Monthly Archives: April 2012

Cafes in Radom

I don’t believe many visitors to Poland would end up in my home town; there’s no sea or mountains, or lakes, or theme parks. There’s only sentiment of those who used to live here, to come back and reminisce. And for someone who knows the city from back in the days, it can also be a shock to realise how much it has changed over the last few years – for the better.

Radom is surely a cheaper option food and drink-wise compared to some more acclaimed touristic destinations in the country; especially if you arrive with British pounds in your pocket. However, I still find that dinning out is a commodity for the better-off, although recently there has been a considerable boom in restaurants and cafes, putting much effort into creating a varied menu and a magical ambiance through original decor. This is a trend in Poland, I’ve noted, to devote a coffee shop’s existence to a specific theme that makes it stand out from the rest. Just a shame that their focus is not on coffee.

Here’s a run down of the few cafes I visited on my last trip to Radom.

CAFE MARCUS

One of the first quality coffee shops in Radom, last year it underwent a refurb, which, however, didn’t rob it of the magic it always held within. The eclectic decor creates pleasant surroundings to relax on a weekday afternoon (mind not going too early, as it sure does attract elderly ladies). The menu is cram packed with various beverages, from flavoured hot and cold coffees to milkshakes and fruit cocktails. They also offer a bite to eat, like toasties with cheese and pineapple,

Mocha at Cafe Marcus

together with a selection of home-made cakes.

It has always been my favourite, long before I started drinking coffee on daily (or even hourly) basis. Maybe that’s why I used to think it was great; although back then I was using sugar for my coffee also, so that couldn’t count as a reliable viewpoint. My last visit was therefore rather disappointing.

Because my partner had a mocha, I decided to try something else, and opted for After Eight: coffee with mint syrup and chocolate shavings on top of foamy milk. The presentation was gorgeous, and both drinks looked very appetising; but both were

After Eight at Cafe Marcus

also very, very sweet; and not very coffee-ish. Apart from the sweetness of the syrups, there wasn’t much flavour in either, not even of mint or cocoa (apart from the chocolate shavings, that is). We both found it hard to drink up; but at least the tasty toastie, the pleasant, non-intrusive waitress and free WiFi were a bit of a consolation.

After Eight: 10zł

Mocha: 12zł

Cafe Marcus, ul. Żeromskiego 39, Radom, +4848362 34 05

VANILIA CAFE

This place is virtually vis-a-vis another cafe, that used to sell the best pastries in town – until the refurb and the change of name to Siódme Niebo (Seventh Heaven – review bellow). Opened just a week before my visit, it did look like it still had some

Mocha at Vanilia Cafe

decorations missing, as the high ceiling echoed our voices as we stormed in, all the seven of us plus a baby (a family afternoon). The staff looked a bit dazzled at first, but quickly prepared us a table and equipped us  in romantic-style menus (wooden covers, with delicate drawings of angels on the front).

The mocha I got was much better than the Marcus’s number; funny enough because the old Marcus belonged to the same owners, so maybe I was right to think the coffee there used to be tastier than it is now. Vanilia‘s offering was stronger and more chocolatey; but still lacked a bit of a punch to be called a proper coffee.

The apple pie, however, was amazing. Just make sure you hadn’t eaten much before tucking into it – it is a generous portion!

Mocha: tbc

https://www.facebook.com/VaniliaCafe

Apple Pie at Vanilia Cafe

SIÓDME NIEBO

Mocha with added whipped cream (thanks to my companion...) at Siódme Niebo

As mentioned earlier, Seventh Heaven is a partly-new establishment; it appeared in the place of a pastry shop, Florynka if I remember correctly, which sold the tastiest French pastries in town. It wasn’t the cheapest, so I didn’t visit too often; and then, it was gone. Seeing the beautiful decor of the new place, however, I had hopes that it stepped up to the excellence of its predecessor. How bitterly disappointed I was to encounter cookies and tortes in place of my beloved pastries, and to make it worse, all wrapped up in cellophane as if they were there only for display or take-away (which was not the case, as I observed a customer sitting in with a coffee and being served a slice of one of those wrapped-up tortes). Although the indoors set seventh heaven expectations, the “cake display” certainly brought me stumbling down to Earth.

Thankfully, the coffee was better than expected; the mocha was made with dark, thick chocolate, that still remained on the bottom of the cup when I finished drinking. The espresso wasn’t bitter as I had experienced in other places around town and it blended well with the chocolate. It was a short, strong number, and I figure very little milk was used to make it. Overall, a good beverage, although for my taste, a bit too intense as it left me begging for water (which in this country does not come free from the tap, mind you). Then again, I observed a preparation of a latte, and cringed when I saw that the espresso shot was left there for ages in a small jug before being incorporated with the milk.

It’s a 50-50 chance of an enjoyable afternoon, by the looks of it; although the food they serve certainly looks and smells amazing… Let me know if you pay them a visit.

Mocha: 8zł (served with cream)

http://www.7nieboradom.pl/

Note: At the time of writing £1=5zł aprox

Categories: Cafes, Local, Poland, Radom, Travel Log | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak beans from The Bean Shop

I anticipated the moment when I could peacefully and with all my attention focused on the ritual perform a Kopi Luwak coffee tasting. I had been kindly sent a 50g packet by The Bean Shop and awaited the right day and time; it came an hour before setting of for a trip abroad, so it could have been considered either a great start to a holiday, or the last disastrous coffee in this country for a week. Thankfully, it was the former.

Ground Kopi Luwak

The Bean Shop informed me that they stock theirKopi from Interamerican coffee in Hamburg and that it consists traditionally of Sulawesi beans. Generally Sulawesi single origin is bold, with earthy and herbal flavours; although not the strongest type, can still be quite overwhelming to occasional coffee drinkers, or the Instant Coffee Generation. I myself like stronger blends, yet, I have never been a fan of the Indonesian flavour profile. But, to give this one a chance, I ground it for French-press and brewed it straight away in a cafetiere for the best quality and taste.

Kopi Luwak tasting

This Kopi Luwak was nothing of what I expected, maybe apart from the low acidity. It wasn’t heavy and there was no lingering taste on the tongue; instead, unlike Indonesian types, it felt more like a medium bodied coffee, was smooth in texture and also quite refreshing – although it seemed to smell of cocoa and ground, it had a delicate and pleasant herbal flavour. For a variation I added a wee splash of soy

milk and vanilla syrup – and I was in heaven.

I can understand how some people could find a cup of Kopi an extremely disappointing experience, considering its price – especially those who are fans of extra bold brews. However, I for one could become an ambassador for Kopi, for all the unpredictability and pleasant surprises it carries within. From experience I know it is not easy to convince someone to try it out – but I can say it is very satisfying to see them enjoy it when they do!

Kopi Luwak at The Bean Shop

Categories: Coffee knowledge, Coffees | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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