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The Marcus Troy Experience
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    It was a rainy Thursday morning in Montreal. It wasn’t the kind of rain that required the simple use of an umbrella or a raincoat. It was torrential. It was the kind that had people running for shelter, the kind where you decided just to enjoy your meal at the restaurant instead of taking it home, even though you lived a few blocks away. The rooftops of the city’s skyscrapers disappeared into the low hanging fog and the rain pounded heavily against the windows of the Nespresso Academy. It was grey and moody outside but the atmosphere at the Academy was jovial. The concept of the Nespresso Academy was executed first in Paris, France, and its newest location in Montreal, Quebec is the first of its kind in North America. Its purpose is to educate their employees and partner agencies on the inner workings of their premium coffee. 

    We were one of the lucky few who were invited to experience the services they provide!

    As we walked into the Academy space, Nespresso’s latest machines were organized in clean formation against the wall and a large poster of George Clooney was coolly placed at the end. We continued into the test lab tucked away in the far right corner and inside there were two tables with sinks installed within them. It’s here where we learned about the “cupping” process, a step that comes before the coffee beans are roasted. The process, which can take up to fifteen steps, will allow Nespresso’s experts to determine the flavour profile and the level of quality of the bean. It begins by pouring hot water over the green beans and it is as if you are drinking tea. In order to fully pull the flavours from the beans, you would then need to slurp, not sip, the liquid into your mouth using a silver spoon. This material is ideal for tasting because it does not carry smells and flavours. To slurp is necessary because it allows air to pass through and spread evenly across the palate of the tongue. It also activates the olfactory system, as the aroma will pass through the soft palate and travel into the nose. The cupping process can be likened to wine tasting because it also requires a disciplined and highly skilled sommelier to ensure a consistent cup of coffee.

    After watching a short that highlights the process that Nespresso takes to ensure there is quality in every cup – we were left with a deeper understanding of their coffee making process. The visuals paralleled the process of choosing the coffee beans to diamond cutting, which requires an extreme amount of skill and technique. And why shouldn’t Nespresso’s coffee be approached with a similarly expected approach? How else could consistency be achieved? This process has been fully brought to our attention during our time at the Academy.

    On the surface, we see the celebrity appearances and the contemporary cafes, both of which serve as an extension of the elegance and simplicity that the brand does so well. But it goes so much deeper than that. Everything from the cherry to the cup has been considered and carefully examined by Nespresso. Starting with the AAA farms where they source their beans from. They ensure that the coffee cherries are carefully picked for their readiness, while others are left to ensure that the crop can continue to grow. Their sustainability goals include an aluminum capsule collection initiative that aims to have one-hundred percent of their used capsules recycled. Nespresso is also committed to reduce their carbon footprint as a company year after year.

    It is exactly this process that goes unseen by many, so we invite you to take a closer look at Nespresso’s sustainability initiative here.


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    Whether it be cameras or televisions, Sony has consistently delivered devices that satisfy the visual needs of creatives and consumers alike. With that thought in mind, we likened their new A1E BRAVIA OLED TV to a picture frame. And like a picture frame, it was designed to be a work of art, something you display proudly in your home. Above all, the A1E is there to provide entertainment, to bring friends and family together to watch movies, sports, share funny videos on youtube, and more. Its one slate mould solidly supports the brilliant 55-inch and 65-inch 4K HDR screen. Within that slate is an integrated subwoofer that outputs powerful bass. Moreover, when paired with what Sony calls an Acoustic Surface, a new innovation that places the speakers directly behind the screen, the listening experience becomes more fulfilling. All of this combine for a completely seamless and minimalistic design.

    To celebrate this new tech, Sony has enlisted world renowned visual artist KAZ Shirane to create an art installation that utilizes the A1E BRAVIA BRAVIA OLED TV. The site-specific installation was built at the Westwood Gallery in New York City and we had the opportunity to visit the space with Sony. What we witnessed was a sensational tunnel-like installation made from reflective geometric panels. As you walk in you are immediately immerse in different spectrums of light. While multiple A1E TV’s projected colourful imagery and produced high-fidelity sound.

    Printed upon the walls of the gallery was the word EVOLVE.

