When it comes to my morning coffee, I’m pretty simple. My go-to is an americano with oat milk or an almond milk latte, but every now and then I like to switch it up; Edmonton’s Sweet Treats and Latte Festival let me do just that. This year, the festival took place near Old Strathcona and on Whyte Avenue, and ran from Feb. 5 to 27. I visited it on the very last day, so I was only able to stop by two of the cafes — Fringe Grounds Cafe and Roasti Coffee Co: Roastery and Coffee Bar — but both were amazing.
I wouldn’t consider myself a coffee connoisseur, but I do love it. I’ve tried so many places around the city over the past few months, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourite (and most expensive) hobbies. There really is nothing better than spending your Saturday morning with good company and even better coffee, and the festival was the perfect way to do it.
My first stop was at Fringe Grounds, where I had a gluten-, dairy, and egg-free chocolate-date truffle. At first I was skeptical about it, but once my friend convinced me to try one, I quickly realized that they were unbelievable. I actually couldn’t believe that they could be vegan, dairy free, and gluten-free and still taste that good. I kept saying to the barista, “No way! No way!” I think that I ate about four of them in total.
My last stop, Roasti, was a special visit for me. Ever since I moved to the city, I’ve wanted to try this coffee shop, and yesterday was the day that I finally got to. Their interior design reminded me of a big city cafe with modern furniture, low-hanging lights, and plants all around. I ordered an oat milk latte to treat myself and it was love at first sip. Not to mention that the barista served my coffee with some of the best latte art that I’ve ever seen. It was well worth the wait, and I will definitely be returning to Roasti when I get the chance.
Another coffee shop that took part in the festival, The WoodRack Cafe, was offering a specialty drink that sounded right up my alley: a peanut butter mocha. A fun fact about me is that I’m unnaturally obsessed with peanut butter, and more specifically, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so whoever came up with that drink idea is truly a genius in my eyes. I wasn’t able to make it into WoodRack to try the drink, but it’s on my hit-list for the next time I go out for coffee.
There were so many great local businesses that contributed to the festival, and I wish that I could have tried them all, but I can only manage so much caffeine at one time. I loved taking part in the community’s festival and getting to discover and try new coffee shops. Supporting local, small businesses in the area is more important right now than ever, and the Sweet Treats and Latte Festival made doing that easy. It was the best way to spend my reading week away from classes and avoiding school work; if only there was a coffee festival every weekend!
Image credits: Payton Phillips