café that has all of the necessary trappings of indie-ness. Cool name? Check: The Primal Grind. Top notch espresso machine? Check: a Nuova Simonelli. Great roaster? Check: Intelligentsia. But something to make it stand out? Also check: The Primal Grind's coffee will be solely espresso-based, and there will be no signs of dairy, grains or processed sugar.

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Coming Soon: The Primal Grind, a sugar-free café


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By early March, Dundas West will see the opening of a new café that has all of the necessary trappings of indie-ness. Cool name? Check: The Primal Grind. Top notch espresso machine? Check: a Nuova Simonelli. Great roaster? Check: Intelligentsia. But something to make it stand out? Also check: The Primal Grind's coffee will be solely espresso-based, and there will be no signs of dairy, grains or processed sugar.

"We want to be known for how our coffee stands on its own," says co-owner Freya Ravensbergen, who will be running the place with her partner Clinton Pontes out of the Academy of Lions, a gym near Dundas and Ossington.

That means lots of black coffee, and for those who can't shake their latte or cappucino fix, those drinks will be made with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk ("delicious," Ravensbergen claims). And the counter where some patrons, at other coffee shops, inundate their meticulously made drinks with sugar and cream will here feature only almond milk and raw honey.

Currently, the space houses a shop where members of the Academy of Lions can procure Paleolithic diet food items. The new café will continue to sell those items, as well as coffee, tea and pastries. Just don't expect Wi-Fi, as The Primal Grind is takeout-oriented.

Ravensbergen and Pontes are ex-Montrealers, having spent a few years pulling shots at indie shops there. "The independent coffee scene is amazing here," Ravensbergen says. "It's way better." A soft opening is scheduled for March 1.

The Primal Grind Espresso Bar, 1245 Dundas West, 647-219-4672

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