Tampered Press, Toronto
Tampered Press, 256 Crawford Street Unit 2, Toronto
Tampered Press is a small independent coffee shop in the hip Ossington/Dundas part of Toronto. My friend Shelley suggested we meet there to get some work done. She lives in the area and absolutely loves everything that part of the city has to offer – the character, the bakeries, restaurants and coffee shops. She particularly likes the Tampered Press because of its homey feel. I got the feeling like I was walking into a very inviting kitchen.
Blue Jays, Books and Brownies
With the large central table with mismatched chairs, you can immediately get the feel for the place. The friendly barista (can you call them baristas?) smiled warmly, and asked us what we wanted. Shelley orders an Americano quickly, but I look over the selection of teas. I pot to get a vanilla roiboos pot of hot tea. Since it’s my first time I realized, that because of the summer weather, I should have got the iced tea. The barista was nice enough to offer to switch my beverage but I declined the offer. It’s still nice to know it was an option. I mull over the food menu and everything looked appetizing and healthy. The Tampered Press’ hook is a cafe with a healthy twist. Incredibly, most of their food is made in house.
I decide on basil grill-cheese with cream cheese and red pepper.
As I wait around for my sandwich I can see why people would come to relax. With a shelf of books to borrow, an homage to the home town Blue Jays and delectable treats, the Tampered Press offers a quite “third space” between work and home. And because it wasn’t busy like some other more commercial coffee shops, you can focus on your work and get comfortable.
One woman walks in and negotiates with the barista to borrow one of the books on the shelf. They have a bring one in-take one out policy, but she was nice enough to let her take it, since the woman promised to bring another in the next day. The female customer sits down and starts to pour through the book she just had to have… and after about 15 minutes she realized she had already read the book.
After my sandwich, I am, as usual, craving something sweet. And between the cookies and the dense dark chocolate fudge brownie – the brownie wins.
This is a wonderful place for a brief respite from the Madness of Toronto. If it’s the stifling August heat or the cold January winter, The Tampered Press is your cozy nook near Ossington.
Warm up with a fresh pot of a wide variety of teas, coffee drinks freshly ground and grilled sandwiches. My sandwich was delicious but I found it a little too much on the sweet side. So many people opt for red peppers for that very reason, but with the cream cheese it did seem like a bit much. Green peppers can add an earthiness to the sandwich, and ground the cream cheese a bit. Perhaps adding something a bit more savoury or spicy (zucchini?) to the grilled cheese would have been nice. (Thankfully they have Sriracha sauce available).
The fudge brownie was satisfying, but nothing more. I’d say to add some caramel, or because the owner is also a nutritionist and the focus to balance healthy eating with a cafe — top the sweet stuff with some almonds or more walnuts, for that mini-boost of protein.