I have previously mentioned Dark Room Espresso in a recent overview of coffee in Swindon so this post is mainly by way of photos and a shout-out – I know it’s gaining a good reputation. There’s certainly much to delight the coffee lover here and in the plethora of coffee shops around Swindon generally. As they promote themselves as a speciality coffee shop here for the unenlightened – me – is a definition of speciality coffee from SCAE (Speciality coffee association of Europe): “Speciality coffee is defined as a crafted quality coffee-based beverage, which is judged by the consumer (in a limited marketplace at a given time) to have a unique quality, a distinct taste and personality different from, and superior to, the common coffee beverages offered. The beverage is based on beans that have been grown in an accurately defined area, and which meet the highest standards for green coffee and for its roasting, storage and brewing.”
The coffee shop is located down on Faringdon Rd. It’s a sizeable place having plenty of room for a pushchair or a bike. I really like the style of the place – it’s sort of pared back and stripped down yet still has a cosy feel to it with clever use of lighting and plants. No mean feat that.
The young couple who own and run it are very lovely and friendly. I went in with a friend on their first day of opening and they gave us a particular kind of coffee to sample. Now I rejected this sample immediately as it had liquorice notes to it – and liquorice is one of the few things I absolutely can’t abide. Along with aniseed. *shudders*. Years ago I recall seeing boiled sweets made of both those things. Really? Why? Anyway, interestingly my friend could not detect the liquorice at all. Andy (I think that’s his name) was telling us they hope to get some papers in (kind of litmus papers I suppose but for tasting) that one puts on the tongue so see what sort of taste buds one has and what flavours one is most likely to pick up. Which would be interesting. I’m sure they could explain the concept much better.
Beyond a croissant I haven’t eaten anything in here as yet so can’t comment personally on the sandwiches and what not on offer but I see favourable comments on social media. Nor do I drink anything other than black coffee – and that’s good – so again can’t comment on any of the other varieties of hot drinks.
The only gripe I have about this cafe, and it’s an age and a personal thing, is that all the seats are hard – and I’m a big fan of some cushioning in a place. 😉 As uber cool as old church pews and wooden stools and all the rest of it are – they aren’t very comfortable. 🙁 The cafe has this fab white-painted table in the window and I love that spot cos it’s light and airy and you can watch the world go by. But oh those stools are hard on the posterior and the spine! But hey – this is just my personal view and other than that I like it very much. So all power to their coffee cup! But if they could see their way to installing a comfy chair or two….
Prompted by a comment left on this blog post I asked Darkroom Espresso how they came by the rather intriguing name. Here’s what they said: “we were thinking about the “developing” of various things: community, flavour, ideas. Darkroom cropped up and seemed to stick.” So there you have it – straight from the Barista’s machine as it were. I rather like it. The name and the notion behind it. So here’s to their development – preferably with some cushions and comfy chairs for the not so young and not-at-all-cool that still appreciate a good cup of coffee. 😉
But lack of cushions and comfy chairs apart at least I didn’t notice any unfortunate grammatical/spelling/punctuation errors around the place as happens all too often. I’ve always been a tad irritated by such things but, since leaving university and starting my proofreading business, AA Editorial Services, I’ve started to get even more attuned to erroneous apostrophes or even worse, missing apostrophes! It’s enough to put one off one’s Cafe Noir for sure.
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