Lifestyle

Specialty coffee café thrives with vegetarian menu

Specialty coffee café thrives with vegetarian menu

Halloumi Mushroom Panini. Photo | Pool

The Barista & Co. is a family-owned business with the simple mission of serving coffee at events. To achieve this, the business has its own roasting machine and sources the beans for its specialty coffee from farms across Kenya. Visiting their riverside location, I am impressed by how simple and elegant it is. From the website to the set up to the menu, the simplicity ethos excites a customer experience that is professional yet uplifting.

Located in Keystone Park, the riverside location can feel intimidating with sniffer dogs, armed guards, and a security system that requires ID to access the business complex but once inside, the central courtyard opens the space like two arms held out for an embrace. This is where the coffee shop is – an outdoor set up with the kitchen and coffee roastery in a structure the size of a car garage. There is also a very specific clientele that patron the coffee shop (jet-setting executives) but this may be the general makeup of the tenants that occupy Keystone Park. Still, even with the most casual patron in dark wash jeans, button down shirt, and Chelsea boots, I feel a bit out of place in my gym clothes. Barista & Co has a second location on the first floor of the Sarit Centre. With access to a more diverse clientele it’s less intimidating.

All items on the menu are vegetarian and available all day so if you’re feeling like risotto for breakfast or French toast for lunch you’re covered. I order the Breakfast in Paradise smoothie (sweet melon, banana, dates, muesli, mint and yogurt), the Halloumi Mushroom sandwich on panini bread and the Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake. The smoothie is creamy and hearty, even healthy in that there are absolutely no added sugars. The panini bread is delicious with a wonderful chewy texture but the halloumi mushroom filling is too salty.

Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake from Barista & Co. Keystone Park, Riverside. Photo | Pool

The chili dip that looks fantastic in pictures (although not quite in real life) has a distinct duality with a sweet front note and spicy back note. The Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake is decadent. It doesn’t start that way but gradually each bite builds on the last and you quickly find yourself on a sugar high. I highly recommend this as a quick pick. It is a shame I don’t drink coffee because it is impressive watching the staff make various coffee drinks.

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