    We asked KAZ what that word meant to him and how it connected to  the installation. He answered by presenting a scaled-down version of the geometric panels and explained that the piece can be turned in whichever way and it will fit. According to KAZ, it is in the versatility and adaptability of the piece that serves as a metaphor for our human ability to use our minds to influence change.

    If you’re not familiar with KAZ Shirane, he is a Tokyo-based artist that has been internationally recognized for his work in spatial art, architecture and interior design. His latest series of art installations titled “WINK Space” and “Light Origami” puts individuals in the designer’s place by simply entering the space.

    Learn more about Sony’s A1E BRAVIA OLED TV here.

    Photography and words by Jon Carlo Tapia.

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    The forecast called for clear skies and warm temperatures in Toronto. The heat from the tarmac of Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airport could be felt from inside the cabin of the airplane but luckily overhead vents pushed out cool air. However, once we reach 30,000 feet the heat became an afterthought and now the cabin became frigid. If it weren’t for the sun following us during our flight to Toronto, we would have arrived with cold in our bones. The reason we were heading to Toronto was to spend the evening with Nespresso for their “Nespresso On Ice” event.

    Once our feet was firmly placed on solid ground, we were greeted once again by the heat. If you’ve ever spent some time in New York in the summer, you’ll know it to be extremely hot. The heat rises from the concrete and if it weren’t for shoes, you may as well be walking on hot sand. The weather in Toronto was quite similar and the tall buildings that stood beside each other in the Financial District seemed to trap the warm air between them.

    The evening with Nespresso was dedicated to the celebration of summer and their recently released, Leggero and Intenso iced coffee capsules. These limited edition capsules were specifically crafted to be enjoyed over ice. On this hot day, they were infused into a tasty cocktail that we learned to make ourselves with the help of Lavelle’s head mixologist, Chris Anderson.

    The intimate event was held atop the roof of LaVelle, one of Toronto’s newest hotspots. The restaurant features a 360-degree view of the city and the decor is reminiscent of a far away oasis. A perfect getaway from the busyness of Toronto. The kitchen serves up modern French fare and unique cocktails. The kitchen is headed by Nespresso Chef Ambassador, Chef Romain Avril. He taught us how to create Lavelle’s signature Tuna Tartare and then proceeded to judge our plates of presentation and taste. Luckily, we didn’t have to prepare the rest of our dinner! As a Nespresso Chef, Mr. Avril travelled to Lausanne, Switzerland to learn about the many ways coffee can be paired with food, liquor, and wine. Most importantly, he was exposed to its uses as an integral ingredient to cooking. His newfound knowledge was put on display for us as we enjoyed a dinner that fused coffee like Nespresso‘s Indrya from India Grand Cru with Brined Duck a L’orange and glazed carrots. It was topped off with a dessert that featured the new limited edition Intenso in a salted caramel and chocolate Ganache with hazelnut. 

    Learn more about Nespresso‘s Leggero and Intenso iced coffee capsules here.

    Check out the recipe to Nespresso’s Summer On Ice Coffee Cocktail below:

    • 1 oz. Limited Edition Nespresso Leggero On Ice
    • 0.5 oz. Galliano Vanilla Liquer
    • 1.5 oz. Bourbon
    • Mint Leaves
    • Simple Syrup

    Prepare a cocktail shaker with a shot of Nespresso‘s Leggero On Ice followed with the bourbon, vanilla liqueur and a dash of simple syrup. It’s important to slap the mint (not crush it) before adding it. Shake everything in the shaker and then pour gently over ice. Finish it off with a garnish of fresh mint!


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    It doesn’t matter which Converse sneaker you look at, all of them carry a fascinating history. Most of their stories began in sport, where they would help propel athletes towards victory and glory. The sneakers would later move off the field and unto the concrete where they would walk amongst the masses. And within that populace there existed subcultures that would adopt Converse as their symbol of non-conformity and originality.

    The latest sneaker under the spotlight is the Converse One Star, a sneaker that was originally a crafted for the basketball court. Since its retirement from the hardwood, it has become synonymous with the Punk and Skater cultures, appearing on the feet of the infamous Kurt Cobain, Spike Jonze’s skate films, as well in early Thrasher magazine ads that labelled the One Star as a sought-after retro sneaker. With this singular vein of boisterousness flowing through the One Star, it’s fitting that the brand would tap Tyler, The Creator as one of their newest ambassadors of the sneaker.

