Short Long Black is a new addition to Glasgow’s growing south-side coffee scene, having opened at the start of April this year. I first met the owner (and head barista and chief dishwasher) Darryl when he was awarded the 2017 Barista Bursary from Beyond The Bean. Back then he was working for Dear Green Coffee, but after taking a year out, he decided to open his own place, settling on a spot on Victoria Road, just north of Queen’s Park.
The shop itself is a relatively modest affair, but beautifully fitted-out, Darryl doing all the work himself in the two months before opening. There’s a small amount of seating at the front and more at the back, or you can grab one of the two stools outside on the pavement. Darryl sources the coffee himself, which is roasted on his behalf by local roasters, Thomson’s and served on espresso or batch-brew filter from a commendably-concise menu. This is joined by cakes and (from 11 o’clock) by toasted sandwiches, supplemented by a concise but tasty brunch menu at the weekends. Sadly I was there on a Friday and otherwise occupied at the weekend (at the Glasgow Coffee Festival).
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Short Long Black is towards the southern end of Victoria Street, a 40-minute walk due south of Glasgow’s Central Station. Perhaps more conveniently, it’s directly opposite Queens Park station (named after the large park just south of Short Long Black), just a six-minute train ride from Glasgow Central. The shop itself has a modest exterior on the east side of the street, so it catches the afternoon sun (I, of course, was there in the morning). Set well back from the road behind a broad pavement, there’s a large, square window on the left and a single, glass door on the right.
Stepping inside, the counter is ahead of you on the left, with a long bench behind/to your left. This runs the full width of the window and has a pair of two-person tables. There’s also a pair of stools at the front of the counter. The bulk of the seating, however, is at the back, accessed along the right-hand side of the shop, where you file past the counter/espresso machine.
Directly ahead of you, there’s a four-person table against a tall mirror on the right-hand wall, beyond which is a solitary two-person table in the corner. Alternatively, there’s another two-person on the left, just beyond the end of the counter, followed by bench against the left-hand wall, lined with a further three two-person tables. It’s not a huge space, but it has an immense sense of light and space, aided by the large windows, uncluttered layout and wonderfully high ceilings. The mirror helps as well. There’s a wooden floor with simple, white walls and ceiling, while the furniture is all wooden.
Darryl has kept things just as simple when it comes to coffee. He sources the green beans himself, buying in small lots, which are roasted on his behalf by local roasters, Thomson’s. There’s usually one option on espresso and another on batch-brew. The menu is deliberately simple, offering choices of black, white or filter.
While I was there, a Rwandan single-origin was on filter, but this will be changing to an Ethiopian fairly soon. However, I was in for a rare treat since, on espresso, Darryl had the last of an 8kg batch of a Colombian single-origin, Jimmy G, which a friend had brought over from Small Batch in Melbourne.
Unusually for somewhere so small, Short Long Black offers table service, so take a seat and Darryl will come over to say hello. If you somehow manage to order at the counter and then decide to linger, Darryl will polite suggest you take a seat and stop cluttering up his work area…
Naturally, I had to try the espresso, which was served in a lovely handleless cup, which, like all the other crockery in Short Long Black, is made by the talented Claire Henry, who I first met at the Manchester Coffee Festival. I’ve admired her ceramics ever since and, as an added bonus, had the chance to say hello since she was also in Short Long Black that morning, catch up on some admin on her laptop. And talking of bonuses, I also caught up with Diana, the winner of the first ever Beyond the Bean Barista Bursary, who was up that weekend competing in the Brewer’s Cup at the Glasgow Coffee Festival.
Back to the coffee. This was excellent, pulled really short by Darryl, which really enhanced its complex flavours, all presented in a well-rounded three mouthfuls of coffee. I paired this with a goat’s cheese and mushroom toastie, which was bursting with cheese and succulent mushroom pieces, all encased in some wonderfully-crunchy toast. Perfect.
|501 VICTORIA ROAD • GLASGOW • G42 8RL|
|Monday||08:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Thomson’s (espresso + batch-brew)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Counter; Stools (outside)|
|Wednesday||CLOSED||Food||Sandwiches, Cake; Brunch (weekends)|
|Thursday||08:00 – 17:00||Service||Table|
|Friday||08:00 – 17:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||09:00 – 17:00||Wifi||No|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||No||Visits||18th May 2018|
If you liked this Coffee Spot, then check out the rest of Glasgow’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Glasgow.
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