Cultured Coffee & Tea

July 23, 2011
Cultured Coffee & Tea is a kiosk on the 2nd floor of City Square right at the top of the escalators. There is plenty of seating with tall floor-to-ceiling windows on one side and a loft view overlooking the ground floor on the other side.

Because of the beautiful ambiance, I had expected the drinks and pastries to be at least decent, but this was not the case. This lemon square ($2.25) was particularly horrible with an overbearing artificial lemon flavour. I would describe it as a layer of lemon-scented gel sandwiched between bland soggy half-raw flour. I could not take more than one bite.

In comparison, the lemon poppyseed muffin ($2.55) was a lot better. But it was still just a regular muffin not much different from the ones at Safeway.

Before I start on the drinks, I have to say that the latte was the worst I've ever tasted anywhere... including the ones from vending machines. I got a medium latte ($3.15) with soy ($0.50 extra) and just from the appearance, it looked horribly burnt. I lifted the cup to my lips and could smell the scent of burnt coffee. As I started sipping, I almost got burnt myself because the liquid was near boiling. It was even hotter than Starbucks extra hot! Then there was the unmistakable taste of bitter burnt espresso. I regretted asking for soy because there was no soy flavour at all. The soy substitute was also very watery and not nearly as smooth or creamy as milk. The latte was undrinkable and I really should have asked for a replacement. But I used a deal voucher to pay, so I felt kind of bad about asking for a new drink.

This large latte ($3.70) was also burnt, but at least the milk added a bit of creaminess to the drink.

The best drink was the organic genmaicha ($2.55), a regular teabag with boiling water. I really wish I had ordered this instead. Now that's pretty sad if the tea beats the coffee at a coffee shop.

Apart from the wonderful seating area, this was the worst coffee experience I've had. I really hope it was just an off-day for the barista because serving burnt drinks at that price range is unacceptable.

Cultured Coffee & Tea (City Square) on Urbanspoon


  1. Lots of places have bad coffee these days because good coffee actually takes SKILL to make.

    As to your comment that the tea was better than coffee, I'm going to bite back my initial remark that one cannot screw up tea (because one CAN, particularly with loose leafs), and say instead that: One cannot screw up TEA BAGS. That's like burning water while trying to boil it.

  2. Yes teabags are always safe. But almost anything would be better than the latte I had. Suddenly Starbucks seems like heaven.

  3. For the sake of coffee, girl, make your own!

  4. I don't like brewed coffee, and an espresso machine is a huge investment :P

  5. Feedback in any form is valuable to us.
    I would like the Opportunity to give you a better experience.

  6. Thanks for leaving a comment! I'll definitely consider trying it out again if there are improvements.


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