First Look: Himalayan Java, a Nepalese café in Toronto
By Michelle Ervin
Phunto Tsering, owner of Himalayan Java's Toronto location (Image: Cheol Joon Baek)
Himalayan Java is a café straight out of Nepal — literally. Fashioned as the Asian nation’s first gourmet coffeehouse (think a more exotic, better, less ubiquitous version of Starbucks), it’s meant to promote socially responsible brews around the globe.
Launched in Kathmandu in 1999, the concept was recently imported to Toronto — near Yonge and Eglinton — by Phunto Tsering, a friend of the chain’s owner.
“Himalayan Java buys beans directly from the farmers, so it’s fair trade and it’s organic,” Tsering explains.
Coffee beans are harvested from Nepalese hills at an altitude of 1,100 meters, then taken to Kathmandu where they are roasted and packaged.
At its new Toronto location, coffee is pulled on a La Marzocco FB/80 machine. Standards include cappuccinos ($3.20), lattes ($3.50), espresso ($2.86) and loose leaf teas ($2.15-$2.30).
Food pairings at the 20-seat café range from butter tarts ($2.75) and banana bread ($2.25) to gelato from Fresco Gelato, which is available in seven different flavours ($3.75 for a single scoop). A pound of coffee, medium or dark roast, sells for $18.
Also available are Nepalese handicrafts and other eastern kitsch.
Himalayan Java, 2552 Yonge St., 416-485-6464