31 Jul 2010

Caffe Shakerato

Leeds is well-known for its bar scene, but its cafe culture isn't quite there yet; there are only one or two really good independent coffee shops in the city centre. The weather doesn't help: much better to sit inside a bar with a couple of beers than outside with raindrops falling in your cappuccino.

Pasta Romagna and La Bottega Milanese are two of my favourite cafes in Leeds. Pasta Romagna, run by the local legend that is Gilda, has been there for donkey's years. Gilda is a feisty old Italian lady who certainly keeps her staff on their toes, shall we say, and is also renowned for her vocal singing. There was even a campaign once for her to be allowed to continue playing her music loudly after a clampdown was threatened. La Bottega, on the other hand, is the new kid on the block. It's run by a young Italian called Alex Galantino and it has the potential to develop a similar cult status in the city.

I recently tried an interesting drink at La Bottega. It's called the Caffe Shakerato.

Ice cold coffee might not sound like the most appealing drink, but it really is good. There is a nice deep bitterness and a good froth from the reaction between the ice and the oils in the coffee beans as it's shaken. It won't replace my regular coffees and espressos (which are also superb at La Bottega), but it's definitely a good novel option every now and then, especially during summer. Well worth a try if you like your espressos. You can read my account in full here.
Photo: crismatthews.com

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