#Coffeetime: Waterstone’s independent cafe Birmingham.


Now books, that’s another story. I’m always to be found with a book in my hand, whether fiction, poetry, gardening or art, I’m never far from one. In fact I’ve been known to spend a few hours in book shops and thus if in Birmingham Waterstone’s is the main and largest book shop in town to visit. 

  
The new impressive Waterstone’s Birmingham on High Street on the Bull Ring intersection is huge. 

Covering five floors, it covers every type of book and has a lovely floor for its Children’s section which also has its own cafe and cup cake making sessions (plus children’s play area).

Created as a ‘flagship bookshop for the Midlands’. The fiction section has its own floor (basement) and there are oak bookcases fitted throughout. Topped with this there’s also a varied events programme (see in store or on the website) and the shop itself feels more engaging, more user friendly with a new shop front and enhanced book range (though the poetry section is still a bit small for me). It’s a joy to walk around and another step on the revolutionisation of Birmingham as a cultural city merging with an impressive and vibrant city centre. 

  

Now it appears that me and Mrs Mills’ cakes have a thing going on, but just keep it a secret, but then I’m bound by been a blogger and all food consumed is ‘for the blog’ and the blog alone. Ruth my wife disputes this, and feels that I just consume food, well because I like it. It’s probably one of the reasons why I began my blog. As, what’s the point in being a food blogger if you don’t like food, and cake is food…right. 

The cafe is run independently and this shows in its free and easy layout and atmosphere with comfortable seating throughout. It’s a peaceful spot, but there is a surprise that you can sit on any floor with your drink and food if you wish (as long as you don’t mind carrying it up flights of stairs).

The aim is as much as possible to use local producers for cakes and bakes such as Mrs Mills. 

  Cheesecake and Flat White. 

  Yummy 😊

  Mrs Mills’ Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake: 

Creamy chocolatey layers of delight. Cheese cake base well made, a good bake. Rich Vanilla pod infused with a thick swirl of dark chocolate running through each slice, chocolate chip pieces. Melt in the mouth deliciousness. Indeed the best cheese cake in Birmingham no doubt.

Eaten with a lovely flat white. In fact everything one should be. Velvet micro foam and a powerful double shot of coffee.

   
 Flat white 

  Mrs Mills’ Chocolate Brownie (with Pips Hot chilli sauce).

The second cake I’ve eaten at Waterstone’s cafe is the Chocolate Brownie made with Pips Hot Chilli Sauce and sea salt. A luxurious brownie, with a definite chilli hit, which though quite powerful compliments the gooey chocolate well and makes for an indulgent treat at any time of the day. A very beautiful brownie that deserves repeated trials. A treat. 

Eaten with a disappointing cappuccino which wasn’t intensive enough in coffee for me and felt quite flat next to the brownie. Shame.

Waterstone’s cafe also serve sandwiches and biscuits. Bread is provided by local artisan baker Peel and Stone from the Jewellery Quarter. Other local producers are Anderson and Hill and Too busy to bake. 

It’s a delight in every way and a place to wile away the time, but beware if you fancy working there, their wifi is erratic and tempermental, in fact much like writers.  

A match made in bookish heaven. 

   Cakes and sandwiches at Waterstone’s. 

  Christmas time 

  

   
   Cafe seating.

 The view from the cafe of Birmingham’s German Market in the distance. 

   
   
  

 Children’s floor with plenty of activities. 

 

   
    Books and coffee, whatever next?

    Cafe seating amongst the books. 

 Waterstone’s Birmingham, High Street, 24-26 High Street, B4 7SL.

0121-633-4353.

Disclosure: I paid in full for my coffees and cakes. My opinions are honest as always. 

Mrs Mills Cakes makes celebration cakes, on the go granola bars, indulgent deserts and cheesecakes, biscuits for mail order and at food festivals, fairs and Brum Yum Yum Streetfood events. 

All cakes baked using free range eggs. 

At Brum Yum Yum Kings Heath on the 12th Decenber. 

https://m.facebook.com/MrsMillsMakesCakes/
  

http://mrsmillsmakescakes.co.uk/

https://twitter.com/mrsmillscakes

Christmas orders: 

http://mrsmillsmakescakes.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/pdf-flyer.pdf

Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

#Coffeetime: Java Lounge, Birmingham City Centre. 


