First Look: The New Discovery Coffee on Blanshard

It’s a chilly, just-about-rainy December afternoon, and I’m doing that cold-hunched-shoulder-walk down Blanshard, past Fort. Walking past Hook, Chorizo & Co, and La Taquisa, all while knowing that just across the street lies the Clay Pigeon and Foo Ramen, I can’t help but think: this pocket of downtown has exploded in the last year. And, as I pass the delicious smells of La Taquisa, I’m greeted by a new Blanshard street offering sure to please just about everyone: the friendly yellow coffee bean globe of Discovery Coffee.



Windows and doors are still covered in newspapers, but upon entering, it’s clear that Discovery Coffee owner Logan Gray and his talented team have been hard work. I’m lucky: I’m one of the first to bear witness to Discovery Coffee’s newest location. Given how beautifully put together the other three Disco (as I and many others so lovingly refer to this joint) locations are, there’s a possibility that this latest Blanshard location could disappoint. But it doesn’t. Antique lights with visible filaments bob and glow; Mad Men-era beakers and magazines inhabit every nook and cranny; a beautiful Cheers-esque sign courtesy of Chris Dobell of Phillips Brewery fame proudly sits below the counter; while an arresting pour-over station balances four gorgeous glass carafes.

Celebrating their 10th anniversary, the Blanshard Disco is the fourth Discovery Coffee location in Victoria. “It’s definitely been an organic company in terms of its evolution — we never sought out to open four stores,” Disco owner and professional barista Logan Gray tells me. “We’re excited to be near Fort Street — this area has totally exploded, and we want to be part of that,” says Logan. Fort, indeed, is booming, and while Street Level Espresso offers some excellent espresso, it’s good to see some fine coffee happening a little up the road.


For myself, one of the huge appeals of Discovery Coffee is the distinct persona, the character of each shop. The Oak Bay location, my first foray into the realm of Disco, is an urban jungle of beautifully delicate glass, cacti, and crackling vinyl; the James Bay location has a comfortably dark yet more refined feel (accompanied, of course, by the delicious smells of fresh baking wafting from the bakery); while the original location on Discovery Street is an oasis of aged, knotted wood and fern amidst the warehouses of Victoria’s industrial district. The newest undertaking is just as unique. Take, for instance, the centerpiece of the shop, which I think sums things up nicely: a large, beautiful silk-screen courtesy of Smoking Lily depicts the periodic table of elements, replete with stencils of microscopes and upside-down blue horses. When looking at a Chemex or syphon coffee maker for the first time, it’s hard not to impulsively think (or, in my case, say) something along the lines of “SCIENCE,” and it’s that very aesthetic which Logan and crew are charmingly pursuing, here.


If you’re reading this on December 5, 2015, you should know that Discovery Coffee on Blanshard literally opened this morning at about 6:30am. So, in short, you should get there.

It’s hard not to love Discovery Coffee. The coffee is excellent, the spaces are beautifully-considered and executed, and the overall vibe is a welcoming and accessible one — a refreshing departure from the culture of elitism that has arisen around boutique coffee in the past decade or so. While downtown Victoria has no lack of high-quality establishments to grab a cup of masterfully crafted coffee, the entirely unique vibe and satisfying product consistently delivered by Discovery make this an option hard to pass up in 2015. “We’re really taking what we’ve always done with Discovery and taking it to the next level with this location,” Logan tells me. Given how well things have gone for Discovery, that is exciting coffee news for all of us.

Go here.


1011 Blanshard Street
Victoria, B.C.
Hours: 6:30am – 6:00pm daily

Written By:

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Jonathan Johnson reached the silvery West Coast in 2009. In 2014 he completed his MA in English at the University of Victoria, and is a contributor for EAT Magazine. In addition to his publishing ...

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