We are blessed with many places to have a coffee or a much-needed cup of tea in the capital. But we wonder if there is now a kind of Emperor’s New Clothes mentality about coffee and the establishments which prepare it?
Some coffee enthusiasts think that the new coffee emporia across the city can do no wrong.
Far be it from us to debunk that myth, but it is clear that there is much that some of them could do to improve on what they offer.
On a cold Thursday and in need of some sustenance I visited the Stockbridge Artisan Roast. There are many, many coffee shops in Stockbridge offering a lot of choice to any customer, but I had been due a return visit for some time.
Faced with the prospect of depriving others behind me of what really was the last sandwich in town, I asked if they had anything else. Thankfully the Icelandic sweater clad barista/server remembered they had soup. Though the taste of the Tomato with vegetables and Orzo was excellent, it did little to warm me on such a cold day. The moveable heater in the back area was set to a miserly 15 degrees, and that did nothing to help either.
The back room at Artisan Roast has a couple of bench tables and is a good space to work from (but do bring your own wifi as for some reason they do not supply any at any of their shops). On this occasion it was a bit chilly. Safe to say that I did not take my coat off!
I moved on from soup seeking to be inspired by the barista about his coffee, but was firmly told that the speciality of the house was the way they roast their coffee rather than specific ways of preparing it. So I opted for a filter coffee which is fast becoming my favoured way to consume caffeine.
Sadly, it arrived in a wee forlorn cup without a saucer and it was lukewarm and very strong. Now I know that this may be ‘the right way’ but it was no good for me.
The ambience was spoiled by the server who seemed hellbent on listening to his favourite podcast in spite of the customers. The sound from an iPhone stuck inside an empty coffee cup is tinny to say the least, annoying at worst.
There is an innovative twist to the shop, with flowers on sale at one side. A large chalked display proclaims opening times for the flower shop on a pillar. And it has to be a good thing to have such a pretty neighbour as all the tables displayed beautiful flowers.