What makes a GREAT coffee shop ?

With Glasgow Coffee Festival 2019 approaching soon I thought I will talk about coffee community here in Glasgow and what it makes a great coffee shop from my point of view ( regular customer)..It’s not all about coffee, but people who makes your coffee and gives you that morning (or afternoon) much needed caffeine kick!

Generally speaking I find Glasgow coffee scene to be the most friendliest one! Not only in terms of good chat you get, but people who work, roast coffee for us- always positive and up for sharing their knowledge with the others.

While back then I was starting my coffee journey I was teriffied and a feeling bit anxious going into speciality coffee shops- purely because I didn’t know much about speciality coffee and was a bit scared to ask..but once I saw that people are actually cool and happy to talk with me, my coffee obsession kicked in..meaning I was asking a lot of questions and would always have a note of what coffee I am drinking, where it was roasted, what’s the best method to brew it etc. Some people know may call me a COFFEE SNOB! and that’s ok- I am indeed one of those..

To be honest it’s so easy to become a coffee snob, I am really spoiled here in Southside with the choice of coffee shops..The people I learned a lot from are mainly are:

It All Started Here, The Short Long Black,  The Good Coffee Cartel , Dear Green ,Bam and Toro. – Thanks guys for putting up with me, haha!

These dudes and gals were always there to talk about coffee tasting notes, giving me to try some new coffee beans and chatting about life in general. That’s a very important bit. Not only you go to the coffee shop to spend your hard earn monies but you go there to hang out, have a coffee, bit of cake, spend some quality time with your pals or simply have quality time on your own. I always think it’s very important to feel comfortable in cafe’s environment and properly enjoy the cuppa of delicious coffee.

Throughout the last couple years I believe I made some really good damn friends in these coffee shops- people who shares the same passion like me about COFFEE. I am proud to say that some of these cafes are actually my true pals in real life now ( it all started on Instagram and here we are..) we now hang out together and get absolutely caffeinated (well, I always do!).

So these are top 5 five reasons in my opinion what makes a GREAT coffee shop

  1. Variety and good selection of different coffee roasters- from local and worldwide roasters- supporting each other it’s very important!
  2. Options of different type of coffee drinks- Batch brew, filter, flight, V60 …aeropress and plus option of good alternative milks (Minor Figures for me obviously)
  3. Dog friendly- yes…it’s crucial that I get a chance to pet and play with all cute other people’s dogs!
  4. PEOPLE who make coffee and the actual owners- positive attitude and acceptance of different customers it’s crucial- from serving coffee snobs like me to ‘normal’ people who just after chill time and good coffee.
  5. VIBES- it’s all about the vibes.. music, the hustle during busy hours and the chat you get no matter how busy it is- attentive and down to the detail then it comes making your coffee.

 

I do believe there is more coffee shops to mention, but bare with me and keep following my coffee journey and see what’s next! In the meantime go and explore these coffee shops, have a chat, ask questions and don’t be afraid to learn new things about coffee.

 

Yours highly caffeinated,

CB

 

B A M

Bam Bam Bam…

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Hello new coffee hang out aka vintage shop in Southside. How cool is that ? I think it’s pretty damn cool.

I mean finally!-Scotland is picking up the game with a cafe culture in terms of having not only a ‘coffee shop’ but place to hang out, drink coffee, buy some cool vintage and art stuff. This concept might be new to some, but I have seen this years back in Berlin and I love it. People just combine the passion for coffee and art (or anything else) and boom the place pop ups.

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You can find BAM on 44 Nithsdale Road #keepitsouthside 

And here me out, it’s run by two powerful TWIN LADIES. Yes, that’s right #girlpower aka #twinpower Meet Elaine and Jen – people behind the Bam. The most lovely gals I met- always up for a chat, curious and very interesting to talk to. Plus they do have great sense of fashion (hence dark green hair!) then I first saw them I could tell this shop is their ‘baby- full of personality, style and character.

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Elaine & Jen -people behind BAM 

The name-B A M

u sayin i’m a bam? haha not everyone will get this, but Glaswegians hopefully will..Anyway the real Bam meaning..-it’s a long and quite personal story, but the name has been inspired by the owners grannies Bunty and Margaret.. Do you remember your childhood spending at your grannies house trying out her vintage dresses and getting full belly of yummy cakes and coffee/tea? That’s it. That’s exactly what you get at BAM-yummy coffee and delicious piece of cake and if you like you can try it out or buy some vintage dresses or an odd old school espresso cup.

