I’ve hinted about my somewhat elaborate dream of starting my own coffee shop in my post about appreciating customer service jobs, but the more I think about opening a coffee shop, the more I get excited. Although my parents question why I’m in university if I want to open a coffee shop, I’m sure my media studies degree with come into play somehow… right (pls??).
My parents drink coffee every morning so I mostly associate coffee with my parents, which of course, is a comforting routine for me. The earliest memory I have of a coffee shop is Tim Hortons. For us Canadian folks, Tim Hortons is where we stop for coffee before/during/after road trips, where we go for lunch and it’s also an integral part of our neighbourhoods. Not to mention, we always make sure that we announce when we’re going for a “Timmies Run”. I have an abundance of memories of Timmies, including the hundreds of my brother’s hockey games where I sat in the stands, sipping on a hot chocolate while my parents drank their coffee.
So, maybe that’s where this obsession came from. Coffee, for me, is innately connected to togetherness, family and comfort. Coffee shops reflect that feeling. I’ll be living abroad for a few months, so I figured what better way to remember the coffee shops I go to then by starting a coffee shop series!
Welcome to the first post of Coffee Shoppin’.
This is Fire Roasted! Located at 105 King St, this café is ideal for students looking to escape the Western & Fanshawe campuses or even those looking for a damn good cup of coffee.
You know when you walk into a coffee shop and you’re thinking to yourself “Please play good music. Please play good music”? Last week, I walked into Fire Roasted and they were playing “Only Love” by Ben Howard. Let’s just say the day looked promising.
It’s usually always like this at Fire Roasted. This isn’t one of those coffee shops that surprises you with a hint of heavy metal or bass drops. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not what Fire Roasted is about. Their ambience is always consistent. It’s quaint, quiet and feels like a small town gathering spot. If you happen to sit at the window and listen to “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter, it can also feel like a movie. Maybe don’t do that.
If you like to people-watch (very fun pastime, I highly recommend), then you definitely need to visit Fire Roasted. With Covent Garden Market located right across the street, there’s pretty much endless opportunities to see what’s up in the neighbourhood.
For most coffee shop lovers, exposed brick and rustic wood are both the key to our hearts. Not only does Fire Roasted have both, they’ve got string lights. STRING LIGHTS. Their warm colours only add to the coziness of the shop.
Window seats are a necessity for any good coffee shop. When it gets cold in the winter months, window seats are the next best thing from sitting on a bench outside. Fake it ’til ya make it, folks.
Coffee & Food:
Fire Roasted is 100% local. All of their coffee is roasted and served locally. Not to mention, this location also serves local craft beer on a rotating basis. Yes, I know. Drunk essay writing, anyone? (Bad advice, I apologize).
With over 35 different blends of coffee, it’s almost impossible not to find one that suits you best. You can even buy their whole beans and ground coffee in store and online. Their lattés are my personal favourite. There’s nothing like a good foam to milk ratio, and the baristas kill it every time. In all seriousness, Fire Roasted takes their coffee seriously serious.
Fire Roasted is also fair trade. If you’re unsure about what this means, essentially “certified coffee producer organizations are guaranteed to receive at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their coffee, which aims to cover their costs of production and act as a safety net when market prices fall below a sustainable level” (Fairtrade Canada). This is incredibly important when considering how large the coffee industry is.
If consumers are willing to pay for their coffee, then farmers should be equally and fairly compensated for their work. That way, they can invest in their business infrastructures and get their homegrown coffee around the world faster. Listen, it’s a win-win. Fair trade is cool. Support local. Here’s another short sentence. And another. Moving on.
I *accidentally* got hungry and ordered an everything bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese. I took it to go and strolled down King St. almost in tears at how delicious the bagel was. Twenty minutes later, I realized I didn’t take a picture of it, so unfortunately you’re just going to have to trust me on this. Here’s a photo that I didn’t take, but from what I can remember, looks similar to my bagel.
That being said, if you plan on staying at Fire Roasted longer than 5 hours, you should pack food or consider getting lunch at the Market, which is literally across the street.
I hate to say it’s important, but when you’re a student, Wi-Fi and outlets are important. I find that when I’m alone at a coffee shop, sippin’ on a drink and zeroing in on my work is when I’m at my most productive. If you’re looking to head to Fire Roasted to do work on your laptop, you should probably snag a seat around the windows and walls because that’s where the outlets are. If you’re just catching up on some readings, then your options are endless! Sit on the floor if you so desire (more bad advice, when I stop?).
Suspended Coffee. I’ve heard about this concept in passing, but I didn’t think it was something that was introduced in London. I LOVE THIS IDEA. Essentially, it follows the idea of paying it forward. If you have the extra money, you can donate the price of a coffee and the shop will safeguard it until someone in need comes around.
“In need” can mean anything from forgetting your wallet to being financially incapable of paying for the coffee. It’s a beautiful concept and I have to say, I’m proud to live in a community that believes in initiatives like this.
So where the heck is it?!
Fire Roasted actually has five locations in London. The shop featured in this post is the King-Talbot location. Of course, I recommend checking all of them out.
Here’s the downtown location:
So that’s that! If you ever visit Fire Roasted, tag me in the post or somethin’, will ya!
Keep that caffeine runnin’,
How many times I used the word “coffee” in this post: 38 times. If you have a synonym for coffee, please let me know (excluding: bean water).