come in on Friday in your sweat pants. Because when you've left the house in sweat pants it means you've given up hence the name "Giving Up Friday".

In other news...
Toronto Life came in this morning and took some wicked shots of the Merc in action. Look for some shots of our very own Ben "French for Brown Water" Bruneau and Alice "My mom came from Germany when she was five" Berg. Bonus: The Matt/Doug dynamic duo appears secretly!

Yeap, it's a glamorous life for us at the Merc now that the bright lights are upon us, but that doesn't mean we're not still the punk rock counterculture dirt hole we've always been! Now I'm gonna go drink a 26er of cheap rye and throw some sludge at a dude in a biker jacket.

Oh, and one more thing...
If you have noticed that Adrian hasn't been around and wondered to yourself "did they fire that son of a gun? or has he escaped to Mexico..." you can put your mind at ease. The reason for his absence is music related. He was recording some new tracks with his band.
If you haven't heard Barons and Lengthy you haven't heard music. Go to
and download (FOR FREE) their new tracks. Go... Go Now!

-The Berg and Dirt
(maybe the new name for a punk band avec Ben and myself)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's the freakin' weekend baby I'm about to have me some fun.

Well no, but I will have a nice cup of Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. We did buy them goats so it's only fair that we get to enjoy their coffee as well. You may have heard this story before but goats and Ethiopia have huge significance when it comes to the origins of coffee. Long ago, before the birth of a certain bearded magician, when humanity was nothing more than a bunch of vagrants moping around with goats that were probably as clever as they were, a discovery was made. Not by our forefathers (or mothers) but by our bleating companions. They showed up at the farm after a night out, one fateful day, all agitated and strung-out for some odd reason. Now were talking about Ethiopia here not Columbia so the more obvious answer is not in question (plus we're talking about a time way before brick cellphones and Saved By the Bell, come on people keep up with me) so the farmers wondered what was going down? After a little deductive thinking the farmers decided to follow these party animals into the forest one night, hoping to get a cut of the action (like I said, we weren't too bright back then) and low and behold, these goats were getting down with the berries of the coffee tree.
As for drying, roasting and brewing this mystic concoction I have really no idea. I guess at one point our lovely farmers had to 'one up' our furry, fiendish, friends and decided to add fire to the mix. Way to go. I suspect if goats had opposable thumbs we'd tell a different story, one involving goats on the logo of everyone's favorite corporate conglomerate, not some stupid squiggly lined drawing of a...what IS that anyway?

Friday, January 25, 2008

INTERIOR, DAY-We open on an espresso bar in a trendy part of town. Two baristas are talking shop.

Neil- Hey, you bloggin'?

Alice-No, I'm Alice.

Neil-Ha ha. Hmmmm. I'm hungry, I feel like a sandwich.

Alice-Well you don't look like one.

(They both laugh hysterically)

Neil-You know it's days like this that I wish would never end. Loopy Fridays.

Alice-Rhymes with LIE-days.

Neil-Yeah, ha ha, or PIE-days.

Alice-Fridays are great.....they're like when you come to the end of a really long tunnel, and then the other side is a huge open field and all you get to do is relax on this big green lawn of a weekend......yeah, that's Friday for ya.

Neil-Wow, you just metaphorically metamorphosised my mind.

Alice-That's what great coffee will do to you.

(At this moment a regular customer who has been listening the entire time interjects)

Customer-I do believe that is a simile.

Alice-Yeah, well, that's what great coffee will do to you. It makes you smarter.

(Roll credits)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

If there's time to be on the internet there's time to blog. It's the age old saying that predates the dinosaurs. We all know it, we can't unknow it, hence here's another foray into the world of the blogosphere, or as some have called it the deepinsphere, not to be confused with Bergosphere or even Bergonomics. (Both having to do with the Berg of the Alice persuasion).

Got any weekend plans? Cause we're busy drinking Ethiopia Harrar. Ha! You thought we were gonna ask you out on a date. Square. Well we might have, if we didn't have a sweet cup of that rich chocolaty goodness with a side of blueberry to hold our hand and have a candlelit dinner with. Sound sweet and romantic? It is. Don't take our word for it, come in and pick up one of these sweet numbers for yourself. That's right you too can have a hot date this weekend without the benefit of being asked out by one of us smokin' baristas.

So.....see you Saturday night round about eight?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sick of going to the mercury blog and NOT finding a new post?
Me too!
So I have taken it upon myself to fill you in on what you've missed while we haven't blogged.
Ben- Working hard at school on his dry point etching, Ben has been consuming lots and lots of coffee. You can feel his vibrations from a full 2 city blocks away. WHIRRRRRRRR
Neil- He went to Guelph and hung out at the new hip spot. I can't recall the name... but I'm told its the new hip spot.
Amber- She is off in NYC!!! BRB? ROFLCOPTER!
Alex- He worked a morning once! 6 in the AM! As if! His pants are way tight-- he probably gained 5 pounds, fatty fatty fat fat. Put away the pie, Alex!
Damien- He got a girlfriend and now he's too cool for us. Sorry, ladies.
Berg- Still Bergin' off. Also, was in the car, sneezed, had no kleenex, and had to suck all the snot back up her nose. As glorious as it was gross.
Adrian- Is an expert jackhammer hammerjacker. You can feel his vibrations from a full 2 city blocks away. WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRR
Matt- Dude is slammin'.
Doug- "Shaddap! I can't hear myself hammering!"
James- Had a baby. Well, four months ago. If you didn't send a card, it's too late to do so now without looking like a jerk.

