Whether it’s a spiced Ginger Chai Latte to go or a tongue tantalising Moscow Mule cocktail, the past decade has witnessed a significant interest in independent coffee shops and cocktail bars. Let’s just put that Starbucks Frappuccino to one side for a second, and ask ourselves why have the chains been feeling so choked up lately?
It’s all because of our current generation thriving on all things quirky and out of the ordinary, whilst hoping to take another Instagram selfie of themselves and their banana and peanut butter smoothie…
“Shaken, Not Stirred”
However, if you’re not quite feeling adventurous enough for the peanut smoothie just yet, then order yourselves some well-prepared cocktails from the notorious Buffalo Bar in Cardiff. This cocktail bar in particular receives a healthy mix of people, from your slick businessman to your top-knot and sockless student.
Buffalo has an attractive, smooth style to its interior design; embracing a hint of elegance from the chandeliers, along with a touch of roughness from the upper second floor that is used weekly for live music acts and DJ sets. We all love a good two for one cocktail deal, especially when it comes to dating.
Think of dapper bars, such as Buffalo, as your new hotspot for your Tinder dates. If you do enjoy looking sharp at the bar, wearing your perfectly ironed Ralph Lauren shirt and shiny brogues, then this is the place to dress and undoubtedly impress.
“Make That A Black Filter Coffee To Go, Please”
We’re always on the lookout for the freshest coffee possible, so the big cats at Costa can stand aside as The Little Man Coffee Co in Cardiff is standing up these pressuring chains. Your typical flannel shirt hipster has more or less died and gone to heaven once having stepped inside this quaint, little coffee house.
Forget about the chains’ claustrophobic seating areas and their uncomfortable chairs, because The Little Man has cleverly adopted a fresh and hip style, so you can sit back and joyfully stare off into space with your coffee. A real sense of originality comes from their wooden benches, as well as a display of bicycles on the walls. The tasteful Victorian style armchairs create almost a home from home feeling; something which can’t be said for the likes of the stagnant Starbucks and Caffè Nero chains.
“I Only Eat Organically”
Finally we’ve made it round to the banana and peanut butter smoothie, made from the 100% vegetarian Milgi Lounge in Cardiff. Enriched by its bohemian style, this café/bar attracts Cardiff’’s quirkiest of drink and food lovers. With thanks to their creative and impressionable food menus, Milgi has become a local institution of sorts; not only for vegetarians, but for all of Cardiff’s hungry humus fanatics.
As seen with most independent bars, Milgi has followed suite when coming to incorporating music and culture into their brand. The place also has a clear organic, clean-living quality, which is why you’ll find so many I only buy organic hipsters digging into the full-flavoured goods. If you’re just too edgy for the typical sipping coffee on a sofa look, then why not hang out in Milgi’s very own teepee, allowing you to embrace the bohemian lifestyle to the full.
“We All Love A Good Stag’s Head”
We can see that the independent coffee houses and bars are clearly a lot more adventurous than the chains. This is partly because a creative menu and stylish decor both act as homing beacons; attracting today’s quirky generation. Music, as well as culture, have molded the independent coffee house and bar by creating homey hideaways for the quirky individual.
Chains unfortunately lack originality and have become stale in terms of appealing to book lovers and coffee addicts. Let’s face it, once you’ve got a stag’s head or two on the wall, you’ll know that by 3pm you’ll find a bearded hipster sitting in the corner typing away on his vintage typewriter…