on all orders over £20
on all orders over £20
Whether it be in a new town, on holiday or simply stepping out of your comfort zone to try somewhere other than your usual coffee spot (it’s not cheating I promise), finding the best coffee, and indeed café, for you can often be a daunting prospect. Perhaps you even have some preconceived notion of what you want from that coffee experience. Ideas that can either be helpful in narrowing down the options available or send you spiralling into a wild goose chase for the exact coffee experience you had envisaged, dismissing coffeeshop after coffeeshop with the perhaps misguided conviction that there “must be one like it somewhere”. So, to prevent a panic or having to force down a subpar cup of coffee, here are some tips for finding that elusive perfect cup of coffee.
Do your research
I hate to be the one to shatter the romance of a spontaneous café trip, but a bit of planning ahead is often paramount to a satisfying coffee experience. If you’ve got a copy of the Independent Coffee Guide lying around, then this is a great starting point but if you don’t or are out and about there are a number of signs that can help you spot the speciality from the less than special. Typically, when I am venturing out into the caffeinated unknown, I tend to whack “coffee roasters” into Google maps (other map providers are available) as coffeeshops tied to roasteries tend to provide that higher calibre of speciality coffee. Independent cafés are also a good bet and those that offer non-espresso-based drinks such as V60 or filter tend to be the ones that offer that extra special cup. Those who similarly stock coffee equipment and/or sell a range of beans also tend to be worth aiming for, especially if they offer one or more single origins.
Know your taste
Not all coffee is created equal, nor are all tastes the same. It’s therefore important to think about what flavours you’re looking for in your cup. Maybe you already know which notes you’re looking for, maybe you don’t, but in both cases your first port of call will always be the barista in your chosen coffeeshop. Certainly, at Garage we are all buzzing to talk to you about what we have in the hopper or on our shelves, so don’t be afraid to ask about how to identify the coffee for you or if you already know, which one’s we could recommend. Whether that’s the brew method or even the bean itself and if you decide the options aren’t for you, we won’t take offence - we promise!
Know your vibe
It’s not just the cup but also the shop that plays a part in the perfect coffee experience. Superficially speaking, your dreams, inspired by a new fit and a trip to Oxfam, to be that aloof and mysterious stranger sitting, immaculately dressed, and perusing a rather tattered EM Forster novel that you will definitely not finish reading, will simply not be realised outside your local Starbucks.
Self-projections aside, finding a shop that fits your vibe and purpose is extremely important. An interior that ticks your boxes and friendly staff can be all the difference between a fulfilling coffee experience and wishing you’d taken it to go.
Similarly picking an exciting and hectic shop, whilst this could be a positive when imbibing solo or with friends, probably isn’t the best atmosphere for your business meeting. If you are looking for a space to move your meetings out of the office, why not book the meeting room at our Canterbury shop? Just pop in and speak to one of our baristas and you can reserve this wonderful space with a vibrant and clean mid-century interior inside a beautiful heritage building right in the cathedral city’s historic centre. There are no reservation costs, just a £20-30 minimum spend! Whilst you are there you can also check out our community board calendar with details of the upcoming workshops if you’re feeling that creative craving.
Whatever the coffee experience you’re seeking, knowing your perfect setting and taste and how to find them is paramount. So, get out there and get caffeinated!
Words by Jay Smalley, Roastery Production Assistant, Garage Coffee Roasters