IT’S only been a few months since I converted from regularly drinking tea, to coffee. Brimming with all the exciting possibilities of any new relationship, I’m having a great time discovering what I like – and don’t like – and trying new blends, roasts, and coffee shops.
Sometimes I feel as intimidated as I did when I began drinking wine properly. For someone who’s just recently upgraded from instant (gasp!), it’s amazing how seriously some people take their coffee and its preparation. I smile and nod and file away the information for future reference, and try not to appear too stupid.
Even for a newbie, a visit to Kahvé Road in Cavendish Square is not at all scary, while the more experienced among us will surely enjoy the range at this premium coffee and pâtisserie specialist. We were there to have a coffee capsule pairing.
Yep, capsules. “We’re actually a retail store,” manager Luke Lambert told us. Really? If so, it’s cunningly disguised as a very chic eatery where you can take a break from shopping with a cup of something good, a light meal, or (and) a pastry almost too beautiful to eat.
Luke is not having us on. Behind the baristas are shelves to the ceiling, filled with sexily packaged beans and pods from the range of five distinct signature blends. Whether you want something subtle, or prefer it bold and strong like your men, decaf or even rooibos, Kahvé Road – which means “black liquid” in Turkish – has your perfect match.
If you’re not sure what that is, enter the pairing: three of your choice, each coupled with a macaron or chocolate bon bon. Before you begin, you get a shot glass of sparkling water to cleanse your palate. “Because we’re arrogant about our coffee,” said Luke. He’s only half joking; all coffees are served with water because it’s a diuretic and it makes sense to rehydrate.
My selection began with Petra, the house blend of beans from Ethiopia, Columbia and Guatemala with flavour notes of chocolate and berries, and ultimately my favourite. It’s drunk with a red velvet macaron. Babylon is the dark roast, presented with an espresso bon bon. And just to mess with me, Luke included the decaf Troy which comes from Mexico and is served with a hazelnut and raspberry macaron. “It’s our play on peanut butter and jam,” he explained.
Unlike some other decaffeinated coffees, Kahvé Road washes out the caffeine with sparkling water instead of chemicals, which can leave an unpleasant aftertaste. So I’m told; this was the first time I drank it on purpose. And then a second time, with another full-size flat white.
To my left, Victoria also had a cup of Petra, followed by Machu Picchu, a light blend, paired with a salted caramel bon bon. Her third was Chan Chan rooibos, with a pumpkin spice macaron. Hearing that, she wasn’t too keen at first but after tasting, admitted it was actually rather nice.
A staff member will be on hand to lead you through the tasting, or you can wing it by yourself with the helpful brochure with tasting notes and a flavour wheel. You’ll notice the names are all those of lost cities, which Luke explained is because Kahvé Road is taking us back to the origins of coffee.
The capsules are Nespresso compatible, and fit some other machines as well. And yes, they’re eco-friendly – I checked. Kahvé Road is on the ground floor next to H&M (there are two entrances, I got lost so you don’t have to). Trading hours are Mondays to Thursdays 7.30am till 7pm, Fridays and Saturdays 8am till 9pm, and Sundays 8am till 6pm.
For more information, call 021 671 1607 or click here.
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