Coffee Matters

1 Military Rd (Between Cochrane & Ordnance)
St. John’s, NL
Phone: 709 753-6980


  1. gutrot · January 31, 2013

    I am writing this from inside, and the manager is mopping the floor with an intense bleach solution in an obvious attempt to frighten people off who have been here over an hour. I have been here for maybe 50 minutes. I was thinking of getting another hot chocolate, but I may never get another one again. Ever.

  2. Holly · January 31, 2013

    Just about every day for lunch this summer I’ve ventured to coffee matters for a latte/hot chocolate and an oat cake. The water street location is in desperate need of some air conditioning. It’s always way too warm in there. But besides that the service is great. My drink always tastes good, except for the frozen hot chocolate that I had one day, that was just wrong… Their banana silk hot chocolate is another story though. It is to die for! and their oat cakes are amazing! The chocolate they dip them in is sooo rich and smooth. The cakes are never dry. Always so tasty!

  3. Regina Ledwell · January 31, 2013

    My husband & I were just on a week-long visit to Toronto to visit family & I have to say that the lattes at Coffee Matters were far superior to any I had had in the Toronto area. We love your coffee & hope that all your three locations are around for a long time. Keep up the great work.

  4. Boo Boo · January 31, 2013

    They really need to get it together. Their “shot glass” system for orders fails miserably. The waiter/waitress wanders around aimlessly with food orders asking EVERY person in the building if this is their order until they find a winner.The staff NEVER listen to what you are asking for. Example-Customer:could you please butter my bagel?Staff member: we will but a butter packet on the side. Customer: No,could you butter it when it comes out of the toaster because by the time you find out who owns it,it will too cold for the butter to melt. Staff: Ok,sure.Bagel arrives just as I suspected with butter on the side.The tables are typically never wiped (or are wiped with a greasy cloth that leaves a nice grimy film). The Paradise location’s drive- thru is like a joke ( I swear, I thought I was on Candid Camera) The drive-thru clerk asked us TWICE what we wanted in our 2 coffees(“now what was in your first coffee?…pause…and what was in the second?…repeat,then we we got up to the drive thru window and she asked AGAIN. We asked if she was the same person who initially took our order(twice) and she said YES!! I truly understand that good help is hard to find,but this is a whole new level!

  5. Colin · January 31, 2013

    I can’t think of a more pretentious place in the whole city.

    Not only is the decor tacky, the food is mediocre, the coffee is so-so, and the hospitality is non-existent.

    Case in point the little signs on each table demanding you buy lunch if you plan on sitting there with your laptop.

    I’ll give it this: some of the staff are lovely. Referring to counter staff, not managers or owners.

    Coffee might matter, but customer service clearly doesn’t.

  6. samken · January 31, 2013

    consistency is what they need to work on the most. i have had some of the best and worst espresso-based beverages here. it depends entirely on who makes your drink. i understand the need for authenticity in terms of the preparation of the espresso but either train people properly and thoroughly, or invest in some new (at least) semi-automatic machines. the sandwiches are overpriced. they also used to be bigger, and downsized, the staff aren’t even allowed to have a garnish on the side and get nothing for free. come on now, step it up. the place has the potential to be really nice, and now that they only have to concentrate on the two locations, an increase in the level of customer service should be expected in theory.

  7. Niki · January 31, 2013

    Sandwiches are horrible, coffee is hit or miss. The only thing that has not been consistently disappointing is the dessert.

  8. Sam · January 31, 2013

    I’ve been here about a dozen or so times, and I’ve always had a great experience. Granted, I haven’t ordered anything off their lunch menu, but if you want to go somewhere and grab a coffee and maybe a dessert, it’s great. I tend to get espresso based drinks, or loose tea, and they’ve always been great – but maybe I’ve just gotten lucky?

    I also love the big windows. You don’t feel nearly as crowded here as you do in many other of the coffee places downtown.

  9. Natrix · January 31, 2013

    I went to Coffee Matters 3 times over a few weeks with friends, and each time I wanted to understand its continuing popularity (I’m judging that based on the number of people I see inside, and it’s generally a good crowd). I suppose the space is cozy, comfortable, and the decor is nice enough.

    But when you’re a coffee shop that can’t do beverages right, there’s no compelling reason to keep going. And let’s not even mention the weird, unwelcoming policies on length of stay, and whether you have a laptop….

