Are you feeling cooped up? Caught at dwelling? Would give absolutely anything proper now to responsibly and ethically go someplace enjoyable on trip, to discover and expertise and take pleasure in life for as soon as in your life? Similar, frankly! And on the very high of our listy-list for when issues get again to no matter regular means anymore is, await it, the town of Cardiff, Wales.
That is proper! Not London, not Edinburough, not even nu-loft stylish Manchester, however Cardiff, the Welsh capital metropolis that may be a gateway to that area’s extraordinary pure bounty, and residential to a fine food, wine, and coffee scene.
Sometime we’ll get there, however within the meantime let’s go to vicariously by a have a look at Mec Coffee, a mission that joins collectively a couple of names that may already be acquainted to Sprudge readers: Sabine Parish, winner of the 2018 Sprudgie Award for Greatest Espresso Writing; Will Davies, a widely known UK barista; and Luke Adams of all-world Slovakian espresso journal Standart. As if that weren’t sufficient, in addition they run a wine store throughout the way in which with an irresistibly punny identify.
We spoke digitally with Mec Espresso co-owner Sabine Parrish to be taught extra.
This story seems as a part of our Sprudge Maps Highlight sequence. Need your cafe to be thought-about for a Sprudge Maps Highlight? All it’s a must to do is register your shop for Sprudge Maps, our user-driven compendium of espresso outlets across the globe. And the very best half is, it’s utterly free! Sign up today!
Introduce your self to our readers—inform us about your cafe!
We’re Mec Espresso, a boutique espresso store within the very coronary heart of Cardiff, Wales. Along with our cafe we additionally run a month-to-month espresso subscription service serving the whole thing of the UK and utilizing rotating roasters from throughout Europe. Our focus is serving the very best coffees we are able to in an accessible method with out being intimidating for specialty espresso novitiates or the occasional misplaced vacationer. We love seeing the unfold of people that go to our store, out of your classically hipster musicians and tattoo artists to metropolis councilors and grandmothers!
Our unit is small, however we expect we use what area we have now properly: downstairs you’ll discover our espresso bar and a tiny area to face and chat, whereas upstairs is a quiet seating space with area to work. Being in an outdated Victorian constructing has its challenges, together with the steep stairs however we expect the payoff is value it by way of appeal—we promise the afternoon mild within the upstairs seating space makes the loopy stairs value it!
What gear do you employ in your store?
We make espresso on a Kees van der Westen Spirit, batch on a Moccamaster, and have nearly each brew methodology your coronary heart may need on reserve on your ingesting pleasure. Effectively, not a siphon or something large as a result of there’s simply not sufficient area…
Which roasters do you serve?
Our home roaster is Round Hill Roastery with whom we have now been working with for years. We’re enormous followers and pals and wouldn’t dream of entrusting our home espresso to anybody else! That stated, we love so many roasters that we knew we all the time needed rotating visitor coffees. Along with the coffees we embrace in our subscription service (from two completely different roasteries every month) you’ll be able to often discover one other roastery or two represented within the store. Proper now we’re serving Skylark Coffee and actually having fun with it—their Colombia Santa Ana is an enormous ol’ strawberry bomb. They’re a brand new roastery and we expect their work is absolutely necessary: run by Micah Sherer (who Sabine initially met when doing analysis in Brazil) and Ben Szobody, 100% of their revenue goes to supporting charity tasks and susceptible folks of their neighborhood in England.
What’s the neighborhood like the place you are positioned? What’s another cool stuff close by?
We’re bang within the centre of the town, tucked away in certainly one of Cardiff’s many well-known arcades and positioned simply steps away from the beautiful and historic Cardiff Fort. Our arcade is growing an amazing little meals scene and right here you may also discover Dusty’s Pizza, Madame Fromage, Wally’s Liquor Cellar, and our sister store, Bulles, which sells pure wine. We love that you could seize a drink and a snack and trot throughout the road to take a seat on the garden inside Cardiff Fort! Choose up a recreation from Rules of Play or a e-book from Troutmark Books and we expect you’ve acquired the proper afternoon in your palms.
Did you shut throughout a mandated Coronavirus shutdown, and if that’s the case, for a way lengthy?
Wales has been out and in of a sequence of lockdowns during the last yr, and so we’ve ricocheted between being open as regular, being open for takeaway solely, and being shut. We solely opened for enterprise in December of 2019—out of the now 14 months we’ve been open we’ve solely been capable of function in our bodily location for a complete of six. I can’t say we considered together with the eventuality of a worldwide pandemic once we had been drafting our enterprise plans however we’re nonetheless right here, thanks largely to our prospects who’ve saved us busy with deliveries! We love dropping off espresso and brightening peoples’ days.
At current, our bodily location is closed utterly however we proceed to ship (in-person in Cardiff and through publish for the remainder of the UK). Wales is because of announce new measures quickly and we hope to reopen in March, however in the interim its greatest to comply with our Instagram or go to our web site for up to date hours and delivery info.
How has Coronavirus impacted day by day work at your cafe?
Lockdown laws have been fairly exhausting, however we’ve all the time accomplished our greatest to be as secure as potential and intention for “one click on stricter” than the official pointers to make sure we’re defending our company and employees. That stated, the most important affect for us is the profound impact on what being hospitable means. It may be arduous some days to have the identical emotional drive to run a takeaway-only enterprise, particularly whenever you acquired into the sport seeking to construct connections and social areas.
What’s one thing cool or distinctive about your cafe you need people to know?
The pure wine store throughout the balcony from us shuttered early on within the pandemic. We beloved the store and the employees—we’d often knock off work and head straight there for a glass of wine! So after a couple of months of trying longingly throughout on the empty unit and wistfully lacking our pals we did an eminently unreasonable factor in the midst of a pandemic: rented out the unit and began our personal pure wine store, Bulles.
We introduced again the supervisor, Tom Bull (from whom, sure, we completely punned the identify Bulles, which means ‘bubbles’ in French), re-did the unit, loaded up on wine, after which bam! Two days after we opened the wine bar, Wales went right into a snap lockdown once more, from which we have now but to emerge.
Fortunately, we’re additionally a bottle store and everybody wants a drink (or three!) proper now, so we simply rolled into native wine deliveries and have been doing that ever since. We can’t wait to have everybody again within the store for a toast, however within the meantime we ship twice every week so you’ll be able to sustain along with your wine ingesting within the security of your personal lounge. As with Mec, our philosophy at Bulles is offering high quality drinks with a minimal of pretension. Good wine and good espresso for all folks, we are saying!
Images courtesy of Mec Espresso, used with permission