They’ve Got Pull: Pourquoi Pas Espresso Bar
Pourquoi Pas Espresso’s Tyler Mastantuono and Tony Tanchaleune are raising the bar on quality coffee in Village, and getting rave reviews from the caffeine-loving aficionados they cater to on rue Amherst…
Pourquoi Pas Espresso‘s Tyler Mastantuono and Tony Tanchaleune are raising the bar on quality coffee in Village, and getting rave reviews from the caffeine-loving aficionados they cater to on rue Amherst. Tyler, originally from Kingston, honed his barrista skills at Toronto roaster Te-aro, where he learned the secrets of direct trade, and how to pull the best flavour from the sacred bean. In the fall of 2011, he joined forces with Paris-born business partner to serve coffee you can’t get anywhere else in Montréal.
2B: What brought you to Montréal?
Tyler Mastantuono: We were planning on opening a business for a long time in Toronto. Ran out of luck trying to find a retail space. I came into town for Osheaga, and we really liked the city. We saw the Amherst location on Craigslist and took it. I came here with my girlfriend Jasmin without having a place to stay: we slept on the floor of the café the first night we arrived!
2B: All of this for the passion for the bean, what is so inspiring about good coffee for you?
TM: There’s a lot to it. It’s more than just the work that you do to pull the shot, it’s more than brewing the coffee. It’s more about extracting the best part of the coffee and sharing it with people and brightening up people’s day. The reason Tony and I are in this is that we like to make people happy.
Coffee’s one of those things that has never been fully appreciated. There’s the traditional mentality of old Italian and European style espresso which has been popularized by big chain coffee, but what we’re doing is almost a different world.
It’s like the difference between dépanneur wine and a French wine you import yourself.
The reason that people became used to adding lots of cream and sugar to coffee was because the quality was bad. We want to extract the best balanced or chocolatey notes from each pull.
2B: Where did the name come from?
TM: Tony came home with it one day and it sounded right. My old band was called the Why Nots, so it was a spontaneous choice.
2B: Your coffee purism extends to having no food and no wifi, has that become a selling point?
TM: Our focus in on the coffee and doing the best we can do with coffee. From then, everything else is just extras for us.
2B: What’s the difference between Fair Trade and direct trade?
TM: Te-aro is the roaster of all our coffees, and they get sent a bunch of samples from farmers or importers that they work with, and then from there decide what a fair price is. Because the farms are doing such better quality, you have to pay them more because their pickers are only harvesting the ripest fruit. to know that the farmer and farm is doing good things. They want to know what varietal it is, how old it is, and whether it’s genetically modified. It’s as close to the locally farmed mentality, since our roaster visits the farms in Brazil and Guatemala themselves to source the best product.
For the summer, the boys will be trying iced AeroPress coffees, which are like the future of the French press. Whether you’re in the Village, passing through, or making a special trip, the answer to Pourquoi Pas Espresso is in your cup.
1447 rue Amherst, Montréal, H2L 2G2