  

  
The Java Lounge has been brewing its coffee in Moseley for ten years now and to celebrate the unique independent coffee shop milestone has opened up a second store in the beautiful Grade 1 listed building on Colmore Row. 

Owned by Birmingham born Akram Almulad, Java Lounge offers Birmingham a taste of where coffee began, in Yemen. Which is where his parents were born. 

A few years to go this used to be the building that was home to Hudson’s Coffee Shop. At its time probably the best place to drink coffee in Birmingham City Centre. It’s building, coffee and refined table service a beacon of quality amongst the advancing chains, which were taking over the city. 

  
Happily, independent Java Lounge have now restored this coffee Mecca to its vintage beautiful best. 

Inside the mood is woody. A lot of panelling and leather seats, with the Java Lounge mural showing the journey of coffee filling one wall (and very interesting it is too).  It’s split into two rooms, the lighter first room by the counter and the more secluded second space beyond, ideal for working with the laptop, and taking advantage of the free wi fi 

Both rooms have their charms, solid wooden tables, plenty of space. An urban feel. They’ve made good use of the old inside of the grade 1 building and maintained the gorgeous glass ceiling in the second room. It’s a fine space, one worthy of good coffee and food. 

   
   
Coffee at Java Lounge is the convergence of science and art. They take advantage of technological advancements in standardisation and innovation whilst preserving the passion and craftsmanship of the cultural traditions.

You can buy lots of coffee. From Latte to Macchiato to Mocha, plus single origin coffee from around the world (from Yemen to El Salvador, only available as yet in Moseley. Plus from this week the delicious sounding double mocha).

There are numerous inviting cakes, hot food, such as wraps, (with a good choice for vegetarians) and salads.

 Plus a range of teas and milkshakes. 

   

    

 Beautiful original ceiling.

  
  Flat White at Java Lounge. 

The Flat White had a velvety consistency, with a good strong espresso hit which had the right amount of microfoam and flavour. One of the best no doubt in Birmingham. 

I’ve visited a few times over the last few weeks, on the three times I’ve had a flat white it’s been consistently excellent. 

My Cappucino I’ve tried was also very good, the right side of frothy, creamy and with a good espresso flavour. 

  
Cappucino. 

   
   
Chocolate brownie. 

The chocolate brownie, was delicious, a harmonious dose of chocolate and light feathery textures. Beautifully combined and with a hit of chocolate that combine yes the silky flat white well. 

Java lounge is certainly one of Birmingham’s best coffee houses. 

The passion for the coffee comes through in the vibe of the space, the service and in the coffee itself. It’s has a good all round experience with a City charm and this makes a worthy stop off for locals and visitors. 

http://www.javaloungecoffee.com/
  
 
  
Good solid wooden tables. 

  

   
   
Thanks for reading. 

Andy 😊

Disclaimer: all coffee and food was paid for by myself and as per usual it’s an honest review of my experiences. 

#CoffeeTime: Maison Mayci in Kings Heath Birmingham


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Maison Mayci in Kings Heath is the relaxed, informal and quaint cafe that the French do so well. Here in the south of Birmingham Ruth and I have enjoyed a fair few cakes, coffees and lunches at this fine neighbourhood find.

Located on Poplar Road just off the High Street, it’s a lovely space that offers food rewards in abundance the more you explore the menu.

It’s continental in its approach providing patisserie, rustic fresh breads, pastries, and coffee and cake to suit all tastes and appetites. It caters from brunch through to afternoon, lunches are varied, and delicious with anything from homemade soup, sandwiches, mixed platters, veggie and non, pasta specials and quiches.

It has good veggie options and the mixed veggie platter and quiches are excellent.

Sandwiches are made using their mighty fine freshly made bread and all cakes and pastries are freshly made and well worth a taste.

If you want to immerse yourself in a french flavoured atmosphere and a stylish neighbourhood environment then Maison Mayci is for you. Whether with friends or solo, it’s your call.

It’s also good for families meet ups, or just with a small child as their is a small play area and toys and the menu is child friendly.

Last week I decided to wander in being local for a coffee and cake. It’s. Good spot to read and to work so knowing that it would be quieter in the afternoon after lunch decided to waste no time and double up with a review.

