Cafe Reviews > 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Bring the Brew to 4th Avenue, Kitsilano

49th Parallel Coffee Roasters Bring the Brew to 4th Avenue, Kitsilano

Published: March 26, 2008

With the dark wood and leather interior, recently opened café 49th Parallel could easily be mistaken for an up market bar. However, this chic interior is home to a drink of the non-alcoholic variety, coffee. Roasting beans for sale and internal use, 49th Parallel is the latest in a string of coffee shops to offer up the much sought “latte art” that is flooding the Vancouver café scene.

Their website states “Every coffee is meticulously cupped and carefully evaluated. No exceptions” and when a beautifully crafted latte art rosette is presented in a striking cobalt blue mug, this does seem to be the case. However, for those accustomed to the milder flavoured brews served at most BC coffee shops, the slightly sour and definitely strong coffee offered up may take some getting used to.

One major difference at 49th Parallel is that their standard size for a “for here” coffee is 10oz, compared to 12oz at most establishments. This could certainly account for the strength of the coffee, so those not wanting such an intense caffeinated experience may wish to opt for the larger 12oz latte. Although, with a price of $3.65 before tax, this is quite a steep upgrade. Generally a 12oz latte will set you back somewhere between $3.00-$3.30.

As you sip your latte, the feeling that you are lounging in a bar rather than a coffee shop is quite overwhelming, and some may consider this to detract from the general ambiance of the café. Of course this is personal preference, and those with a taste for sleek lines and modern décor will lap up the atmosphere.

The staff are generally polite, but there was certainly no “neighbourhood coffee shop” atmosphere – it is hard to imagine the staff remembering your name if you frequent 49th Parallel regularly. But again, many are searching for anonymity as they stumble through this life, and may welcome the chance to escape from the world in general.

One downfall is that no water is offered to customers. If you wish to have a glass with your coffee you must ask at the counter, and the proffered beverage is most definitely on the small side.

Overall coffee lovers would be encouraged to give the 49th Parallel experience a whirl; their espresso macchiato may be just the coffee you’ve been searching for. Their in-house roasted beans may also be well worth a try with prices starting at $12-13/12oz. These can be ordered online.

2152 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


1. James Irwin on May 30, 2008

I think you are way off base.

This is the best cafe in Vancouver by a mile!


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