The Shack Coffee Shop


Aberdeen really isn’t that big a place, so you’d think I would have managed to visit all of its coffee shops in the three years that I’ve lived here – but think again! Not only are new ones popping up seemingly every time I walk a rarely visited street, but I also discover their presence on frequent routes… where they had been for yonks.

I was just walking down Rosemount Viaduct on a lovely summer morning, enjoying the sun’s return, which I decided called for a celebration. My initial thought was to get a bacon roll for breakfast (an unhealthy taste I’ve developed recently) and figured that would give me an excuse to pay a visit to The Bread Maker, which I have been curious of for a while. But then I saw a banner on a window across the street, proclaiming “Shack now open” and concluded that maybe just a sit-in mocha will do me that morning.

As I entered the interestingly laid-out cafe (two armchairs in front of a window through which you couldn’t actually see anything, a few tables and chairs by the walls, and a spiral staircase leading downstairs…) and was greeted by a chirpy lady behind the bar at the far end. In response to her asking how I was, I asked when the cafe had opened.

“Oh, about two years ago, I think” she replied, leaving me baffled. She rushed to explain: “Someone had broken our lovely window – I know, what a shame! – but we found this banner which suited it perfectly, so we just hung it up for now.”

Mocha at The Shack Coffee Shop
Mocha at The Shack Coffee Shop

This (and the rather badly-lit interior) had curbed my excitement about the place, but it was too late to turn back. I ordered my coffee as another lady slid behind the bar and begun preparing the next customer’s take-away order. My confusion about the whole place grew when the woman who served me seemed a bit all over the place, not really knowing how to work the till, or asking her colleague how many espresso shots should there be in the mocha – a question that bounced back to me, to which answer was apparently dependent on my liking. I went for a strong two-shot option, paid, and took a seat in front of the smashed window.

The coffee soon arrived in a simple blue mug; oddly enough though, as it was sitting there on the tree-trunk table next to a wee selection of books, that moment felt quite relaxing, or call it homely.

Sadly, the coffee did not elevate that experience; it had a smooth texture and was not too sweet, which was good. What let it down though, was the taste sensation of a slightly grainy – or should I say powdery – cocoa throughput, and the fact that it was that little bit too hot to drink instantly.

Unfortunately, it was only Monday morning and I did have to rush to work, so I also rushed the drink – but finishing it wasn’t a chore, actually, and I left no drop in the still steaming mug. And if it had been a lazy weekend morning, I might have even enjoyed a wee breakfast in that comfy – and very private – armchair in front of a window that you couldn’t see through…

Mocha: £2.50

Verdict justification: An OK coffee in an OK coffee shop. No major complaints, or celebratory points.

The Shack Coffee Shop Facebook page

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