Coffee Review: Zen Stone Coffee

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1131-8328 Capstan Way, Richmond, BC V6X 4B6
Phone: (604) 278-0077

Finding a good cup of Joe is much harder than finding bubble tea in Richmond. Other than the usual franchises like Blenz or Waves, there are a few that I go to only opens Monday to Friday and limited hours on Saturday. My wife told me that there is a new cafe opened in Union Square that I might enjoy.

There are 2 coffee shops in Union Square, Zen Stone is among one of them. Upon walking by the store front, the first impression it gives is a clean, minimalistic cafe that doesn’t “look” over-the-top. Walking through the door into the cafe, there are some tables, a large glass fridge displayer of fine desserts. I am unable to find any ceiling high cold-brew towers, racks of Hario V60s or Aeropress on the bar counter, the counter is unusually clean of equipment.

I think one of the unique thing with Zen Stone is the amount of homemade pastries it has. They offer waffles and small cakes consistently; the portions are sized to complement a drink. One thing for sure, you are not going to a meal here ????. The overhead menu board covers hot, cold and fraps. Above the fridge displayer is another small menu of coffee alternatives such as matcha and black sesame latte.

As a coffee snob, latte is almost the staple of all coffee shop. It’s fair to say I would get a latte to determine the rating of this review. Therefore, for this visit, we order the latte, black sesame latte, a matcha mousse cake. The barista also recommends their homemade biscotti to pair up with the latte. She completely gets me by surprise because this is not the “do you want fries with that” moment ????. I don’t recall someone would confidently to tell me “you should get the biscotti with the coffee because it’s so damn good!” in a coffee shop (I know what I want!!). The poor biscotti now is mine!!

As usual, I pay close attention to the barista. The store is not that busy, and I am delighted to see her taking her time with my drink through proper dosing, weighing, tamping and pulling the final shot into an espresso glass (not my cup). She is doing exactly what a textbook would says.

The texture of the frothed milk is decent, it has a great body and taste sweet, I would imagine the latte would satisfy most people. It is silky with enough air to go with espresso. The taste profile of the espresso is like dark cocoa, it is not as harsh or dark as other places. This combination of milk, dark cocoa flavored espresso could be tweaked to make it into a dark cocoa milk for the unsuspected. The texture is smooth and easy going.

I did not pay too much attention to the black sesame latte, I assume it is great too.

Zenstone is close to home, and the drinks are great. The ambiance and atmosphere is very suitable for a sunny afternoon if I want to chill out in a book or catch up on some work.

UPDATE: Zenstone Cafe now offers latte art classes. I just went into their trial class and it was a great experience. You can look at the Facebook page for more details.