Oh, Twitter. A few weeks back, I overhead on Twitter that a new donut shop had opened on the edge of Gastown. I planned to go that day since I was right in the area, but they sold out! I kept stalking their Twitter account for a bit and they kept selling out! Totally reminded me of the Juice Truck days. Even before I went to Cartems Donuterie, I wrote out a bit of this post because I was too excited about it. (That's a first!)
Our ingredients are fresh, and our donuts are never ever frozen. Our ingredients are sourced from as close to home as possible, and organic wherever we can. Flour comes from Anita’s Organic Mill (Chilliwack), our eggs are from Rabbit River Farms (Richmond), butter comes from Golden Ears Farms (Maple Ridge), our milk is from Avalon Dairy (Burnaby), and our spices come from Gathering Place Trading Company on Cortes Island.
They even offer vegan and gluten free donuts!
After continuously stalking their Twitter while at class, they replied back that they would be getting a "refresh" at around 1:40pm! They're still trying to work out how many refreshes they need throughout the day to last until 3pm (when they close), since they usually sell out before then. I believe they mentioned that they currently have three to four donut runs a day. I was impressed that the donuts weren't all melty and gooey despite being fresh. I hate it when those Tim Horton's donuts melt even after a two minute walk. Instead, these ones were still intact!
When I got there, they only had a few maple bourbon bacon donuts and breakfast donuts left! That wasn't what I came for, so I came back after some hipster shopping and finally got the donut that I've wanted since I first laid eyes on the Cartems site: the earl grey donut ($3), a cake donut is infused with an organic earl grey tea, topped with earl grey glaze and a sprinkling of mallow flowers. I love earl grey, and the mallow flowers are so pretty on it!
It was definitely a cake donut since it was quite dense yet still moist. The closest Tim Horton's donut that I would be able to compare it to would be the sour cream glazed, but this one is of a totally different league. Rather than the fast food chain's oily version, the Cartems cake donut didn't leave much grease on my fingers. I was a bit disappointed that it didn't have as much earl grey flavour as I had hoped for though -- even though I could see the bits of tea leaves right there. I could barely taste and I was really trying to focus and figure out where the earl grey was! Still, it was quite delicious.
In a sort of impulse donut-buy, I also got the triple chocolate threat ($3) -- another cake donut, topped with chocolate ganache, and finished with crispy callebaut chocolate pearls (which fell off when I was transporting the donuts to school!) The reason why it was a total impulse buy was because I don't even like chocolate that much, and this was really quite chocolatey. Still quick enjoyable, and the chocolate pearls were really crispy!
I have to admit I was a bit worried that I had expectations that were too high as I was waiting around for the donuts. Fortunately, they were quite delicious, though I was still a bit disappointed about the lack of earl grey flavour. If it didn't have the name "earl grey" though, it'd make a really good donut otherwise. Next time, I'm trying the bee sting and the cinnamon sugar! Oh, and indeed $3 for a donut is a bit more expensive than your donut from Tim Horton's, but these ones actually taste good!
More: Good Eat - Yum
Cartems Donuterie (Pop-up Shop)408 Carrall Street