Calgary’s Fratello Coffee Roasters have recently opened Analog Cafe located on 17th Ave S.W. In November 2012, Analog Cafe opened its doors to the busy pedestrian-filled sidewalks of Calgary’s bustling Beltline. It’s a beautiful cafe, newly built and renovated, but still showing off its antique roots.
When Sam and I went to Analog, the cafe had only been open for a few days. Although it was new to the neighbourhood, nearly every seat was taken inside. The cafe had clearly been welcomed as a new spot to get great coffee. Since I don’t drink coffee, I can’t testify to it’s taste, but from what Sam told me, his latte was smooth, creamy and skillfully crafted. For drip coffee orders, Analog uses a Hario drip coffee method, which is similar to how you would make a quick coffee on a hiking trip through the mountains. This Hario bar, however, is nothing like the plastic drippers you would find hanging from an outdoor enthusiast’s backpack.
Although our experience with Analog cafe was brief, I would recommend it to any coffee lover. The only hesitation I would have making that recommendation, is the flow of the ordering system at Analog. Most cafes need to be carefully thought out as to where customers order their coffee, wait for it, and doctor it up to their own personal preferences. I have no doubt that Analog’s designers and owners did just that, but as Sam and I waited for his latte, it was a bit uncomfortable. The cafes narrow “hallway” design had us waiting for Sam’s coffee while customers sat only inches away with the backs of their heads at our bottoms. Anyone walking between us and the seated customers had to squish through, making the experience not so enjoyable. Once Sam received his coffee, waiting for him at the sugar stand was a bit more comfortable as there was room to breathe.
Analog Cafe is a beautiful, bustling and busy coffee shop that pushes the boundaries of the expected coffee experience; although, it’s busy atmosphere and tight spaces may leave some customers wishing for a quieter, roomier place to gather.