Any student will agree that a coffee shop is like – no, is – a friend. They’re there to greet you in the morning before an 8:30 class, don’t judge you too harshly for how you look or act during exam time, have good taste in music, and are always willing to feed you. Coffee shops are the best kind of friends.
Like any search for a new BFF, a friendly and unique personality is important. The character of a coffee shop is detailed in the taste and feel of the place, but also in the little things that make the place different from all others.
With CRAVE Coffee House and Bakery, I felt like it was the friendly, casual-cool new kid in town that wants to brew, bake, and babble with me. It’s like the classy exchange student hipster who double majored in culinary skills and interior design, leaving me feeling like I just met the one of the most interesting and original people in Kingston.
As we became more acquainted with one another, I noticed some things about CRAVE that really made it stand out from other coffee shops.
Appearance, décor, layout, ambiance – however you word it, CRAVE sure made an impression with its style. Simple and modern, this long-depth cafe used its building’s structure as a means to pull the eye in.
With a minimalistic palette of black, white, and wood, bench-chair combos near the barista bar, a long party table under bare wire and light bulb lighting, and cushy fabric chairs around a fireplace, it feels more like a setting for an indoor-outdoor house party than a traditional coffee shop.
Local and Historic
Located in the heart of downtown Kingston, CRAVE is engulfed in history and local products. Most notable is the choice of sentimental decorative accents around the cafe itself. The windows are full of what appear to be old coffee products, tools, and advertisements, paying homage to the history of coffee.
CRAVE doesn’t just acknowledge the talent of the past but that of the present. On the walls of the cafe hangs a selection of art, although I would have to say that my favourite piece is the glass display full of sweets.
I went to CRAVE for a late morning caffeine and sweets stop, and goodness did I get it. I had a latte, and it was everything a latte should be. Strong coffee, slightly bitter, but smooth, with a nice foam moustache left on my face after taking a sip.
I had asked the barista which treat she would suggest and she told me that I couldn’t go wrong with the lemon square. It was without a doubt the best lemon square I’ve ever had: buttery shortbread base, sharp but sugar-subdued lemon flavour, and all topped with swirly drizzles of white chocolate. So pretty and so tasty – CRAVE definitely has me craving more.