The cafe in Kings Heath is big on atmosphere. It’s rustic, and has a soft warm charm with its wooden tables and chairs and tempting (well in good weather) outdoor courtyard.

The subtle gentle lighting lends itself to calm and the soft chatter of customers is non intrusive though often busy and popular.

On the day of my visit I ordered a cappuccino and cherry and almond tart.

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The cappuccino was well made, creamy, with a good coffee balance. A lovely warming drink.

The Cherry and Almond Tart was very well presented, and had was deliciously flavoured with the almond subtle and the pastry firm but not overworked. A fine tart.

Both together formed a delightful package and with my book the ideal way to spend time on a cold winters afternoon.

All bakes can be taken home and also pre ordered. The tarts and cakes are great when entertaining guests at home and the bread is yummy for brunch on a Sunday at home. Ruth and I are big fans of the bread at Maison Mayci and buy it regularly. The sourdough in particular is beautiful.

What made Maison Mayci a lovely coffee time spot though is the charming service and friendly charm of a cafe that is right on the money for local neighbourhood friendliness and top food options. It ticked many boxes. You can see why it’s popular, it has a touch of France in South Birmingham an escape from the hustle and bustle outside and the coffee is tres Bon. A place to return to again and again.

Un bel endroit (a beautiful place)

Maison Mayci also have a cafe in Moseley village which serves afternoon tea also.

Maison Mayci
8 Poplar road
Birmingham B14 7AG

0121 444 8167

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I purchased my own coffee and cake and all opinions expressed are my own and honest.

Have you been to Maison Mayci in Kings Heath or Moseley? What did you think?

http://www.maisonmayci.co.uk

Twitter: @maisonmayci

Six Eight Kafe and Two Cats Roaming Kitchen at Millennium point


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As anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a keen coffee drinker and from time to time put up up #coffeetime reviews.

Though I have been to Six Eight Kafe on Temple Row in Birmingham City Centre (near the entrance of The Great Western Arcade) I’ve not yet reviewed it for my blog.

It is one of the best independent coffee shops in Birmingham (voted one of the top 50 in the UK by the Independent Newspaper) and though small is a bustling place with fine artisan coffee and beautiful cakes.

So the news that Six Eight Kafe are now this month January are opening up a new outlet in Millennium Point is quite exciting.

Six Eight Kafe have been running a trial pop up coffee shop there for a few months, and with its success have announced a new shop. It’s expected to be one of the largest Artisan independent coffee shops in the Midlands and will have a fully operational kitchen and will be licensed.

This will allow them to serve hot food and be open for longer hours I presume. The launch date has yet to be confirmed, but should be soon. Keep an eye on this blog for updates,

As a way of launching the fully operational kitchen Six Eight Kafe will be hosting Two Cats Roaming Kitchen roaming February pop up on the 17,18,19 February 2015.

Already they have hosted previous pop up kitchens on Temple Row so this will be a larger affair and the first with vegetarian options (on request)

Two Cats Roaming Kitchen is a pop up taking a modernist culinary approach to North Eastern European cuisine and making fine dining accessible and informal. Food is served on one shared communal table and with limited tickets for sale is a ticket only event.

Chef Nick Astley formally of The Church Inn in the Jewellery Quarter has now taken Two Cats full time after leaving The Church. Inspired by his partner Diana’s Latvian food, the Birmingham Post describes his food as ‘imaginative and ambitious’ and fellow local food blogger Full To The Brum have raved about previous pop ups taken place last summer.

As I’ve said this is the first time veggie options are available at every course so expect a modern imaginative approach to the dishes and a creative leaning to foraging and seasonal produce. It’s an exciting prospect for veggie foodies and at £31.00 for many courses, is great value.

The menu hasn’t as yet been confirmed for those dates but you may see veggie dishes such as:

Sweet and sour Jerusalem artichoke, milk ice, cream, Apple and dill.

Beetroot Tartare

Celeriac, truffle, hazelnut, and rose

Sorrel in February

And inventive puddings.

As well as a full non veggie menu.

Tickets are available via facebook.

http//Facebook.com/twocatsroaming

There are three dates so you will need to select the best for you.

