Don’t you just love spending hours on end in your favourite coffee shop, sipping away the minutes watching the unique characters that tootle on in, or maybe you’re a budding writer and you like to hold your warm coffee in one hand and a pen in the other spending those rainy days writing your soon-to-be-famous novel?
Personally I find those gems of coffee shops hard to come by anymore. There are tall dark shadows looming over us in the shape of Costa, Pret, Starbucks to name but a few… Whilst they are all great in their own right, they are making it more and more difficult for the independents among us to blossom.
Over the weekend, Jon and I got our Christmas shopping done, floating around the beautiful Broad Street Market, taking in all the smells of mulled wine, cinnamon and orange.
After a blustery and quite frankly wet walk, we set out in search of coffee, only to stumble into my favourite cosy corner the Missing Bean! After mooching about the Oxford Christmas Market for an hour or two, settling down all snug in the window of The Missing Bean was just what I needed.
I have to be honest right now and say the coffee here is probably the best in town. It’s fragrant, soft and tasteful and doesn’t leave that nasty smell on your breath (a smell that reminds me of being trapped in a car with a driving instructor for hours on end… yuk!).
Settling down in the coffee shop, we first sit in the middle surrounded by all the other customers, but I soon decided (after someone gets up to leave) that sitting in the window where you can look out across the streets and watch everyone walk past, cycle and rush around would be much nicer. It’s such a lovely location and so central. The best thing of all is, when its super busy in there, you can get a take away coffee (don’t forget your reusable mug) and slowly walk across to the Radcliffe Camera round the corner. Jon popped up to the counter to order, this time we decided not to get a latte or cappuccino, but went for something different on the menu. Jon had this insanely chocolatey hot chocolate and I had the chai!
Funny as it may sound, I don’t tend to pick an actual ‘coffee’ when I go out
for coffee (I see your eyebrow raising). I always opt for the hot chocolate or a chai latte, and I can tell you now… A good hot chocolate and chai are hard to come by, but The Missing Bean have gone above and beyond to deliver on this front. Their hot chocolate is so thick and luxurious that it is basically a hot cup of melted chocolate, something you do NOT want to miss if you’re a chocoholic!
The chai on the other hand is so moreish, I always go for a large because well, why not? Overall I would recommend visiting The Missing Bean a few times and trying a few different things! They are amazingly accommodating and will cater for all dietary requirements (vegans etc).
Where are your favourite coffee shops and what do you love about visiting them?