Last week I went to Coffee #1 again which is situated at the back of Princesshay on Roman Walk. A small chain of coffee shops across the West Country and Wales (28 to be exact), it specialises serving ethical and gourmet coffee and has been awarded Best Coffee Chain in the UK for the last four years running. It is THE benchmark to aim to if you want to open a successful chain of coffee shops.
Its not cheap coffee, but interestingly the prices are comparable to Starbucks and Costa‘s if not cheaper on some things. It is a genuine alternative to the massive chain conglomerates that dominate our high street.
Coffee #1 is all about wooden floors, mismatched chairs, intellectually stimulating quotes adorning the walls, lots of information about the coffee and a whole bunch of really friendly staff. They give to charity, they are genuinely like the coffee shop version of the perfect neighbour, you know the one who has kids that go to all the after-school activities, who recycles everything and uses Ecover and does a bit of voluntary work at Help The Aged. If a coffee chain was a person, Coffee #1 would be someone who I would describe as a ‘good person’.
But the thing is about these sorts of people, is that they have good karma and that can also be said for Coffee #1. There is a good karma about the place, about the way you are spoken to by the staff and the feeling of goodness one gets from drinking genuinely lovely coffee.
The coffee is truly delicious, the house blend that they serve is a well put together combination of Arabica and other beans, which is for sale to the public who want to take the glorious taste back home.
But are they as good as Devon Coffee?
Nearly but not quite.