Bore da Gymru!
The best Welsh roasters and tea infusers who can get your day off to the best possible start.
Though we drink tea and coffee throughout the year, the cold weather and shorter days are made exponentially better by a hot cup that goes above and beyond. Yes there's a certain functional caffeinated requirement and routine that goes with the territory, but as there's such an abundance of quality product out there it'd be a shame not to invest every cup with quality. And if you're looking to support Welsh producers, there are dozens creating superb tastes out of the beans and leaves they roast and infuse. So wake up, sit back, and let Adam Rees fill you in, along with your cup...
Murroughs Welsh Brew Tea
This Swansea family-run business has a range of satisfying infusions to bring a smile and dreams of exotic locations during winter. As well as the standard Peppermint and Green leaves, the Lemon & Ginger, Mixed Berries and Green Tea with Coconut flavours are a real delight. However, those searching for a standard cuppa can take comfort in the Gold Tea that the Murroughs have spent 30 years perfecting, much to the delight of customers far and wide who wouldn't start their day any other way.
Where to drink: Cafes and hotels throughout Wales including the Celtic Manor in Newport
Hard Lines Coffee
While Cardiff's Hard Lines Coffee’s original aim was to deliver sustainably sourced coffee, from their roastery and cafe in Canton now also comes the best cup of coffee you'll find in the capital city. If you're around the city centre you can pop along to their stand in Cardiff Market and see for yourself. Full of flavour and a decent clout, co-founder Matt Jones explains that the house coffee House Party “is a really solid coffee from Colombia that you could wake up to drink every day!”
Where to drink: Cardiff cafes including Wild Thing, The Penylan Pantry and The Secret Garden, as well as their cafe and market stand.
Here are some real mavericks from Ammanford in Carmarthenshire. Praise for Coaltown's cups of black magic goes far beyond Wales' borders and has given them the inspiration to collaborate on marmalades, beer and more. Lovers of a strong morning jolt need look no further than the gorgeous chocolatey nature of their Black Number 3 blend, while the more adventurous can try out the fruity Anthracite No.2 blend or any number of their flavourful single beans. Aficionados can even take a tour of their bustling business.
Where to drink: Over 200 cafes around the country, including Y Sied, Nantgaredig; Pethe Da, Carmarthen, and Canna Deli, Cardiff. But a trip to their HQ in Ammanford is a must for Welsh coffee junkies.
Morgan's Brew Tea
Since its inception in Trallwng (Welshpool) in 2006 Morgan's has gone on to offer a celebrated 53 different varieties of loose-leaf tea that explore a collage of colours and flavours to suit all palates. However, for those looking for a basic tea bag, their hallmark Morgan's Brew uses East African leaves that, according to Morgan's Geoff Meredith, is a recipe that dates from before the 1940s. If you're keen on experimenting with some of their sweet shop of varieties, you can't go far wrong with the mintier and sweeter options, with the Spearmint one of the most brisk cups we've come across.
Where to drink: A number of cafes on the border including The Bay Tree Vintage Tea Room in Trallwng (Welshpool), The Darwin Garden Centre and Cafe in Cegidfa (Guilsfield) and Lake Vyrnwy Hotel in Llanwddyn.
Delicia Cakes & Teas
A small-time operation in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taf, that covers the holy union of loose leaf tea and home-baked cakes, Delicia has been a staple of food fairs and markets in south Wales over the last few years. You can sample a range of their teas in special tasting sessions at their HQ, enjoying a warm cup and fresh slice on the balcony. Naturally with such a large variety it's hard to know where to start, but the classic Bergamot taste of Early Grey is delivered with panache, while those seeking something a bit more adventurous could do worse than investigate the Chocolate and Liquorice teas for some sweet, tantalizing tastes.
Where to drink: Brecon Farm Shop & Cafe and Cardiff's Riverside Market on Sundays.
Two Dogs Coffee Getting its moniker from the owners' two canines, these Treorchy-based coffee hounds offer a range of blends and single beans from the world's best coffee-producing countries, from South America, Africa and Asia. As co-owner Sian Bowen suggests, you can pick up a Sample Pack which contains a single filter bag of each origin bean so you can try them all before committing to a bag.
Where to drink: Try the Colombian coffee at the Cardiff Arms Bistro and High Street Social, and the Brazilian blend at Cwm Farm Cafe & Shop, all three in Treorchy.
Heartland Coffee Roasters
With the Carneddau mountain range as a backdrop, Llandudno's Heartland Coffee Roasters invite you to come along to their coffee bar roastery to watch the roasting happening and enjoy a cup of the dark stuff. According to the company's Nathan Prosser: “To introduce someone to Heartland I would definitely start with Landmark, our house espresso blend. Made up of four south/central American coffees and packed with rich dark chocolate and nutty flavours, it’s a truly accessible blend that opens up the world of specialty coffee to the entire spectrum of coffee consumers.”
Where to drink: Providero Tea and Coffee House, Oriel Mostyn Cafe, Johnny Dough’s Pizza – all in Llandudno - and also Surf Snowdonia in the Conwy Valley.
Fat Dragon Coffee
Packing as much punch as a rugby scrum, Fat Dragon Coffee was founded by Welsh international Dillon Lewis and his Cardiff Blues team mate Brad Thyer. Those of you with Nespresso machines are in luck as they offer capsules for your home machine, with full bean varieties available for cafetières. The Fat Dragon house blend from South America is the one everyone should attempt to tackle, with some hearty depth and a few sweet piques of toffee and fruit as well.
Where to drink: Y Gali (The Galley) in Penarth, and in a special van at Cardiff Arms Park home matches.
Coffi Teifi Coffee
These roasters in Pontweli near Llandysul, Ceredigion, don't just concentrate on fair trade beans from the likes of Colombia and Ethiopia but also give 50p from each bag to charity. The bags of their four blends are roasted to order so you know you're getting attention to quality whether you want a jolting espresso or smooth Arabica. Its secret weapon is the potent Teifi Dragon that tastes delicious with its Robusta infusion but will also fire up your soul when you're in need of some mythical might.
Where to drink: A number of cafes in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion including Kirk’s Coffee Lounge in Aberteifi, Pethau Da in Carmarthen, Madtom Seafood Cafe Bar in Arberth and The Pentre Arms, Llangrannog.