Nightmare - The quality of coffee during my vacation

Dany Marquis

Brûlerie du Quai en camping

I had the privilege around the beginning of August to grant myself a few days of vacation. It may seem a little trivial but it has been quite some time since I granted myself that type of temporary escape. I am grateful to my team who allowed me to take a brief look back at my adolescence on a road trip that led me to the edge of the Bay of  Fundy. This trip gave me the chance to understand the behavior of our customers on vacation. Indeed, each summer, we see tourists appear in the doorway of our shop, peering inside, frowning with the effort to decipher what may well weave in a little place with the minimalist outside sign announcing "Café".  And despite a "hello" marked by the cheerful barista, mistrust flat long seconds, during which each person is frozen in their role and where the verdict threatens to fall. Furthermore when the tourist in question distinguishes the espresso machine, the cups, the roaster roaring at the back, there is usually a deployment of onomatopoeia whose magnitude seems to depend on the percentage of Latin blood flowing in the veins of that certain tourist.  The flood of compliments often remains until the last drop of the cup as well as the promise of placing an order on website upon their return from vacation.  The absence of prolonged vacation in my entrepreneuring life made me forget a sad reality of the tourist life.  Because our famous urban travelers can easily drink quality coffee, it is different while on vacation time. And during the escape, even with all the equipment on board to make a coffee worthy of the name, a barista on vacation likes to take a break and be served his favorite drink. So, I used Google to locate cafés on our itinerary. It’s difficult to distinguish between institutions using the term “Coffee” or “Café” in their name and a true oasis. I even wonder why "American diner" style restaurants use the term café. So, I do that sort of sorting while further researching the "espresso" and "expresso". The list melts like snow under the sun and my hope is reborn in me as the sight of swallows in the spring. We then roll up to the promise. I enter, and find myself, like my clients, stopping in the doorway for a quick analytical overview. Hmmm, no trace of the espresso machine ... I approach the counter, I see my favorite drinks detailed on the menu. I order an espresso and a cappuccino. No questions asked about my espresso ... Short, long, single, double ... Then I see through the corner of my eye, the employee fussing over on what seems to be an espresso machine. So, I then move into the café to get the best view, even rudely intruding into the space of other clients already seated. And I notice the machine ... A Saeco Royal in faded gray plastic, which starts belching and spewing a drink percolated in 10 seconds with a short-lived and coarse crema. The employee makes a second one where he adds frothed milk sucked and foamed by a translucent tube, which is probably the same type as those used for a colonoscopy. A bill, around $ 8.50 later, I sit at a table to taste. Misery ... I then start pondering what coffee could or would taste like in hell. condemned for an eternity of wondering there, in a setting of a small village frozen in time, where we would find only one coffee shop that would serve that kind of juice. I cannot imagine a crueler sentence. Aromas of turpentine, cardboard, wet golden retriever, camphor, band-aids freshly taken out of the box, tar, ashes, and I shudder to think that maybe we could end up getting used to it ... Obviously, I disappear quickly from this place not to be forced to choose between lying or looking like a snobbish Quebecer on vacation. "You don’t like your coffee, sir? ". I can easily count five similar establishments using full-auto machines and proudly wearing" Espresso "on their outdoor advertising. However, I came across two establishments that had a manual coffee machine and dosing grinder who had all the promise of their display. However, upon closer inspection, one could see the marks of time on these old espresso machines that are the result of pressure on a microtorréfacteur or a reseller of local coffee. "You want me to lend you a real espresso machine for you to buy my coffee? No problem! " And we rebuild old Astoria, Faema and Cimbali’s dating from 70-80’s with the least amount of investment for the client to have his own machine. Furthermore, that's where we can see the rule of the 4M’s taking a pounding with a deficient machine, a misadjusted grinder, a cold portafilter, a cold cup, coffee roasted to dark and too old of a coffee. in addition milk foam is done like my ancestors churned butter, with large wrist shot from the bottom up, so that the foam rises in snow as soon as possible. And to make it freeze faster, some put the jug in the fridge for 15 seconds. And another $ 8.50. Once again, leaving the cups full on the table. A real nightmare.  However, don’t think I let my sweet addiction ruin my trip, as the Bay of Fundy is really a great place to see. I suggest you stop to see the Hopewell rocks and Hopewell rockcontinue on to the Bay of Fundy National Park to spend a few nights. There are several short distance walking trails you can do, but I think we should now say trekking. You can observe the huge tides of 21 m in height and also go down to the beach at low tide and to be up at the top at high tide as well as to imagine what life would be like if we had stayed there. The camp site is really well organized, not surprising since we are talking about a national park. The place is tinged with the history of the Acadians, British and French. I propose, while vacationing in the village of Alma, to go eat "sticky buns" at Kelly's bakery, the small village bakery. For dinner, the Alma lobster 
Dany et son homard - Alma lobster shopshop is really great, where you are served your dead and boiled beast in a tray, on a bed of newspaper, with melted butter. My kind of snack in a homely unpretentious way among a real dynamic team. There are some other lobster shops in the village, but this one is really the best. As for coffee, forget about it. So I came back home visiting sporadically on my way back, different establishments proudly displaying the words coffee, café or espresso as a bait, like a piece of herring at the bottom of a lobster trap. And that's with $ 8.50 a shot that I came back home. You will understand that I went straight to the Brûlerie du Quai before heading home. Home sweet home, but only after I have my coffee. That's when I realized that despite the fact that we really put a lot of attention into making our specialty an exceptional product, the scarcity of a decent cup accentuates the impression. So I headed behind the bar to get myself a dose. I recognized the odors of Papua during the grinding and I could sustain myself to my favorite beverage seated on the patio. And I thought there should be a controlled way of displaying the words coffee, café and espresso names on a signs. But I soon relegated the project to oblivion. A warrior of light has to choose his battles.

Dany Marquis
Brûlerie du Quai Chieftain, entrepreneur, 418 far-east, coffee, motorcycle, martial arts, part-time zen, and father of 4 champion.

1 comment

  • Jean-michel

    Tellement moi en vacances ca… :)

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