September 10, 2015
Okay so my first coffee shop review won’t be from London but it will at least come from the UK. While we were in Bath the other weekend I was on the hunt for a good coffee shop after having some rather average (or in my book sub par) coffee throughout the Cotswolds.
We had some brown water for breakfast and as we walking through town I mentioned I was ready for some real coffee and naturally the first thing I saw was Starbucks. So made the joke of “hey this looks like a hip new coffee shop.” Luckily no one took me seriously and kept walking … they passed the test. Now unbeknownst to me a few store fronts down from the soul-sucking and not-even-good coffee giant known as Starbucks lie a gem in the rough in Society Café.
Upon entering the small spot on the High Street I knew I had found “the one” in Bath. The board screamed artisan as they had beautiful descriptions and tasting notes for both their featured coffees of the day. Plus not only did they have tasting notes for an espresso but an espresso with milk and for the aeropress as those 3 cups will taste completely different to the trained tongue. Plus they had a good selection of loose leaf teas, single origin hot chocolates and fresh, delicious looking pastries, cakes and sandwiches.
I let Lindsay order first and she, boldly, went with a double macchiato of the Finca El Aguila from El Salvador. The tasting notes were cherry jam and dark chocolate and it was spot on! She took the first sip and made a face that said “I kind of hate this because it’s so strong” but I knew she really meant “so this is what real, good coffee tastes like.” After she downed it, with a little help from myself, she was pretty much bouncing off the wall and acting like she was on crack for a good hour or so.
My dad went with the Peruvian 69% Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate and said it was the best hot chocolate of his life. I opted to go Aeropress of the Ethiopian Wote #4 mainly due to the tasting notes of peach and black tea. Just a quick tangent on why I chose this … when I was visiting Arizona this past February I finally got to stop into Press Coffee Roasters in Scottsdale, Arizona. I had gotten some beans sent to me by my buddy Andy, who is becoming a regular in the coffee posts, and wanted to stop into the place in person. I ordered a Chemex of their Ethiopian Yiracheffe Washed on their recommendation and the fact that the tasting notes were lemon meringue black tea. It was one of the more impressive coffees I’ve tried mainly because it truly tasted like a mix of the tea and coffee but in a good way. So after sipping my cup of joe I was impressed and immediately put the spot on my list of coffee shops to visit if I’m ever back in the area as there are actually 2 of them in town.
So the two other things that make a good coffee shop, in my eyes, are of course atmosphere/ambiance (pictures, paintings, wall art, etc) and music. They had some good tunes come on in the 10 minutes we were there and, although it was quite small, they had some cool things in the shop as well.