I’ve been a Second Cup customer since my university days, when studying required pulling all nighters and my son woke me with the rising sun every morning. Having a small child and trying to complete that last year of study in a new city was what pushed me towards the delicious, frothy vanilla lattés served at the only Second Cup location in down town Regina. Fast forward many years later, through two more children, one move to Calgary, and MANY frothy vanilla lattés and I am still a huge Second Cup fan. With three Second Cup locations within a 5-10 minute drive (or 30 minute dog walk!) from my home, I stop in often for an afternoon pick-me-up. My tastes have changed over the years and so has Second Cup.
Each new café will have a local flavour: This mural by Calgary artist Jeff Spokes at Braeside shows the Saddledome, paddlers
on the Bow River, and Henrietta Muir Edwards (one of the Famous Five), Lougheed House, and nearby Canyon Meadows Golf Course
The newly updated Braeside Second Cup (1919 Southland Drive SW) is the second location in Alberta to feature the new look and innovation of the company. The bright, welcoming space ensures that every customer has a comfortable in-store experience. It’s the perfect place to park your laptop for a couple of hours and enjoy great coffee while you work. With the thoughtful addition of power outlets and phone charging stations scattered throughout, you never have to worry about low batteries ever again.
Enough chit chat, let’s talk coffee. Second Cup is definitely the place to visit if you are a coffee connoisseur or if you just enjoy a good cup once in a while. You can grab a quick cup and carry on with your day or you can take a seat at the Slow Bar and watch the barista expertly brew your coffee with the Steampunk machine. It’s quite mesmerizing, really. The Steampunk is a by-the-cup brewer similar to the Japanese siphon system but in a more automated, consistent manner. The system uses steam to agitate the coffee in the upper chamber and the amount (and pressure) of steam, as well as temperature, etc. is controlled by the barista via a centralized computer. This allows each cup to be brewed in a way that extracts the most important characteristics of that coffee. If you like things a little less high-tech, you also have a front row seat to watch the barista brew your cup using the pour-over technique.
During the event, I had the chance to attend my first ever coffee tasting. While tasting, it is important to note the aromas from the coffee, then the flavours as you swirl them around in your mouth. We sampled both the medium and dark roasts from the new limited edition coffee, Batch 49. The medium had more of a citrus aroma and lighter flavour, while the dark blend features subtle cocoa notes with berry sweetness and a touch of ‘smoke’. There will be barista led coffee tasting events held at the Braeside Second Cup location. Check in store or call 403-212-0044 for details.The Second Cup company holds true to their brand pillars of “superior quality, optimism, collaboration, creativity and community”, by having each franchisee working in their own franchise location. At Braeside, John and Cameron Rhind, a father and son, are extremely excited to bring Calgary the first Second Cup ‘café of the future’. Judging from the huge welcome and popularity of the Braeside location, there will soon be other Calgary franchisees following their lead.