If it was possible to have a crush on a coffee shop, then this would be the object of my affection. It’s a bloody good job this place isn’t open in the evenings and that I don’t work in Southsea, otherwise I’d be bankrupt. Welcome to Southsea Coffee Co.
Billed as supplying independent coffee and ‘feel good food’, this was a welcome addition to Southsea just over two years ago. The sandwiches are doorstep creations of wonder. The coffee is perfectly crafted by the star baristas. The teas are sourced from the locals at All About Tea and you can feel virtuous by eating raw cakes and slurping on colourful smoothies.
Owner, Tara Knight, started out managing restaurants and has a long career behind her at local favourite abarbistro (aka The American Bar). Once we discovered we’d worked together in a previous life, our Twitter friendship developed into food processor and raw food geekery – and in real life, my mass consumption of her amazing cakes.
If you’ve never tried raw cakes – and perhaps you’re even wondering what I’m on about – then this is the place to educate yourself. Cheesecake & shortbread-stye bases are made of whizzed up buckwheat, cacao nibs or nuts. The ‘cheese’ in cheesecakes and the fillings in tarts are made of soaked, blended cashews or moussy avocado. The toppings are often beautiful ganaches and coulis – and I defy you to go back to bland, baked, sugary flour bombs after trying them. Oh and there are petals. Pretty, pretty petals.
I have sat there and wondered, on occasion, how many people actually know they’re ordering and eating raw cakes? On first glance (if you haven’t read the signs), they look innocently like our baked friends (I’m talking about you, raw carrot cake with lemon frosting). I feel that Southsea Coffee Co brought about a bit of a raw food revolution around these parts, with other coffee shops now offering copycat overnight oats, juice & smoothie bars opening and whole food shops being attracted to Southsea.
As for the coffee, Mr SW swears they make the best flat white known to man – incredibly well-balanced and velvety smooth. The cold brew will blow your socks off; giving a cooling, high-caffeine buzz and some distinctly fruity flavours that can be lost in other hot brews. You can also buy beans (ground on site or whole) to take home. They always stock beans from a variety of regions, with helpful tasting notes on the board as well as a chance to try the much-acclaimed aeropress brewing method on your drink-in coffee. Coffee snobs, look away now… (*I feel I have to whisper this*) you must also try a chilli mocha here once in your life. You might never go back.
So thanks, team, for the coffee, cake, many loyalty points and chats.