    At the same time, it has been reported by Nielsen Music that Hip-Hop has become the dominant genre in the United States for the first time ever. As a Hip-Hop artist, Tyler, The Creator is one of the many who is benefiting from this change. While this represents a huge shift away from the genres that once controlled the airwaves, does that mean the attitudes have changed too? They haven’t. The in-your-face, I-don’t-care-what-you-think attitude hasn’t been lost, and Tyler, The Creator, in many ways, represents this mindset that former and current One Star devotees have lived by. Whether its Kurt Cobain’s angst, a punk rocker’s edge, or a skater’s fearlessness, Tyler’s approach to life and music is an inspiring continuation of One Star’s history.

    Dubbed the “Golf Le Fleur” collection, the One Star currently reflects Tyler, The Creator’s current jovial feeling toward life. You’ll notice four bright colour ways, Airway Blue, Peach Pearl, Sulphur and Fuschia Glow, all of which are accompanied with interchangeable laces. Moreover, a premium approach has been taken with the application of a soft suede upper and embroidered details all throughout. These sneakers can be seen as a physical accompaniment to his latest album “Flower Boy,” which is one of Tyler’s most good-humored albums to date.

    Take a closer look at the Converse x Tyler, The Creator Golf Le Fleur One Star Sneaker above and see some photos from the launch event below!

    $130 CAD ($100 USD).

    Available August 3rd, 2017 at Livestock and Converse.


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    Montreal, Quebec – Year by year, Formula E is growing in popularity. To many this is the future of autosports. Not only because of the alarming threat that global warming poses but rather the monumental and exciting new way of harnessing electricity. Yes it power our cities and charges our gadgets but it can literally propel us forward in ways that we could not have imagined years ago. Many “purists” have complained about the lack of sound that the Formula E outputs but that’s a minute detail. Nonetheless, the spirit of ferocity and the competitiveness is far from absent and that speaks louder than their battery powered engines.

    One of the sport’s biggest partners is Michelin. Not only are their tires equipped on each and every Formula E car but the relationship is befitting, as the centuries old tire maker is no stranger to innovation and adopting new ways of doing old things. An example of this is the Michelin Guide – one of the most revered and respected culinary publications ever created. Within its pages are establishments who have been critiqued and recognized for the spectacular accomplishments in the restaurant world. The guide’s beginnings were simple, its purpose was to provide important travel information for motorists. That tradition continues on today and its influence is undeniable.

    In celebration of the first FIA Formula E in Montreal, the French tire brand invited us to join them for dinner at restaurant Toqué for their “Michelin on the Road” – a series which brings Michelin-starred chefs to cities that don’t yet have a guide. Chef Laprise from Toqué welcomed Barcelonian Chefs, Xavier Pellicer from Celeri and David Andres Morera from ABaC restaurant. For many years, Chef Pellicer was a thoughtful and vigilant mentor to the Chef Morera, while Chef Laprise met them both in Milan at a prestigious culinary competition. The trio have now found themselves in Montreal, where they have assembled a Catalan-inspired, six-course gourmet dinner accompanied with a wine pairing.

    In any culinary setting we long for a profound experience that will forever leave a lasting impression on our lives. Toqué’s understanding of ambience and taste is truly insightful, leaving you with a more curious palate for fine dining. They present each course with a perfect pairing of wine, solidifying the relationship of flavours that chefs had envisioned. Each dish was carefully orchestrated to create unique notes in every bite, which combined to become symphony of flavours throughout the night. The space in which we shared our meals allowed us to speak easily and freely to one another. This we used as a chance to discuss how impeccable every bite was. Another aspect that we found fascinating was the preparation that went into each dish. While most don’t get the chance to see the behind the scenes, we stepped into the kitchen in between each course to see the disciplined preparation and attention to detail that was exerted into every plate.

    The following day was the first of two race days for Formula E and we joined Michelin trackside at the exclusive Emotion Club. From there we enjoyed access to all-day catering, garages, the pit lane, along with spectacular views of the track.

