Transcend Coffee – Edmonton, AB


Transcend Coffee
9869 – 62nd Avenue
Edmonton, AB T6E 0E4
(780) 430-9198
Open 7:30am-5:30pm, M-F; 9:30am-5:00pm Sat; Closed Sundays and Holidays

September 2008 re-visit post below

Original post below:

Unlike food, I don’t get coffee. Not yet anyway. But someday soon, i hope to. You see, many years ago, back in my University days (where i met Shokutsu), I drank coffee for stimulation – typically to keep me awake through a combo of too little sleep, and boring boring classes. This was rocket fuel – sludge loaded with sugar and cream to make it palatable. It didnt taste good, but this was the way coffee was supposed to taste. Coffee was cool. An easy date. And a necessity. And i could learn to like it.

Fast forward several years, and we have the proliferation of Starbucks. Expensive, catchy drinks with a lingo all its own. The drinks taste better than rocket fuel, but that’s because of the skinny, vanilla, extra hot, half and half, venti, whatever else is in the cup that makes it a coffee beverage. This tastes better than sludge, so im happy. But it doesnt taste like coffee. It tastes like sugar. And vanilla. But it’s good!

Today, there is a proliferation of “good” coffee – single origin, the concept of terroir, roasted dates, tasting notes. There is proper temperature and steeping time, fancy grinders and tampers. The complexity of coffee is endless. In the end, none of these things really matter. This coffee tastes better – that’s what matters.

The bottom line is simple: Transcend Coffee produces great coffee. They are passionate about coffee. And they love to educate people about coffee. Running a small roasterie in an industrial area of SW Edmonton, they have added a small retail cafe to a thriving roasting business. Their prices are cheap – relative to the expertise and the quality of their product. They have experienced baristas, who compete at a high level, to produce your espresso drinks. These have the fancy art, and the really nice full flavour. The good crema on top of your espresso, and the great textured foam. They also have a Clover Machine – an automated french press that is able to reproduce a near perfect cup of coffee each time, bringing out wonderful flavours like chocolate, citrus, grass, honey out of the coffee. Coffee is surprisingly complex – more than wine, and similar to food. The flavours you can taste will surprise you. Drink it black. Bitter, rancid coffee doesnt happen here. It’s how you taste the good stuff.

I feel particularly comfortable at Transcend. The room itself is warm and comfortable.  The people are nice. The service is friendly. They have a small selection of food (in house baked goods, outsourced baked goods, sandwiches, and chocolate bars from Chocophilia). More importantly, they are happy to discuss their #1 passion – coffee. And they put up with all my questions, no matter how inane, or oft repeated they are.

There is a slow growing movement towards “great” coffee – and Transcend definitely are helping lead the charge in Alberta. If you’re open-minded to trying it yourself, put down that cup of Starbucks and give it a shot. Like me, you may learn something new, and even enjoy it! Because afterall, at the end of the day, coffee, like food is about enjoyment.  Consume what you enjoy. And if you get something more out of it, all the power to you.  Maybe someday, i’ll get coffee. I’ll keep trying anyway. And in the meantime, i’ll keep going to Transcend Coffee, and learning a bit more about coffee sip by sip.

Transcend Coffee on Urbanspoon

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6 thoughts on “Transcend Coffee – Edmonton, AB

  1. Hey, first post on the ‘chuck! 🙂 As I don’t drink coffee anymore (gives me bad headaches), I guess this is one spot that you’ve reviewed that I won’t be hitting up on in follow up.

  2. I’ve been twice now, and your post is bang on. I’m all about coffee with secondary and tertiary flavor profiles, and I find myself noting quality of mouthfeel and texture as I would with wine. Very pleasant indeed, and low-cal to boot!

    You can get a coffee made from their ‘clover’ machine for $2.25 or so. They do have rare coffees at about twice that price. Their ‘small’ is 12 oz, I think, which is far too much for me, and gives me a caffeine hangover afterwards. I guess I have to learn to drink half. Or share with someone. Nah.

  3. Well put Kevin. The interesting thing about coffee is there is more diversity of flavours in coffee and beer than there are in wine. There is a growing movement to pair coffee and beer more with food – not just wine. Mouth feel, texture, flavours – this is a sign that you are really starting to understand coffee! And it’s fun, and a lot cheaper than wine to boot 🙂

  4. An update regarding Transcend Coffee. They are opening a new location in the historic Garneau Theatre building! The new coffee bar will occupy the former Pharo’s Pizza space. Transcend Garneau is expected to open in January 2010!

    For those of you that have a love for coffee, I would highly recommend signing up for the coffee of the month club at Transcend! They will ship you a fresh pound of coffee every month. I look forward the my canada post notification every month!

    • Prefectionist…

      Great news! An awesome cafe in that part of town is fantastic. I hope their hours are reasonably evening friendly.

      With the coffee of the month club, how quickly do you get coffee after they roast?? That would be pretty critical, since the whole idea would be to get fresh coffee…

  5. If you like Transcend Coffee, you will also enjoy Credo in Edmonton… let me know what your thoughts are if you go

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