Mixed Senses is a cafe and store that carries coffee, baked goods, artwork, soaps and other skincare products all under one roof.
The storefront just across the street from Kew Gardens in the Beaches feels open and airy, with a coffee bar off to the left side of the shop parallel to shelves of uniquely designed handmade soaps.
The floor-to-ceiling wall mural that exudes female empowerment will likely catch your eye as soon as you step inside. It was created by Oshawa artist and muralist Meaghan Kehoe who has also done work at Underpass Park and Brickworks Ciderhouse.
Behind the coffee bar, cups of coffee are made with an Italian La Marzocco espresso machine with house brews from two esteemed local roasters, De Mello and Barocco.
De Mello’s Dancing Goats blend will give you notes of milk chocolate and vanilla while the forte brew courtesy of Barocco comes darker and nuttier.
Each cup of caffeine is finished off with some masterful latte art by one of the four baristas on staff. The cafe’s master barista Marcelo is there when we visit and uses eight years of experience to expertly shape swans, hearts and smiley faces out of frothy milk.
The matcha latte also gets the artful treatment here, made with locally sourced matcha powder, nicely frothed milk and featuring a shapely leaf.
The affogato, which comes with a shot of espresso poured over two scoops of Breyers vanilla ice cream, is best reserved for a warmer day.
More a coffee-based dessert than a coffee, the strong espresso is perfectly balanced by the extra creamy ice cream.
There are muffins, scones, danishes, cookies, tarts and croissants baked fresh every day at various local bakeries.
Included in the showcase are vegan energy balls in plenty of interesting flavours like chia peanut butter, peanut butter and almond crunch, pistachio chocolate chip and Nutella.
One of the fastest-selling options has to be the pear danish, which is actually shaped like a pear. A mix of sliced pears and pear jam comes surrounded by a flaky pastry covered in powdered sugar.
The Everything cookie is another tasty option. It’s full of nuts, chocolate chips, raisins and rolled oats and has a sticky consistency that’ll likely have you licking your fingers.
Once you’ve grabbed a coffee and snack, your nose will lead you over to the array of colourful soaps just across the way from the coffee station.
Hand-mixed, cut and crafted locally, all of the soaps are made with vegan and cruelty-free oils. Some come as brightly striped blocks and mixed tapes while others resemble donuts, macarons and cupcakes and look good enough to eat.
The various scents include lemongrass, ginger peach, cherry blossom, honeysuckle, freesia, aloe, lavender and sandalwood.
An ever-growing list of skincare products like body scrubs and butters also share the shelf space. They’re also vegan and cruelty-free.
As if the soaps don’t provide enough good smells, there are also a few bubble cube candles that’ll have your apartment smelling like coffee cake spice, cherry blossom, green tea and white pear or chocolate.
On your way out the door, make sure to check out the greeting cards, all designed by local artists.
Mixed Senses brings an interesting combo of coffee, pastries and nicely scented artisan products to the neighbourhood. Just be prepared that if you walk in for a coffee, you’ll likely leave with a few soaps and candles too.
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