For many of us, coffee is how we start our days. In some cases, how folks survive them. We have meetings over it. We end meals with it. We can get very specific about how to best enjoy it. Coffee is a routine part of our daily life yet, still an experience whenever that first sip reaches your mouth.
Maria Fiallos opened Streamliners Espresso Bar four years ago in downtown St. Thomas as an opportunity to share her passion for coffee with the idea that it was always more than just a cup of coffee. It's a way of life and a sense of community.
With her Great-Grandfather, Grandfather and Father all passionate coffee growers, Maria grew up in a village dependent on coffee for its very existence. The civil war in Nicaragua forced her family to leave their country and find a new life in Canada. Years later Maria had the opportunity to return for an entire coffee harvest from beginning to end at her Grandfather's farm. But this time Maria was experiencing coffee as a young woman, and she learned just how incredible coffee is. It brings so many environmental benefits to the mountains where it is grown, economic benefits to the villages around it, and social benefits to many regions in the world.
The team at Streamliners strives to provide more than just your morning coffee habit. If you want a fast cup of coffee, there are many establishments in the city that can provide that. Maria wants Streamliners to be a force of good in this community, a welcoming spot for those looking for a little human connection. These are the added benefits of enjoying a cup of the brewed just for you. They come in the form of conversation, new friendships, and growing awareness of the industry as a whole. Because Streamliners is part of a direct trade line to the coffee farms themselves. Check our Las Chicas del Cafe or Los Frutos del Cafe for more about Direct Trade and how coffee impacts the communities where it is grown.
If you haven't discovered Streamliners, or it's been a while since you popped in for an afternoon pick me up - it's time to take back your coffee break, or favourite meeting spot.
If you know Maria, you know her go-to is a latte. As a toddler, her mom would allow a cup of coffee, half milk half coffee, and since then, her first cup every morning must be a latte, or as they say in Spanish "cafe con Leche". But...the fall seasonals are here for a limited time and I have to recommend The Frontiersman as my go-to for Fall. The steamed-apple cider and espresso with a hint of cherry hit the right balance of autumn flavour, cozy vibes, and the unexpected.
The signature drinks are named for Streamliners, locomotives that once passed through the CASO station, and secondly, they are always made with fresh local ingredients sourced in the community or made in-house. For example, the Wolverine is made with local maple syrup from Rodgers Maple Syrup in Port Stanley.
Streamliners also offers a variety of local and in-house pastries and light meal options including hot breakfast items like breakfast burritos and a brand new toast bar. Keep an eye out for when the Nica breakfasts are available and enjoy another tradition of Nicaragua.
They also host some pretty rad special events highlighting local food, arts, and community - so be sure to follow along on their social media for all of the excitement yet to come.
If you go ☕
Streamliners is located at 767 Talbot St. and online ordering is available at streamlinersespressobar.com.