Café Névé is the place you go if you’re cool and you want to be seen. I can already hear the Névé lovers blasting me for saying this. There is nothing wrong with needing others to justify your coolness. Sure, you might be thinking now: “Oh, this guy thinks he’s too cool for this place, what a hipster!” In fact, this place is what oozes hipsterism. That didn't get autocorrected so it must be a thing.
Going to Névé in the winter is quite an interesting experience. You don't really know what to expect until you open the door. In fact, you can’t see inside because the windows are completely covered in condensation - pretty good indicator of how busy this place is. As you walk up, you'll notice the snow-flake logo. If, like me, you don't know what névé means, the logo is an obvious hint. Once inside, you'll slide across vinyl flooring in various tones of black and white as well as a couple of low couches - you already know how much I like couches in cafés.
Wood, all kinds of wood, is omnipresent throughout the café. I'm pretty sure it's supposed to come off as vintage, barn, salvage, antique etc. Unfortunately, to me, it seems overdone and lacking authenticity. Maybe not lacking authenticity per se, but it most definitely looks messy. Some places can pull off this look but Névé doesn’t quite make the cut. The one element that keeps it all together is the teal, baby blue colour throughout the shop. It's spread throughout, starting with the logo going to the bench seating, to the A/C cover and even the coffee cups - making it all uniquely Névé. Talking about seating, half a dozen tables or so line one wall with the, aforementioned, bench seating. There is also a communal table with the joints all cracked, which adds a bit of character to the place. When it comes to the overall look, Névé most certainly has personality but, put simply, it’s just not for me.
Let's move on to the important stuff - they have unprotected Wi-Fi! Nah, just messing with you, you know I’m all about the coffee. This is where their hipsterism comes in handy. Névé has some pretty awesome coffee on deck and some baristas on bar who know what to do with it. In fact, bad baristas are often what bad coffee comes down to. Right before coming over to Névé, I had visited another shop, which will remain unnamed. Disappointed and frustrated, I quickly left as a bean I know to be good was simply destroyed in the preparation process.
Let’s get back to Névé, where my faith in baristas was partly restored. The day of my visit Névé featured Pig Iron Roasters from Mississauga, Cut from Toronto and Anchored Coffee from Nova Scotia. I had a Guji Uraga from Ethiopia roasted by Anchored Coffee. It was satisfactory but not very memorable. It was well balanced but lacking in flavour, with some underlying almond and earthy tones. That being said, I did have a lot of coffee that day so my palette might have been completely wrecked when I got to Névé. I didn't get to the food but they do have an interesting menu on hand with everything from toast to soups as well as elaborate sandwiches and eggs Benedict. I also hear that their chocolate chip cookies are to die for. The smell alone made me melt inside.
Névé is uniquely Névé. It might be messy to my eyes but it does stand out. The coffee is well sourced and thoughtfully prepared. What makes me write the opening comment about wanting to be seen as cool? The vibe. That indescribable factor that is all-important to how a café is perceived. I'm just gonna close by asking you this simple question: Is my opening statement completely wrong?