So..let’s go a bit into more detail about the space.

The interior vibes spot on- deep & rich green walls with some original exposed brick walls at the back of the main coffee counter, industrial shelves mixed with beautiful vintage further pieces and pretty impressive mixed art work on the walls. It feels cozy but it is very spacious due to high ceilings and natural light coming in from back and front windows. The seating is comfy and mismatched with luxurious cushions and pop up of colours. Anyway…I am not interior designer so let’s get back to coffee chat.

There is a huge space downstairs with more art work, vintage pieces and dressing rooms. The space is great and I believe the ladies will be hosting some events there soon. Keep an eye on their insta (BAM) for more updates. After all the space likely to be collaborative cafe shop hosting events, having hang out- perhaps some artists working in the space or running various workshops. Great idea! Glasgow Southside definately in need of that kind of place.

Girls support Girls,right? Since Bam opened up three weeks ago, they have been serving Guatemalan and Brazilian from @girlswhogrindcoffee– which I must say it’s delightful. I am sipping one just now while trying to write up this post before I get too caffeinated and not able to type (it’s my 4th cup today..)  I do feel calm and very peaceful in here. I think it’s combination of a good, yummy coffee and beautiful atmosphere around me, plus the tunes are good too. It’s always a plus!

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Guatemalan Long Black with Vegan Raspberry Almond Bite 

Coffee is served in a beautiful dark brown glass cups- classic, love it. So far I only tried black coffee,so no comment on flat white art (next time tho!). The girls will have different roasters from all round UK/ World very few weeks or so,so looking forward to come back again soon and have more delicious coffee and good chat.

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Carry on sisters!

Yours highly caffeinated,

CB

M I N O R F I G U R E S

Hello my friends

Some of you might know last summer I participated in Minor Figures Dairy Disloyalty scheme.

A bit about the challenge:

To celebrate World Plant Milk Day (22.08.18) by enjoying great coffee that has a positive impact. All you needed to do is order any coffee with any plant based milk alternative at each participating cafe to get s stamp. (the list of participating coffee shops bellow) The first 200 people to complete  the Diary Disloyalty Card will win a brand new, limited edition Minor Figures sweatshirt.

Participating cafes:

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I took this competition as a funny challenge and decided to do it in one day- honestly I was terrified that I won’t manage and won’t get that amazing sweatshirt. Ha.

So..I had a day off from all the jobs, had my bike, sun was shining and I already had a plan where will I start and where this coffee journey will finish. My plan was to start in southside in @allstartedhere and then cycle to Good Coffee Cartel dudes. After I wondered to the west end and visited all coffee shops there- yes after 4 shops I was pretty high caffeinated and needed to have lunch. So, I did at kember & Jones. Once I was a bit rested and energized I jumped on my bike and cycled to East side of the city. By that point I already did loads of instagram stories and people were messaging me that I am crazy to do this in one day. Hm.. I took that as a compliment and continued with plant based milky coffee adventure.. After the visit to @east I had one last long journey back home ( to Southside) -final destination was Short Long Black Coffee shop. At that point I already have done 13 miles which is about 21 k and had 6 coffees,  but I wasn’t going to give up and had my very last 7th coffee to get that final stamp and to complete the card. DONE. I think I did happy dance in actual SLB cafe. It was not embarrassing at all,as I was highly caffeinated and super happy.

During the day I did a lot of instagram stories and polls of the best flat white art too- i thought it will be more fun to engage with my lovely followers. As you can see the best winner was flat white made by Gwen who worked back then for It All Started Here. But here you go-images of all coffees and beautiful flat white art I consumed.

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Winner of Flat White Art 

I really enjoyed it and it wasn’t only because of the sweatshirt ( that’s a wee perk) but because I absolutely adore Minor Figures brand and I love going around coffee shops anyway and ordering alternative plant based milks. It was great chance for me to visit some coffee shops I haven’t been before or don’t go to it very often ( I am spoiled by choice in Southside). It was a fun day and I loved all the positive messages and support I got from everyone- thanks guys.

