Syphon on the Beach.

Author: george Posted: August 10, 2009

There isn’t much commentary necessary here.  The mere existence of such a place is enough said already.

Syphon bars on this side of the world are a rarity.  It’s a difficult brewing method that requires both time and labor.  One wrong move and you’ve got to start over.

So when I heard from 2 different sources that, a mere 3 minute walk down from my home base of crema, there was a concession stand on the beach doing all their coffee via syphon, I chose not to believe it.

My pessimism wasn’t damaged the least when neither of the people who told me about it had actually tried it, they only saw it.

I’d been meaning to make the pilgrimage over but for one reason or the other hadn’t gotten around to it.  This past week Anthony Benda was up from Montreal visiting and we made a point to go check it out.

Fast forward a few minutes – and there we were, surrounded by kids, sand, and the pacific ocean, drinking syhpon’d coffee.

When we approached the counter to order one of the employees looked up and was scooping ice cream with a single basket portafilter, which I found hilarious.  (I’m sure it wasn’t the one they used for making coffee, but I just couldn’t stop laughing.)

So here’s the dealio:

4 Syphons.  49th Parallel Coffee.  Freshly ground, freshly made.  The girl was fast and diligent, and made them both without any hesitation.


They were using 49th’s 123 Degree W. Longtitude Blend. I asked how they came about to be using Syphons and the girl working there just said that the owner had visited Japan and really liked it.

That’s good enough for me.

On our walk over Anthony related the idea of being able to order syphon at a concession stand similar to getting Filet Mignon from a street vendor.  Agreed.

It’s located at Ambleside Beach in West Van.  Go check it out, even if it’s just to say you did.

7 Responses to “Syphon on the Beach.

  1. J says:

    head up to the Lynn Valley headwaters, they have a set up with 6 syphons right before you get to the suspension bridge.

    Strangely they have the exact same signage relating to being the ‘first’ in Vancouver. Bold claims like that always confound me, especially when the truth behind them is dubious.

    That being said, same deal 49th blend, nice show, then you get it in a paper cup. We tried it yes, just to say we did.

  2. Anth says:

    Highlight of trip.

  3. Guy says:

    How was it?

    Cheers, Guy
    aka canuk_guy

  4. MF says:

    Hi, I myself is from Japan who lives in Van.
    Fresh brew coffee is more popular than specialty coffee over there.
    I start seeing Syphones in Van but not “skilled” one yet.
    It needs practice a lot to make good one.
    I look forward to facing “first-skilled” one sometime.

    Btw, I like this web site especially pictures!!
    I have visited at Crema couple of times and liked it.
    However when i was there, cafe staff kept chatting behind the counter. That was a same scene i can see every other coffee shops here.

  5. Les says:

    You mean you don’t scoop icecream with your single shot portfilters?

    Geez George….. get with the program.

  6. Chris says:

    @les nope, we prefer to put the ice cream in the Malkonig hopper, Its adds a very unique texture and no one is doing it yet :)

  7. Evan McGraw says:

    wtf?i wish i knew about this 2 days ago before i left vancouver-i made a point of having the syphon at 49th parallel the morning before i left…but this…at the beach?sounds amazing.

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