New Far Coast store offers blend for every taste

Michelle Novielli for Metro Toronto


A coffee cup at the Far Coast store.

• Coca Cola’s Far Coast hot beverages:

*** (out of five)

For coffee virgins like me, tasting Far Coast coffee seems far-fetched.

With eyes squinted shut, I took the tiniest sip of Coca Cola’s new Opal Noire Americano blend. At the new Far Coast concept store, TV cameras and product representatives awaited my critique. “Great!” I said. “Bitter!” I wrote in my notebook, “need breath mint.”

As one of 11 Far Coast hot beverage blends, Coca Cola describes Opal Noire as a bittersweet dark coffee intrigue. Bitter? Yes. Sweet? No. Luckily, the blends can be prepared as espresso, Americano, latté, cappuccino, decaf, tea, chai and hot chocolate.

Tea is definitely more me, so I asked for chai tea — my favourite. The Tahaa tea blend is described as a playful dance of chai and vanilla, and one taste instantly soothed my coffee-breath catastrophe. Succulent sweetness filled my mouth with a hint of vanilla. Leaving the store, I was in hot tea heaven.

Where to Buy: 95A Bloor St. W. beginning Sept. 22.

Price: Between $1.69 and $4.49 depending on size and flavours added.

Try/Buy Again: Definitely teas, maybe the coffee in small doses.

• Absolut Vodka Ruby Red Classic:

***** (out of five)

• Absolut Vodka Ruby Red R&R:

**** (out of five)

• Absolut Vodka Ruby Red Pomelo:

*** 1/2 (out of five)

I must confess, I attended the launch of the new Absolut Ruby Red grapefruit-flavoured vodka with two weaknesses: a penchant for grapefruit and free cocktails.

With that in mind, I’d have to say this ninth member of the Absolut Vodka family is perhaps my favourite. Neat, Ruby Red exudes a deliciously fruity scent with a strong, crisp flavour. In a cocktail, it gets even better. The three I tried were the Ruby Red R&R, a subtle desert-type drink; good for those not big on the grapefruit flavour; the Ruby Red Classic, a great bar drink; simple and to-the-point; and the Ruby Red Pomelo, a refreshing, limey drink best suited to lounging in the backyard by the pool side.

However, while the grapefruit flavour can be tart and may seem acquired, Absolut master bartender Shoana Jensen warns against judging Ruby Red by the taste of eating an actual grapefruit. “With flavoured vodka, there’s no sugar added, and (what you’re getting) is the flavour or essence of it.”

Jensen says if you mix Ruby Red with club soda or tonic, it’s only about 110 calories. Now I’ll drink to that!

Where To Buy: LCBO

Price: Each bottle is $25.30 / 750 ml

Try/Buy Again: Yes.

Most Popular From ...