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Photo: Ottawa Coffee Fest.

Top summer drinks from Ottawa’s independent coffee shops

By Apartment613 on June 25, 2021

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By Geneviève Séguin


Editors’ note: Although the 2020 edition of Ottawa Coffee Fest had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the people behind it are working away quietly to be ready once in-person events are able to take place again. They’ve also been putting out episodes of their Coffee Gals podcast, in which they interview members of the local coffee community about their experiences and business philosophies. We asked one of the Coffee Gals, Geneviève Séguin, to help us put together a list of great summer drinks available from Ottawa’s local coffee houses, and we think coffee and non-coffee drinkers alike will enjoy the results below!


Arlington Five: Cold brew lemonade

Cold brew lemonade. Photo provided by Arlington Five.

What’s so great about the drink?

“We were first introduced to cold brew and lemonade by one of Ottawa’s most influential baristas, Kyle Ratchford. It took us by surprise—mainly because it was so dang good! We made a cold brew with LULO coffee’s El Recreo, with its bright green apple and almond-caramel notes. We mix it 2:1 with a made-in-house lemonade. It’s rich and anchored with dark caramel goodness, while bursting with a lemony brightness that makes this combination an instant crushable classic! Delicious on its own or mixed with sparkling water and fresh mint. Or try it with the Pineapple-Papaya Gose from our neighbours at Flora Hall for a low ABV treat!”

Arlington Five / 5 Arlington Ave. / @arlingtonfive


Art House Café: The Sexy Latté

The Sexy Latté. Photo provided by Art House Café.

What’s so great about the drink?

“Aside from the overall deliciousness? The name. In the face of pandemic stress and Art House being a space for gathering, moving to being takeout only was a bit tough, but of course necessary for everyone’s safety. We wanted to have fun putting our own twist on a popular flavour profile, blending brown sugar and oat milk for something that was vegan-friendly– but loved by everyone! We also wanted a name that made you do a bit of a double-take, so you could order a drink and have a little giggle—little things like that can bring a bit of relief these days.”

Art House Café / 555 Somerset St. W / thearthousecafe.ca / @arthousecafe613


Brown Bag Coffee Roasters: Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee. Photo provided by Brown Bag Coffee Roasters.

What’s so great about the drink?

“Cold brew coffee is where it’s at. Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of people who drink cold brew rather than the traditional hot coffee. But this isn’t your grandma’s iced coffee. Cold brew takes time to brew in room temperature water, resulting in a complex coffee concentrate. This elixir can then be mixed with water, dairy or milk alternatives for a very enjoyable and drinkable coffee beverage. And then there’s the nitro cold brew, which we prepare in a keg with liquid nitrogen and pour out of a tap like a rich, creamy stout!”

Brûlerie artisanale Brown Bag / 1910 Chemin Pink Suite 106, Aylmer, QUE / @brownbagcoffeeroasters


Café Joyeux: Espresso Tonic with Lemon

Espresso Lemon Tonic. Photo provided by Café Joyeux.

What’s so great about the drink?

“Coffee and lemon are old friends.  But North American coffee culture has been largely out of this loop until recently. We were inspired to add our own coffee-lemon creation to the Cafe Joyeux menu. We love this combination of espresso, tonic, and lemon for its wild and delicious balance of intense flavours. The natural sweetness of the espresso rings with the acidity from the lemon juice to create an electric (and delicious) iced coffee which newcomers are generally skeptical about until their first taste.”

Café Joyeux / 1600 Laurier St, Clarence-Rockland, ON / @cafe.joyeux


Carlington Coffee House: Blue Petal Iced Tea

Blue petal iced tea. Photo provided by Carlington Coffee House.

What’s so great about the drink?

“This caffeine-free iced tea is a refreshing splash of colour on a hot summer day. This drink is made with a custom blend of tea from Ottawa’s own Tealee. The mix of blue pea petal, pineapple, mango, lime leaves and a dash of peppermint boasts a cooling, earthy taste with a sweet citrus and berry finish. A well-known adage among chefs is you eat with your eyes first. What we like so much about this drink is the colour that it packs, which is matched with the fun flavours that follow after the first sip.”

