Versus Coffee

This is another coffice space article. Hey, I go to a different one every day, you know.

Listen to me read this to you for free on

Lookit the mess those jagoffs leave behind after 5 minutes. And they take up a lot of space per person too.

It’s early afternoon in Versus Coffee. The dudes in suits sweep through like a quick city summer storm, making a lot of noise and leaving a dirty mess behind but not really refreshing or invigorating the local flora and fauna. And then it is quiet again, except for the sound of keyboards tapping, staff chatting, and that thumping sweary music they’re playing, whatever it is.

The local flora are mostly people working for hours on laptops. It’s more women than men, more Macs than PCs. There are nine artsy little wood-topped tables inside and each one sits one computer user comfortably or two if they’re on intimate terms. Sometimes friends sit together and chat. Sometimes people even do job interviews. But most customers make it through three hours without using their voice on anyone except the staff and maybe their phone.

The view from by the wall.

There are some tables outside on the patio. I don’t know how many. I don’t sit out there. Look, it’s on Adelaide Street, one of the traffic cloaca of downtown Toronto. Every minute, dozens of vehicles honk and fart past. Sun thumps down, rain vomits down, wind whips the big cantilevered umbrella. People walk by. Great watching… from inside.

The staff are friendly and chatty and youthful and it’s like being back in university and they bring your beverage to your table. You may not agree with their choice in music, but hey, there’s a Starbucks across Church Street if you want somewhere with less character.

The coffee is worthy and comes in a bunch of dosage forms, plus chai and matcha lattes and multi-colour foamy things. Also beer and cocktails. Plus food, like croissants and little-plate stuff. They are of the “small, tight” school of flat whites, not of the “big, loose, tell me again how it’s any different from a latte” school. Drip coffee stops at 3 o’clock because they’re not open in the evening.

There’s the counter and the friendly guy and their menu.

The washroom is a one-holer. The key to it is by the cash. Open the door slowly. Sometimes someone slips in as someone else is going out so the key is free but it’s occupied anyway.

There are places to plug your computer and places not to plug your computer. About half the tables have an outlet in reach. If you sit with your back to the wall, there’s a pipe running above that drips when there’s a lot of condensation. You’ll notice it when it starts to splash on your keyboard. Look up before you sit down.

I come here once a week, which is as often as I come to any coffee place and more often than I come to most. That may sound like a recommendation, but actually I don’t want you to come here unless you can behave yourself and you don’t leave me without a place to sit. This joint already has regulars, and it’s not huge.

But, yeah, it’s good.

2 responses to “Versus Coffee

  1. Wish we’d found the place! We were in North America when Starbucks introduced the flat white. In Seattle we got pounced on by the manager of a particular Starbucks, who picked up our Kiwi accents and demanded our opinion on the authenticity of their brand-new flat whites. (I know, Australia also claims the flat white, but they do that with disputed antipodean firsts. And undisputed, come to think to it). We said not bad, but it should be served in THAT cup (half the size); and, no, not with a single shot.

  2. Pingback: birdbrain | Sesquiotica

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