Sunday, 3 August 2014

Java Espresso Bar

My relationship with Java has become a love affair. This place does dam good coffee. I neglected Java for quite some time (like 3 years!) - as I always went to its neighbour - The Cornerhouse (a great place to have a catch up with friends). I was prompted into going due to a visit to their sister cafe in Uppermill. This suburban Java was buzzing and rammed full with locals on a crisp sunny Sunday morning. My mother and I, always keen for a coffee after a Sunday stroll, couldn't resist it's enticing warmth. After rating the coffee so highly and seeing its popularity, naturally I chose Java over the Cornerhouse next time I wanted a coffee in the Oxford Road vicinity. It's a great location, right in front of Oxford Road station's doors. I have spent many hours in Java getting to grips with my challenging University course-work. Java's strong brew has fuelled many moments of philosophical inspiration (as well as hopeless confusion, but that's not for here).

There's one particular barista who is especially charming, i do enjoy his heart-themed latte art, but i'd say in general the service is standardly pleasant.  The quality of the coffee, however, is great. I personally like the flat white or the americano at Java - they give you pretty chunky mugs full of the stuff and I can't stand over-sized milky capuccinos. I want to be able to taste my coffee thank you. The flat white at Java is bigger than the likes of 'Fyg and Sparrow' or North Tea Power (where its served in a 8oz glass) but sufficiently strong. Java also offer 'just good Java' where, unlike an americano, they just let the coffee keep on dripping - providing you with a mighty caffeine kick. Its their signature drink - I've never tried it, but naturally I have the capacity to imagine and my coffee buddy tells me that its some strong stuff. One for a challenging day.

The ambience in Java I like, I enjoy their choice of up beat/happy yet chilled music. I'm pretty sure I hear the same song every time I go and it always brings a smile to my face - despite the slightly offensive chipmunk voices involved. Just go, you'll probably hear it too. I'd say the d├ęcor isn't special, its a difficult space to work with (kind of triangular) they do their best bless 'em. They've recently had a bit of a furniture rearrangement that has helped the situation a tad.  As for the pricing, standard apart from the flat white which is expensive at £2.60. I usually opt for an americano when I'm there to study and approach the flat white with a more treat-like status.

With regards to their food - I've never eaten at Java as I tend not to have the likes of sandwiches, quiche or focaccia for lunch and soup I don't  consider to be a meal (athlete needs) - but it looks tasty and the prices seem, again, standard. They also do 'speciality boards', pies, toasties, salads and ice-cream!  They offer granola and yoghurt for breakfast for around £2.50 if I remember correctly and they have a selection of Dorset cereals, pastries and fresh orange juice. Given that Java is also a wine bar and deli, it's also a place to have a chin-wag with a glass from their reasonably extensive wine-list whilst munching on a savoury nibble. Coffee and cake is not all they have to offer. Yet, before long I'm going to give in and try their carrot cake -  it looks divine.

All in all I'd say Java does the best coffee in that Oxford Road area (in my opinion, but I am fussy, I like my brew strong). Long day ahead? Take a walk to Java for some of their pure espresso, no funny business. Get back to me if the carrot cake tastes as good as it looks.

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