Be it a date or a quiet evening to yourself, cafes seem to be the perfect little joint. Bibliophiles, writers, friends, foodies, lovers, or dreamers; there appears to be a personal favourite for all. However, finding the best coffee shops might seem to be a task since there are so many up and coming cafes around and when you type in “Best cafe near me” on Google. It just whips up every shop around, leaving you confused as ever. Here are 6 tips that will help you skim out the best coffee shops around and pick out a favourite.
Know Your Palette
Everyone has unique tastes and preferences, and it is only fair that you know your personal likes and dislikes before hunting for a coffee shop.
It is a process and experimentation is a part of it but knowing your own palette or rather, knowing how much cream and sugar you like in your espresso or how much cream cheese you want in your cheesecake indeed makes it easier to locate the best cafes and your favourite among them.
Follow Food Bloggers
Local food bloggers and ‘influencers’ seem to know hidden treasures around the corner and believe it or not, they really have the best up their sleeves. Specials, offers, new places; they come armed to the teeth.
You can read elaborate, descriptive blogs, but to make things easier, a lot of bloggers have taken to Instagram for their updates. It only takes a tap to get to know about all the new and old coffee shops around.
Sometimes these bloggers pair up with coffee shops to launch a special offer which can be availed by all.
Internet hate and discreetly paid promotions are real but sometimes, just read the reviews of a coffee shop online or in a newspaper or magazine, before heading there.
Even though personal tastes vary from person to person, the general consensus does not lie. You do not even have to look far and wide for reviews.
Zomato offers reviews of novices and as well as professionals. The people writing are locals, just like you, and even they want the best experience in exchange for their money. You will also know what shop makes the best of what.
It might be that you do not like what the public hypes up the most, or you have a likeness for the underrated, quaint coffee house in your neighbourhood. Writing a good review does not necessarily count as hyping a place up.
A hyped-up place can be one which is on the lips of every second passerby and is on everyone’s social media as the “best place in town.” Following public opinion, blindly and disregarding personal likes will definitely not help you find the best coffee place.
Exploring and experimenting will. Who knows, you might discover a hidden gem right in the next block!
Judge by a Simple Dish and Ambience
Every coffee shop has its own speciality, but there are staples in the menu that should never go wrong. It is mostly an excellent old Americano and a muffin. Not even a cookie or a brownie. There are no two ways of making an Americano and a muffin, so if they somehow fail to live up to the standards, then you know that it is not your place.
Another very crucial parameter is the ambience. Often, the ambience makes up for the low in food quality. If the ambience and staff behaviour tick off your likes, then you might as well have found one of the best coffee shops near you. So go ahead and make it your personal Central Perk!
A particular coffee shop just gets better if the prices do not burn a hole in your pocket. Finding pocket-friendly places with good food can be a bit of a task, but the only way is to look around till you find the best combination of cuisine and price.
Only very few places have discounts for regulars, and most coffee houses do not. Look around the neighbourhood and compare which place serves the best coffee (in house and to go) at the best price.
Although nowadays, we have splendid instant coffee at home, we still look for a coffee house around the corner. A coffee shop, in today’s context, is still similar to the old school coffee parlors where people would go to discuss ideas, meet new people, and be active in society. So in the broader context, coffee shops are not just for your taste buds but for your social circle as well. It is true when they say a lot can happen over coffee.