The fun side of being a freelancer is that you get to travel from time to time. The not-so-glamourous side is that it’s not always exotic places – albeit some might consider Dundee as such.
This visit happened a while ago, in the winter months. I had finished my meeting early and had a couple of hours to spare before my train back (just a proof it’s not always glamorous travel!), so – naturally – I was looking for somewhere comfy and warm to wait it out.
Despite my original assumption (sorry Dundee!) it seems like there are actually a few coffee shops to choose from in town, according to Google maps. One that caught my eye, since it was a relatively short walk from the train station, was Empire State Coffee. Trip Advisor reviews seemed to rate this place highly, so I headed to the destination… only to find it plastered in brown paper with a “moved-out” note on the front door!
As it turned out, they didn’t move far, just a few corners away. I was pleased to discover that, although the place seemed buzzing with the people that were there, there were still plenty of free seats on ground level, and an arrow pointed at more seating in the basement.
I took a seat, dumped my laptop bag and handbag, and eagerly ordered my coffee at the counter. I decided to go for the larger size of mocha for a change – probably because I knew I wanted to settle in for a while.
I got a bit of a scare – and a tiny bit of disappointment – when I saw a large, Costa-like latte glass arriving, filled to the bream. At that point I had the laptop open and was cracking on with work, so I took the first few sips wondering how much of the brew I’d end up leaving behind.
But alas, 10min later the glass was empty.
The Empire mocha was a nice, smooth concoction; sweetness was more notable than the caffeine, but not overwhelmingly so, and at times it had a bit of a powdery aftertaste to it. Regardless, it made for a great winter drink accompanying my work.
I spent just over an hour there, and people were coming and going, but the place never felt chaotic or noisy – in fact, it made for quite a relaxing space to work, complemented by staff who were friendly but not intrusive.
Yes, I know there are more coffee shops to visit in Dundee – but I would not hold back from returning to Empire State.
Mocha (medium): £2.90
Verdict justification: Very pleasant venue with tasty coffee – definitely worth a visit!