80 Boundary Street, West End
I've been referred to by some as a coffee fanatic. I don't agree with that one bit. I doubt I'm any more addicted to the stuff than others from my generation. We're a coffee-drinking society. We socialize over coffee, start our day with coffee and calm our retched souls with coffee. I recently bought my first coffee machine: a simple entry-level Nespresso Pixie. Prior to that, I was drinking instant coffee every morning (further proof that I could hardly be called a coffee fanatic). My coffee machine's been fantastic. It's easy to use, barely requires cleaning and the coffee itself tastes a treat. But enough about that...
This post is about a recent experience I had that reminded me that there is no substitute for a professional barista brewed coffee.
I've walked past UGees on a few occasions and peered in, but never actually stopped to order a coffee. It's got a tiny shopfront that's always busy in a way that, as someone uninitiated, I found slightly intimidating. What if it was exclusive to a certain grade of coffee connoisseurs?
I faced my fears one Saturday morning. It was earlier than many people would recognize on a weekend (unless you're a cyclist)... somewhere close to 6:30am. I wondered through the streets aiming for some food/coffee to liven my spirits. UGees already had a couple of customers inside and nothing else nearby looked even remotely open so I headed on in.
It was mildly confusing to start with (especially for a sleep-deprived, exhausted, first-time customer such as myself) because there were no menus. The cafe comprises of a few little tables, a street-watching window bar, artwork on the walls and a huge coffee machine/counter at the back.
The lack of menus was explained when I asked if they served food and was told that no, it was a coffee-only establishment. I was welcome to find food elsewhere and eat there though. I decided to skip that and stick to a latte.
Sneaky over-the-shoulder photo
UGees was a really chilled environment. I sat and listened to the barista chat to a couple of obvious regulars. It was nice.
My latte arrived in a small glass. It was amazing. I've probably mentioned on this blog before that I'm close to giving up on providing too much feedback on coffee because they're pretty much all the same. This one was at another level. I wasn't having the greatest of mornings but it was one of those coffees that was truly invigorating.
I walked past UGees another couple of times that day and each time, there would be a gaggle of folk sitting out the front chatting and enjoying their days. To me, this really captures what a coffee shop represents; somewhere to meet and catch up and that is unadorned by fancy food or trendy decor.