Hello lovely Internet People! How are ya? I hope you’re having the best day!
As many of you will know, I’m just back from France, after having completed my Year Abroad, and so returning to Belfast has felt a little surreal, at the best of times. While everything is familiar- the students lounging on the grass in the Botanic Gardens, the cloud of stress looming over the library as we worm our weary way through exams, the red brick houses which line the streets of Stranmillis- I’ve noticed a few, subtle changes to this city. One of which was the appearance of a new coffee shop, Kaffe O.
Now, if you know Belfast at all, you’ll know that it is COVERED in coffee shops. I mean, there’s enough to sink a ship (subtle Titanic joke). On Botanic Avenue alone, there’s a Starbucks, a Caffé Nero, Clements, Sinnamon, and I’m sure one or two I’ve forgotten. So you’ll have to forgive my initial eye roll when I hopped off the train at Botanic and passed yet another coffee shop.
HOWEVER, I was too soon to let those eyes cast shade…
My boyfriend and I were heading into town one day, in need of a caffeine fix. Starbucks was, as usual, queued out the door, whereas there was only a subtle buzz around Kaffe O. So, we decided to give it a go. And I am now SO glad we did!
I ordered a white hot chocolate, and Chris got an iced coffee. Both were absolutely amazing! The hot chocolate was perfect- not too sweet, but delightfully light and creamy. Kind of more like a “hot vanilla”, but in a really good way. As a general rule, I HATE iced coffee, but I tried Chris’ and hot DAYUM, it was life-changing. I’ve been ordering iced coffees ever since!
The drinks are fabulous, but another reason to love this place is the cool cups- they’ve got little mugs with no handles, and they’re just really quirky and cute. I’m a mug for a good mug.
As a lover of Nordic culture, this place really appeals. I’ve been to Norway and Sweden, and the atmosphere in their coffee shops is something else- everyone is so chilled, and they take real pride and care in their brew. One place I visited in Oslo comes to mind- the owner was so zen, and the drinks we ordered were indescribably good. The owner took inspiration from the coffee shops in Copenhagen, and it really shows. The vibe is very laid back, the staff are attentive but also really chilled, and the set up feels very calming and nice. It doesn’t have that “buzz” that other coffee shops have- that “down your drink because there’s a million more customers behind you needing your table” feel- you can take your time, which is all any stressed-out-student wants!
Since our first visit, Chris and I have been back a few times. We’ve really taken it into our hearts, and we’re only two stamps away from a free coffee- I cannot wait for that!
If you’re around Belfast, give this place a go- you won’t be sorry!
(This is my happy face when I am surrounded by nice things, i.e. delicious coffee and my fabulous lover).