South Coast Roast is the “coffee specialist” outlet of Boscombe’s finest, Café Boscanova, which is an interesting concept since the coffee at Café Boscanova is some of the best I’ve had! However, according to South Coast Roast’s Facebook page, it’s “an outlet for the baristas at Cafe Boscanova to focus more intently on speciality coffee”. The good news is that South Coast Roast lives up to that promise, serving some excellent coffee in lovely surroundings.
Situated right in the heart of Bournemouth on Richmond Hill, South Coast Roast occupies the site of the much-missed Poppy Mae. However, I can think of no better successor to Poppy Mae than South Coast Roast, so every cloud has a silver-lining. South Coast Roast serves Has Bean, regularly changing the coffee on offer and frequently serving its own special blends. While I was there, it was the Candy Cane blend on the espresso machine, along with single-origin decaf bean from Columbia. If you don’t fancy that, South Coast Roast has bulk-brew filter (a Columbian blend) and there’s a Clever Dripper option (a Costa Rican single-origin).
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
I first visited South Coast Roast’s parent, the amazing Café Boscanova (Lunch! Business Awards Best Coffee Experience of 2013), almost exactly a year ago. Café Boscanova is just down the coast in Boscombe, and it was there that I was put onto Poppy Mae, which had only recently open in the heart of Bournemouth on Richmond Hill.
I fell in love with Poppy Mae, but sadly Matt, the owner, had to close soon after opening for reasons beyond his control. This left Bournemouth without a speciality coffee shop, but fortunately Café Boscanova stepped into the breach and opened South Coast Roast on the same site earlier this year.
While I liked the layout of Poppy Mae, I really love what South Coast Roast has done. Since it focuses more on coffee and less on food, South Coast Roast has been able to move the counter back a little, leaving more space for seating, although South Coast Roast hasn’t tried to pack too much in. There’s a bar in window, a row of small tables down the left-hand wall and a large, communal table in the centre of the room. This leaves a clear path from the door, on the right-hand side, to the counter at the back. It’s a delightfully bright place, with most of the front of the store being taken up by a large window.
The final piece in the puzzle is a 5 kg Garanti roaster that sits in the window in the corner between the bar and the row of tables. This sends a clear message to the passing public that this is a coffee shop (apparently lots of people thought South Coast Roast sold roast beef when it first opened!). It also signals South Coast Roast’s intention to be more than a coffee shop: ultimately the plan is to roast its own coffee.
In the meantime, South Coast Roast serves Has Bean. I dithered about whether to try the espresso blend, Candy Cane (50% Guatemala Natural, San Sebastian Bourbon; 50% Ethiopia Cheleketu Yirgacheffe washed). However, a combination of my innate sense of adventure and the insistence of Kiwi Barista Heather that I would like it, convinced me give it a go. I’d been well-served by a barista recommendation on my visit to Café Boscanova and once again I wasn’t let down, receiving an amazing espresso that surpassed even the Has Bean I’d had a Vagabond N7. This was superb: with an incredibly rich mouth feel, great body, natural sweetness and just a hint of sharpness. I really can’t praise it enough!
I then tried it with milk: South Coast Roast goes with cup size (3oz, 6oz, 10oz) rather than names, so I had a 3oz, but it was slightly disappointing. There was nothing wrong with it, it just didn’t reach the heights of the espresso. I also had a goat’s cheese, honey, pepper and spinach sandwich, which was lovely, and a Friand, a moist, dense almond cake from France, which was very fine indeed.
One of the highlights of Café Boscanova was the happy staff and the same was true at South Coast Roast. I was well looked after by Heather and her colleague Sophie and I loved the atmosphere. The music was eclectic, but always seemed to suit the mood of the place.
|24 RICHMOND HILL • BOURNEMOUTH • BH2 6EJ|
|www.facebook.com/SouthCoastRoast||+44 (0) 1202 551197|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Has Bean (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:00||Seating||Tables, Window Bar, Bench (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:00||Food||Sandwiches, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 21:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:00||Cards||Visa, Mastercard, Amex|
|Saturday||10:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||11:00 – 16:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Local||Visits||22nd November 2013|
See what local coffee blogger, CoffeeGirlNeeds, made of South Coast Roast.
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