    Anyway, I like coffee, but I don’t have it often. Forgetting connotations of alcohol, you could say I’m a social drinker! I have tried their Mystico Latte, Shiva Latte, and Watermelon Smoothie (during the summer). Each time, I thought maybe they were just having an off day, but I doubt that. Their lattes taste exactly the same–never mind that Mystico is supposed to have orange, or Shiva peppermint. Those are kinda unmistakeable, but you couldn’t detect it. Any difference I tasted was likely more due to wishful yearning–that I was supposed to taste X. I have no doubt that their other varieties, what with hazelnut, almond, or raspberry, also all tastes like generic latte.

    And while I admit that the ordered smoothie was light, it tasted like 90% ice. Sadly, ice tastes like water. Unfortunate, that.

    People mention to me in passing the food is much the same–a big MEH. Again, why it often bustles puzzles me. To each their own!

  10. Dr. Johnny Fever · January 31, 2013

    I absolutely love Coffee Matters! Me and various friends make a point of going about once a week for the past year or so.

    I’ve never hit an off day yet. Coffee is the best I’ve ever tasted, and their oat cakes and cupcakes are delicious.

    Also, the grilled sandwiches on the menu are to die for!

  11. Shooby · January 31, 2013

    Terrible. Did you know they don’t even give their staff free coffee?

  12. g · January 31, 2013

    I am not usually compelled to write reviews, and when I am it is not a good sign. I had an absolutely horrible experience here tonight, and felt I had to share it. When it comes to coffee and food, this place is not bad. Overpriced yes, but I don’t mind splurging sometimes. I arrived around four thirty and ordered my 6 dollar coffee. No big deal. I was sitting on the loveseat, and the whole time the place was steady, but not full or packed by any means. There were lots of available tables. I was quietly studying for about an hour or so, and I ordered another coffee and a sandwich. Total spent now up to 20 bucks.

    After a couple hours, a man sat down next to me and introduced himself as the owner. He proceeded to ramble on about how it is a business, that he has removed two tables, and basically in polite terms tells me to shag off. I still have half of my coffee left. He then tells me how he did the same thing to a young man last week, who he hasn’t seen since, and wonders why. He then tells me to please come back.

    Are you kidding me? Dude, I just spent 20 bucks on your mediocre food, because I would rather support a local business than go to Starbucks. I could understand if I was hogging a table meant for four, being loud or obnoxious, or sipping the same $1.50 drip coffee for 4 hours.

    Talk about crappy customer service. I was mortified as all of the other customers were basically seeing me being kicked out. I certainly will not be back, and will not recommend it to anyone.

  13. cawfy · January 31, 2013

    Miserable place, same thing happened to me as the comment above. It looks nice until the owner shows up and asks you to leave his half empty restaurant after spending all sorts of cash on overpriced mediocre food.

  14. erin · January 31, 2013

    I heard he treats his workers like crap too: I know because I was in the room with one of them, while he told them off on the phone on their day off. (Over something she did the day before while working)
    After hearing how this guy treats his customers I won’t be supporting his business: for every bad experience a person has, they tell 10 more people for a good experience only 1.
    I just surprised he’s still in business!

  15. Brandon · January 31, 2013

    This photo says it all about Coffee Matters. what an awful place.

  16. Meghan Curtis · January 31, 2013

    The owner of this business recently passed out letters to students telling them that they were not welcome, that their books and computers for studying was an eyesore to other paying customers (even though they offer free wi fi).
    The letter was mildly threatening, claiming that he would be “monitoring the cafe” as he “would not allow this abuse of his business any longer”.
    This blatant disregard for student business, as he was only passing this out to students who were present, is both disgusting and outrageous. this coffee shop caters to an aging population and discriminates against his younger customers.


  17. anon · January 31, 2013

    Is this actually posted there?? How did he ever think this was a good idea! Extra funny points for the misspellings and not signing his name :P I’ve only ever been there a couple of times for a coffee to go so I know the loss of my business is actually not a big loss at all, but I really can’t see myself ever going there again.

  18. Allan · January 31, 2013

    I did enjoy this cafe, however after reading a note distributed to customers, directed at students I will never step foot in there again.
    The letter states that they will not tolerate students using their cafe to study.
    Did they somehow forget that a student while studying will likely buy two or three coffees, or other food of drink.
    If a student is buying drinks, and quietly using a table, let them be!

