200 Degrees, Cardiff

A decaf flat white at the Cardiff branch of 200 Degrees. The latte art pattern in the milk is still visible when half the coffee has been drunk.Nottingham-based café/roaster, 200 Degrees, opened its first café just three years ago. Then, last year, came a second Nottingham outlet, plus 200 Degrees Birmingham, the first outside Nottingham. However, 200 Degrees was only getting started. In the space of just five months, starting in December 2016, 200 Degrees opened in Leeds, then Leicester, followed in April by the subject of today’s Coffee Spot, Cardiff.

If you’re familiar with 200 Degrees, then the Cardiff branch holds few surprises. Occupying the Queen Street site of the short-lived Artigiano Espresso, 200 Degrees has followed its tried-and-trusted template to produce another lovely coffee shop. All the staples are here: a plush, well-appointed interior, plenty of wood and exposed brick, the usual neon fireplace, plus some amazing light-fittings. In addition, there’s a semi-sheltered seating area outside on the pavement. For those familiar with the old Artigiano, the mezzanine level has gone though.

The coffee holds no surprises either, with the house espresso blend, Brazilian Love Affair, joined by the interestingly-named Mellowship Slinky Decaf and a single-origin guest espresso, plus another single-origin on filter, all roasted in-house. There’s cold-brew on tap, plus the usual food options, including breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads and bucket-loads of cake.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • At the far end of Cardiff's Queen Street, where Artigiano used to stand, you'll find...
  • ... 200 Degrees' Cardiff branch, complete with outside seating and bad A-board puns.
  • That said, it always pays to look on the other side. This is much more to my taste.
  • Stepping inside and 200 Degrees goes a long, long way back.
  • There's seating at the front, such as these two armchairs to the left of the door...
  • ... while off to the right, tucked in between counter and window, is this table.
  • Talking of which, the counter is on the right, as it is in all 200 Degrees...
  • ... and it too runs off towards the back of the store.
  • There's seating, in the shape of these rows of tables, in the front parrt of the store...
  • ... which give way, on the left, to a long, padded bench seat with more tables.
  • Another view of the bench seat and tables.
  • There is more seating at the back beyond the counter. A lot more seating.
  • On the right hand side there's a long bar next to a mirror on the wall...
  • ... which has this seven-seat low table in front of it...
  • ... and another, this time with nine stools, behind it at the back.
  • There's also another row of four-person tables running parallel to the bar.
  • On the other side, a row of two-person tables runs down the cente of the room before...
  • ... thiings narrow at the back, where you'll find, on the left, this cosy seating area.
  • If you've ever been to a 200 Degrees you'll recognise the neon fireplace at the back...
  • ... as well as the fire-bucket lampshade.
  • The view from the back of 200 Degrees.
  • However, before we go on, there is something else back here.
  • (in case you hadn't worked it out).
  • Upstairs, where Artigiano had its mezzanine level, is the 200 Degrees Barista School.
  • As well as teaching people on commercial machines such as this one...
  • ... 200 Degrees also uses home machines, such as this Sage Barista Express.
  • Back downstiars and there's all the usual features, including the 200 Degrees slogan...
  • ... and the typically bewildering array of light-fittings.
  • These hang above the padded bench on the left.
  • I call this one the see-through lampshade.
  • There are the usual naked light bulbs...
  • ... the caged light bulbs...
  • ... and those encased in more unusual housings.
  • 200 Degrees makes good use of the pillars that run down the centre of the store...
  • ... to house both retail bags of coffee and, here, coffee-making kit.
  • Back on the counter, there's the usual array of cakes to tempt you before the till...
  • ... as well as more coffee beans for sale.
  • The espresso machine, a gleaming Black Eagle, is towards the back...
  • ... with its grinders for the house-blend, single-origin and decaf.
  • Nice latte art dice.
  • Finally, right at the back, is the pour-over option.
  • The espresso and other drinks menu is on the wall behind the counter.
  • Down to business and a lovely decaf flat white to round off my day.
  • I was particularly impressed with the latte art...
  • ... which lasted all the way to the bottom of the cup.
  • I paired this with a scone, served warm, and a pot of jam. A lovely finish to my visit.
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At the eastern end of Cardiff’s busy Queen Street, near Queen Street station, you’ll find, in amongst the host of typical High Street names, the latest branch of Nottingham-powerhouse, 200 Degrees. The site has a chequered history, once housing one of two branches of Artigiano Espresso in the city (both are now gone). In contrast to Artigiano, with its soaring entrance way, open all the way to the double-height ceiling, complete with mezzanine level at the back, 200 Degrees occupies a long, narrow, low shop. The upstairs is still there, converted in part to the 200 Degrees barista school, but the shop itself feels so different that I had to do a double take. The sweeping staircase that once graced the left-hand wall is gone, replaced by a low ceiling that gives 200 Degrees a look not dissimilar to its Birmingham branch, albeit a narrower, lower-ceilinged one.

There is a pair of central, recessed doors, flanked by windows on either side, each of which has a handful of tables outside on the broad pavement, partly sheltered by a transparent awning which projects from the building. Inside there is seating in either window, with a pair of armchairs to the left and a small table to the right, tucked away almost behind the door in the gap between the window and the counter, which takes its standard place on the right-hand side, running maybe two-thirds of the length of the building.

Meanwhile the middle and left-hand sides are given over to seating. There’s a row of six two-person tables with comfortable chairs down the centre, separated by three narrow pillars which double as retail shelves. A row of four tables runs along the exposed brick of the left-hand wall before giving way to a long, padding bench with 11 two-person tables which runs almost to the back. Meanwhile, on the right, there’s a wood-panelled partition after the counter, then a low communal table and, along the exposed brick of the right-hand wall, a bar with six high-backed chairs and a mirror, followed by another low communal table. A row of three four-person tables runs parallel with the bar, while on the left, at the back, is the customary neon fireplace with a cluster of armchairs around it.

An opening in the back wall leads to a flight of stairs that leads to the toilets upstairs. Beyond this is a windowless room, occupying the back of the old mezzanine level, which hosts 200 Degrees’ barista school. Back downstairs, the windows at the front make this a bright spot, but it quickly gives way to more subdued lighting at the back, despite numerous light bulbs. Someone commented that he’d never seen anywhere with so many lights, but with so little light!

It was the end of a long day spent trekking around the coffee shops of Cardiff and since I’d recently sampled the guest espresso (at the Carrington Street branch in Nottingham and in Leicester), I decided to go for the Mellowship Slinky Decaf as a flat white, a lovely, smooth, creamy cup of coffee, just what I was looking for to round off a busy trip. I paired this with an excellent warm fruit scone, smothered with butter and jam, to help soak up the last of the caffeine from other stops.

You can also see what I made of all the other branches of 200 Degrees that I’ve visited.

https://200degs.com +44 (0) 29 2132 0708
Monday 07:00 – 20:00 Roaster 200 Degrees (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 20:00 Seating Tables, Comfy Chairs, Bar, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 07:00 – 20:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch
Thursday 07:00 – 20:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:00 – 20:00 Cards Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:00 – 19:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 09:30 – 18:00 Power Yes
Chain Regional Visits 4th August 2017

If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Cardiff’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Cardiff.

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2 thoughts on “200 Degrees, Cardiff

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