It was about time I ventured away from the city centre (especially with the lockdown easing somewhat) and Blether had been on my radar for a while, due to its location on one of the main roads out of town, particularly if you’re heading towards’ the Queen’s Country of Braemar and the likes. It’s on a strip of shops that cater for Cults residents: from groceries to Subway to a toy shop and a couple of pharmacies – for which reason it is always difficult to find a parking spot in the allocated lay-by.
That was also the case on this particular occasion, as I was driving back from a sunny Sunday walk; but seeing that the queue wasn’t as bad as usually on a sunny Sunday (probably because it was getting quite late at that point) I decided to do a quick “park and run” outside the Cults Hotel, which was closed due to COVID anyway.
Indeed, there have always been queues to Blether whenever I’d drive by on a weekend, despite the Costa at the opposite end; even now, half an hour before closing, there were a few people waiting: some for their coffee, others for their food order. Lucky for me, everyone had already ordered so shortly after I arrived at the door I had my own order taken – lucky, because the unfortunate positioning of these shops means that you’re waiting in the freezing shade, while the other side of the road is basking in the sun (on a day like that, anyway).
The wait wasn’t too long, however. I rushed back to the car (and back into the sun) to do my tasting in comfort.
The first impression once I took the lid off wasn’t great. I had been given a choice of soy, oat or almond so on this occasion I played it safe and went for the first option. This now sat as a blobby foam on top of the drink with a thick dusting of chocolate. The first taste was pleasantly sweet (I have been craving a snack after my walk after all!) but all I was tasting was that soya foam with chocolate on it. The next sip, however, I couldn’t taste – my mouth was burnt! The liquid underneath the foam was basically hot lava.
There was nothing else to do but to abandon the coffee until I got back home, which was only a short drive from there. At that point it was more of a drinking temperature, but still too hot for a mouthful. Now that I could taste it, it didn’t particularly impress me. It would have probably been an OK accompaniment to a cake, but on its own it wasn’t neither here or there: not very sweet, nor very coffee-ish. Truth be told, I got distracted 2/3rds through with a phone call from family, which meant I finished the coffee more as a background activity than a conscious act of enjoyment.
Because of its location in the more prestigious area of Aberdeen, I really thought Blether would knock it out the park. Sadly, my life-long observation continues to ring true: high expectations rarely deliver!
Soy Mocha: £3.45
Too hot to handle – and not making up for the wait with anything memorable!
You can learn more about Blether on their Facebook page.