Also, we all became Civil War reenactors:

You need to get more hobbies. Here's a start: in February we'll be hosting an evening of coffee appreciation here at the Merc. Come and watch Black Gold, a documentary detailing the way the coffee industry works, to the disadvantage of the growers. Then, learn about ways that you can help change the way the industry works through your conscious consumption and the direct trade phenomenon, and try some coffees from the region studied in the film paid for equitably.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Everyone knows someone like this:You make some coffee. Feeling generous, you offer some to them.

"What kind of coffee is it?" they ask."Because I only drink 100% Colombian."

As if that's the one distinguishing factor between a good coffee and a bad. Yeah, everyone knows at least one person like this. And I'm sure all of you out there in cyber-net-inter-web-land, reading our Mercury blog, know better than them, and feel confident in your (assuredly excellent) taste in coffee. But haven't we all felt a little sorry for them? Don't we all wish that we could... help them? Help them help themselves?

The answer is nigh: the Tres Santos La Planada microlot, a direct trade single origin bean from Colombia, brought to us by Intelligentsia. You may have had Tres Santos before, but you've not had this, as La Planada is the top few hundred pounds of these stellar beans' entire harvest-- the cream of the crop. And it's 100% Colombian, because it all comes from one place, is one varietal, and is roasted by one company. (Take that, 100% Colombian geeks of the world). Not only that, it's been voted the best-grown coffee from the Tres Santos co-operatives for the past three years. So spread the word, and show them the light: come by and have a press, or buy a half pound as a gift (to yourself or another). It's out of this world.

Monday, January 07, 2008

I was having a delicious press of Intelligentsia's Kenya Mathareini Auction lot this evening when those two wicked-cool dudes-- you know, the one with the toque, and the other, with the hair-- came in and got coffee and a ginger cookie. I was like, what? Ginger cookies? Who'd want to put ginger in a cookie? Am I right or what?

Anyway, crazy as it seemed, they were totally into the cookies-and-coffee combination. And they were pretty wicked cool. I thought to myself, "If two dudes this cool could eat a ginger cookie with their coffee, I bet someone normal like me could do it too!" So I did. It was tasty! Thanks for opening up my horizons!

So as the day has grown short for the winter, so have our hours-- a weeeeee little bit. From here until further notice, we will be closing an hour earlier-- 8 o'clock-- daily. (Opening times remain unchanged!) What does this mean for you? It means you have an extra hour every day that you don't have to be here! I know you all love it here so much, but we needed to get you out into the world a bit more. If you're put by 8, then you still have the whole evening ahead of you to go out for dinner, have a shindig, hit the clubs, and so forth, you crazy party people! Oh, don't worry about us! We like to stay at home with the cats. You're young, go have fun!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Well 'holy moley' bros, because we've got El Salvador's unstoppable Monterey Estate featured this week, and if you like clean brightness and mellow earthiness, than 'this Bud' is Mos Def-initely for you.

Moving right along, okay, we are pleased to present the visual stylings of artist Valerie Page, whose outstanding quilts are keeping our walls as warms as our lattes are keeping our bellies. But that's not what they're for- oh no- these quilts are Art Quilts, and they're designed to please your eyes instead of your skin. If you don't think that last sentence was entirely lucid, then I guess you gotta come to Mercury and check it all out, eh?

In other Mercury related news, Obama won the Iowa democratic convention, and Hilldog came in at a whoppingly-bad 3rd place. Then again, that doesn't have anything to do with Mercury.

Finally, I'd like to use my present control of your attention to convey to you that our store hours are gonna be changing. "When's that gonna take effect, Damo?" Well my curious compadre, as of this coming Monday the 7th, the ol' Mercinator is gonna be shutting down at 8 pm. You see, in light of new labour legislation, the basement gnomes whose constant excer-cycling normally powers our espresso machine will be limited to 12 hour shifts.

I lied when I wrote 'finally' at the beginning of that last paragraph, because here's one more: thanks to everyone who contributed to our Goat Fund (either directly or through latte purchase), because the whole project was a Flying Rainbow success. When we count the dough we'll see how many we get.....


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Aaaaaannd, we're back!

Sorry we left you alone for so long. The "holidays" is always hectic and as a result we get neglectful. Don't that sound familiar?

Hope your New Years was exciting and filled with joy. Mine was.

Food for thought: This year, individuals that will be of age to vote will have been born in 1990. Do you remember 1990? I do. Vividly. Is that unsettling or what?

The lone rager will be with you tonight. It's rather cold out so he expects a quiet night with Tom Waits. And no, there isn't a typo in this paragraph.

Pick out the false statement in this entry and you'll win a complimentary feature Ethiopia Harrar latte from me.

That's all for now, I may be back later to double up.