Doing cafe reviews is a perfect excuse to make a seemingly pointless trip to an Angus town worthwhile. So, when for one reason or another, I ended up as part of a road trip to Kirriemuir, I thought I’d do something productive – so I went for coffee.
Although the town offers a few coffee shops to choose from, 88 Degrees was the one recommended by my companions, so that’s where I went with no second thoughts. The name was apparently chosen by its owners because it is the perfect temperature of espresso – which raised hopes of a decent coffee venue.
Although not very spacious (a massive table for about a dozen people bang in the middle of the narrow room constrained one’s movements around the place, even with no one sitting beside it), the interior did give a cosy feeling of a local yet quality coffee shop. But ordering was made challenging as one had to move to the back of the room where a pastry case, and entrance to the loo, cut the amount of breathing space by a half; plus the coffee menu next to the counter was printed in a rather small font.
Once I had my bearings, I decided to discriminate against their temptingly sounding white chocolate mocha and opted for my regular type. Since I was told to take a seat as my coffee would be delivered, I opted for the table by the window, which was rather low and my legs hardly fit underneath it despite sitting on a stool, but at least gave a view of the outdoors and didn’t make me feel like I was in anybody’s way in the confined space.
Soon enough my coffee arrived and I knew just by looking at it I wouldn’t be impressed. Altough an attempt at latte art was evident, the foam was visibly too frothy. Together with the colour, it looked more like hot cocoa – and tasted like one too. It certainly had a chocolatey flavour, but I didn’t detect any caffeine, so it was really a milky filer, not an tasty treat. Halfway through the cup I decided I had enough.
It was certainly disappointing not being able to round up the bleak, grey afternoon in Angus with a memorable cuppa; sometimes, some ventures are just not meant to be.
Verdict justification: Bland coffee, but nice, friendly staff, and cafe-like atmosphere
88 Degrees Fine Food Emporium,Bank Street, The Square, Kirriemuir, DD8 4BA