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Hello all,

Will have a couple of days stop over, the week after next, as my wife has to go there for work. Anyone please know whether decent coffee is a stranger to this island....or should I just stick to tea? Suggestions gratefully received. Thanks in advance.

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I go cycling on the Isle of Wight - if there's decent coffee anywhere I have yet to find it but I now have an idea - I can probably fit an aeropess into one of the bottle cages on my bike. I'm sure that sooner or later someone will be able to suggest somewhere

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Actually just had a quick look on trip adviser and a few places pop up, including this:

 

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g503890-d3948153-Reviews-Bagel_Wrap_Coffee_House-Ryde_Isle_of_Wight_England.html

 

with a good review from a cyclist - so worth having a look on trusty trip advisor.

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Thanks Phil104.....forgot to look in the obvious place first! Will have a scour of the reviews there. Was just wondering if anyone had personal recommendations? Cheers

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Just to let you know Ian - and anyone else that enjoys combining cycling with coffee, the slipper - or aeropress fits - opens up a whole new dimension.....Thank you for the inspirationIMG_0755.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not sure if I'm too late, but I was in the IoW a couple of weekends ago having not been since I was a child. We were at the Garlic Farm (good food!), and I saw they were selling their own blend of coffee that had been roasted on the island. I asked someone at the shop if they knew who the roaster was (we were having a technology free weekend so no Internet to look it up), she said they had a cafe in Newport.

 

Long story short, we eventually found them, Caffe Isola run by a guy called Dan. He roasts his own beans on the island and is trying to bring over the lighter style coffee that is still only just taking hold on the mainland. The espresso blend was admittedly still too dark for my tastes, but he roasts a range of single origin beans for filter. I tried a couple on the island at Cowes food show, and they were really good. I took home a bag of Mexican beans and I am very happy with them.

 

Certainly worth checking out, the shop has a range of equipment to buy also, I bought myself a Cafelat Knockbox for the same price it would have cost me online, meaning I got to save the postage :).

 

http://www.iow-espresso.co.uk/default.aspx

http://www.isleofwight.co.uk/eating-out/cafes-and-tearooms/-/caffeisola

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Just to let you know Ian - and anyone else that enjoys combining cycling with coffee, the slipper - or aeropress fits - opens up a whole new dimension.....Thank you for the inspiration[ATTACH=CONFIG]6519[/ATTACH]

 

Rig a grinder up to your back wheel and your away!!

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Thanks @chinery for your suggestions. Came back yesterday evening but had already discovered Cafe Isola via some last minute web searching just before leaving. Was staying just outside Newport, which has lots of Indys, but full-to-bursting Costa and S'Bucks too :(

This place is a real oasis, appears to be run by an Italian family, serving dark-roast Bristot beans, alla Italiana, and their own Island Roasted brand, with a small roaster at the back of the cafe as well!

I asked for a 6oz flat white [not on the menu] with a double shot of their Mocha Espresso blend [house blend] and they did their best. Rich, strong dark chocolate flavours [a bit too strong for a 6oz maybe?] and a little frothed milk on the top, more like a mini cappuccino really. BIG bold flavours from this. As you say, they sell a load of coffee kit: Hario Pour Over kit and kettles, Moka pots, a few cups, tampers, jugs etc, etc..... A friendly place doing good breakfasts and lunches, and busy with locals!!

Good to see both the Bristot and House blend on the go in on-demand grinders....sorry geeks, not up to wolf-cub grinder spotting badge! A quite new, sleek looking Astoria 3 group too.

Looks as if you go there they'll be only too happy to make the coffee you want.

Came away with a couple of bags of beans:

2014-05-09 12.51.34.jpg

El Salvador Monte Sion - a lighter roast, they say Monte Sion frequently reach Cup of Excellence for this bean, and a bag of Mocha blend just to see how it works out at home. Both roasted only a couple of weeks ago so should be ready to go as soon as my current (Butterworths Guatemalan Finca El Triunfo) beans have gone!

Would recommend as possibly the ONLY place in the island where you might get a decent cup. Would definitely please our DSOL fraternity ;)

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Ah, this is all good. Was supposed to be cycling on the IoW tomorrow with my aeropress (and thanks to froggystyle's recommendation, a portable, bike operated grinder) and although the ride has been postponed because of the forecast, in future won't need to take any of that with me - will make sure rides take in Cafe Isola. ;)

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Glad you found it anyway Ian! Did you manage to speak to the owner Dan at all? He is not Italian, but his wife is, and I get the impression they must go quite often, hence the choice of Italian imported equipment. He has a small 1kg roaster in the shop in Newport, but he has a larger (19kg I think he said?) one at a warehouse near Cowes. I'd be very interested to hear what you think of the El Salvador, I saw the pack in the shop.

 

When I went to see Dan at the Cowes food show he had an espresso machine set up on one side and was making pour-over filters on the other. There was such a disconnect in flavour between the two, and to me it's a big shame that the Newport shop didn't seem to be selling filter coffee. The filters are very lightly roasted, he was saying some of them are barely into first crack (I know almost nothing about roasting so don't quiz me, but they were some of the lightest beans I've ever seen in terms of colour!). But he seemed to take a completely different approach to espresso. Much darker (still not DARK), and to be honest there just wasn't as much care put in (I can't help but notice when someone doesn't wipe the portafilter between knocking out one shot and dosing the next!).

 

I think they have a great operation set up and I hope they continue to grow. I think they need to work on some of their branding, the menus at the shop were not very inspiring, like you said flat white isn't even on there. If I'm being brutally honest (which I might do in an email directly to Dan at some point) I think they might want to dial back the "true Italian coffee" branding they've got all about the shop, because to me that is a red flag rather than a selling point. I wonder if they feel they need to pay tribute to the Italian style of espresso, and only let loose with the lighter stuff on the filters. It also rolls over into the equipment: up front and centre in the equipment section of the shop was an Ascaso Dream, and the price tag was in the region of £500. I've never used the machine, and certainly it looks nice, but from what I hear that's pretty much the only thing going for it. For that price I would expect a lot more.

 

Still, it certainly beats anything else around I'm sure! If anyone pops in, ask if the owner is about because you want to talk about coffee. If he is, I'm sure he'll be more than happy to. And it might get you some off-menu stuff that beats the regular offerings!

 

Oh and as for grinder, I'm pretty certain at least one is a Super Jolly. But in RED. They were all red, if I recall correctly... I definitely recall the colour more vividly than the model :).

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  • 3 months later...

I would recommend you go to Yarmouth and head for PO41 on Quay street, it's an excellent coffee house, serving Union roasted beans and great things to eat as well, free wifi, newspapers... it's really good.. if your in the area....

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Hadn't spotted this thread before. There are a few places serving Union roasted around but PO41 in Yarmouth is the only place doing it any justice. I'd highly recommend a visit to them.

 

Caffe Isola has been around a lot longer and for ages was the only place serving decent coffee on the island really. Does depend who serves you though. If you get served by Dan and it's not too busy then ask him if he has any filter roasted beans handy to do you a pour over. I think they will eventually come up with an arrangement for putting filter coffee on the menu permanently.

 

Other than that bring your own! It's slim pickings in this neck of the woods.

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