Upper Level, The Oracle, Reading, RG1 2AG.
Visited on: Saturday 5th September 2015
Another new cafe in the Oracle shopping centre, the Manhattan Coffee Club has been open for a couple of months now. It’s not that big, and in keeping with all the cafes inside the Oracle, has no natural light, but it still feels relatively light and airy inside. This light feeling is partly created by the green plants on every table and by the door, but unfortunately all of them are plastic.
The chairs were far more comfortable than they looked – with a solid seat that I didn’t mind sitting for an hour in. The table tops were rough planks of wood and while these look nice I imagine they’re a complete pain to keep clean. Certainly my table had crumbs stuck in between the gaps.
No loose leaf tea here, but they did have rooibos – Chilli Chocolate flavour. The barista let me sniff the teabag before purchasing as I wasn’t sure about it and I appreciated that. It didn’t smell of chocolate at all and indeed it didn’t taste of chocolate either, but the chilli gave it a warm zing when I drank it. No teapot, but at least the mug came with a saucer so I had somewhere to deposit my used teabag.
I seem to have developed a habit of ordering the chocolate brownie wherever I go, so I stuck to form and ordered another one here. This time the brownie was slightly chilled and had a fudge-like texture. I enjoyed it and would order it again.
There are some nice touches here, like the wooden tray my items were brought on and the community book swap area in the corner. The salads, sandwiches and toasted sandwich looked really good too. Overall though, it’s not somewhere I think I will go again. Partly it’s things like the plastic plants and the bumpy table that put me off, mainly it’s that there wasn’t a teapot and that I didn’t particularly like that flavour of rooibos tea. I imagine that if coffee is your hot beverage of choice that this is the place to go though, so if it is give it a try and let me know.
I do think that Manhattan Coffee Club should be congratulated on opening in the Oracle shopping centre. An independent ethical coffee shop in a shopping centre is not a usual thing and I hope they are very successful.
- Teapot? No.
- Leaf tea? No. The London Tea Company ‘Rooibos Chilli Chocolate’ tea bag. Looked like all their tea was tea bag tea.
- Teapot? No.
- Milk jug? I don’t know. This particular tea didn’t need milk and everyone else I could see was drinking coffee. Feel I’ve failed a little as I didn’t find this out.
- Price? £1.90 for speciality tea, £2.30 for the brownie.
- Cake? Yes, plus brownie, millionaire’s shortbread etc. Also sells salads, sandwiches and American chocolate and snacks such as Hershey’s.
- Go again? Probably not -there are other cafes nearby that I would prefer to go to.