Visited at Union Square Shopping Centre, Aberdeen
Out of all the places I could have gone in Aberdeen… you’ll say? Well, my first visit to the Granite City (they weren’t joking!) was a very brief one, spanning between the train station – and therefore the Union Square – and Mastrick, and then back to Windermere. It was a very long day, combined of 11 hours of train journey and very bad coffee.
The Muffin Break was where I got my first coffee of the day, having retreated to a fairly safe hot chocolate on the train up to Scotland (fairly!). I only had about half an hour to spare, so I wasn’t planning on venturing anywhere far from the train station and the conveniently placed bus stop, whilst the other coffee options in the shopping centre, were… well, not very appealing (Starbucks and Costa to be precise). And since I’d never seen a Muffin Break before, I thought I’d give it a go.
The first thing I noted was the very odd barista: he kept looking at me strangely as if I was a bit unstable, especially when I’d add politely “if that’s ok”, whenever I requested something, like the tuna sandwich or soy milk with my coffee. Was that really so weird? (Thankfully, all the other people I met in Aberdeen proved to be very nice and friendly).
By the time I ordered my coffee – having been first in the queue – a line had formed behind me, and the single guy by the coffee machine was slightly struggling time-wise, although he never let it show. He even found time to fiddle with an extra napkin for me after serving my coffee, although I’d already had two. I took a seat and eagerly started on my coffee – just to burn my tongue.
Apart from being too hot, the mocha was also too sweet. It might have been the sweetness of the soy, not the cocoa itself, but either way I found it hard to drink. The sweetest part was probably the thin layer of foam, dusted with chocolate – but underneath it there was a liquid too hot for a nice, thick texture.
It also was a big cup – for some reason, they didn’t serve ‘small’ mochas, only ‘regulars’. And as for latte art – didn’t expect it on my coffee, but am mentioning it, as it is beautifully presented on the posters inside the shop – I saw a woman pass me with a latte, but without any art on it.
Muffin Break is probably one of those places, where you should be judging the muffins, and take correction on the coffee – but in this day and age, who buys a muffin without a cuppa? It definitely wasn’t the worst mocha I’ve tried, but – unsurprisingly – it didn’t put the Muffin ahead of other high-street coffee vendors.
Verdict justification: Too hot, too sweet, but not too, too bad.