Coffee is the foundation of our society (well, for many people anyway). Whether catching up with an old mate, discussing business or tapping away on a laptop, a cup of coffee serves as the perfect accompaniment to life.
Cardiff blogger Amy Pay has found the best places in town for a coffee to remember.
The Little Man Coffee Co
We've got winter warmers right here for you, coffee made just how you like it: pic.twitter.com/ObHgebyPWj
— The Little Man (@littlemancoffee) November 15, 2014
A few months ago, this humble café arrived on a street corner just off the main route through town, past Cineworld towards Charles Street. It’s quickly built itself a great reputation for serving locally roasted coffee and freshly baked cakes. With occasional guest beans for one-off brews, this place is worth checking out if you’re looking for somewhere relaxed to sup special hot drinks and absorb free wi-fi.
Ivor House, Bridge Street, Cardiff CF10 2EE, 07933 844234, facebook.com/littlemancoffee
Waterloo Gardens Teahouse
Before Washington Gardens and Wyndham Tea came the original Waterloo Gardens Tea. Housed in the middle of the grand Edwardian terraces on the outskirts of Penylan, this gem of a tearoom also has a place on Cardiff’s coffee map. It offers a wide variety of coffees, from your basic flat white to a matcha latte. Their knowledgeable staff are there to guide you through coffee experimentation, so make the most of their friendly services.
5 Waterloo Gardens, Penylan, Cardiff CF23 5AA, 02920 456073, waterlootea.com
This independent coffee shop at the top of Cathays is very small, but in a charming way. Squeeze in when it’s not too busy and you’ll find delicious hot foods and all day breakfasts, top notch coffee from the award-winning Coal Town Coffee and craftily assembled ramshackle décor. Try here instead of one of the bland chain cafes in Roath.
83 Crwys Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF24 4NF, facebook.com/stagcoffee
— Coffee#1 (@coffeenumber1) January 30, 2015
Here’s a true Cardiffian success story. In 2001, this wood-decorated coffee shop started serving ethical, quality coffee to punters heading to and from the station. Now it stands as the first of fifty other Coffee #1 stores, the blueprint for the company that has won the Best UK Coffee Chain five years running. Aside from coffee, the usual light bites of wraps, pastries, ciabattas and sandwiches share menu space with teacakes the size of your head.
9 Wood Street, Cardiff CF10 1EN, 02920 232 802, coffee1.co.uk
The Deck Coffee House and Cakery
If you’re after something different down the Bay, head here for a one-of-a-kind afternoon. Bottomless teapots are available for tea lovers, while coffee fans will find themselves falling for the smooth roasted coffee, all served in mix and match vintage crockery. It’s definitely different – in a good way.
Ocean House, 20 Harrowby Street, Cardiff CF10 5GA, 029 2115 0385, facebook.com/TheDeckCoffeeHouseandCakery
So long as you’re prepared to wait your turn in the never-ceasing queue, Coffee Barker is the ultimate coffee haven in central Cardiff. They have shelves of syrups (some of which are sugar free), experienced baristas, offbeat wall art and super squishy armchairs that try to swallow you up when you sit on them. What’s not to like?
13 Castle Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1BU, 02920 224575, facebook.com/pages/Coffee-Barker
— the plan cafe bar (@theplancafe) January 13, 2015
In the middle of Morgan Arcade, The Plan offers a quaint observation point from which you can watch people walking in and out of the arcades. Its traditional menu has all of the favourites, and while the options are not groundbreaking, all of the hot drinks are made to perfection. There are lots of food choices too, ones that cater for special dietary requirements.
28-29 Morgan Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AF, 02920 398764, twitter.com/theplancafe
Placed more towards the student edge of the city, Tucker is a contemporary coffee lounge with higgle piggle decor. The location is reflected in the affordable pricing, and the quality of the coffee and the lunchtime food is possibly the best in Cathays. It’s great for a stop off if you’re studying in Cardiff University.
23 Salisbury Road, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4AA, 02920 198712, tuckerlounge.co.uk
The Caffeine Kid
— Will Corby (@TheCaffeineKid) November 8, 2014
Will Corby, a.k.a. the Caffeine Kid, travels the world to find the finest beans in order to make top notch coffee for city dwellers. When he’s not tasting, sourcing and buying the World’s best coffee, the coffee hunter can be found every Sunday at Riverside Farmers’ Market. Grab a freshly brewed coffee to go from his stand, sit beside the Taff and watch the world go by.
Fitzhamon Embankment, opposite Millennium Stadium, Cardiff CF11 6AN, thecaffeinekid.com
One of only a few coffee places to offer student discount in Cardiff, Torre Coffee lies opposite Cardiff Castle. It boasts the usual coffee and nibbles, but the best thing about this place is their latte art. Order a latte or cappuccino to witness the artistry in action.
3 Castle Street, Cardiff CF10 1BS Tel: 07827 738371, twitter.com/torrecoffee
Main image: The Little Man Coffee Co