  19. Riot · January 31, 2013

    I wanted to give this a 0 rating, but it didn’t give me the option.

    I ordered a sandwich once with my boyfriend. He got his, ate it, and eventually (45 minutes after I placed the order and his sandwich was long gone) I went to the cash to ask about mine. I was very polite, but the girl at the cash had no idea what to do (even though I could see the sandwich drying out on the counter behind her), so she got the manager, who came out with my sandwich packed up “To go” and asked me to take it and leave. I’ve never had such horrible service in my entire life. This was 3 years ago, and I haven’t stepped foot inside since and I probably never will. I will also continue to remind people of the horror of Coffee Matters as long as I can. Aside from being asked to leave, the condiment bar was a mess, the floor was a disaster, and it wasn’t even busy. I was a barista for years and I myself wanted to go wipe down the tables it was that disgusting. There’s no need to be rude for your mistake (or in general when running a business). This note to students just brings it over the top and I stand by my hatred for this place.

    It’s really too bad.. I love supporting local, but with service like that, I will not be supporting that one ever again.

  20. stumper · January 31, 2013

    If he is really the business man he claims to be, he will monitor his sales in the weeks before posting the notice, and the weeks following. I think he will find the result to be of interest.

  21. nire · January 31, 2013

    Apparently today the company is offering free snack to students if they show their Id….must be backpeddling…..

  22. anon · January 31, 2013

    not enough. this has been going on since at least february, judging from the above comments. that manager has to go.

  23. Bong! · January 31, 2013

    Bah what odds. The coffee there sucks anyway.

  24. Andrea · January 31, 2013

    To the owner(s) of Coffee Matters,

    I am disgusted and was surprised by your manager’s letter “A Note To Our Customers”. I cannot believe that you would treat your student and working customers this way, to obtain a particular “look”. I am unsure what that look is but I personally love the curl up and stay awhile cafe feel, now as a thirty-something adult and when I was a student. Would you turn me away with my Globe and Mail paper on a Saturday? Or just if I had a laptop and books? This is short-sighted and not the atmosphere and culture that we pride ourselves in as Newfoundlanders here in the capital city.

    I have found in recent months that service at Coffee Matters has been making a great turn for the worse. it pains me not to support a local business but this makes my decision easy not to return. And instead take in the atmosphere of the Rocket Bakery or Hava Java instead.

    Good Luck

  25. M · January 31, 2013

    It was NOT the owner, it was the new manager, who has since been put in his place.

  26. New to NL · January 31, 2013

    Wow. Business fail? I just moved here and was looking for a good coffee shop to go to. When I go to a coffee shop and spend too much money on overpriced coffee and snacks, I do so because I want to sit there and get some work done on my laptop while being able to enjoy the atmosphere. Really disappointed about the note mentioned above. Guess I won’t be going here.

  27. Jenny Bee · January 31, 2013

    I wish I could also give this place a “0-star” rating. The coffee isn’t anything special, nor is the food (I will give credit for the desserts, which are consistently tasty). After hearing about that letter back in March, I was completely disgusted, and will never step foot in that cafe again. What’s the difference between reading a real paper with coffee, and bringing a laptop to read the news online for an hour with a coffee and full lunch?

    As much as I want to support our local business, Coffee Matters has dug their own grave. I will take my business elsewhere. Perhaps you should try getting some advice from places like the Rocket, Fixed Coffee and Bakery, or some of the other warm and friendly coffee shops around town.

    Best Wishes,


  28. EastEnd · January 31, 2013

    So much wrong with that letter. Not just the grammer and spelling errors, but he repeatedly refers to it as “my cafe”. I think pretty soon it will be his cafe as he will be the only one in there. Bigtime fail.

  29. Ralph · January 31, 2013

    Had coffee a carrot curry soup. Soup was exceptional. Great place for conversation. Service was friendly and helpful.

  30. Annoyed · January 31, 2013

    I used to go to coffee matters on a semi-frequent basis, ignoring the fact that the coffee was a hit or miss, their oatcakes were stale and the service was poor. However recently the owner was incredibly rude to me and I won’t be going back. Jerk. Customer service is not his strong suit.