Coffee

New cafés in Cambridge: Espresso Library & Jamaica Blue

We have recently been to two new cafés in Cambridge and wanted to share our experiences briefly with our readers. Espresso Library is an independent café while Jamaica Blue is an Australian franchise with their first UK location now open in Cambridge.

Espresso Library

Finally – The Espresso Library is open just around the corner from the Cambridge fire station at 210 East Road. We’ve been following the development and opening of this café for a while now and were really excited to see them officially open with a “soft opening week” on the 9th of February. The café itself is surprisingly big and I was impressed by the cosy atmosphere that greets you right at the entrance. We sat down at our window seats and enjoyed some mighty fine double espressos, made with their house blend (by Coffee Officina).

Espresso Library
Espresso Library

Pros:

  • Independent café
  • Cyclist friendly (special road bike park)
  • Healthy smoothies and juices
  • Coffee drinks also made with store-produced almond milk
  • Reminds us of the Brandy Library in New York

Cons

  • Hand-written menu sometimes a bit too squiggly to read properly

Jamaica Blue

The café looks very inviting when you’re walking along on Lion Yard’s ground floor. You are happily greeted on the door and pointed towards the coffee machines when you ask for a cup ‘o joe to go. The baristas seemed very busy and a bit detached on the Saturday afternoon we visited, but we were not the only customers in the shop so didn’t mind too much. We got our double espressos to go and walked away. Our shots were not impressive, made from their signature blend, but I still want to try out their single estate bean as an espresso.

Jamaica Blue
Jamaica Blue

Pros:

  • Extensive food menu
  • Good location (Lion Yard)
  • Friendly atmosphere
  • Quick to get a cup “to go”

Cons:

  • House blend espresso not to our tastes
  • Limited seating & can be a tight fit
  • Single estate beans £15/100g (Wallenford Estate® Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee), signature blend for less

Have you visited the new coffee shops in Cambridge? If so, what did you think?

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