Where Baristas Go for Coffee

By Jordan Whitehouse

If there’s a group of people who know where to go for the best drip brew, iced coffee or espresso in a city, it’s that city’s baristas. They spend more hours than most thinking about, creating and serving up their liquid concoctions, so they know what a good cup of Joe tastes like and where to get it.

That’s why I went to three Kingston baristas recently: Lisa Beswick (The Common Market), and Marnie (Coffee and Company). Here’s where they go for brewed bevvies, and a few other thoughts about what they look for in a good cup of coffee and the best cafés.

Lisa Beswick, The Common Market


Q: So what are your favourite places to go for coffee in Kingston?

You’re not going to like the answer to this, but I actually drink coffee here. We make fantastic coffee. I live in the area as well, so other spots would be Coffeeco, which is absolutely fantastic. They have a great atmosphere, and their coffee beans are absolutely fantastic—the quality of their actual espresso is awesome. Coffee and Company is another, absolutely love it.

Q: What’s your favourite drink at Coffee and Company?

The best drink on the menu, I couldn’t tell you what it is, but it’s one with chocolate covered espresso beans in the iced coffee—it’s absolutely awesome. And since they’ve redone the place, it’s lovely inside; that’s kind of what draws me there, too.

Q: Does your go-to spot change at all based on what you’re looking for?

In the winter, I’m more likely to go to Coffeeco or here on my way downtown, but if it’s the summer, it’s going to be Coffee and Company because I’m getting that iced drink.

Marnie, Coffee and Company


Q: What’s your favourite coffee spot in the city right now?

When I’m not here, I usually go to Northside Espresso. They have a lot of delicious food, and a great atmosphere. I like their choice in coffee, and they have all fair trade and organic coffees as well, so that’s a plus.

Q: What’s your go-to coffee at a place like Northside Espresso + Kitchen?

Something that’s full-bodied — I’m more of a dark blend fan, and I drink it black.

Q: When a new coffee spot opens, what do you look for when deciding whether to check it out or to go back again?

It will probably have to be something that’s different or doesn’t offer something that almost every coffee shop does. Northside emulates the coffee culture in Melbourne, Australia which is a unique addition to the city’s diverse food scene.  I guess it’s also being able to offer the amount of food they offer, and still be a coffee shop.