Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House

Restaurant: Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House
Cuisine: Café/Coffee/Desserts/Cakes
Last visited:January 19, 2010
Location:Multiple – Vancouver, BC (Gastown/Downtown)
Address: 321 Water Street
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 3
Service: 2.5
Ambiance: 3.5
Overall: 3
Additional comments:

    • Additional comments:
    • Local chain since 1996
    • Clean/European style cafe
    • Good for snacks/coffee breaks
    • Relaxed, but upscale café feel
    • Fair-trade 100% certified organic coffee
    • Coffee roasted in small batches on site
    • Award winning cheesecakes
    • Vancouver’s Best Cheesecake by The Province newspaper
    • By the slice or whole cheesecakes available
    • Organic coffee, not organic food
    • Breakfast/Lunch
    • Sandwiches/Baked goods
    • Display case/pre-made items
    • Vegan options
    • Eat in/Take-out
    • Difficult to parkRecommendations: The Sin Cheesecake, Coffee, LatteI went to the grand opening of the 4th location of Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House in Gastown. I was really excited because 1) I was meeting a friend I hadn’t seen in years and 2) they advertised an “all day tasting party with free coffee and samples of cheesecake, muffins, scones and sandwiches!” It was supposed to be a big party and celebration so they got everyone all excited and anticipated – but for nothing. In the end we did sample one cheesecake (upon ordering and paying), but we also asked for it. I just don’t believe in false advertising and hyping your customers up for expectations you can’t deliver. I mean people went to support their business so I don’t think it’s unfair to ask that they should stay true to their words.

      I support their 100% Organic & Fair Trade Coffee policy – and I actually think they should include this “organic” policy into everything they make. I mean it’s in the store name, and they stress it with their coffee, so why not in the food? All their baked goods and sandwiches are actually brought in from their flagship store on Granville Island, so if I were to choose a location I would go for that one.

      Trees Organic Coffee & Roasting House in Gastown is good for a coffee break or a snack, but I wouldn’t go for lunch. It’s a very nice, clean, comfortable set-up but the selection is limited to a display case of premade sandwiches and cheesecakes…the cheesecakes are a local favourite and pretty good though. I’d only come back for coffee or cheesecake.

      I’m going to review this like any other review because this “grand opening” was nothing different than a regular day…except with maybe some balloons.

      On the table

      Latte5/6

      • Size: Tall – about $3.50
      • I really liked this and it’s quite creamy with a nice amount of froth. I still like Elysian or 49th Parallel better I think. I need to do a comparison one of these days.
      • It’s smooth and almost naturally sweet with a malted flavour.
      • Very light roast.
      • They need to work on the design though.

      Coffee5/6

      • 100% Organic & Fair Trade Coffee Size: Tall – about $2.50
      • Very light roast, I like mine a bit stronger.
      • Very smooth.

      The Sin Cheesecake5.5/6

      • They don’t have the description on the menu but it’s a chocolate marble cheesecake with cherries and a chocolate crust $5.99
      • It was good and better than the blueberry cheesecake we ordered. This is their most popular cheesecake.
      • This is the only sample we actually got, and that’s because we asked.It’s hard to judge based on a sample but from a non-cheesecake lover (I really don’t like those heavy thick New York style cheesecakes) this was a good cheesecake.
      • It’s very creamy, not dense at all and almost mousse like. It’s still very rich but not too cheesy in taste either. It was lighter than most cheesecakes but heavier than a tiramisu (which is the only cheesecake I like). A few bites would be enough for me, not because it’s too sweet, but just extremely creamy.
      • It had a nice balance of sweet chocolate, creamy light cheese, and tartness from these plump sour cherries. Great balance, flavour, and texture.
      • I didn’t mind that the crust was a bit thin because since it’s a chocolate/Oreo crust it’s more flavourful than a graham cracker crust.
      • Cherries weren’t red, but an orange yellow caramel in colour. I don’t remember what they were called, but they were tiny, round, plump and juicy. I’m pretty sure they’re preserved because they had that sticky syrup coating around them, but it wasn’t fake tasting like Maraschino cherries. They were almost like the sour cherries from the Amarena Cherry Crème Brulee I had at Cin Cin.

      Blueberry Cheesecake3.5/6

      • Fresh blueberries mixed in the cheesecake burst in your mouth with juicy, sweet flavour $5.99 (Description from website)

      • The cheesecake part was really good. Not too sweet and just as creamy and mousse-like as The Sin Cheesecake. It’s so soft and creamy you can’t even cut through it.
      • This is lighter than The Sin Cheesecake but I still wouldn’t want a whole piece to myself – although light, the creaminess is too much.

      • The crust was a graham cracker crust and I wish it was thicker. It was also very soggy and wet, perhaps because it was sitting in the display case for too long and then plated on top of unnecessary chocolate syrup.
      • The chocolate syrup just tasted like bottled chocolate syrup and did nothing for me. That part was too sweet.

      • The cheesecake is a baked cheesecake, which I liked. However it wasn’t baked evenly. The edges were stiffer and dense and almost dried out from being in the display case. However the centre was fluffy and creamy and melted in your mouth.

      • Besides the crust, the other problem was the blueberries. The description says “fresh blueberries” but they didn’t taste fresh at all. They were extremely wrinkly and dry and tasted like dried blueberries or frozen blueberries. I highly doubt they were fresh. There were only blueberries on top too and they weren’t plump juicy or sweet.

