Thursday, January 5, 2012

Restaurant Review: Cultured Coffee & Tea

My father started his own coffee shop a few years back and has since started his own franchise. The shop is called Cultured Coffee & Tea. You can check out their website here. Obviously I am a little biased as it is my dad's shop BUT food is either good or not. 

They are located at #80-678 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver BC. Its right up from the Granville Sky Train. Right when you come up the escalators from the train. It used to be a starbucks and is near the regis liquor store. 

Ever since I went vegan, my dad has been very curious of vegan baking. Vegan baking can be hard. Its not really but it sure can be. It can go wrong, oh so wrong. Even for experienced bakers it can be difficult. Especially if you are not using Ener G Egg Replacer. Which is vegan and even gluten and wheat free. AND low sodium. Its all the healthy things that you want. I've personally never used it. I always did the ground flax seed and water way. Its amazing actually, you grind some flax seeds and blend it in a blender with water and it becomes on glutenous and eggy. 

I digress, back to the review. My dad picked up some gluten free flours at Whole Foods and began to experiment. I use that word loosely, because he got it right on the first try. LOL he's a very experienced cook and baker. He made one gluten free vegan muffin and also a vegan muffin. I picked up both of those last night to try. I thought for sure, the regular vegan muffin which is Morning Glory would be my fave. Its a toss up. Both were amazing.

Buckwheat and Oatmeal muffin (Vegan and Gluten free)

Morning Glory (Vegan)


I'll start with the vegan gluten free muffin. It used buckwheat flour and Bob's Redmill gluten free rolled oats. It also has almond milk and ener g egg replacer. They also have black berries and raspberries in them. Sometimes vegan muffins and ESPECIALLY gluten free muffins can be quite heavy. They never have the same volume or fluffiness that muffins with animal products do. This one defies all of that. It is so light and fluffy. I was honestly surprised. It was so damn tasty, I had to call my dad right away. I couldn't make him wait for me to review it. If I had to choose, I'd pick this one as my fave of the 2. But its really close. I think going gluten free or even as close to it as possible is really beneficial for anyone. We eat way to much wheat and gluten, its in everything.

Next up is the vegan morning glory muffin. It was everything that a muffin should be and ever. It was also everything a morning glory muffin should be. If you've ever had one, you'll know what I'm talking about. It should be a little denser than a, say, blueberry muffin. This is because it has way more good stuff in it. It has carrots, apple, raisins, walnuts and shredded coconut. YUM. That is why I thought it would be the clear front runner for me. I am in love with carrots apparently. They are in almost everything I make. Back to the muffin. It was fluffy and delicious. 

Both were the right amount of sweetness and fat content. I'm not sure of calories and fat amounts but it didn't taste overly laden with oil. I'm not saying it doesn't have any oil, because it def does, it just doesn't taste like there is a lot. The buckwheat in particular tastes like there is a lot less. When I bake, I always substitute most if not all the oil for either apple sauce of mashed bananas.

SO if you're celiac, trying to avoid wheat or gluten, vegan or just want a great tasting muffin, then stop by Cultured Coffee and Tea!! The coffee is phe-nom. And so is the tea. I've tried all the green teas, strawberry dream (to die!) and an americano. Plus I have some of the beans at home too. They also do the majority of the baking and cooking in house. They do order some things of course. And they have plenty of healthy options for breakfast and lunch. Its not just about coffee and tea folks! Check it out! Do it!

Especially if you work in the area, which I know some of you do. ;)

NOTE: its my understanding that some celiacs cannot eat oats but most can. The gluten free muffin is made with Bob's Redmill rolled oats which are gluten free, but still, pay attention to your own body and reactions. I wouldn't want anyone to have a set back. BUT it says gluten free.


Cultured Coffee & Tea on Urbanspoon



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