Saturday, June 15, 2013

What's Brewing at Bridgehead?

Recently started visiting this Bridgehead (130 Anderson Street, Ottawa) location. The Anderson & Preston Streets location is home to Bridgehead's main roastery operations with an added bonus of a coffee shop attached.

I recently spoke to one of the friendly employees who explained a lot of customers of the coffee shop complain about the noise.  But what many fail to realize is this location  is a roastery first and coffee shop second.  Thus, a lot of noise while the industrial looking building is put to it's original intended use, roasting coffee beans, is a nothing to worry about.  The hours of the roasting are clearly noted both on Bridgehead's website and on the front entrance to this location.  As well, Bridgehead employees do wear black t-shirts noting their coffee is roasted on Preston Street.

I entered the very noticeably industrial building with modern doors in the morning for a cup of coffee and a muffin. After entering, on your left is the main roasting operation with copious amounts Brute garbage bins strewn along the floor, a computer operation for the roasting line and usually several Bridgehead employees mingling around the industrial operation with industrial head phones on looking like evil scientists in an obscure laboratory inventing the most maniacal potion ever found.  Tours of the roastery operation though are available on Saturdays.  Otherwise watch the roasting in action by attending the open concept factory to watch the action from the comfort of the coffeehouse with cup in hand.

Service wise things are excellent.  The only noted issue is trying to order while the noisy roasting operation is in action. You have to yell your order to the server.  Otherwise pleasantly smiling and knowledgeable staff are on hand to serve up a quick cup of coffee or suggest options for preparing your favourite espresso or scientifically created caffeinated beverage.

On top of the excellent noticeably locally roasted coffee, excellent quality baked goods are also on offer.  Everything from croissants, to sweet deserts to, my favourite, muffins are available.  I have taken a liking to the Rhubarb Streusel Muffins.

Bridgehead's Rhubarb Streusel muffins are the perfect combination of the slight sour taste of Rhubarb but also a unique taste of brown sugar to ensure the Rhubarb is not overwhelming.  These muffins also consistently taste fresh.

The main attraction to any Bridgehead location of course is the coffee. Bridgehead has several coffees to choose from whether it be dark or medium roast or something different.  I estimated about 5 different coffee urns behind the coffee shop counter ready for customers to choose from.  I personally enjoy the medium blend which has the perfect rich blend without being overwhelming like I find a traditional dark roast.  At $2.00 for a medium coffee, it is pretty reasonably priced as well.

Overall if you are looking for excellent coffee with pretty good coffeehouse baked goods you could do much worse. Bridgehead has gradually tinkered their coffee roasting and staff training operations to ensure the best coffee is produced and served by friendly knowledgeable staff.  The only hitch, the loud roasting operation makes it hard to order your awesome coffee beverage or hold a conversation.  But remember, the Anderson Street location is a roastery first and coffee shop second.

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