Toronto’s newest coffee shop has everything one might expect — free wifi, trendy exposed bulb lighting, power outlets galore — minus one major component: the baristas. Instead, patrons must bring their own coffee — of the instant variety, no less.
Located on Toronto’s ultra-hip Queen Street, the newly debuted Nescafé Coffee Taproom pop-up is the perfect example of the kind of wannabe viral stunt that brands simply cannot resist in 2017. To gain entry, visitors have to scan a sachet of the brand’s instant coffee on an iPad that serves as a sort of virtual doorman; in place of baristas and espresso machines, the shop has self-serve hot water taps.
In addition to trolling the public by making people prepare their own coffee, Nescafé is also taking aim at Starbucks by providing coffee cups that feature misspelled names on the side — “just like you get in those other coffee shops,” the narrator of a promo video for the pop-up says cheekily. (Nicole is butchered into “Kneecoal,” while Richard becomes “Reacher,” and so on.)
While there are no $6 soy lattes or tatted-up baristas, the shop will presumably have all the other stuff that makes coffee shops so wonderful, such as other patrons slowing down the wifi by streaming Netflix or talking very loudly into their cell phones. Yay. The coffee shop is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through June 28 at 499 Queen St. West in Toronto; just don’t forget to BYOC.