The newest addition to the Coffee Bar family is now open in New Westminster. Located on Columbia Street just a stone’s throw away from the New West SkyTrain station, it is like stepping into a Gastown coffee shop.
Upon entering the doors, you are instantly greeted by upbeat music and wooden furniture. You forget that just five seconds before, you were on busy, construction-ridden Columbia Street. The old brick walls sit side by side with the sleek and modern front counter, giving off a very “new meets old” feel in the historic downtown.
As the shop is still in its infancy, the vibe is very tranquil and quiet. In time, it will definitely rise to become a community meeting place where people can enjoy a good cup of coffee, get some work done, or get lost in conversation with friends.
The service is significantly friendlier than the other locations — the expected Gastown snobbery is absent and replaced with genuine human interactions. The New Westminster location, so far at least, has impressed us with its “coming home” ambience. Our favourite interior feature is the green wall: its soothing colours and imperfect strokes invite your little school-stressed heart to lean back in your chair and stay awhile. Free Wi-Fi is essential and available (psst: the password is coffeebar).
Let’s get to what you really came here to hear about the power duo of sugar and caffeine. You won’t be disappointed by the perfectly sweetened soy mochas or the infamous milky Spanish latte. We are obsessed with the mochas, which are highly rated on our coffee hit list; not too sweet and not too bitter, it’s the perfect union of chocolate and espresso.
However, you may want to steer clear of everyone’s favourite green drink, the matcha latte. The matcha taste was lacking, and at the bottom we were greeted with chunky green powder. Talk about a rude awakening! Despite this downfall, they bring it back with the drip coffee. An ever-changing medium roast from 49th Parallel is smooth AF without compromising on the rich coffee taste we’ve been conditioned to love.
But the coffee shouldn’t overshadow the incredible variety of food that is available. Our top item is the apple croissant: you simply haven’t lived as a true pastry fanatic until you try this perfect morsel. It’s a light flaky pastry with a decadent apple filling that is flavourful but not sticky sweet as you would find in a typical grocery strudel.
Another treat you should definitely try is the classic banana bread. The crust is just the right amount of crunch, surrounding a soft, pillowy centre. There is also the bonus of chocolate chips, which add a little bit of sweetness. This, paired with their mocha, is beautiful, chocolatey bliss.
The sweets encased in the refrigerated display are also delicious — although the food’s texture is compromised due to the chilled display — with a handful of gluten-free and vegan options: energy ball, peanut ball, hemp bar, cranberry-walnut cookie, and a personal favourite, the matcha bar (lovely paired with the must-try Tokyo rose tea!).
Our final verdict? This little baby the Coffee Bar is our new favourite coffee bar, and we are stoked that it has come to New West.