It seems unfair to call My Little Cup an international chain, but technically (by my definition, anyway) it is, with a branch in Brussels and this, the original, in Montréal. Although I’d been aware of My Little Cup from social media, it was actually a chance discovery on Saturday, my first day in Montréal. I’d gone down into Montréal’s underground city to see my friend off on the metro and there it was, a bright yellow La Marzocco Linea on a counter behind a security grill. However, what really caught my eye were the bags of Colonna Coffee lined up next to the espresso machine. This, I decided, was somewhere worth returning to!
My Little Cup is a coffee counter, serving Calgary’s Phil & Sebastian on espresso and batch-brew, the options changing daily (batch-brew) and every two or three days (espresso). There’s also tea and a decent selection of cakes if you’re hungry, plus a small retail section, including coffee from Phil & Sebastian and occasional sample bags from roasters from all around the world.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
My Little Cup primarily serves commuters and local office workers, so is only open during the week, which explains why it was closed that Saturday. I returned the following Monday, more in hope than expectation, since it was a public holiday. Unsurprisingly, My Little Cup was still closed. Sadly I was working the rest of the week, so it was only on my last day, the following Monday, that was I finally able to visit.
My Little Cup opened in early 2016 and is located next to the entrance to McGill metro station (although there is another entrance on the other side) in Montréal’s underground city. This was built, at the same time as the metro, to provide the city with a respite from the brutal winters. A network of broad, low-ceilinged, underground passages and plazas, it forms a parallel city to the one above, accessed from street entrances and the basements of various shopping malls.
There’s not much to My Little Cup, just a simple, recessed counter off to the right of a large, open plaza in front of the gates to McGill metro station. There’s a large cake display to the left (which, incidentally, rolls in and out to allow the staff access to the counter), while the counter itself is split into three. Right by the cakes is the till, with the eye-catching yellow La Marzocco next, in the centre. You’ll also find the retail bags here, stacked up between till and espresso machine.
Usually the retail selection’s from Phil & Sebastian, but occasionally there are sample bags from a range of roasters. The owner, who currently lives in London, but is a frequent visitor, likes to bring interesting coffee with him, which explained the presence of Colonna Coffee during my visit.
Once you’ve ordered, head to the broad space on the right of the counter, where you collect your coffee and where, paradoxically, you’ll find the menu on the right-hand wall. As well as espresso, there’s also a daily batch-brew option from the Fetco brew and its EK-43 grinder at the back of the counter space.
While I was there, an Ethiopian Uraga Mitiku was in the hopper, which I had as an espresso in a lovely earthenware cup (although it is mostly takeaway, My Little Cup has a decent selection of cups and glasses for the occasional customer who wants to linger). It was very bright and fruity, a real contrast to everything else I’d had in Montréal that trip. I also tried a sample of the batch-brew, a Kenyan Gatuyaini. Initially I wasn’t a fan, but I found that it grew on me as it cooled, the flavours coming through as the temperature dropped.
|2055 ROBERT BOURRASSA • STATION DU METRO MCGILL • MONTRÉAL • QC 3A 3H9 • CANADA|
|Monday||07:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Phil & Sebastian (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 17:00||Seating||N/A|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 17:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||07:00 – 17:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 17:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Chain||International||Visits||15th October 2018|
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