Coffee without a Cause
Special Cafes for Ordinary Occasions
by Rory Buccheri (@rebelfoodrory)
photo courtesy of Rory Buccheri
Spending time in the city centre somehow always leads to stressful complications. If you don’t end up stuck in traffic, then you end up queuing at the bank, or maybe picking up parcels, or, if you are a nerd like me, collecting books from the Central Library. Despite the recent pedestrian-only zones and semi-nice benches trying to slow down the hectic pace, it can get busy and unpleasant very quick. Yet, nothing makes a trip to the city centre worth it like that /sweet/ reward at the end, that question lingering in the air as you queue at the bank: where should I get coffee later?
If you have ever asked this question yourself, look no further. And trust me, if these caffeine kicks weren’t good, I wouldn’t be here passionately typing about them a 100 miles per second.
courtesy of Rory Buccheri
BOOKS AND BEANS
Customer Service: ★★★★★
Experience type: /cosy and relaxed/
Nothing like a hearty classic to make your day. The coffee experience is already praiseworthy, but paired with a book? Absolute heaven. When in B&B, I always put myself in the loving hands of the waiting staff. They will tell you what is good, what is really good (spoilers: it’s the carrot cake) and what is the special of the day (spoilers: it hardly ever beats the carrot cake). So, if you are in doubt, the pairing Cappuccino + Carrot Cake is killer. Or, as I like to call it, the CCC (but I am just plain weird). B&B has a modest variety of caffeine in all shapes and forms to offer, but I am always tempted to go for the creamy or frothy options. Plus points: their vegan and lactose-free options rock.
CULT OF COFFEE
Customer Service: ★★★★
Experience type: /curious and adventurous/
Slightly hidden in the centre of town, slightly pricey, but absolutely luscious. This is a place for coffee connoisseurs and rookies alike. As I sit across one of my best friends, I ask them how they’d describe the coffee profile of what they are currently drinking. Their answer? /It’s just good, man. Really good./
I will take this victory. However, allow me to rant a little bit about the coffee profile. Instead of going for my usual cappuccino or espresso, I decided to treat myself to a Flat White. (When you enter the premises of Cult of Coffee, you start to feel like you are worth treating yourself). The aromas are bold, the coffee has that robust profile and irresistible sour undertones. When you have reached the last sip, you are aware that you are indulging in something absolutely glorious. If you are passionate about coffee, it is worth inquiring what blends they have available. They purchase fantastic coffee blends year-round, from Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Rwanda. You name it. Ask the bartenders, they will be nerdy about their coffee and, as a result, give you very good advice.
Customer Service: ★★★★
Experience type: /chill, and accompanied by a bite/
CUP has a bunch of features to brag about. The two things I find most impressive about their establishment are, in no particular order, their brunches and their /chill/. It might be in their décor, or in their special rainbow bagels recipe…I don’t know. There is something charming looming around CUP, like a magic aura. In the variegated constellation of Cafés in Aberdeen, I would go to CUP on a nice summer day: enjoy their iced coffees, ask for a shot of vanilla in my cold brew, maybe a whip of cream. They are that type of Café, where you can abandon bitter espressos that taste like hard-earned victory and indulge in frothy vanilla iced coffee to please your inner stripey unicorn. When dabbling in hot drinks territory (I still have to savour their teas), they have a not bad espresso and overall good, easy blends. I wouldn’t go there for a mind-blowing experience, but a soothing and caffeinating one? Hell yeah.
courtesy of Rory Buccheri
THE CRAFTSMAN COMPANY – Coffee & Ale House
Customer Service: ★★★
Experience type:/ convenient night stop, laid-back/
Not many Cafés in Aberdeen are open after 6 PM. In fact, not many places at all. As a Southern European used to shops closing at 9 PM, I am still trying to navigate this confusing system. If you enjoy a coffee after dark, though, The Craftsman is the right place. Open until 10.30 PM with both drinking and dining options, it is hard not to find a more accommodating place, especially if you are in the city with your friend group. Someone wants a coffee? They have good brews in there. Mind you, not mind-blowing, but worthy of the venue’s name. Feeling like pizza? They make a decent one, and I suspect they come up with the menu. Pint of beer? The name Coffee & Ale House should have given it away already. On top of it all, it is placed conveniently close to the train/bus station. So, whether you are catching a late train or need to sober up after an evening at the pub, I would recommend paying them a visit and sampling their coffee blends.
What are your favourite Cafés in Aberdeen? Tell us at email@example.com – Rory is always on the lookout for special, authentic places and food that makes your soul buzz.
This review was possible thanks to the Development Trust.