Wyndham Arcade Mill Lane Cardiff CF10 1FH
Waterloo Tea is definitely a diamond in the rough. Located in the Edwardian Wyndham Arcade in Cardiff’s city centre the cafe is a real treat.
The floor-to-ceiling window panes showcase the beauty of the interior. Waterloo tea confesses that it is ‘committed to an ongoing exploration of the worlds finest teas‘. Oh and it doesn’t stop there – they are specialty grade coffee roasters too. Oh and one more thing, they hold a variety of different titles. Best Cafe in the Cardiff Life Awards and Best Coffee Shop in the UK (OMG) and much more. I want to see if it lives up to its reputation. I have NEVER had any expectations about a Cafe before. I always blog honestly,I don’t write hearsay and I write based on my OWN experiences. Anyway, here goes.
L O C A T I O N
Situated right in the city centre you couldn’t get more metropolitan than that right?! It is surrounded by speciality stores in a small historical arcade. The cafe stands out – with a rustic, mustard coloured sofa situated outside the entrance with grey garden tables lining the walls. An historic arcade, created in 1887, the Wyndham is a little rundown but it packs a punch.
D E C O R
The menu is printed directly onto the back wall listing a huge variety of different teas. So they have oolong teas, black teas, white teas, rooibos teas, herbal teas and peurh teas. Of course all of this information you can find on their website. Why am I doing a blog on a cafe that is so well publicsed? We all want to know what we don’t know – does that make sense? So I’m going to tell you exactly what I thought.
The cafe is finished in a pale green with straw lighting and oak tables. Im sussing the inspo for the decor is taken from Japan – of course were never going to know but lets pretend I know what I’m talking about!
Most of the tables are small but there is a long table with tiny arm chair like stools tucked underneath it. Its one of those big tables that separate customers can sit on – almost like Wagamama ( if you have never been there its a Japanese restaurant where everyone sits next to each other – eek). Hence, the japanesey vibe I get. There are a selection of sofas with splashes of cerise pinks, oranges, navy and greens. The place is vibrant and the colours are very summertime, light and airy.
One thing that is truly unique is the selection of hand drawn pictures of famous people that line the walls. At first glance I thought there was a theme to them but it turns out they are randomly drawn and you can actually purchase them from a book that sits on one of the tables. As i went back in on my second visit i was chatting with one of their baristas Antony who told me a little bit more about how the designs are relative. He said that the art just changes and these pictures were replaced with different ones on my second visit. I love that – showcasing local work makes me happy.
At a glance a story is already been told. The windows are filled with information about Waterloo Tea. They list their impressive awards and they talk about tea and coffee before you’ve even walked through the door!
I love this idea. It makes for an interesting read – I feel there is always something to look at here. The pictures on the walls, the constant information everywhere on coffee and tea – the place is valuable. I feel like everything about it oozes passion.
As you walk in the bar is filled with cakes and sandwiches. All the teas sit on the walls behind in silver containers each simplistically labeled. One thing I can agree on, the place screams speciality. It screams gourmet. Its screams upmarket.
It makes having a tea or coffee fun here.There is so much choice which is obvious because you can literally SEE it.
A T M O S P H E R E
As you can imagine the cafe attracts a wide range of people. I saw couples chatting, students working, friends eating and professionals writing. It attracts the young and the not so young. The mood is happy, vibrant, exciting and fresh. There are leaflets all around showcasing the various courses Waterloo Tea provide. Informational leaflets on their coffee, information on their coffee roasters, loyalty cards and workshop information. The atmosphere is almost opportunistic in that you come for a coffee and you want to leave having booked a course in how to become a barista!!
The shelves are delicately filled with various teapots, mugs, gift sets and bags of teas which are for sale. They sell curve teapots, drip stations, tea filters, sets of tea for two, japanese teacups and asian teapots.
OMG and I nearly forgot – they even have a NEWSLETTER. The newsletter is dated by season. The summer newsletter contained scoops about their new blends which was super interesting!
The staff were happy and friendly and their passion for what they do was evident.
T E A / CO F F E E
There are so many different types of tea but there are also options to have their own home roasted coffee. Although the name suggests its all about tea – it is actually very much about coffee too.Anyway, I ordered a loose leaf mint green tea.
The Forlife teapot was placed on the table as well as a matching grey side dish, a mug and a timer. He explained to me that the timer was to enable me to brew my tea to the correct time. He explained that this particular tea tasted best once brewed for 4 minutes. When the timer had ended I was to take out the basket inside the teapot which held the tea and place it on the side dish. That way the taste of my tea would be maximised! How awesome is that!!!
So, lets get to the actual taste of my tea. I love all types of green tea and I have tried so many different ‘brands’. To me, this was an ordinary peppermint tea. It tasted like a Twinnings tea bag. I don’t think this is reflective of all the teas and I probably should have tasted one I haven’t tasted before like the Orange Blossom green tea! But yeah, will all the fanciness I was expecting it to be the best green tea I’ve tasted and it wasn’t.
O V E R A L L:
I think its a great environment to chill and try new things. The location is perfect and there is definitely loads of things here to keep you entertained. I would definitely go back!!!
R A T I N G S
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