Monday 14th July

So, the Saturday just gone saw me with an arrangement to meet an ex work colleague for coffee – it was really far too nice a day to be visiting coffee shops but never mind. Having seen it on Twitter, we made a plan to check out Baila Coffee and Vinyl the newest kid on the Old Town block.  According to their Facebook page they are a ‘third-wave coffee house selling good coffee and cake alongside a curated selection of vinyl.’

 I won’t lie, not being a coffee expert I had to look up the ‘third-wave’ thing. I had no idea there was such a concept. According to Wikipedia, not always to be trusted I know but I suspect on this score we are on solid ground – or should that be grounds in this case? Ha! – did you see what I did there?  It appears that the Third Wave of coffee refers to: ‘a current movement to produce high-quality coffee, and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity. This involves improvements at all stages of production, from improving coffee plant growing, harvesting, and processing, to stronger relationships between coffee growers, traders, and roasters, to higher quality and fresh roasting, at times called “microroasting” (by analogy with microbrewbeer), to skilled brewing.

Third Wave Coffee aspires to the highest form of culinary appreciation of coffee, so that one may appreciate subtleties of flavor, varietal, and growing region – similar to other complex culinary products such as wine, tea, and chocolate. Distinctive features of Third Wave Coffee include direct trade coffee, high-quality beans (see specialty coffee for scale), single-origin coffee (as opposed to blends), lighter roasts, and latte art.’  So now I know!

So the question on your lips might now be ‘does Baila meet these criteria?’ Well – without giving them a thorough roasting (sorry, I can’t help myself) about the provenance of their coffee etc I couldn’t honestly say. I had what I always have – which is a black coffee. It was indeed a very fine coffee, though in my humble opinion, it didn’t match the coffee at an establishment I favour in the town centre. But of course that’s just my taste buds/opinion. And, at £2.25, I thought it was a bit pricey? Or am I out of step with prices in Old Town? Perhaps. To accompany it I had a locally-made salted caramel flapjacky thing which was very tasty. But I did feel an ‘ouch’ at the over-four-pounds-bill for that and a black coffee. But, as I say, maybe that’s just me. Oh – and there was an apostrophe missing on the ‘menu’ thing on the tables. Oops. 😉 Had I got AA Editorial Services under way at that point I might have been tempted to offer them my proofreading services.

The place itself is kinda cute and funky. I think perhaps ‘hipster’ would broadly cover it. It’s all exposed light bulbs, old school desks, one black wall with ‘chalk’ decor and then of course the vinyl. There’s vintage album covers on the wall and the ‘carefully curated’ vinyl for purchase. All of which makes me smile somewhat, just because I’m of an age to have been through the old 78s, then the vinyl singles, EPs and LPs, cassette tapes, mini-discs, compact discs, MP3s and ooh back to vinyl again!

“….What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun….”  Ecclesiastes 1:4-11

It’s certainly a ‘yummy-mummy’ friendly place with a handy pram-park at the back under the stairs and an upstairs lounge with a play area for little ones.

The menu for the moment is comprised of tea, coffee, the home-made cakes/sweet treats and I believe ice-cream from Ray’s of Old Town. Sadly, for me alone no doubt, ice-cream – no matter how good it may be – doesn’t rock my world. I’d far rather some savoury offerings. Hopefully in the future.

So if you are in Old Town the place is definitely worth checking out and is something different for sure.

24th September 2014 – quick update – Baila coffee and Vinyl now have a shiny new website:

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