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Farzam Baghchehsaraei always dreamed of opening his own café. For years, he spent time studying and researching different coffee cultures around the world, carefully examining various roasting and brewing techniques. His wife, Mitra Ziaee, is a former curator and university art lecturer, which allowed her to establish an amazing network of brilliant artists.
Recently, the couple opened MitFar Boutique Café, a snug coffee shop that exhibits the work of local Toronto artisans, while serving up specialty coffees, premium loose leaf tea, matcha, toasts, salads and pastries. All of the art in the cafe is available for sale. Mitra and Farzam have also run a successful online jewellery business for the last three years, and customers can also purchase select pieces in the cafe, too.
“Farzam used to say that North America is missing a high quality, European style cafe with a warm environment, where people like to go and enjoy their drink, even if they are in a rush!” Mitra says. “We provide an environment in which our customers feel as comfortable as they would in their own homes while they taste specialty coffee.”
MitFar seats 16 in the front with room for another five guests in the back where the gallery is. “We’d like to keep the space open for people who love to enjoy their drink while walking around and enjoying the art,” Mitra says.
A cafe first, MitFar serves only the finest coffee, with a specific focus on the pour over method. Popular in many larger cities, pour over coffee is a special manual system in brewing a filtered coffee that allows for a very high level of control by using a cone that holds a filter and coffee grounds, while the hot water (with a specific temperature based on the coffee bean specifications) is slowly poured in a spiral pattern over all of the grounds. The final result is a noticeably smoother cup of coffee.
From chocolatey and nutty tastes to floral and fruity ones, MitFar offers six different coffee bean variations for the pour over coffee. In addition, the cafe menu includes 20 specialty espresso-based drink items; 11 different premium loose leaf teas, five premium matcha-based drinks and tea-based lattes, and a hot chocolate that’s made with real Swiss chocolate. Most of the items can be served hot or iced.
As far as food goes, the café does several different loaded toasts and salads. Try the avocado egg toast with pomegranates, or the avocado pistachio toast topped with organic honey, or the cream cheese smoked salmon toast. In the mood for something sweet? Mitfar's croissant lineup includes a yuzu coconut croissant, raspberry matcha croissant, black sesame croissant, and a good old fashioned plain chocolate croissant.
“Day by day we understand more about how working in the coffee, tea, food and pastry world is similar to art!” Mitra says. “It is all about different tastes, creativity and openness toward experiencing and feeling differentiations in everything which makes us more excited to be a part of this experience of our customers.”
Mitfar is located at 1098 Yonge St. and is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.