Located at 801 Gerrard Street East, Hailed Coffee is a welcome addition to Chinatown East. The area was previously relatively unknown to food lovers; other than for the wonderful Saturday Dinette right around the corner and The Real Jerk, recently popularized by the works of a certain musical duo.
The name hailed is derived from the arabic word for cardamom, an ingredient commonly used in the art of coffee making in Arabic countries. At Hailed, you may expect to have your coffee optionally sweetened with a cardamom syrup if you are in pursuit of a more authentic experience. The beans used at the coffee shop are currently being imported from Yemen and Ethiopia but Hailed is working in collaboration with a local roaster to develop a proper signature roast for them. While most coffee shops can easily adapt one of the more mainstream roasts as their own, Hailed coffee requires an under roasted yet fragrant blend for their specialty, Arabic coffee.
The main difference between arabic coffee and the usual coffees that are readily available around the city lay in the time taken to make it. While an espresso shot will take you about 22 seconds to pull, arabic coffee requires up to 20 minutes to extract all the flavours from the ground coffee. The process aims at retrieving as much flavour depth as possible from the coffee by slowly cooking it. It is a strong coffee for sure and requires a true love of the caffeinated beverage. If you are thinking of grabbing this option from Hailed, be warned; an order of arabic coffee comes in a small pot meant for two so make sure to bring a friend.
Hailed coffee’s treats selection differs from other coffee shops too. While you may still find a croissant in the display case, the other options might seem a bit unfamiliar. A selection of different baklavas pay homage to the owner’s middle eastern origins. You will also find jars filled with different varieties of dates which cater to every patrons’ preferences based on their chewiness and sweetness levels. The dates also paired wonderfully with the smooth coffee available there.
You may be wondering at this point, why I went all the way to Chinatown East if I didn't think it was much of a food centric neighbourhood. To be fair, my first experience with Hailed coffee was through social media, where their minimal white interior simply seemed to urge me to head over there and I was not disappointed once I arrived at the location. The pale wooden tables, the white chairs and the beautiful honeycomb tiles create the perfect setting for a memorable coffee date. Don’t be too surprised if you find me there on your next visit as this might become a new coffee spot for me.