10-12 Royal Arcade, Cardiff CF10 1AE
I have never visited a place that is more true to its name. Uncommon Ground. The cafe is definitely exclusive, it is uncommon, it is unique. It roasts its own coffee ( how incredible is that?!) and it provides probably the most stylish environment for that much needed morning coffee. The cafe was opened by two brothers with a wealth of knowledge about coffee and about how to create the perfect place! It screams ‘one of a kind’.
L O C A T I O N
Located in the Royal Arcade one of Cardiff’s historical arcades opened in the 1800s.
The arcade is filled with independent, speciality stores housing anything from cameras, bespoke furniture, handmade dresses and of course coffee. Slap bang in the middle of the city it is a perfect place to take a second (or an hour if you’re like me) and relax! The cafe is instantly eye catching with its huge bay windows and equally striking lighting. The place oozes authenticity.
Tiny tables line the front with bear brick work noticeable through the window panes. The cafe is truly artistic.
T H E C O F F E E
As mentioned above Uncommon Ground actually roast their own coffee (coffee roasting themselves – in the city as well!) They have a range of single origin coffee as well as their house blend (Arabica coffee, Robusta coffee). The single origin coffee they sell tends to change from what I can gather. So in the past their single origin coffees included coffee from Tanzania, Costa Rica, Kenya, El Slavador and Eithiopia. The amazing thing about Uncommon Ground is that they openly provide tasting notes for each of these single origins so if you’re unfamiliar with differentiation then it will explain exactly how they taste! Trust me, from my experience of coffee houses – not many places do this! As I have visited the cafe so many times I have my fair share of tea and coffee.
I will talk briefly about the Americano and lets say, a Peppermint tea. The coffees are all served in black china mugs with a white interior. Depending on what blend you choose, the flavour will vary. I always go with their normal coffee. Here the coffee is very rich. I can almost explain it as getting a kick in the back of your throat. You can taste every note, every flavour. If there is such thing as ‘proper coffee’ this is it! I wont go into too much of the boring details of how it tasted because there are literally so many different blends and roasts you can choose so its not helpful to focus on just one! The Americano is always the strongest of the coffees( for obvious reasons) but I find it the one that enables you to really appreciate how fresh the coffee actually is. When I’m in Cardiff I always bring people here. I know 100% that the coffee is always going to be consistent and tasty too! You know, sometimes you go to the same places over and over again and you never get what you had the time before. Here, you know your new coffee is going to be just as good as the last one.
The tea is served in a tea pot with a standard loose leaf tea bag. Nothing fancy but then this is a coffee shop and not a place for fancy teas! Tea was good, flavoursome and enough to share for two I think! One thing I do love with Uncommon Ground is the way they serve their milk. As you can see in the above photo it comes in a tiny glass milk bottle – this is the cutest thing ever! If you’re a guy reading this im sorry for the girly tones but we really do love these little touches.
If you were to order food at the bar they provide you with a little number that is etched onto a glass jar filled with coffee beans! Ahhhh, I just love things like this – it is a true reflection of how different this cafe is. Everything is well thought out and it all relates back to coffee. What more could you want?!
Oh I have to mention one thing – you have to wait at the end of the bar for your coffee so unfortunately its NOT table service (take that as you wish)!
A T M O S P H E R E
The atmosphere is always vibrant. There are so many different types of people visiting everyday – middle aged, teens, office workers, mums, couples – you get the point. The staff are always so friendly and welcoming – always smiling which is great. Everytime I visit I never want to leave, thats a good sign right?!
D E C O R
I could go on all day telling you all the things I love about Uncommon Ground but I’ll mention just a few here! Its 100& the best designed coffee house I have ever been in! It even has a ‘section’ for roasting coffee!The walls are partly brick and partly grass! Yes, grass! Its such an amazing idea – its that artificial grass that always looks crap in gardens but apparently it doesn’t look crap when used as wallpaper!
One wall is covered with artsy ways that describe ‘the coffee journey’ which admittedly I haven’t read word for word just yet. Go in, read it and I’m sure you’ll love it here even more. The menu is written on a blackboard behind the bar. Listing the food selection, the various coffees and teas etc etc. The tables are all dark mahogany providing an artistic contrast with the grassy walls. The cafe is big anyway but the high ceilings give the illusion that the place is huge. They have an area where old teapots hang from the ceiling and the use of lighting elevates it so it literally looks like you’re at an art gallery. Ordinary things made extraordinary.I know it just gets better right?! Every aspect of this place is elevated making it special. Their use of lighting is so clever, I actually don’t even know how to explain it. Just look at the pictures are you can see what I mean!
O V E R A L L
The place is unique. The coffee is AMAZING and it has such a good vibe. The best thing are the huge windows where you can watch city life pass by your eyes! The staff are so kind and everyone is so so passionate. It is one of the most stylish cafes I have ever been in my life.
R A T I N G S