Short Long Black

The modest front of Short Long Black on Glasgow's Victoria Road, with a large, square window to the left and glass door to the right.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.

  • On the south side of Glasgow, there's a new arrival on Victoria Road.
  • Interesting A-board. It's Short Long Black, by the way, in case you hadn't guessed.
  • If you're wondering how to get there, this is literally across the road.
  • The view from by the door. The counter greets you with a couple of stools on the left.
  • The view the other way. The door is on the right, with a pair of tables in the window.
  • There's more seating at the back. You have to file past the counter to get there.
  • The seating at the back: the high ceiling gives it a wonderful sense of space.
  • There are four two-person tables on the left...
  • ... starting with this one by the counter...
  • ... and followed by these three running along a bench against the wall.
  • There's more seating on the right, with another two-person table kin the corner...
  • ... and, in front of that, a four-person table against a long mirror on the wall.
  • The view from the back, looking towards the counter.
  • Danger, baristas at work!
  • The high ceiling is a welcome feature, and I loved the way that it's been decorated.
  • Lights and plants hang from the ceiling, while pictures hang on the walls.
  • More pictures.
  • It's not just at the back. More lights and plants hang at the front.
  • These lights hang over the counter.
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot...
  • Last one, I promise.
  • Theere's a small retail selection at the back on the right, opposite the counter's end.
  • If you liked the coffee, you can buy bags of beans to take home.
  • The rest of the selection is given over to ceramics from the talented Claire Henry.
  • All of Short Long Black's cups, etc, are by Claire Henry and you can buy them too.
  • To business. The batch-brew and cakes are right on the front of the counter...
  • ... with the commendably concisse menu on the wall at the far end.
  • During the week it's just cakes and toasted sandwiches (from 11 o'clock)...
  • ... but at the weekends, there's an excellent brunch menu as well.
  • The batch-brew is served at one end of the counter, but brewed up here.
  • There's also tea for those of that persuasion.
  • However, I was after something from the espresso machine...
  • I was rewarded with a lovely single-origin Colombian, roasted in Melbourne...
  • ... and served in one of the gorgeous Claire Henry cups.
  • I also had a lovely goat's  cheese toasted sandwich to see me on my way.
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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.

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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4 thoughts on “Short Long Black

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