Bridgehead Coffee: Full-bodied lattes worth the flight to Ottawa

I also tried the Moroccan Chicken Sandwich with Red Pepper Jelly ($5.25) which was a very creative combination and savory.

Bridgehead Coffee - review and photos

Bridgehead Coffee - review and photos

While in Ottawa last week, we dropped by a Bridgehead coffeehouse in Westboro for some hot lattes after our workout at GoodLife Fitness. Bridgehead Coffee is exclusive to the Ottawa area and specializes in 100% fairly traded and organic coffees and teas.

It was originally founded by two United Church ministers and two social activists in Toronto who were concerned about the fate of small-scale coffee farmers in Nicaragua facing challenges of unfair terms of intermediaries and a U.S. trade embargo. In its 30 year history it has expanded to different product lines and then finally returned to its coffee roots in Ottawa.

I do love the concept of supporting fairly traded and organic coffee, however, one sip of their lattes and, frankly, all I could think about was how good it was.

The latte was hot, rich and full-bodied…surprising since I had ordered it with skim/non-fat milk. The espresso notes in the latte were earthy and had a sweetness of dark chocolate. Paired with the triple berry muffin ($1.50) and it was like a wonderful warm hug on a cold winter’s day. The muffin, unlike some other coffee houses, was moist and really let the natural sweetness of the berries shine. No sickly, sweet lump of dough here!

I also tried the Moroccan Chicken Sandwich with Red Pepper Jelly ($5.25) which was a very creative combination and savory. It reminded me of some of the sandwiches I had at Pret a Manger in London.

The atmosphere was also relaxed and made you feel welcomed. It did help that they had free wifi which we could jump on with my iPhone and Clint’s Droid.

A short visit to Bridgehead it was, however, the memory of that latte still lingers. It was superb. According to their website, the coffee does get shipped from Nicaragua to California and then transported via train to Ottawa.

Perhaps one day, they would decide to toss a couple bags of it off the ship into a Bridgehead location in California?

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  • Jim Stechyson

    Great review Loni!

    BH is my favorite in Ottawa – Best Espresso I’ve found!

    I hope Peter tried the 2 shot Americano and Granola cookie – great combo 8-))

    Good to see you and Clint over Christmas.

    Jim

    • Thanks Jim for the BH recommendation as well. Seems to be a crowd favorite in Ottawa.

      As for the Americano suggestion though..isn’t it just a watered-down espresso? Have not been crazy about this style of coffee.

      I saw the Granola cookies, they looked so sinfully decadent.

      • Anonymous

        BH is handsdown the best coffee house in US/Canada. The combination of a cappucino and their triple berry muffin is a little piece of Heaven. If you don’t make it there before 9-10 am – the TB muffin is sold out! Something I looked forward to every morning while living in Ottawa. Too bad they don’t have one in California! I’ve been trying to perfect the TB muffin, but it’s just not working. Wish I knew their recipe! 

  • Jim Stechyson

    Great review Loni!

    BH is my favorite in Ottawa – Best Espresso I’ve found!

    I hope Peter tried the 2 shot Americano and Granola cookie – great combo 8-))

    Good to see you and Clint over Christmas.

    Jim

    • Thanks Jim for the BH recommendation as well. Seems to be a crowd favorite in Ottawa.

      As for the Americano suggestion though..isn’t it just a watered-down espresso? Have not been crazy about this style of coffee.

      I saw the Granola cookies, they looked so sinfully decadent.

  • M. Paradi

    I went to BH sevral times with my girl friend. They are very expensive. Their coffee is too strong more than Second cup, I had stomache after drink their coffee. The only good thing is free internet.

  • M. Paradi

    I went to BH sevral times with my girl friend. They are very expensive. Their coffee is too strong more than Second cup, I had stomache after drink their coffee. The only good thing is free internet.

  • Nutz about Coffee

    A darn good cup of coffee. Fresh.Full-bodied. Best in Ottawa! Beats the heck out of Tim Hortons, Starbucks and Yes …. Second Cup too! Wonderful treats, soups, and the cheese sandwich is yummy! I have never been disappointed. The staff is great! Guigues St. is my favorite location. Love the Living Wall :)

    • Anonymous

      Oooo….This comment brings back memories of this visit to BH. Would love to be sipping on a latte right now. Agree their treats are really delicious. They taste homemade.

      That is one of my major issues with Starbucks. Their sandwiches and treats are too sweet and artificial tasting.