Remember if you are vegetarian then you will have to let them know in advance via Twitter or Facebook on booking.

Look out for updates on the menu on this blog, and more updates on Six Eight Kafe.

Six Eight Kafe
Millennium point
Curzon street
B4 7XG

Six Eight Kafe
Temple Row
B2 5HG
0121 448 8099

Facebook/sixeightkafe
Twitter/sixeightkafe

http://www.sixeightkafe.co.uk

#Coffeetime: Yorks Espresso Bar Birmingham City Centre


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I’ve watched the new Yorks Espresso Bar on the corner of the Great Western Arcade and Colmore Row (opposite Snow Hill Station) progress from an empty building to what can now be described as the most unique and trendily urban hangout selling delicious coffee in a city full of great independent coffee shops.

I visited last week, its first week of business to try it out and was rewarded with a brilliant and rewarding coffee experience.

Yorks Espresso bar, little brother of Yorks Bakery on Newhall Street 10 minutes up the road sells great coffee. It’s different. I has a vibe that’s feels very welcoming, knowledgable, and passionate about coffee and its whole experience. It’s modern and cool.

The new bar is the first of its kind in the UK to have a ‘kegorator’ serving cold coffee from a beer style keg system in the bar. I was able to sample some. It’s delicious, refreshing, and punchy in flavour, well recommended,

I also enjoyed a delicious Yorks Flat White, and single espresso. Both beautiful. The flat white like at Yorks Bakery is superb, creamy, with a touch of class, maybe the best in Birmingham City Centre. The espresso packed a punch and was excellent too.

A coffee paradise.

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Yorks Espresso bar also serve the trademark Yorks cakes, sandwiches, pastries and muffins. The cakes are lovely if like at Yorks bakery, though I didn’t eat on this occasion.

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The decor has a comfortable mezzanine section upstairs and downstairs where I sat bar stools to watch the passers by from. Being nosy that’s where I sat watching the rain ease.

The bar is rustic, and has a long wooden bar with tiled wall areas and menus written on glass on the walls. Very hip, very Yorks.

Yorks Espresso bar is already a favourite of mine and one of the finest independent coffee shops in Birmingham, I’m loving the vibe and urban coolness and rustic quirkiness. take yourself, take your friends, and then encourage them to take their friends too 🙂

A superb coffee treat.

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Yorks Espresso Bar
Colmore Row
Great Western Arcade
16a Colmore Row

@yorkscolmorerow
Facebook/ YorksBakeryCafe

Thanks for reading.

Has anyone been to Yorks espresso bar? What did you think?

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#Coffeetime: Coffee Lounge, Wake up and smell the coffee


Coffee Lounge is a newish independent coffee shop located on Newhall Street in Birmingham City centre near St Paul’s Square.

It’s tucked a bit out of the way of the main drag of the city centre, but is well worth the walk.

It was in mid week, feeling quite stressed due to moving house that I decided to find some calm and enjoy the soothing harmony ‘s of lower Newhall street and the nearby St Paul’s Square.

On entering Coffee Lounge I found a laid back and contemporary coffee shop that was quite quiet and had the peace and serenity that I required to read and relax.

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Coffee Lounge has a good mix of sofas and table seating and bar stools that should suit all tastes and customers. Though it is apparent that at certain times of the day it caters for the local business sector, it’s was also popular with families and customers eating afternoon tea and stopping off after touring the Jewellery Quarter.

The decor is modern, light with a good purple and white colour scheme that is cosy whilst been spacious. It’s a relaxed space, good for work, good for catching up with friends and good for reading.

It’s not crammed full of tables so it feels a place whereby you don’t feel rushed to leave. You can take your time and relax. Perfect😊

My flat white was good, well made, a good coffee flavour and though not the best in the city it came with a nice biscuit that is quite rare to find generally in coffee houses in Birmingham. Very welcome as I didn’t feel like any cake or sandwiches, well not on this occasion.

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The food on offer last looks good though, from cakes, pastries, sandwiches, afternoon tea, breakfasts such as full English, and burgers, soup and jacket potatoes, it is quite a lengthy list.

Charmain and Daphne are the owners, the service is friendly, and they have created a fun, modern and relaxed place to while away time and in my case chill for awhile.