Carlington Coffee House / 917 Merivale Rd / carlingtoncoffeehouse.com / @carlingtoncoffeehouse


Happy Goat Coffee: Nitro Cold Brew

Nitro cold brew. Photo provided by Happy Goat.

What’s so great about the drink?

“We love that the nitro effect shows off the quality of the coffee while giving a rich and creamy mouthfeel when it’s first poured. The fact that the coffee is never heated means no flavours are ever lost. It doesn’t need sugar or dairy to be delicious and satisfying, and as a result, it’s perfect for a quick pick me up any time of day.”

Happy Goat Coffee Company / Numerous Locations / happygoatcoffee.com / @happygoatcoffee


The Ministry of Coffee: Whipped Dalgona Latté

Whipped dalgona latté. Photo provided by Ministry of Coffee.

What’s so great about the drink?

“It’s an iced latte with our own roasted coffee, milk, and our house-made dalgona toffee. We whip the milk, espresso and some dalgona toffee powder in a special mixer that aerates the milk to give the latte a creamy dessert-like texture. We then finish the latte off with big chunks of the dalgona toffee on top. We whip all our specialty lattes this year, but the dalgona latte inspiration came from one of our baristas who is from Korea. A version of this drink is very popular there and he helped develop it last year with our in-house chef at the time to fine tune the recipe.”

The Ministry of Coffee / Numerous Locations / theministryofcoffee.com / @theministryofcoffee


Morning Owl Kanata: Strawberry White Tea Refresher

Strawberry white tea refresher. Photo provided by Morning Owl Kanata.

What’s so great about the drink?

“Made with strawberry white tea, berries, and rose flower, we love this drink because we’re able to have our favourite tea but made for summer. The fruit works perfectly with the tea flavours and if you’re feeling fun, make it a cocktail with a shot of your favourite alcohol.”

Morning Owl Kanata / 1047 Canadian Shield Ave / www.morningowlkanata.com 


Ottawa Valley Coffee: Strawberry Iced Coffee

Strawberry iced coffee. Photo provided by Ottawa Valley Coffee.

What’s so great about the drink?

“Here at Ottawa Valley Coffee, we love to try new things and introduce them to our lovely town. We like to go out of the ordinary and stay original! Fresh strawberries scream summer, don’t they? Our delicious coffee paired with ice and the strawberry purée gives your coffee a summery sweet taste. Enjoy!”

Ottawa Valley Coffee / 239 Raglan St S, Renfrew, ON / @ottawavalleycoffee


Ten Toes Coffee House: Cold Brew with Tropical Passion Syrup

Tropical passion syrup (in iced coffee). Photo provided by Ten Toes Coffee House.

What’s so great about the drink?

“While this syrup is at home in any iced coffee drink, the notes of passion fruit, dragon fruit and pineapple pop best against the mellow backdrop of cold brew coffee. The inspiration comes from our passions: travelling and all things coffee. Through our travels in Bali, we reignited our love for fresh flavours, as well as the unique flavour each fruit brings to a dish. We’ve always had love for places like Bali, Laos, and Thailand and their approach to beverages in particular.”

Ten Toes Coffee House / 1109 Cyrville Rd, Gloucester, ON / @tentoescoffeco


Bar Robo: Hibiscus Cream Soda

The hibiscus cream soda. Photo provided by Bar Robo.

What’s so great about the drink?

“The Bar Robo Hibiscus Cream Soda is made by steeping loose-leaf hibiscus tea along with pure cane sugar, and a dollop of real vanilla. Hibiscus imparts flavours of fruit, sweet, sour and astringency. This could well be the prettiest drink in Ottawa…”

Bar Robo / Queen St. Fare, 170 Queen St. / barrobo.com / @Bar_Robo