The Caffeine Kid and The Plan in Cardiff


When I left Bristol a year and a half ago, there were precisely zero places at which you could get a truly brilliant coffee.  There were a couple spots that claimed to offer a good cup with the words ‘freshly roasted’ and ‘crafted with care’ adorning their websites and twitter feeds.  These cafes, however, always left something to be desired. If you wanted a drink that made you stop and enjoy every sip, you needed a trip to London.  Not a bad task, but a bit far when you’re craving a cortado.

Luckily, I’ve finally found good coffee closer to home, in Cardiff.  The first thing I did when planning my trip was google the best cafes in the welsh city.  There were a bunch of reviews and suggestions that were directed to a different sort of coffee drinker — I’ll pass on Coffee #1, thanks — but I unearthed a couple that seemed promising.  I was heading to The Plan in the Morgan Arcade and The Caffeine Kid at the Sunday market on Fitzhammon Embankment.

The market’s hours were woefully short, so I went there first.  The baristi were still setting up, but happily made me a macchiato.  The stall was small but well equipped, with a little La Marzocco machine and proper grinder.  They steamed some milk and placed it all in a dainty paper cup, costing £1.70.  While I expected to be drinking and walking, I found an empty table nearby and sat down, enjoying a picture perfect view across the river.

Getting coffee from stands and trucks has never been something about which I am particularly enthused (though I love buying coffee in laundromats and real estate offices).  The novelty usually takes precedence over the quality.  Not so with The Caffeine Kid.  My macchiato was delicious with a lemony bite and a cinnamon warmth.  It was sweet, but also deep and rich.  Not that this should be a surprise.  The Caffeine Kid, the name of the shop and nickname of barista Will Corby, has won several UK barista championships. If you’re in Cardiff on a Sunday, you’re in for a treat.


After drinking my macchiato, I was well fueled for the morning and eager to sample more of what I thought to be Cardiff’s stellar coffee culture.  That’s why, when I went to The Plan in the centre of town, I braved the cappuccino.  I should have known better.  The drink that arrived, while it looked pretty, was basically milk.  Not even in Italy had I drank a cappuccino that was so reliant dairy.  There was barely a hint of coffee.  Luckily, I ordered a tea cake on the side and dunked pieces of the toasted sweet bread into the so-called cappuccino.  It didn’t improve the drink’s taste, but it made me feel a bit better about wasting the money on a drink.

Coffee and following reviews of cafes is always hit-or-miss, though, fortunately, the hits are more common.  The Caffeine Kid was a truly fantastic experience in regards to both coffee and location.  The Plan, however, was the opposite end of the spectrum.  After disappointments I always wonder if it was my order, the barista or the cafe in general that made for a lousy experience.  I can’t be sure, but I think my days of drinking cappuccini are quickly closing.

What’s your most memorable coffee experience?


3 thoughts on “The Caffeine Kid and The Plan in Cardiff

  1. emilygotta

    Come to think of it finding good coffee in Bristol was a bit of a challenge. I hardly ever splurged on a cup, but I did have a couple nice Americanos and lattes at Coffee #1 in Clifton Village. It’s about the same as going to Costa, but has a cosy atmosphere and is conveniently near a Co-op.

  2. Will Corby - The Caffeine Kid

    Hi Emilia,

    Thank you so much for your kind review! We love making coffee for those who enjoy it, please come again soon! You should even feel free to try a cappuccino with us… we only serve them in a 6oz cup with a single for that traditional cappuccino flavour and sweetness.

    If you are looking for some great coffee in Bristol I would urge you to visit boh Full Court Press and Small Street Espresso! You are probably already aware of the baked goods at Hart’s bakery too but if not well worth a visit. Especially on a Saturday for the “Saturday Bread”

    Keep up the great work

    Sent with love

    Will – The Caffeine Kid

  3. Pingback: Cafe Kino, Monocle Magazine and the Death of Shopping | Emilia Lives Life

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