By Rebeka Kancsár
You’d have to walk with your eyes closed if you were to miss the floor to ceiling windows of Espresso Library on East Road. Its contemporary interior design with neutral colours and pops of yellow, ongoing art exhibitions (of often ARU graduates) and bikes hanging from the ceiling; is as pleasing to the eyes as to the taste buds of coffee lovers, and a perfect place for a study break and essay writing session alike.
The masterminds behind the place, John Gull and Malgo Dzierugo created this “fusion of a cycling cafe, art gallery, speciality coffee shop, restaurant and a bar” just 2 years ago, and has been attracting students from Cambridge University and ARU equally ever since – but luckily for us, it’s only a few minutes walk from the main campus.
Known for its first-class café experience, you’ll find freshly roasted speciality coffee and organic food made of wholesome ingredients to treat yourself to. The true coffee lovers can even try their guest coffees, which you can read all about on their website – including origin, history and process. Even their machines are special – Espresso Library owns a rare, top-range Slayer Espresso machine, which been custom made for them in Seattle, USA.
Whether you’re a healthy eater, a vegan or chronic sweet tooth, EL’s menu won’t let you down. With the breakfast menu dominated by avocado toast and the lunch menu with a variety of ciabattas, salad, frittata and more, the only problem you’ll find is what to try first. As for the price, it leans toward the expensive side of the scale as expected of quality service, the average price for coffee and a meal still being around £10. You could opt for a delicious, freshly squeezed smoothie or cake though.
If the stress of student life gets too much, the Espresso Library has your back. On Friday and Saturday nights, the relaxing soft lights turn on, the coffee gets put away and a selection of tasty wine, craft beer and cocktails comes out. The occasional pop-up events with the best of the city’s food scene are also something worth checking out, including their coveted yoga sessions.
Cycling culture is an important part of Espresso Library, as is of Cambridge. With races and social and training rides, it aims to bring together cyclist city-wide, building a community of riders who share their passion. It’s a bonus that they have a one-of-a-kind wall indoor bike storage to hoard their precious two-wheelers while their owners enjoy a cup of coffee.
So, if you’re a coffee fan, take a walk to the other side of the street and try it for yourself if you haven’t already: you’ll thank me.
Image Credit: Rebeka Kancsar