Cariad Espresso Bar, Aberystwyth

Coffee is getting complicated in Aber.
It takes longer to buy a coffee at Coffee1 than to drink it, my last MG coffee wasn’t great, and I’m not going into Costa because it’s too dark.
And Starbucks is just too chummy: why do they want to pretend to be my friend?
So thank heavens for a small, quick, unpretentious place like Cariad.

I was in Starbucks the other week, buying  some of their beans.

You can’t just buy them and be gone, you have to queue up behind the slow-moving drinks line.
It was Sunday morning, I was tired.
   Me: (handing beans over) Just these please.
   Him: Do you want these grinding – 
   Me: No
   Him: – or do you have a grinder?
       [I didn’t hear him saying the second part as I was saying “no”]
      Long pause
   Me: No
   Him “No” you don’t want them grinding, or “No” you don’t have a grinder?
   Me Just give me the damn beans!
So when I was in town the other day, in a hurry and needing a quick lunch, I felt suddenly weary at the prospect of going somewhere that would take ages & over-complicate things.
And I remembered the little Cariad espresso bar.
Caraid ExternalNow, it’s not the smartest looking place from the outside.
And once you’re in, there isn’t a lot of space, and not much in the way of characterful pictures or vintage coffee grinders like in the big chain shops.
Caraid InternalIt’s small, with two long counters to sit at, and cosy.
It reminds me of the hole in the wall tapas places I love so much in Andalucia.
Caraid CoffeeMaybe aware of their limited space, they’re quick.
I had sat down, ordered and received my coffee within five minutes of walking in.
And a very nice Americano it was too. Rich and full, nicely bitter without making your eyes water.
And an attractive layer of crema on the top.
Caraid MenuThe sandwiches sound intriguing too.
Yer usual hams and cheese salads, but brie and redcurrant, or pastrami with gouda, could all tempt a girl.
But in the end I fancied the simplicity of an egg and bacon roll.
(Who would order just a bacon OR egg roll when you can have a bacon AND egg roll for 20p more?)
Caraid FoodDoesn’t that look just the thing you need on a rainy day?
Bacon was full of flavour, not too much (crispy) fat, and the egg was nicely done.
I’m not saying this is haute cuisine, but for £3.30, and speedy service I was very please.
Caraid CakesThe chocolate fridge cake looked particularly fine, but I’m trying to cut down on the sugar during the week.
(I’m trying not to drink during the week too. If it weren’t that heroin (so more-ish!) I don’t know what I’d do.)
If you want a damn fine cup of coffee, an unpretentious sandwich or cake, and speed/quality is more important than ambience or big tables, then Cariad is the place for you.


Cariad Coffee Bar
23a Chalybeate St
SY23 1HX

One thought on “Cariad Espresso Bar, Aberystwyth”

  1. By far the best coffee in Aberystwyth, staff are always welcoming and pleasant. I highly recommend a double Espresso latte with a dash of cold milk and a roasted veg and cream cheese panini…..

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