As an independent coffee shop it’s a nice addition to the growing Birmingham scene, and has a different feel to the ones in the main part of the city.

This is good and I recommend the informality and charm this brings us coffee drinkers.

The Coffee Lounge is a place to return to, and for me to eat in and read or write.

A good detour with a nice vibe.

I used my Independent Birmingham card to obtain 10% off my drink. You can also gain 20% off afternoon tea for two people with the IB card. See website below if you wish to purchase one or two.

Twitter: @cdlounge
http://www.facebook.com/cdlounge

http://www.independent-Birmingham.co.uk

Coffee Lounge,
101 Newhall Street
Brindley House
Birmingham
B3 1LL

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Thanks for reading.

Has anyone been to the Coffee Lounge?

Please feel free to leave a comment underneath or via Twitter @andydhare

#COFFEETIME: URBAN COFFEE COMPANY BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE


Drinking Coffee is a past time that I love. Birmingham as you know as a number of very good Independent coffee shops that offer many differing experiences and provide a solace for many different people. One of my favorites, and one that I have been frequenting since it opened is Urban Coffee on Church Street, Birmingham city Centre. Sitting a little away from Birmingham Cathedral and Snow Hill Station Urban Coffee is one of the original coffee pioneeers of independent coffee in the city.

Urban Coffee Company are dedicated to bringing and creating a unique coffee experience. Started by a couple who were tired of the chains and wanted to start an independent coffee shop in Birmingham, they now have three emporiums, one in Church street in the city centre, one in The Jewellery Quarter and one in Harborne.

It was the Church Street emporium I visited on a friday afternoon. When I entered surprisingly it wasn’t very busy, with plenty of tables free. You see Urban Coffee can be very popular, and finding space can be difficult at certain times of the day.

The Church Street Emporium is light and airy and has two levels. The ground is busier usually and more fitting for a quicker visit, with a traditional cafe layout, with stout tables, mixed seating and one long communal table. Upstairs has a more loungy feel, with bean bags and couches, a more leasurely and relaxed space.
I chose on this occasion to sit downstarirs for a change.

I chose to drink a flat white and sample a cappuccino slice. Though it was cup cake friday, the slice tempted me more. The Flat White was good, artistically presented, but certainly not the best i’ve had in Birmingham. It did have a good coffee flavour though and went well with a lovely cake, that I enjoyed. The cakes have always been consistent, and the filter coffee and the cappucino is excellent too:)

Unfortuantely every time I visit they seem to have sold out of handmade Yipsy Macarons, but never mind.

Urban coffee offers a good selection of cakes, pastries, bagels, teas, sandwiches, and has a licence which allows it to serve alcohol such as craft beer, spirits, cocktails and wine. It has a number of events such as live music, poetry readings, cocktail nights and book clubs that happen from time to time. See their website for full diary and food and drinks menu.

They serve bottled beer from 5-7pm when the emporium closes.

Urban Coffee is a great Independent coffee shop, it has a strong free wi fi, and the urbanisters (staff) are friendly, passionate and know their coffee and are happy to assist if you are unable to decide from a long coffee menu.

I like the Church Street emporium, it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the main part of the city and on a street that is a nice one to wander down. (off Colmore Row opposite the Cathedral). Urban Coffee is a coffee shop that is full of people who love coffee and and know of a good product and service.

I would recommend Urban Coffee, and though have not tried their other two emporiums feel that The Church Street venue as the original offers a good mix of airy space that caters for a mixed crowd of people. Though it can be busy.

In many ways, Urban Coffee Company are what makes Birmingham’s Independent coffee scene exciting and something to be proud of. It offers another unique expereince and thus is well recommended for coffee and cake enthusiasts. All veggies welcome 🙂

Urban Coffee Company
30 Church Street,
Off Colmore Row
Colmore Business District
Birmingham
B3 2NP.

http://www.urbancoffee.co.uk
@urbancoffee

For Independent Birmingham card holders Urban offer a free refil on any single estate filter coffee or tea.

Disclaimer: I paid for my own coffee and cake. My review is my own experience and is honest.

