That being said, my recent journeys within the retail-filled network have led to the discovery of dentist and salon services, individual businesses, and a plethora of food options. (You'll never be out of lunch options here!)
Convenient Rexall and Shoppers locations also serve great purpose for restocking on anti-bacterial wipes should your cubicle run out, while Carlton Cards ensures that you'll never be without a proper card for post-work events.
But back to coffee talk: I initially chanced upon Sam James Coffee Bar (SJCB) during one late afternoon venture, and had vowed to return once I had the chance to review their menu on Zomato.
Decorative elements that were used to adorn the insides of the bar area include a slinky, leafy vine (which I shall assume to be abiotic as regular plants would find it difficult to maintain such a vibrant shade of green with minimum exposure to sunlight), thin wood panels, and a black-and-white menu exhibiting their available drink options in typewriter font. Although I found these components to lack a certain sense of cohesiveness, the overall aesthetic was interesting.
I chose a mocha, knowing that it would be the safest bet, and unveiled my own thermal mug in anticipation of receiving my twenty-five cent discount.
While the beverage was a tad cooler than I would have preferred, it was still warm enough to sooth my senses. Faint hints of espresso were perceived through swirls of heated chocolate milk, gradually bringing me back to reality with each sip.
And simply to affirm my findings from the previous day, I paid Sam James another visit. The atmosphere was a bit more hectic than before, and my cup was delivered on the right side of the bar (it emerged from the left side last time) filled with a reduced amount of mocha.
The same barista had created the drink, but his actions were so speedy that he had already begun the crafting process as I was completing my cash-only transaction. I did not receive the opportunity to witness the pouring of chocolate milk, nor how my microfoam heart came to be. Per contra, I did appreciate how the drink was warmer and that the surface art did not show signs of collapsing quickly.
I've walked past SJCB during lunch hour and noticed that the lineups can be quite lengthy. While I've never lined up during these periods, I can imagine that the wait time has the potential to exceed ten minutes. And without being a member of Ritual, it can be quite tricky to obtain your drink of choice during a fifteen minute coffee break if reaching the bar already requires a short walk.
It's also important to note that the only method of payment that Sam James accepts is cash. As someone who rarely carries loose change (or even $20, for that matter), I find it rather cumbersome to break large bills or scrape up coins that could be utilized towards bus fares.
To conclude, SJCB has earned a positive spot on my list, but may not necessarily be my ideal choice if not for its convenient location.