Unsurprisingly, Vicky had a hot chocolate. When it comes to hot chocolate, she has it “quite plain,” she explained that “I don't go for the bells and whistles. I only have a classic hot chocolate”.
“The hot chocolate was lovely; it was really smooth but still had that subtle chocolate taste. However, when I had it in a mug, it seemed to get cold awfully quickly, so this may be due to the cafe design. I'm not sure, but it was quite disappointing how cold it got in such a short amount of time.”
As always, I had the Americano. The reason I have this when I review cafés is so that I can taste the blend they use, which then gives me a good idea of what every coffee in that café tastes like.
I have to say that the blend tastes amazing. It's honestly like no other that I've tasted before. I didn't need any sugar with it, which is not something I can usually get away with. All I added was a bit of milk to take away any bitterness.
Like I said in my other review, I like that they use their own blend because it's exclusive to them. However, I also said that I didn't the like the taste. Maybe they've changed the blend for their new café.
Unfortunately, it's not easy to choose a beverage, as none of the coffee products are listed on their menu. Instead, their coffee products and price are listed on the menu bored above the till, which can be awkward to read and make a decision; especially if there's a queue.
As well as coffee, this café is also a wine bar, offering a wide range of alcoholic beverages at all times of the day. As well as this, they also offer food, which means you can have a meal with wine at any time of day.
“I really like the layout of the café,” Vicky said. “It seems like a place I would easily go to, to spend a few hours writing. To some the location may be awkward. However, I think that with the good window views and relatively secluded location, writers and slightly more introverted people may use it as a little haven to sit in for hours and get some work done, which sounds absolutely lovely to me. I was a little unsure about the yellow piping though.”
I agree with Vicky. It's nice that the cafe isn't in the busy high street, but rather in a corner of the city; yet it's still easy to get to from the city centre. It's also opposite the university in Newport, which will be convenient for students.
I like the colour theme. It's a bit like the video game Mirror's Edge, except this café uses different shades of grey as its theme, with bright, vivid yellow as table legs and small balconies that split the cafe into sections.
If I had to say something which I didn't like about the layout, I'd say that the tables are designed to look like slate, but actually aren't. I was quite disappointed when they turned out not to be real slate. I also feel that the tables have sharp edges because they haven't been sanded down yet.
When it comes to customer service, Vicky says that it was “lovely, human service. I use the word 'human' because they were perfectly willing to have a conversation with you.”
I completely agree with Vicky. It's quite sad that employees don't want to talk to customers these days. Every time I go into Hi Coffee, the staff are friendly and eager to talk to you, as well as help you choose the right coffee for you.
One of the employees talked to us about a range of their products, letting us try out some of their not-so-common beverages.
Vicky and I got to taste a spice Indian tea (which I've forgotten the name of) and green tea with ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Both were nice, but I preferred the green tea because the taste lingered on the tongue.
Going back to “human” aspect, I like that the atmosphere isn't intimidating like Starbucks, Costa, etc. I feel that it's a nice local cafe for local people, which is exactly what Newport needs.
If you want to try out the café for yourself, it's opposite the university in Newport, across the white bridge. If you want any more information, go to their Facebook page.
I'd love to know what you think of this café, so feel free to give me your opinion in the comments section below.