My quest to unearth the best independent coffee shops has, at last, taken me back to Birmingham, a fine city under-represented in Cosy Coffee Shops. 6/8 (or Six Eight) Kafé was my first stop.
6/8 is in the heart of Birmingham’s CBD and threatened from all sides by the usual chains. The obvious strategy might have been to glam up and go for a glossy, pseudo-Starbucks look, with tall, milky lattes. Thankfully, 6/8 hasn’t succumbed. It has a proper indie feel, with handwritten chalk boards, unbranded mugs and a photo pin-board.
6/8 has been open for just a year and owner Devinder (aka Dav) has worked hard to establish the business.
This has been achieved in part by working with the city’s other indie coffee shops. Baristas from other places (such as Saint Caffé) give evening classes at 6/8, and vice-versa.
It’s all part of Dav’s twin aims: to produce the best coffee in the city and to promote independent coffee shops.
As for the former, I think he may just have done it. My coffee – a flat white – was excellent. The beans come from Has Bean, the Stafford-based roastery familiar to Cosy Coffee Shops readers.
Dav told me that the beans used for my coffee were a little too new, having sat for only a few days after roasting (coffee beans are at their best about a week after roasting). He also modestly implied that his colleague Craig is the talented one! I’ve heard from a trusted source that Craig makes the best coffee in Birmimgham, but, as Craig was away when I visited, I can’t confirm.
Craig or no Craig, this was still the nicest coffee I had in Birmingham.
I was also mighty-tempted by the array of cakes, treats and freshly-prepared rolls.
As the window says in big capital letters, 6/8 is a proud to be an “independent coffee shop” in Birmingham’s generic city centre.
It’s a super friendly place gaining a loyal following. Highly recommended.
6 Temple Row
We visited on 16 January 2012.