Bould Brothers Coffee
A dinky but hip arrival to Cambridge's café culture.
Cambridge’s vibrant coffee scene is growing faster than green grass through a goose and here’s another bean to add to your little black book if you’re fed up of drinking a lukewarm latte with a stale chocolate brownie on the side. (Not to self: move bags next time I’m taking a photo!)
I might not be an expert in many things but I sure know you can’t have enough coffee in your life and I take my job sashaying round the county selecting the finest jitter juice for you Muddy readers very seriously. Bould Brothers Coffee launched earlier this year and is a welcome addition to Cambridge’s cafe culture – it’s located off the main drag of Bridge Street, alongside the Round Church so unless you know where to look you might mistake it for a butchers with its striped awning.
Coffee-wise Bould Brothers hits the spot – the brainchild of Max and Alex Bould, who between them have over 10 years of industry experience and take their roasterie very seriously. It’s a teensy-weensy café but don’t let that put you off, you can choose to sit downstairs on barstools and people watch out of the window but it’s rather cramped with customers ordering food and drinks as well. My recommendation is to get your order in and shoot upstairs to relax in the comfort of upholstered chairs – that’s if you can squeeze yourself up the doll like staircase.
Upstairs you’ll find a light and airy seating area – the day I went the sun was out and the sash windows were open onto a leafy green vista over the Round Church. I love the décor up here – a metropolitan feel with chairs covered in Moschino style weave fabrics, pretty wallpaper, large wall art and up-cycled lampshades made from vintage pie tins.
It’s still pocket-sized with seating for 19 including the two behind the bar area – I wasn’t too sure about that part but it does look rather cool. The loos are up another flight of narrow stairs, slightly lethal and I nearly came down on my bottom but you can’t fight history and that’s how these buildings were built.
This is what I’d call a pit stop coffee shop – they serve croissants, pastries, cakes and toasted banana bread. Like its size there aren’t vast quantities and supplies for morning pastries were running a little low by around 10am but rather tasty looking sandwiches wrapped up in packages tied up with string were being stacked up. If you’re after a cooked brunch option then there are other choices such as Bridges further along Bridge Street and Fitzbillies at the other end of town that would keep the hunger pangs at bay.
I opted for the cardamom croissant as a late breakie option alongside a cappuccino, impressive latte art included. There’s a friendly laid back feel and I ordered another coffee from the barista without having to navigate the stairs – a welcome relief as it would have probably ended up all over the walls.
Downstairs there’s fresh water with mint and cucumber which I thought was a very nice touch. They also have loyalty cards on offer – hardly uncommon these days but I like their attempts to reward repeat custom.
So the upshot peeps is that I spent a pleasurable hour, catching up on some reading and enjoying top-notch coffee in rather arty surroundings. If you haven’t ventured out to this part of town let me tempt you. The pretty quayside is full or bars, restaurants and shops but it does get rammed at the weekend so try and get there midweek if you can. Wander further down to the pretty boutiques of Magdalene Street, you could do some serious credit card damage in the clothes shops, and further on to Kettles Yard when it reopens later this year.
Bould Brothers Coffee, 6 Round Church St, Cambridge CB5 8AD, facebook.com