I have few vices in life.
I don’t smoke, I don’t drink to excess, I eat a truckload of vegetables and have never touched an illegal substance in my life (I’m not as boring as I sound, honest). But I bloody love coffee.
Ahhh, coffee. Smooth, dark, deliciousness. A punch to the senses to wake me up first thing; a companion to read the Sunday papers with; my favourite excuse to meet up with a friend. I know it’s bad for me, and I probably drink too much of it, and I won’t sleep if I have one after 4pm yadda yadda yadda… but do you know what? I really don’t care. Coffee brings me JOY. My life genuinely changed for the better when my husband finally decided he liked it (just in time for Melbourne and New Zealand later this year).
So! I’ve decided to start a little series reviewing Cardiff’s best coffees. I’ve got my favourites, sure (R.I.P, Artigiano’s on Working Street) but there seems to be a new kid on the block every day round these parts, and I’m all for
fabricating an excuse a new reason to hit them all.
I’m starting with a fab little find we popped into before work last week: Corner Coffee on the corner (quelle surprise) of High Street Arcade and St Mary Street.
It looks a bit intimidating-hipstery-what-do-you-mean-you-don’t-know-what-an-aeropress-is from the outside (maybe why I’ve not been in yet?) but I loved the laid-back and friendly vibe inside. It’s definitely the kind of place you could imagine sitting with a laptop for a couple of hours too; in fact the smattering of other early birds in when we went were doing just that.
We were in search of breakfast, but didn’t really fancy the sourdough toast (a first time for everything), the mainstay of their breakfast offering; I’ll definitely be back for a bagel sometime soon though! You can just about see the menu in the pic below, as well as the big glass counter of slices, cakes and pastries. I was seriously tempted by a big ol’ chunk of paradise cake but thought it was a little too luxurious pre-9am…
I like a fairly punchy coffee wake-up call (compared to my standard Sunday coffee-and-papers order, a #basic Skinny Vanilla Latte). I went for a flat white with a cocoa-coconut bliss ball on the side. R had a cappuccino and, big kid that he is, definitely asked the guy when he brought it over to go back and put some chocolate on top. But hey, what is life without chocolate on your cappuccino?! He also had a granola bar; if you like something sweet with your coffee you’ll be pleased to hear their portions are pretty generous!
Is it me or does the quality of the crockery affect the taste of the coffee?! I’m convinced it does. I am a bit of a crockery-fiend (Rob would call it “kitchen crap” fiend) and loved Coffee Corner’s beautiful smooth blue-grey ceramic cups.
So the million-dollar question: how would I rate the coffee? It was great: dark, punchy and smooth, but without being bitter or OTT on the caffeine buzz. The cocoa-coconut bite was delish too; wholesome-tasting and moist without being greasy – a difficult thing to achieve! When I make them myself they are often either crumbly and dry or a bit on the oily side.
Score: A solid 4.5 beans out of 5. Calm atmosphere and a cracking cuppa. We both had to be in work but sometimes it’s nice to just take a 20-minute breather, drink your drink and get ready for the day. I love sitting in a coffee shop window and watching the world wake up, and will definitely go back to Corner Coffee for just such a purpose next time I find myself a bit early for work.