    It was there where we delved deeper into the performance aspect and technicalities that Michelin provides Formula E with their tires. What makes this relationship important is the fact that Michelin can actively showcase the tire innovations they have been working on. Not only are the Formula E tires lighter and more efficient than Formula One but they present a reality much closer to everyday driving. This relatability can help the consumer better understand the sport and its applications to their vehicles. This is exemplified by the tread marks on Formula E’s Michelin Pilot Sport EV2 tire, which are exactly the same on their Pilot Sport 4S – a tire for geared for consumers. Moreover, because the race cars are electric, it’s especially important that every component works in tandem to conserve energy, while providing the output necessary to secure a win.

    Learn more about Michelin’s special tire for the Formula E here.

    You should also check out our experience with Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4S tire in California here.

    Scroll down to see the visuals from the experience.


    Thank you Michelin for the experience!

    Words by Chris Tapia & Carlo Tapia.
    Photography by Chris Tapia.

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    Montreal, Quebec – It was a warm summer evening when Nespresso had invited us to join them at the Roger’s Cup in Montreal. It was the third round and players from around the World were battling each other on the hard, deco court all day in order to move unto the quarter-finals. As we walked towards the Nespresso suite, the Roger Federer vs David Ferrer match was in the midst of its third game and we could hear the crowd cheering louder as it neared its finish. Federer ultimately dispatched Ferrer in two games to one and moved onto the next round to face Roberto Bautista Agut. The evening continued on to the match between the Spanish-born, Rafael Nadal, the number one ranked player in the world, against the Canada’s own, Denis Shapovalov, who is ranked number fifty-one. Despite only being the third round, every seat in the stadium was occupied with fans who came to cheer for the homegrown kid and to witness one of tennis’ best players in action. While some may have thought that Nadal would make quick work of Shapovalov, the up-and-coming eighteen year-old put up a fight and held his own. In the end, it would be the Canadian teen who would emerge victorious and become second youngest ever to defeat Spaniard.

    As we settled into the suite, we were urged to try the Nespresso-infused cocktails that were concocted by Rose from 1 ou 2 Cocktails. The Roma Del Sol and the Old Colombian cocktail both featured capsules from the coffee brand’s permanent Grand Cru range, the Roma Espresso and the Linizio Lungo.

    For those who weren’t in the mood for a cocktail, Nespresso’s was also serving new their limited-edition capsules Barista collection. The coffee was crafted for those who enjoy their coffee with milk or as a delectable latte. The capsules have been presented in five different iterations, which consists of a duo for their VertuoLine and a trio for the OriginalLine machine. The first is an espresso & lungo capsule called the Barista Scuro Vertuo Espresso and Barista Chiaro Vertuo Coffee. While the OriginalLine features the Barista Chiaro, Barista Scuro, and the Barista Corto espresso capsules. Even though the intensities vary from 11 to 5, the application of milk will soften the flavours and open up new textures. If the milk is frothed, the coffee feels light and smooth with every sip, but retains its strong coffee notes.

    Take a look at the photos from the day below and head over to Nespresso to learn more about the Limited Edition, Barista capsules, which are available now.

    Nespresso Cocktail Recipes from Rogers Cup.

    The Roma Del Sol cocktail The Old Colombian
    1 oz of Grand Cru Roma from Nespresso

    1 oz of Aperol

    1 oz of Cayenne Pepper Infused Orange Juice

    ¼ oz of Baileys Original

    Orange Zest

    ¼ oz of Grand Cru Linizo Lungo from Nespresso

    1 oz of Appleton Estate

    ¼ oz of lime juice

    ½ oz of mint syrup

    3 dashes of angostura bitters

    3 oz of Champagne

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    Earlier this year, Hennessy announced that American Graffiti writer, JonOne, would be the next in line to have his very own limited-edition Very Special bottle. This marks the seventh edition of their ongoing series that has tapped artists such as Ryan McGinness, Shepard Fairey, Os Gemêos, Futura, and KAWS. Like those before him, JonOne visited Hennessy’s home in Cognac to learn about their history and how they crafted their spirit One process that stood out the most was how the brand blended their wines. JonOne saw similarities in this approach and likened it to the blending of the paints he uses as he creates his art. JonOne sought to create a label that felt alive, something that people can live with. What resulted is a colourful expression of the artist’s interpretation of how Hennessy’s blends its cognac. While the steps may seem bewildering to some, they are carefully calculated, just as JonOne carefully layered the colours upon each other for this label.

