This was the first coffee shop I visited after my trip to Rome, so it’s fair to say that I was sceptical about wherever I’d go and whatever I’d have to drink. Thankfully, I did not have to make the first choice, as this was a semi-business meeting and I was invited to the quiet shop on Forth Street; and since my ‘business partner’ is a follower of this site, it was a sort of a duty to order a mocha. I ended up having two – it was a long meeting.
But let me give you some background to explain why, if it was for me, I would not have been visiting Urban Angel that afternoon. I had been to their Hanover Street shop twice before, both times for breakfast. The scrambled eggs with salmon I had on the first occasion were amazing, and therefore I was looking forward to my next visit; but the French toast with bacon, swimming in maple syrup, left me feeling rather sick and discouraged me from any future visits – although the place itself and the staff were welcoming.
A slightly different case with the Forth Street store: the two baristas seemed uninterested and although we were working away in our corner, I felt like an intruder in the virtually empty shop. It also took them forever to make a mocha and a cappucino. No friendly smiles, signature to the Hanover Street store – but that might be due to actual boredom and lack of other customers.
Now, as for the coffee, it’s a tough one to judge: the first of my mochas was made with soy milk, and although it looked lovely and the texture was OK it also had a slightly bitter taste to it, which spoiled it significantly. However, for the second cup I asked for regular milk – judging by the sweetness and the consistency of the coffee, I figured it was whole milk, but I might be wrong – and it was much tastier and smoother. This was a sort of a revelation to me: could it be that soy milk affects the taste of the coffee to such a degree? I remembered the soy mocha I had at Blackwood and how different it was to its sister cafes like Project Coffee or Kilimanjaro, where the coffee was made with regular milk…
This might be another breakthrough in my quest and can potentially affect my future judgement. But as for Urban Angel, I can’t make my mind up whether I’d recommend it or not. It’s (generally) good food and good coffee; but the service can be a hit-and-miss… and I’m glad I wasn’t paying last time, because it definitely isn’t cheap.
Judge it for yourselves!
Mocha: £3.20 (+20p for soy milk)
Verdict justification: The regular coffee (as opposed to soy option) was lovely, but the staff was not the most inviting