So, two months in and ta-ta-daaaa my sweatshirt has arrived. OMG. It’s awesome. Cool AF. Super soft. Comfy. And the logo……..Penelope is a cool duck. You can the check out the sweatshirt at Minor Figures website.

Naturally I did a little photo shoot of my prize. And can I just say to Minor Figures- I love you guys and  I am so freaking happy that you made this OAT M*LK and many more awesome things. Keep going. I actually met the team in real life and I must say I was so overwhelmed that they knew who I was ( you can read more about it in next post of Cup North Festival in Manchester). But here is a wee snap of me & Alicia who works for Minor Figures. And more coffee pics.

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Me & Alicia at Cup North Manchester Coffee Festival 2018 

 

Yours Highly caffeinated,

CB

SLB- Short Long Black

Another one of my many favourite coffee spots in Southside is Short Long Black. Situated in very much upcoming area of Govanhill – this place is not too be missed.

Great space- beautiful layout with hanging plants above, wall mural art and loads of natural light (perfect for those insta snaps).

Coffee comes from Thomson Roasters and all created, roasted by the owner himself. Sometimes they have guest roasters and different coffee beans,like icommon or Good Coffee Cartel dudes.

Coffee shop dedicates their time making good cup of coffee and always up for chat about it. Every time I go there I learn something new. Really good vibes and great space for hanging out with friends or working by yourself. Oh yeah and they do mean chai latte for those who like to spice up their life a little bit.

Anyways, pictures speak volumes. Here you go.

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I will be writing in more detail about this coffee shop and others ones too once my blog is live and I have a better idea what kind of style I wish to pursue.

For now, please enjoy these delicious looking coffee pics.

Yours highly caffeinated,

CB

 

 

 

It All Started Here

The name says it all. My journey indeed started there.

This coffee house changed my coffee scene and definitely improved my coffee tasting buds. First time I visited It All Started Here was back in 2017 May then they opened their doors.

Minimal, fairly small coffee house but will full on with coffee attitude. They put different coffee beans and use various roasters every week and are pretty serious about their equipment too. Coffee machines, grinders and well trained baristas makes this place stand out.

It took me a few visits to brave up and starting asking questions about coffee and after a while I was finally recognising the difference between commercial coffee we all use to drink and proper specialty coffee. I can’t go back now and have juts a ‘coffee” – it’s always has to be something new, good and exciting.

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What is Speciality Coffee?

My first blog post will be about one of my forever favourite coffee shop ‘’It all started here’’ .This coffee house is something else. Serious stuff. All about coffee. But before I talk into details about them, here is a little introduction how I came across speciality coffee. 

Since I moved to Glasgow Southside couple years go there wasn’t really any speciality coffee shops kicking about. So once I heard about the new kid on the block ( IASH) I was super excited and terrified at the same time- Am I cool enough to hang out there? Do I know enough about coffee? Speciality coffee??

So what is speciality coffee ?

 

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Flat White with Oat M*ilk 

Speciality coffee refers to the whole process from farmer to cup using single origin coffee. It refers to the way the coffee is roasted and how it is extracted. “Specialty coffee” was first used in 1974 by Erna Knutsen in an issue of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. Knutsen used this term to describe beans of the best flavor which are produced in special microclimates.

Speciality coffee should not be confused with “gourmet” or “premium” coffee. The latter are marketing terms with no defined standards. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), coffee which scores 80 points or above on a 100-point scale is graded “specialty.” Specialty coffees are grown in special and ideal climates, and are distinctive because of their full cup taste and little to no defects. The unique flavors and tastes are a result of the special characteristics and composition of the soils in which they are produced.

To summarise in my own words- it’s a cup of really good, yummy coffee!

It’s been taken care from the beginning  to produce excellence- from farmer to buyer and then roaster,from barista to consumer. The journey it’s long, but if everything works in harmony, goes through proper cupping and various SCA inspections then is up to us and barista what brewing methods we then use to bring the best of that certain coffee bean. 

I will write more about speciality coffee in detail once I learn about it- as I mentioned earlier I am still on this journey myself and there is a long way to go. 

Coffee all the way.