Have you been to Urban Coffee? What did you think?

what are you favourite independent coffee shops? Let me know using the comment box below.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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#Coffeetime: Faculty in Piccadilly Arcade Birmingham city centre


Faculty is a small, charming and hip place in picturesque Piccadilly Arcade in Birmingham City Centre off New Street and near to New Street Station.

Faculty is a focused coffee and tea shop serving brewed drinks to have in or to take away, fresh home made cakes, coffee beans and equipment.

It has a simple and quirky decor and signage which allows the quality of the ingredients to shine. They have a small hot drinks menu.

I recommend the coffee. On the two occasions I have been I have had a Cappuccino and on this occasion a Flat White, both excellent.

The Flat White, was superb, smooth, with a good back kick of coffee, with the roasted beans giving it a quality finish.

The cups that it was served in was pretty with a delightfully decorative spoon. Lovely:)

I had it with the Monte Carlo cake, (see picture) which was a kind of viennese whirl with a shortbread topping, which was extremely good.

I’ve also enjoyed a superb chocolate brownie. The cakes are all home made and fresh and change often, the quality of care and the ingredients shine through in the same way as the coffee.

The room is made up of old school desks and seating and has a quirky character that is endearing and makes Faculty different to other coffee shops in the city. It’s that quirkyness that gives it a unique identity and reminds me of some London coffee bars, that are very hip and happening places to be.

The staff and owners Geoff and Lucy are very friendly, welcoming and passionate about their product and are happy to chat to the customer. It is this welcoming attitude which is valuable in attracting repeat customers and making for the unique atmosphere of Faculty.

They also serve tea, though I didn’t try any on this occasion I could see that they encourage you to let the leaves brew correctly, using a timer that they give with the sparkling pots.

For me what makes Faculty one of Birmingham’s best Indie coffee shops is that they really care about the product, how it is made, what kind of beans they use, their suppliers, their cakes and how they look and taste and the welcome.

The space is small, but big on ideas and exceptional in every way.

Suppliers: Square Mile Coffee roasters
Waterloo Tea.

Faculty
Coffee and tea shop
Piccadilly Arcade
Birmingham
B2 4HD

open 8am-6pm Monday-friday
10-5 Saturday
11-4 Sunday

@facultycoffee

@PiccadillyBrum

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Disclaimer: I paid for the coffee and cake myself. The views expressed are my own and are honest.

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Brewsmiths: Coffee and tea #Coffeetime


I’ve been hearing about Brewsmiths for awhile, via social media and Independent Birmingham. So it had to be on my ‘hit list’ to visit for #coffeetime 🙂

Brewsmiths is a little out of the centre of Birmingham, but well worth the short walk to nearby Livery Street, by Snow Hill Station (rear entrance) next to Connolly’s wine shop and near the Peel and Stone bakery. It sits in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter (St Paul’s Square and city side) and is a cosy and quaint looking place that is the epitome of independent in Birmingham.

On walking into Brewsmiths I immediately felt relaxed by its cosy air and wacky cushions, books, and comfy seating. It’s like a home from home kind of place, a very relaxed home with friendly staff and a feel good atmosphere.

Brewsmiths is owned by Andrew McKay who gives the impression that he knows his coffee and his audience well. Brewsmiths make superb coffee. My cappuccino I tried was excellent, well made, smooth, Italian style, with a an excellent coffee blend, deep and well executed.

I didn’t eat any food as I arrived quite late in the day and there wasn’t much choice on offer as far as cakes were concerned, so vowed to return and sample another time. Having though seen the reports, their cakes and all day breakfasts and pastries sound superb.

Brewsmiths is a quaint and homely coffee and tea destination, it has a relaxed vibe, with free wif fi (always a bonus) and an excellent selection on smart boards behind the counter of coffee and tea. They specialise in both, so for tea lovers it is a cool place to go too:)

It has mixed seating. Some comfy seats, some long communal tables, some and many cushions. It seems to be spacious, though it’s small inside, it’s cosy, and feels as I have said like a home to chill in. It plays laid back chilled music, its snug, and wort trying at different times of day to get a different atmosphere. I certainly will.

Brewsmiths plays to a mixed crowd, those on their way to work, those making use of the free wi fi and those out strolling in the lovely Jewellery Quarter.

