#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. 

#Tastymorsels: recent Independent cafe openings.


Three cafe’s/coffee shops have recently opened.

1. Health County: Is an independent cafe based in Star City, Kiosk 3, 32 Watson Road, Birmingham.

Health County is a new cafe/bar that sells a range of healthy food and drink options. Aiming at people who are on the go, and want a healthy option, but don’t have the time to wait around.

They sell a wide range of healthy meals, drinks, including smoothies, juices, paninis and wraps. They make their own juices and smoothies on the premises, and flavours such as Berry Blast Smoothies, Basil Banana Smooothie and Banana Stawberry smoothie are sold in their cafe.

Health County provide the benefits of fresh, simple and tasty food including many veggie options, such as salads, paninis, wraps and pastas.

They have out door seating, so for those not in a rush, can relax over their healthy fair trade, options. All recipies are below 400 calories, and Health County only use bio-degradable materials which are environmentally friendly.

A good place for veggies:)

Fresh, Healthy, Tasty, Crazy.

For menus see website.

http://www.Healthcounty.net
@healthcountymag
0121 328 0300

2. Under Pressure Espresso is a new independent coffee shop in Sutton Coldfield. It strives to serve up some of the best coffee in the country, promoting knowledge of every stage of the coffee making cycle. In a town of chain coffee shops Under Pressure Espresso is unique that it provides a difference in style and coffee taste.

It has a simple menu of brewed coffee drinks that are made in either pour over style or aero press.

It sound a tremendous place to visit.

23a Birmingham Road, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1QA

http://www.underpressureespresso.c.uk
facebook.com underpressurebar
@UPespressobar

3. Cafe Viola is an independent coffee shop in Knowle, Solihull that has recently opened.

It sells organic coffee, pastries, cakes, deserts, and has some hot and cold food on its menu.

It also has free wi fi, always a bonus. 🙂

It stocks special herbal teas, and has a mediterranean breakfast which is a mixture of Greek and Turkish foods on its menu.

For lunch it sells paninis, ciabattas, wraps, and salads.

For the area of Knowle it is a must visit, and all independent coffees shops should be supported for the vigour and boost they give to the local community.

It is good to see the rise of the independents.

Cafe Viola
Knowle High Street,
Solihull,
B93 0LT
@cafe_viola
http://www.cafeviola.co.uk

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Cafe Viola

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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