Coffee + Conversation : Smalls
There's nothing like popping out of the office for that highly anticipated coffee break: the perfect pick-me-up for the sluggish slog that can be Monday morning.
Your barista likely knows your order—“Another iced latte for you today?”—and a few other small (pun intended) details about your life. But how well do you know them? Well enough to know who their dream coffee date would be? Or the best coffee they’ve ever had? Lucky for you, we decided to have a little fun and find out.
First up in our series, one of our all time favourite spots, Smalls: a teeny take-away coffee shop located on Cannon Street in downtown Hamilton. Owners Ian, Jordan and Jess’ passion for the craft is apparent in each and every beverage they serve; they'll likely make you the tastiest cappuccino you’ve had in recent memory, and might just introduce you to a new friend (and fellow caffeine enthusiast).
When did your love affair with coffee begin?
Ian: When I was a kid in the 80s, my dad used to grind his own coffee,
which wasn't that common. I fell in love with the smell, despite being
woken up by the awful noise.
Jordan: 2011. I went to Italy to cook professionally, and left wanting to
make coffee professionally.
Jess: I fell in love with coffee in high school, and I fell hard. I would
have a cup every morning on the way to school and then buy one or two more
from the cafeteria.
What caffeinated beverage best describes your personality and why?
Ian: Coca-Cola because it's sweet, and fizzy, and bubbly, and cold, and
crisp, and delicious, and comes in a can or a bottle and... wait, what was
Jordan: Cappuccino, because I like the classics.
The best coffee you've ever had?
Ian: The first coffee I had today. (This is true every day).
Jordan: A Geisha from La Esmerelda Estate, Panama. Roasted by De Mello
Palheta. It was a super complex coffee, super rare, and very expensive.
The most complicated order you've ever received?
Ian: Complicated orders are the most fun to make, but multiple decaf
almond milk lattes would be the most time consuming. (We love decaf
drinkers though, seriously).
Jordan & Jess: We once made drinks for an entire film crew before the
shop even opened at 8am. It was a bit hectic, but we all had fun with it.
If you could only bring one piece of coffee equipment to a desert island,
what would it be?
Ian: French press because it's simple and versatile. I could also make
soup in it, or harvest coconut water.
Jordan & Jess: A grinder.
How long do you think you would last without coffee?
Jess: Half a day, tops.
Jordan: Until noon, max.
If you could pick one person, dead or alive, to have coffee with, who
would it be?
Ian: Jaun Valdez.
Jordan: Jiddu Krishnamurti, because of his wisdom.
Jess: My nana. She was from Sicily and would make stove top espresso
after family dinners. I would make her an espresso at the shop (which is
quite different from Italian espresso) and she would ask me: “Why you no