    For those of you who are not familiar with the artist, JonOne spent his early years in New York City. During our time together, he fondly recounted his graffiti writing days, pin-pointing moments like the first time he magnificently tagged a subway cart. As the years went by he had kept in contact with French street artist, Bando, who had eventually invited him to come to France in 1987. It was there where he began painting more on canvases, rather than cement walls and trains. It has now been thirty years since JonOne has moved to Paris and with multiple exhibitions under his belt, he has solidified himself as one of the greats in the graffiti art world.

    The limited-edition Hennessy x JonOne bottle Very Special bottle will be available in Canada this coming November.

    Learn more about the collaboration online at Hennessy.

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    Toronto, Canada – Lincoln is on a mission to uncover luxuries that often go unnoticed. This was showcased last week in Toronto, where we were invited to visit new and unfound places in the city that reflect the brand’s quiet sense of opulence. As a luxury brand, Lincoln has designed its vehicles to look understated with their smooth lines, outstanding grille, and expertly crafted interiors. This is paired with well-endowed engines that output up to 400-horsepower. Among the fleet that was available in Toronto was their MKZ sedan, MKC crossover, MKX SUV, and their all-new Continental. We found them parked neatly in line as we entered the new Bisha Hotel, our first stop and accommodations for the trip.

    The Wallman Architects-designed building stands 44 storeys high with a stark heritage frontage that welcomes guests into the Studio Munge designed lobby. The combination of the vaulted ceilings, deep colours, and textures makes for an extravagant entry. There is a lounge on the ground floor that is ready to serve delicious cocktails and food but where you want to be is the rooftop terrace and restaurant. That’s where you’ll be able to bask in a sweeping panoramic views of Downtown Toronto, dip your feet into the shallow pool, or sit by the floor-to-sky windows and look down at the action below or admire the nearby CN Tower. The rooftop restaurant, Kost, pronounced “Coast” is a Baja beach house-themed interior whose Mexican-inspired menu changes five times throughout the week. Within this hotel there are ten different types of guest rooms that anyone can book. Each room features a high-end marble-tiled washrooms, and a custom designed armoire to hold your clothing. There are also flat screen televisions hide behind the adjustable mirrors. A bar cart and comfortable sofa are there to help you unwind and relax.

    With the Lincoln MKZ serving as our chariot, our second stop was the Mindham Fine Jewellery shop in Yorkville. Founded in 1991 by Owner and Creative Director, Myles Mindham, they have been recipients of numerous design awards over the past twenty-five years. Their boutique on Hazelton Avenue serves as a showroom and as a workshop for their longstanding clientele and prospective ones. One of the most amazing pieces they had on display was the two Verdura Maltese Cross cuffs created by di Verdura for Coco Chanel in 1930. The famed designer was known to have worn the cuffs, one on each wrist, throughout her lifetime. These precious cuffs are considered icons in the world of fine jewelry and they continue to withstand the test of time.

    Our journey continued in the Lincoln MKC and we headed to Toronto’s International Airport to embark on a helicopter tour of the city. As we piled into the well-appointed, private rotary aircraft, we saw watched the Lincolns shrink into the tarmac as we rose higher and higher. Our attention was then drawn to the landscape that began to unfold ahead of us. We were guided back towards the city centre and as circled Downtown Toronto we thought how amazing it was to see the city from the sky. Waiting for us when we landed was the Lincoln MKX and it ushered us to our next location.

    The final location for the evening was at the upscale Italian furniture store, Minotti. The space is the first of its kind in Canada and it’s looking to introduce its sharp, Italian-made furniture to fresh eyes. Located within Toronto’s upscale King East Design District, Minotti was founded in 1954 in Brianza (a town on the outskirts of Milan, Italy) by Alberto Minotti. In his early days, the focus was centred on designing sofas but it eventually expanded into various home categories as the brand grew in popularity. Minotti expanded internationally in the 1970’s and 1980’s and it continues a family-operated company up to this day. Tonight we weren’t here to shop for furniture, instead we enjoyed a carefully prepared five-course dinner that activated our palettes and played with our senses.

