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Caffeine Ali

Right in the heart of the City sits a cafe, but not just any cafe, a cafe that likes cats.

I wouldn’t throw out accusations like that lightly, seriously, it should be called Cat-feine Ali with all the cats you could see!

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Catffeine Ali has been a cafe we’ve been meaning to review for a while now, many times we have walked past it on the thoroughfare from Ipswich central Station to the centre of the square, always beaming with life as their patrons stop in for a coffee and a chat on the way to work.

It may not be what you expect, although there are tables there to sit at and comfy couches to sit on while you wait for you order, Caffeine Ali is more of a “Passing By” cafe than a traditional sit down restaurant type of experience. This by no means is a bad thing as on that morning we had limited time and the staff were quick on their orders.

But if you do want to sit down then there is are a small amount of tables along side the cafe you can use to have lunch, catch up with friends, or like I’ve seen a few time by the local tenants, have your business meetings there.

Oh, did I mention they like cats?

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The staff at Caffeine Ali are very friendly and quick with their orders which adds to the warm (although busy during the breakfast run) atmosphere. The coffee was delicious, Bella Jam enjoyed her Hot Chocolate and it was good to see that the hot coco crowd gets some love as well with its “coffee art” style topping. Brownie points to the barista!

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Cronuts, ever heard of them? We didn’t, until that morning. Cross between a croissant and a donut, this unusual combination of sweet and savoury was quite delicious and well worth checking out next time you’re walking through town.

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Caffeine Ali, a cafe that, like many others in town shows that ipswich is full of great eateries and cafe experiences suited for everybody.

… and if you’re a cat lover then there is something else for you;

CATS!!

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EurekCat!

QUIRKY with a capital C. That is how we can describe this alley CAT with a Monty Pythonesque theme.  IPSWICH citiZENs should be familiar with CAFFEINE ALI ESPRESSO BAR after all, most of us pass by this character filled establishment on our way through to the mall, or rather what’s left of the mall, and its a good thing too, as CAFFEINE ALI provides a much needed relief  from an otherwise grim setting.cafeali6_Fotor

The IPSWICH MALL is not the only mall that is struggling post 1980’s to revive the fervour of unbridled spending and excitement that once was. The DEAD MALL, is a fascinating phenomenon that can be found scattered all over the free world (and even those not so free), and most notably in America, where a certain blogger by the name of DAN BELL is chronicling  dead and dying malls all over the UNITED STATES.

The malls that DAN BELL showcases, include examples of businesses just barely holding on and trying to capture that ever elusive customer . Though valiant, those shops have an air of finality and desperation about them. However, this is not the case with CAFFEINE ALI, which not only manages to capture the interest of the passing customer, but also manages to throw down the gauntlet at apathy, slapping it in the face.

CAFFEINE ALI serves a particular purpose. Being an espresso bar, it does not provide you with the full menu of cooked breakfast that you may have come to expect at other cafes dotting the streets of IPSWICH, instead  CAFFEINE ALI focuses its expertise on GOOD QUALITY FASTER food, I say FASTER food as opposed to FAST food as the latter brings to mind greasy chips and pies. This is NOT the case at CAFFEINE ALI.

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The Cronut

ALI’s choice of menu is a smart move considering its proximity to IPSWICH RAILWAY STATION, and the speedy meals in no way impact on the ability to enjoy. This is because whatever is lacking  in the cooked meal department, is made up for by its INNOVATIVE  AND QUIRKY SNACK CHOICES, such as its signature piece; THE CRONUT (a croissant in the shape of a doughnut, filled with fresh cream and topped in colourful sprinkles).

THE team atCAFFEINE ALI are extremely helpful and go out of their way to make everyone feel like they are number one. This is reflected in the CULTURE of REGULAR CUSTOMERS from different walks of life who pop in and have a NATTER; news paper or magazine in one hand, COFFEE in the other.

For the less sociable QUIETER souls, there are seating options around the corner with cute little tables, comfy sofas and plenty of visual interest to keep the mind happily occupied. It was such a pleasure to see thecafeali3 RELAXED COMPOSURE of satisfied COFFEE & CHOC drinkers, taking a moment or two out of their busy schedules and away from the office, their demanding spouses or screaming kids. This is definitely not just a COFFEE SHOP but a much needed OASIS for modern day IPSWICH citiZENs.  For all intents and purposes, CAFFEINE ALI is providing a valuable service within the community for little more than the price of a hot coffee.

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My hot chocolate feeling as smart as its cousin

I have often complained about the lack of recognition for HOT CHOCOLATE DRINKERS and our treatment as second class citizens within the cafe culture.  Imagine my joy, when my need for the dreamy brown liquid was acknowledged and offered as an alternative to coffee within the first few minutes of conversation, AND without any prompting from my side.  Yes its true! they actually OFFER HOT CHOCOLATE!  Not only that, dear citiZENs,CAFFEINE ALI takes it one step further by decorating the milky froth with those cute little designs that you generally only see on top of coffee…EUREKA!

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Q considering his next move on the stock market

The only niggling doubt…NAPKINS… How can a girl drink her HOT CHOC without a napkin?  Other than that, the mug was perfectly shaped to fit my hand, and the choice of colours was earthy and warm, complimenting the atmosphere. The other small gripe is that there were no vegetarian options. I would hope that we see more of that in the future.

All in all, I enjoyed the experience, and sitting there with Q, I found my creative juices flowing with talks of future podcasts and live shows for the COFFEE CANDIDATE and discussions on the general state of the stock market…hmmmm.

Dreams and wild ideas aside, the fact is that  ALI has hit upon a formula that works.  The perfect place for the entrepreneur or a pair of friends, or even brother and sister, to grab a coffee…OR HOT CHOCOLATE.  cafeali12

I think that ALI could take it further by organising POETRY RECITALS just in front of the crumbling MURPHY’S PUB. A great way to embrace the URBAN DECAY further, by turning it into something positive.cafeali13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My suggestion for CAFFEINE ALI: PAWS

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photo credit: the world wide web