My ideal summer morning takes place in a cafe with a good cup of coffee and an excellent book to keep me company. Free from university work, I can read what I choose and linger as long as I’d like. It’s a little slice of heaven made all the more delicious in its rarity.
Finding the perfect cafe is simple in New York. New ones are always opening and I can trust that my $3.50 won’t be wasted on sub-par caffine-ation. In Bristol, however, a guilty dilemma takes hold of me. Do I really want to spend money on a cup of coffee of doubtable quality?
Usually, the answer is no. I wait until the weekend to get coffee outside, if then. Then, the sudden urge to get coffee outside grips me. Each time I stand upon the threshold of a new cafe I think, maybe this will be it. Maybe this cafe will serve the best coffee in Bristol. Maybe it will be on par with Kaffeine, or at least with Think Coffee.
Last Thursday, on my first proper day of summer vacation, I decided to brave a drizzly June day and a new cafe. I don’t remember where or when I first read about Barista’s Coffee Collective, but I saw it in conjunction with the phrase ‘best coffee in bristol’. Of course, I had to discover what that meant.
The cafe was cute, a bit rough around the edges in that oh-so Bristolian way, but nothing to sneeze at. The seating was a bit meh, the space was big, but there were hardly any tables. You could tell that most people coming in were office workers getting their coffee to take-away.
I ordered a cappuccino for a reasonable £2. I waited for it, standing by the counter only to realize that everyone else went to sit down whilst waiting for their coffee. What can I say? I’m from New York.
While I was a bit disappointed to be served a paper cup, I didn’t call it off yet. After all, some very good coffee shops only provide paper, who am I to judge? The size was also slightly worrisome—it was a big twelve ounce cup—but again I tried to stop myself from grumbling.
My cappuccino was fine, but by no means the best in Bristol. It was milky, definitely more like a latte and a still overly-milky one at that, but there was some nice coffee flavor there and the froth was well-done. If you are in the area, stop by. The drinks are well priced and the place has a nicer atmosphere than Caffè Nero or Starbucks, but it’s not the answer to my coffee prayer.
I’ll stick with my moka for now.
How do you feel about independent cafes where you live? Are there lots of them?