    The purpose of this experience, it seems, was not to showcase the cars themselves, however, they were a constant fixture as we went from destination to destination. The focus was on the journey that was tailored by Lincoln and how their vehicles exhibit the unspoken luxuries that speak to their ethos. This is the lifestyle that Lincoln envisions for its clientele and we experienced it firsthand in Toronto.

    Learn more about Lincoln’s automotive line-up here.

    Thank you Lincoln for the experience!

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    Last weekend, we invited our close friends and family to join us for an evening of Veuve Clicquot RICH. The champagne is the newest recipe and it’s meant to be specifically enjoy over ice and fresh ingredients. Veuve Clicquot RICH is made strictly for mixology because it is meant to be combined with a selection of ingredients such as pineapple, grapefruit zest, cucumber, celery, peppers or earl grey tea.

    Learn more about Veuve Clicquot RICH champagne here.


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    Toronto, Canada – Every year, Nespresso releases limited edition capsules inspired by our favourite holiday flavours. This season, the premium coffee brand corroborated with transatlantic duo, Craig & Karl, to add a festive touch to this year’s limited edition Confetto Variations capsules.

    Throughout the years, the duo have been recognized for their eye-catching art work. Although there is an interesting dynamic at work as they live an ocean apart from each other. Even though, Craig lives in New York and Karl lives in London, the two are capable and comfortable working together. Yes, they have the seemingly unlimited power of the internet and all its tools at their disposal, but there’s still an undeniable synergy that exists. They credit their longstanding friendship that spans roughly fifteen years as one of the main reasons their relationship has continued to flourish. Craig & Karl rarely disagree with each other.  The five hour time difference between the two cities has proven to be an advantage for their work. While one rests, the other can get a head start on the project allowing both Craig & Karl to be equally involved in every step of the creative process.

    “The most important thing for us when we work with brands is that have to be able to like and relate to it. When we first started communicating with Nespresso, it was like clear that we’d have leeway with what we thought would work within their parameters of their holiday collection. Once that was established, it was clear for us that this was going to be a good collaboration.” – Karl Maier

    Coming from a design background, Craig & Karl approached their collaboration with Nespresso with a lot enthusiasm. They enjoyed the challenge of working with a product that predominantly features a dark colour palette. Moreover, they sought out to do more than to simply inject colour into the product and capsules. The two were inspired by vibrant colours of old fashion candy. The limited edition Confetto Variations capsules are showcased in elegantly bold stripes that reference the patterns on the sugary treats. While accessories like the Aeroccino 3 Frother, Vertuo Travel Mug, and Touch Coffee Cups feature subtle hits of Craig & Karl’s designs.

    “I think when you come from a design background. You have brands embedded into your head and that’s kinda our approach. We both love products in general. When we went to Japan we were 18 and we saw all sorts of crazy things.” – Craig Redman

    As for the capsules themselves, Nespresso has crafted six unique capsules for their Confetto Variations, three for their Vertuoline and three OriginalLine machines. Each capsule features flavours like peppermint, coconut, orange, cherry, banana, and liquorice. Like the creative duo’s designs, Nespresso aim to bring a sense of nostalgia through its flavours. Some of our favourites from the launch are the Variations Confetto Peppermint Cane and the Variations Confetto Snowball capsules. The first is for Nespresso’s VertuoLine machine; it consists of Arabica beans sourced from Ethiopia, Central and South America. The light peppermint flavour infused into the coffee reminds us of candy canes at Christmas. We like to add a touch of powdered hot chocolate to create a tasty caffè mocha. Another one of our favourites, the Variations Confetto Snowball capsule, is a smooth coconut and vanilla espresso. We paired it with a splash of sweetened condensed milk – a key ingredient in Vietnamese coffee – to highlight the natural sweetness of the coffee and balance out the bolder notes.

    Take a look at the images from Nespresso’s Holiday Event in Toronto below!

    Learn more about Craig & Karl and Nespresso’s limited edition Confetto Capsules here.