UPDATED MAY 19, 2009: If the commenter “Madmoiselle” speaks for the entire Baobab staff, I definitely feel the cons now outweigh the pros. After all, I’m not going to frequent a café where I feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. I find it really disappointing that after giving my honest opinion, the only thing that really sticks in people’s minds or matters in the end is the provincial attitude of French First. To be fair, I had been to the café quite a number of times after my original post in order to form a fuller opinion of the place, and had started to like going there for a latté with friends. I had even considered fully revising my post to reflect this, but based on Madmoiselle’s comment, I will no longer spend my money here.
I’m still debating whether or not I like Le Baobab, a little café (or “bar à café,” as they’re calling themselves) here in Verdun. I’ve made up a list of pros and cons:
- Proximity to my apartment
- Tasty lattés
- Espresso drinks made with obvious care
- Fair Trade coffee beans available for purchase (though, admittedly, I haven’t so far)
- Apparently they have a bathroom where it’s safe to pee, which is good to know
- Lattés are hella expensive (the small is $3.50, though I’m not sure if this is because they’re using Fair Trade espresso beans, in which case I’d be okay with the price)
- When made to stay at the café, they serve their lattés in those horrible cone-shaped glasses with the teeny handle that is more likely to tip your drink over than allow you to lift it to your mouth and drink like a normal human being
- Some of the employees speak absolutely no English, which can make communication difficult
Okay, so that last con is more of a problemo for my hubby, who has been sent out on latté-gathering missions during the past few days after we ran out of coffee, but still. It’s Verdun, dude. It’s not like there’s a shortage of Anglos in this ‘hood.
Still, you can see why I’m torn, right? Good coffee, shitty glass! When you like sugar (or Splenda) in your drink, it’s damn near impossible to add it without having the spoon’s insertion create a tsunami wave of java that drenches your (mismatched) saucer. This design is just bad form. I hate glass coffee mugs, period, but making them in a cone shape is just ridiculous. All the sugar sinks to the bottom, but your spoon is either not long enough to stir it or else too wide to get to most of it, which means most of it stays there instead of sugaring your drink. Brilliant.
For the love of all that is good and right with coffee, I wish there was some way to convince café owners to boycott this style of mug. It sucks, and I hate them, and I can’t be alone on this!
I know it sounds petty to diss a café because of their glassware, but let’s be honest: these things matter to coffee snobs, and there are plenty of cafés in this town that will gladly pander to the craziest of coffee drinkers’ whims. It’s not like we’re living in Newfoundland, where the choice is between this Tim Horton’s or that Tim Horton’s. There are two more cafés within easy walking distance of my house, so I’m likely to take my business elsewhere if things aren’t just right.
That being said, you can’t please all the people all the time, so will I still hit them up for a latté fix from time to time? Sure. Especially since they’re so close!
ADDRESS: 4800 Wellington (Verdun)