Fantastic Coffee at Little Victories Coffee (Ottawa, Canada)

Swan latte art on the cappuccino

Little Victories Coffee is an independently owned coffee shop between two coffee professionals (and friends) Andrew Bassett and Jeremie Thompson, who became disenchanted with Canada’s coffee industry. After experiencing the incredible divide in coffee quality between Canada and other parts of the world they felt obligated to help Ottawa compete on the global stage.

Several global sourcing trips later, Little Victories Coffee Roasters began retail and wholesale operations across Ottawa. Within a year the fledgling company had contracts with over a dozen small and independent coffee shops supplying top shelf coffee beans and training across the Ottawa Valley.

Since New York City has a fair number of third wave coffee shops (e.g. Stumptown, Blue Bottle, Bluestone Lane, Little Collins, and much more), I thought I would get something equally good here but I was wrong – it’s better here! I’ve met Andrew the morning we were there and he’s killing it with the amazing coffee he’s brewing and of course, the source of their beans is everything too.

The basic latte has a complexity not often experienced in conventional coffee shops. The brew managed to be surprisingly full-bodied and tart while possessing a pleasantly sweet aftertaste, all the while maintaining a diverse taste profile that featured notes of wood and plum.

The Magic - hybrid of the cortado without the cream or any sweetner and it's so smooth to drink

The Magic is something near and dear to my cortado loving heart. Magic is a take on the cortado inspired by Andrew’s barista training in Melbourne. Usually my experiences drinking a cortado, it tends to be the slightly milkier version of the macchiato. It’s a sharp five-sip, steamed milk espresso drink that doesn’t have much sweetness or anything else beyond that. However, the Magic is velvety in texture from the (longer) steamed milk and it’s sweeter without any added sugar. The espresso brew itself has a cocoa, woody, nutty complexity.

Most of our flight of coffee and pastries

Staying true to their roots, the café has chosen to exalt all their efforts on their exclusively pour-over coffee. If you do have some time to wait patiently for this perfectly brewed cup, it’s worth the three to five minutes of your time. I’ve ordered the Flight (all three single-origin coffees – from Columbia when I’ve visited). Though these beans were all grown from the same country, it’s mind blowing how different they vary. The Raquel Lasso ‘Geisha’ tasted like delicate cherry blossoms and these rare beans were originally from Ethiopia. The Brunilda Lasso has notes of milk chocolate and tart cherries, while the ‘Flor Alba Apio’ tastes like orange blossom and hibiscus but not as profoundly floral as the Geisha. All of them were astonishingly good.

There were locally made pastries sold here too. The croissants (plain and chocolate) was dependably good as it’s flaky and buttery. The cinnamon bun was lovely and not too sweet. The salted chocolate chip cookie was my favorite as it’s crisp, sweet and salty all at once.

Little Victories is an excellent coffee shop to have your coffee to go. But if you are able to hang out for a while to enjoy that cup of coffee, it’s a very gratifying experience. To me, it felt like a moment of reflection before the caffeine kick comes in and I’m off to go on with my day.

To view more photos of this visit, please view the gallery below or CLICK HERE for the photo set:

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Little Victories Coffee

Official Website
801 Bank St. Ottawa
Ottawa, ON K1S 3V7


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.