Gloria and Lil’s is a (relatively) recent addition to Coventry’s speciality coffee scene, opening in November 2019, which has meant that, for most of the time, it’s been under COVID-19 restrictions. However, this hasn’t stopped it from carving out a loyal, local customer base. Occupying a spacious, modern unit located just south of the ring road and close to the university, there’s a limited amount of indoor seating (thanks to the COVID-19 social distancing requirements) with plenty more tables outside on the quiet street.
Gloria and Lil’s was recommended to me by my local source, Jenny Watts, who praised the food in particular. Since it was a mere two minutes’ walk from my hotel, it became a no-brainer when I was looking for breakfast on my recent visit. Talking of which, there’s a unique, bagel/flatbread-based brunch menu, with everything made to order. This includes the flatbreads which are literally baked as the rest of the meal is being prepared. The bagels are also baked fresh every morning, as are the cakes. The coffee, meanwhile, is from St. Martin’s Coffee Roasters in nearby Leicester, with the Intrepid blend and decaf on espresso and a single-origin on batch brew.
When contemplating my recent trip to Coventry, the one place that everyone recommended was Bean & Leaf, located in the heart of the city’s pedestrianised shopping centre on Hertford Street. A fairly small spot in an interestingly-shaped space with high ceilings and a quiet, cosy basement (which more than doubles the available seating), Bean & Leaf has plenty of charm. You can also sit outside, where there are a couple of tables and a pair of benches.
Since it opened in 2017, Bean & Leaf has established quite a reputation, serving some excellent coffee from roasters from around the country. There’s a house espresso (currently from Manchester newcomer, Blossom Coffee Roasters) and a guest roaster (currently Bath’s Colonna Coffee), which changes every month, supplying a second option on espresso/batch brew and a single-origin on pour-over.
Although it sees itself as primarily a coffee shop, Bean & Leaf (as the name might suggest) takes its tea just as seriously, with a wide range of loose-leaf tea from Bath’s Teahouse Emporium, served in pots with coloured egg-timers so that you know when your particular brew is done. All of this is backed up by a range of sandwiches and tempting cakes.
Coventry is not the first place that springs to mind when you think of top-notch coffee. However, Kahawa Café is doing its best to change that perception. It had only been open for two months when I visited in February, but it already seems to have established itself and gathered a loyal following. As is often the way, I found out about it through twitter, where lots of good things were being said.
The great thing about Kahawa Café is that it’s a really relaxing place. It also helps that it serves excellent coffee! It’s the sort of place you could easily spend the afternoon and, I suspect, even when it’s busy, it wouldn’t feel crowded, such is its uncluttered nature. Free wi-fi, a few power sockets and a lovely big sofa at the back all add to the allure.
What’s really impressive is that Kahawa Café seems to have achieved its success largely through word-of-mouth (and twitter) which says to me that they’re getting things right. It’s another of those places which, if I lived in the area, I’d be in all the time!