Cardiff Cafe Guide

We have scoured the streets of Cardiff in order to bring you the Cardiff cafe guide.
The Cardiff cafe guide is  designed to give you an idea of what cafes and coffee shops are available in Cardiff and what they are like in term of style and the coffee they offer.

The Cardiff cafe guide naturally incorporates tea shops and of course the traditional greasy spoon!
We also
provides a coffee guide with advice on the types of coffee bean, decaffeinated coffee and all the other elements you would expect in a Cardiff Cafe Guide.

The guide covers arcade cafes, traditional cafes and the well known coffee chains such as Starbucks and Costa coffee as well as Coffee 1, our own Welsh coffee chain.

As a bit of a tip, if you want a good coffee or a quality bite to eat in Cardiff, head for the Victorian arcades off St Mary's street and castle Street.They are independent and have to be good to attract custom.

Cardiff Cafe Guide - Hot Chocolate and Milkshakes

If you are looking for a superb hot chocolate or an outstanding milkshake you can find it here. Our recommendations are Soho Coffee and Coffee Barker by the way.

Cardiff Cafe Guide - Decaffeinated Coffee

One of the problems with decaffeinated coffee is that often in the decaffeinating process there is a loss of flavour. Virtually all the coffee shops in the Cardiff cafe guide offer decaffeinated coffee. Traditional cafes in the Cardiff Cafe Guide may not always offer that facility.  The coffee is decaffeinated when the beans are green, that is before roasting. It is done by using a solvent to extract the caffeine which is later recovered.
Coffee shops use pre-ground coffee beans for decaffeinated coffee and this can be one reason why the coffee looses its flavour.
Recent developments in the quest for decaffeinated coffee include a species of coffee bean that is naturally caffeine free and the use of a Decaf Stick.
The Decaf Stick is used after the coffee has been brewed so the beans are unaffected the sick is put into the coffee and stirred and it absorbs the caffeine This means that the beans are not affected in any way and also not affecting any flavours of the coffee.

Cardiff Cafe Guide - Types of Coffee Bean

In our research for the Cardiff Cafe Guide we asked several of the baristas what beans they used. They were all keen to tell us and had a good understanding of their art.

Coffee beans are found inside the coffee berry and are the plants seeds.
Most beans come from 2 types of bean, Coffea arabica, and Coffea robusta.
The former has the best flavour profile while the latter is a tough coffee that grows where the Arabica can’t grow.
The beans are processed which includes roasting, the manner of processing affects the flavour.
There are other species including Bengal coffee, Congo coffee, Liberian coffee, (2 types) and Sierra Leonian coffee, they all have specific Latin names. These other coffees only make up 25% of the market and several are quite rare.
The two Liberian coffees, are sold in small amounts to the luxury end of the market. 

Cardiff Cafe Guide - How to store coffee

When coffee is roasted, an oil is drawn to the surface of the bean. The oil is what makes coffee have its flavor.

When exposed to oxygen or moisture, Coffee oil is very fragile and will evaporate at an accelerated rate. To stop coffee from deteriorating, it should be stored in an air tight glass package at room temperature and positioned out of direct sunlight. Glass should be used because it will not hold on to odour from the beans and will prevent contaminants if you decide to store a different type of bean in the same container.

Keeping coffee in the refrigerator will obliterate the flavor of the coffee. The moisture will weaken the oils, which are in fact delicate water soluble substances. Refrigerators tend to be damp and a large number of contain other odours which will be absorbed by the coffee bean.

Freezing is a better way to store coffee but the beans should be stored in a glass air tight canister. Only lighter roasted coffee should be stored in the freezer. The darker roasted coffees have the tendency to be even more delicate.

Cardiff Cafe Guide - Green coffee beans

Green Coffee Beans are actually saved in a waterless natural environment and can endure as much as 10 years or perhaps longer. Green beans that have been stored are named aged coffees. As green beans are matured, they lose their acidity and gain body.

Cardiff Cafe Guide - Roasted coffee

If the coffee has been properly stored,  Coffee beans that have been roasted have a shelf life of two weeks. Soon after two weeks, the coffee will begin to give up flavor. To make sure the very most delicious coffee, it is best to brew your coffee inside of one week of roasting. After two weeks the coffee eventually becomes fusty.

Cardiff Cafe Guide - Ground coffee

 Ground coffee has a life span of one hour prior to it begins to lose flavor. Consequently, coffee should be ground immediatley using.

Traditional Arab culture essentially roasts, grinds, and steeps the beans all in the identical environment. They believe that this reveals the most flavoursome coffee.

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