a, Out on the Town, Student Life

Noble Café: Embracing the cold in comfort

Noble Café brings a new experience to the typical Montreal coffee scene. This quaint hot spot, nestled in Plateau-Mont Royal, attracts residents young and old with its community feel, heated terrace, and friendly staff. Situated right across from Laurier metro station, the café opened in mid-August, but its official launch party was held last month to coincide with the re-opening of the Laurier Avenue subway entrance. 

The interior of Noble Café is bright and fresh. It strikes the perfect balance between modernism—with immaculate white walls and exposed brick—and a homey feel, with colourful flowers and pumpkins on the windowsill. Noble provides a unique and charming experience, as there is no indoor seating, but rather a heated exterior terrace. Co-owners Marc-Antoine Paquin and his wife Marie-Hélène Choquette were inspired by cafés in Europe who keep outdoor patio spaces open all year and embrace the colder weather. 

“They do this in Oslo and Helsinki,” Paquin said. “[They have] heaters in the winter and give people blankets to drink their coffee.” 

Paquin plans to keep the heaters on throughout the winter during Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons for a couple of hours while the weather is sunny enough—the perfect activity for a lazy afternoon. This experience can only be elevated by the absolute perfection that is Noble Café’s raspberry Danish pastry.   

All the pastries at the café—raspberry Danish, croissant, and chocolatine—are delicious and affordable. There is a great selection of beverages for those who want a dose of caffeine, and for those who prefer an alternative. Coffee lovers can choose from all the standard espresso options as well as filter coffee. Other options include hot chocolate, chai lattes, teas, kombucha, mochas, and dirty chais. 

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The quality of the coffee is excellent, which is no surprise given the hard work and enthusiasm that the owners put into the cafe. Paquin wanted to ensure a fun outdoor experience, while maintaining the utmost quality of service for customers. He felt it was important to buy from Canadian roasters, as well as roasters that provided single-origin coffees. 

“We have so many good roasters in Canada,” Paquin explained. “This is important to us—coffee in Canada and Montreal is growing really fast.”

Deciding which coffee to use at the cafe was a long process. Paquin and Choquette talked with 10 different roasters across Canada and the United States before making their decision. After a long deliberation, they decided to source their coffee from Kittel, a local Montreal roaster, and Phil & Sebastian, a roaster in Calgary.

[Kittel] only uses single-origin coffee [and] not a mix of coffee from Brazil or Colombia,” Paquin explained. “Single-origin coffee gives a specific flavour to each cup.” 

Paquin has not only done an excellent job with the café, but provides a refreshing perspective to those who may be contemplating a change in their career. He is an engineer and worked in sustainable energy for eight years, but his passion for coffee and desire to work in closer contact with people pushed him to take the leap of faith. He ultimately left his job and opened Noble Café.

“The hardest part is making the commitment of doing it,” Paquin said. “It does come with stress and fear, but at the end, it certainly helps you figure out what you need to do and where you need to put your priorities. I’m tired, but I’m happy.’’ 

The hard work that went into the café appears to be well worth it. Noble café is busy with patrons grabbing a beverage and treat before hopping on the metro, or those sitting outside and enjoying the neighbourhood. When summer rolls around and the heat lamps are retired for the season, ice cream will be on the menu, and the plan is to introduce nitro-brew coffee as well. 

Until then, winter is coming and Noble Café is ready to embrace it. 

Café Noble is located at 430 Avenue Laurier Est. You can also find them online at facebook.com/noblecafemtl.

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