It’s been long time coming, but I finally got a chance to visit Caffe Crema on Holburn Street. The location has never been overly convenient, somewhat off the town centre and away from any strategical points in Aberdeen; and I only knew about it, as it was one of the recommendations by Ian Cukrowski, who supplies the place with beans from his MacBeans shop. Only recently a job in the area, and the need to get change for the bus, prompted me to pay a flying visit to this otherwise unexceptional place.
In fact, when I entered I felt inclined to be back on my way again; the rather dark and small interior, steamed-up front window and smell of veg soup in the air did not invite me to stick around with a cup of coffee. But I decided to overcome my preconceptions and waited a short time for the customer in front of me to receive his take-away order before I placed my own. I paid (happy for not having to pay extra for soy, but unsure whether the choice of milk was the right one) and was invited to sit down; the mocha arrived soon after and I was thrown back by the sheer size of it. Either the barista got carried away and poured me a bigger size than I had paid for – or this place is more than value for money judging by the size of their small beverages.
I had little time to spare, so I went for it – and was transported to cloud number nine after the first sip. The moment my lips touched the foam on top of the cup I knew instantly it would be wonderful – the consistency of the milk and the thick but not overwhelming foam on top were silky smooth and wholesome. The sweetness of the drink was beautifully balanced with an even chocolate flavour and a tang of caffeine all the way throughout.
Keeping in mind that the girl was managing the place alone, obviously not only preparing great coffee but also cooking lunch (I did notice the pot of soup boiling away on the stove just behind the counter), and keeping a polite and smiley facade, I also have to mark the service high.
Overall, I will probably not be visiting the place often – simply because of its inconvenient location; but I would surely recommend it to anyone who happened to be in the area and in need of a quality beverage. Top notch!
Small Mocha: £2.30
Verdict justification: Beautifully executed coffee and a pleasant place overall, even if a bit dated and minimalistic.