The thought of attending an event at Evergreen Brick Works had always silently resided at the back of my mind, yet it wasn't until ochungg mentioned the Toronto Coffee & Tea Expo that the mere contemplation actualized into the experience I'm retelling. Where events entail admission fees, I tend to steer clear. Upon reviewing the list of vendors for expo, I was instantly intrigued.
As Momo Tea mainly operates online, at festivals/specialty shows, and select retailer(s) in East York, it was tremendously difficult to replenish the stash after use. In short, Momo Tea was the driving force behind my desire to attend the event.
Other familiar names such as Chaiwala and Propeller had also made the list, thus adding to the excitement.
Locating the venue was a cinch, but what stood before our eyes was less impressive than imagined. The Toronto Coffee & Tea Expo was being held out of a covered warehouse, meaning that there would be no protection against the elements whatsoever. In addition to this, it was observed that parking would be enforced for every hour of stay. For such settings, where advance registration and admission fees are non-dismissable, it is illogical to charge parking fees. The weather conditions were disastrous enough.
The scene wasn't particularly busy, though there was still a larger turnout than expected given the ongoing ice storm.
By this point in time, we had missed all of the workshops, so observing Be A Barista from afar was no longer an option. Instead, we hobbled between stalls - some were offering samples while others engaged in demonstrating precise coffee grain sifting procedures, much like our Grain Size Distribution lab experiments.
Despite the chunks of ice and unforgiving gusts that would disrupt her display every now and then, the two ladies remained amiable and friendly, offering samples at every possible chance.
Also leaving the Toronto Coffee & Tea Expo with me were:
- Handmade Dark Chocolate Buttercrunch (1 bag) from fraktals ($10)
- Fresh Original Masala Chai (150g) from Chaiwala ($20)
Word(s) of note: Please refrain from brewing in canned coconut milk, as the coconut overpowers the spices. A generous helping of liquid sweetener is also recommended to assist the drink in reaching even stronger impressions.
Lifting the hoods from our frozen faces for a brief moment, we caught sight of Nakayoshi and dove straight in. The warm, dimly-lit interior welcomed us, inviting customers to peel away ice droplet-lined jackets and wipe clean splattered lenses.
At first, I had assumed the eatery to be a relatively recent opening. Not a speck of dust nor grime was spotted. From the dining quarters to the gender-separated washroom stalls, utensils/toiletries were adequately stocked and all elements were in pristine shape. Admittedly, it was an exceptionally pleasing sight to behold.
For clarification, the Oyako Don was competent in curbing appetites and providing energy, however it did veer from the arrangement of consistuents I had desired. On the other hand, I did appreciate the pungent shards of pickled ginger.
Submerged UFO-style in a rich, dark pool of comforting curry was a bowl of short grain rice topped with beni-shoga and sesame seeds. The consistency was more lumpy than viscous - probably due to the addition of ground meat, while its hue several tones deeper than Glico Mild. Though I cannot confirm the exact components of the condiment, I must remark positively towards its slightly heated, lingering notes.