It has fully stacked bookshelves, that can be read and brought if you wish, (proceeds going to the Big Issue). It’s a place to come back to over and over and is well recomended.

I sure will be, now I’ve found the Brewsmiths brew.

Brewsmiths Coffee and Tea
24 Livery Street,
Birmingham
B3 1EU

hi@brewsmiths.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/brewsmiths
@brewsmiths_JQ

http://www.independent-birmingham.co.uk

Independent Birmingham IB card holders get 10% off with IB card at Brewsmiths. See website above for details.

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All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own. I payed for my own drink.

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Yorks Bakery Cafe: #Coffeetime


Over recent years there has been a much needed influxof Independent coffee shops and cafe’s opening and thriving in Birmingham. The ammount of money and artistic superlatives that these bring to the City Centre and Birmingham suburbs is no doubt huge.

In essence Independents thrive on prividing great coffee and food combinations, taking the process seriously and always striving for that artistic difference that makes them popular and unique. They all offer something different. Whether that be majoring on great coffee, events they put on, or the food that they provide. Often made on the premises.

The one thing they all have is a sense of community and a spirit that has been developed out of research and their craft. That is what makes them interesting and gives them the foodie factor.

Personally, I’ve always loved cofee shops. They’ve always been a space to go to over and over. To relax in before and after work, a destressor, to read in, to write my poetry and now my blog in, to meet friends and family in and to make friends in.

This post is the first of a series of occasional articles/reviews mentioning those independent coffee shops that make up the
developing coffee scene in Birmingham (and sometimes beyond).

York’s Bakery and Cafe is on Newhall Street (on the corner) in the City Centre off Colmore Row in what is known as The Colmore Business District or Financial district.

At its essence is the design of community, care for ingredients, and a craft in its food and design of premises. The ingredients it uses are well sourced and the barristers know their coffee and tea are enthusiastic about the coffee process. The staff also care about you, the customer 🙂

I visited on a busy Friday lunchtime. I’ve always had a soft spot for York’s, but hadn’t been for awhile due to the huge coffee shop options available in the City Centre. I’ve often visited and wrote my poetry, chatted with friends and visited with my wife Ruth for food on a weeekend.

On the day I visited it was busy. A bustling sound and atmosphere. AI notice a good mix of customers, from those who were at work, to families with small children and buggies, from students to people who had obviously were trying York’s Bakery and Cafe out for the first time.

York’s believe in an honest approach to its ethos. Inside you are greeted with cool artwork, which is rotating in that they invite local artists to display their work every three months. You also have sturdy wooden furniture which looks like it belongs and zonal seating which make the room seem uncluttered and offers plenty of space depending on your requirements. I like that aspect. Their are two rooms, one at the back is hidden and offers a more private space for meetings and for the studious and groups of friends.

At the counter you are greeted with mountains of cakes stacked high, all very inviting. I chose a beautiful chocolate brownie, my test cake, it was beautiful, firm, rich, but soft, with the right balance of chocolate and cake, which slid down well with a perfect Flat white, which was smooth and had the right texture and flavour punch of coffee. A work of art in fact in it’s pretty design on top.

The urban feel of York’s works well. The service was friendly, knowledgable, and helpful and they even wiped and cleaned the tables. They were attentive. The music is funky too in the shop, plenty of chilled tunes, a bonus.

They have a good selection of teas as well and obviously give them the same billing as the coffee.

Over the next few weeks and months, York’s say that they are undertaking a transitional phase, in that they are stripping back their menu to provide the characteristics of a great coffee shop. A Smart food and coffee mix. They provide a specials board of pancakes, sandwiches and hot breakfasts in the week and weekend. It also sells flour to make bread with.

York’s Bakery and Cafe has a warm and relaxed atmosphere. It is a well recommended independent choice in the City Centre. In fact it is a coffee shop to return to again and again, for the coffee and the cakes and food.

York’s Bakery Cafe
1-3 Newhall Street (corner of)
Birmingham
B3 3NH

@yorksbakerycafe
http://www.yorksbakerycafe.co.uk

http://www.coffeebirmingham.co.uk

@coffeebrum

http://www.independentbirmingham.co.uk

For details of the Independent Coffee scene in Birmingham see http://www.coffeebirmingham.co.uk and blog.

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