      Prosciutto & Brie Baguette Sandwich2.5/6

      • With lettuce & tomato $7.99
      • For $7.99 I would much rather go to So.Cial at Le Magasin or Brioche around the corner. Those places have value and specialize in quality meats and sandwiches.

      • This sandwich tasted good, but there were hardly any ingredients in it. One leaf of romaine, a very thin slice of tomato, one slice of prosciutto and one slice of brie. I couldn’t even taste the brie in every bite.
      • We asked for the sandwich to be warmed up but that didn’t really help. The brie was so thin it turned into a brie spread. It was good and creamy, but almost turned saucy.

      • The lack of ingredients usually means a lack in flavour, so to make up for the natural flavours they replaced it with heavy seasonings. It was mostly kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, but they used a lot.

      • The best part is the bread; and thank goodness because it was quite thick and there was a lot. It’s baked in house in their Granville location and I really liked it! It was very crunchy and although it is thick, it also wasn’t too chewy, it worked. Great bread!

      Cranberry Pecan Oat Muffin1.5/6

      • $2.50
      • I had major issues with this muffin. It really bothers me when cranberry and pecan is used in the title of the muffin, but used only as décor. Very deceiving.
      • There were no pecans or cranberries in the actual muffin. It would have given the muffin so much more flavour and was really disappointing.

      • The muffin bottom was just plain vanilla muffin batter. Actually at first bite it almost has a candied orange taste and then later on you get a tiny bit of vanilla extract taste. I think there might be lemon zest in it or maybe some kind of orange liquor like Grand Marnier in it. It is very subtle and it would have gone great with the cranberries…if there had been actual cranberries IN it, no just on top of it.
      • I actually didn’t find much oat in it either. A few odd flakes, and maybe used more on the top.

      • That’s about the only thing this muffin had going – was the top. It had a huge muffin top (haha muffin top!)…which is great! That’s the best part because it was really crispy and flavourful. It’s the only part that had cranberries and pecans too.
      • That’s about the only thing this muffin had going – was the top. It had a huge muffin top (haha muffin top!)…which is great! That’s the best part because it was really crispy and flavourful. It’s the only part that had cranberries and pecans too.
    • Trees Organic Coffee on Urbanspoon

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15 Comments

  • Daniel S. says:

    Excellent, detailed write-up as usual. I'm not a big cheesecake fan, but the Sin cheesecake looks and sounds good. The prosciutto/brie sandwich needs more filling, but at least the bread was good. And no cranberries or pecans IN the muffin? Bummer! Yeah the muffin top is the best part =)

  • Elaine says:

    For the plating of both cheesecakes, was the "TO" square logo also chocolate, or was that part of the plate?

    You'd think there'd be different plate drizzles to match the flavours of the cakes (e.g. blueberry, sour cherry *with* chocolate, etc.)…

  • Jenny says:

    I love cheesecake, my all time favorite dessert. I must check this out, thanks for sharing :)

  • Follow Me Foodie says:

    You do! Perfect then you'll love this place because the cheesecake is really really creamy. Thanks for commenting Jenny!

  • Follow Me Foodie says:

    Elaine – I completely agree with you!!!! I actually wrote that in my original post and took it out because I didn't know if I was being too harsh. I too thought that the blueberry cheesecake should have a blueberry compote or blueberry sauce.

    And yes the TO was an actually chocolate. That was a nice touch, but chocolate/caramel wasn't doing anything for me.

  • Follow Me Foodie says:

    LOL! I know I try to make them shorter but I can't stop with the details! Glad you like them though!

    It was SUCH a bummmer to have no pecans inside!! I mean it looked so good from the outside! So deceiving!

  • Mel- GourmetFury.com says:

    I've been meaning to go since it's just around the corner but after reading this, I'll take my sweet time. Thanks babe, great post. Sorry you feel ripped off :(

  • Follow Me Foodie says:

    Hi Mel! Thanks for your comment! The cheesecake and coffee I can accept and those are good!…but that muffin…yes that was a sad muffin :(

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  • Follow Me Foodie says:

    Hi Verkaufsdisplay! Thanks for your comment! I actually just switched from blogspot to wordpress and all the html got messed up so I’m in the middle of fixing it. So I’ll be going through all my posts and cleaning up the format :) Only 200+ posts to go lol! Thanks for your patience in the meantime :)

  • Stephanie W says:

    I actually stayed there for 7 hours with 4 of my team mates a few days ago to get work done and the staff were quite friendly. They didn’t give us the mean stare, instead kept checking in to see if our internet works fine etc, so that’s a total plus for me! I had the mocha cheesecake and boy oh boy, they’re good! it was just the right amount of sweetness and cheesecake-ness and not too creamy. I also love their ham and cheese quiche!

  • Mijune says:

    Stephanie – Hmm I wonder if the quiche is made on site or sourced out from another bakery? Thanks for the recommendations!

  • YogaSpy says:

    I have been curious about the Trees location on Granville, wondering if this cafe is indie or chain. Thanks for your review. I have a hunch that it won’t hold up to my favorites, such as Elysian Coffee and Gene.

    Regarding cranberry-pecan muffins, have you tried Elysian’s? It’s excellent!

  • Mijune says:

    @YogaSpy – Welcome! I really liked Elysian and Gene as well! I haven’t tried Elysians, but now I want to! Thank you for the tip and comment! :)

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