Monthly Archives: May 2013

Kilau Coffee

full star

Having seen with my own eyes the roasting process of their K2 beans, I could not walk past Kilau Coffee when I happened to be working in the University of Aberdeen area (which feels like a village in the centre of town by the way – very cute and cosy). The café’s tucked in on a cobblestone street, opposite the University; on first sight it seems a tiny take-away spot only, but the signage with opening hours suggests there’s also a downstairs, and as I was waiting for my coffee, I also saw people coming out from a back area.

Kilau Coffee

Kilau Coffee

As  I was waiting there in the cramped room, filled by a coffee machine, small bar, a virtually empty drinks and food fridge and increasing amount of student cutomers, I could also relish in the beautiful presentation delivered by the skilled barista with every single cup. The stunning latte art was mastered on the premises, as the barista, in reply to my question, said that the only place where he trained was the shop, with his manager.

Although by then I did not doubt the barista’s abilities – I felt fond of him from the start, thanks to the cool professionalism delivered by his fully tattooed arms – I did not expect much latte art on my soy mocha, made, as I spotted, with unsweetened organic soy milk. A quick guide to milk steaming: the more fat/sugar in the milk, the thicker and smoother the foam after (adequate) steaming – not meaning to say that low-fat milk products won’t produce a creamy foam… as proved by the Kilau barista. Maybe it wasn’t a 100% latte art, but I think it was as close as it gets in the circumstances (the effect on the photo is already spoiled by the lid that was put on top of the coffee prior to serving).

Soy Mocha at Kilau Coffee

Soy Mocha at Kilau Coffee

OK, so much for the looks – although, let me add that the café, albeit small, also had a cool, fresh feel to it, which would be the result of both the décor and the relaxed staff – but let’s talk about the taste. To put it simply: divine! Hardly ever do I allow myself to be vocal in public when enjoying food, but this time I couldn’t help the “Mmmm” as I took the first sip upon stepping outside with my takeaway coffee. It was smooth and deliciously creamy, lovely sweet and slightly punchy, but not overwhelming in either way, and of just the right temperature to enjoy it there and then. The small size was also perfect for me, but it’s good to know they also have two bigger options.

I feel like I should carry on, but really, there’s not much more to add: arguably, this was the best soy mocha I have ever had.

Considering the experience as a whole, I really regret not living anywhere near this lovely part of town; and even though I wouldn’t want to return to student life, there’s this one thing I sure envy these guys – a perfect coffee, right at their doorstep!

Mocha: £2.35

Verdict justification: Amazing coffee! To top that up: friendly atmosphere and cool, relaxed staff. A perfect Black Spot!

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, UK | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Cafe Contour

It was a working afternoon for me, but since I was in town, and in The Green, I thought it a good idea to refuel and unwind – and Café Contour seemed a perfect spot to do just that. Especially since I was in an office dress code…

Mocha at Cafe Contour

Mocha at Cafe Contour

It certainly was my kind of space: clean and minimalistic, black and white décor, with cool light fixtures and a professional looking clientele. I was served by the boss himself, who, having noticed my camera, invited me to film as much of the place and the exterior as I’d like – as long as it was going viral. I wasn’t going to do any such thing, I’m afraid, but I was still in business when I ordered a flat white for myself and a mocha for a friend who I met in town – and, naturally, tasted both, for the purposes of this review.

I started with the mocha, which was supposed to be sweetened prior to serving – an odd and oldfashioned practice, if you asked me. However, it didn’t taste like it had any extra sugar in it, edging on non-sweetness to be honest. As it later turned out, the sugar was on the bottom of the cup, which was hard to assume – or deal with – since there were no teaspoons provided. It was OK, but nothing special, spoiled by too hot and too frothy milk.

Flat White at Cafe Contour

Flat White at Cafe Contour

As for my flat white, that one was definitely edging on bitterness, tasting somewhat of burned or old-ish espresso. I can’t say it was bad – it was drinkable, and would have been even more so, if it hadn’t been scalding hot. But I won’t go as far as to saying it was enjoyable. I was inclined to get a helping of chocolate coated nuts to aid the experience, but eventually I bit my teeth together and drank it up.
A real shame, as the location and the feel of the place was just to my taste. And yet, the coffee wasn’t…

Mocha: £2.40

Flat White: £2.20

Verdict justification: Milk steamed too hot and not the best espresso. The food smelled good, however, so it seemed like a very cool spot, if you’re not having coffee.

Categories: Aberdeen, Cafes, Local, Travel Log, UK | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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