Coffee, tea, and books have always been a combination that goes hand in hand. The emirate of Sharjah has a new coffee library on the block – Storie Cafe.
The University city road, Sharjah has always been a popular spot for tea, coffee, and good eats. Making a stop for tea meant having to get through a lot of congestion on the narrow road facing the numerous restaurants. This place has evolved over the years. Now it is a drive by a much more organized road with inner streets leading to elegant bakeries, cafes, and restaurants.
Storie Cafe opened its doors to the smell of freshly brewed coffee three months ago. Two friends from Kerala who spend their early days in the Emirate and called it home developed their cafe around the concept of a coffee library.
The Storie cafe has a very appealing modern design. There are a lot of things that caught my eye as soon as I walked in. I loved the thoughtful detailing on the walls. An astronaut reading a book looking onward to a hopeful future of a thriving ‘space’ was unique. And so was the coffee outlined wall dedicated to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the U.A.E.
The color theme of the furniture and upholstery to the flooring is a relaxing palette of greys, blues, whites, browns, and touches of green. The book-themed lights add a unique touch to the space.
The #READ bookshelf which has a categorized selection of books ranging from Sci-Fi to self-help and Arab Reads was a pull factor for me. The owner Mr. Harish from Kasarakode, Kerala was kind enough to come by and check on us. He mentioned that they are working ahead to start a paid membership at the library in the months to come. Now that is something to look forward to.
Coffee & tea
The menu is predominately coffee. Their manual coffee’s like the Chemex, V60, and Aeropress are a specialty with a preparation time for some ranging from 6 to 8 minutes promising great flavor.
I opted for the selection of tea from their menu. Maharani and 8 secrets were the two recommended blends that I tried out. With a standard infusion time of 3-4 minutes, the tea was infused using what looked like a French tea press.
Maharani is a blend of green and black tea with grapes and red berry. The tea had a bright flavor with a fruity undertone ending with a nice note of sweetness. With an interesting combination of grape and red berry, this one I thoroughly enjoyed.
8 secrets is a blend of black and white tea with strawberry, lychee, and some floral ingredients. The aroma of the tea was like I was standing in a lush garden. It had a silky smooth flavor and ended with a hint of bitterness. We tinkered with the tea press which could have led to a sight bit of over steeping.
At the time of service, we weren’t given any instructions on the steeping time of the tea or the working of the tea press. Which now makes sense because there wasn’t a timer. But with tea its good to always specify the steeping time and any other information that might affect the tasting.
Both the blends had such great aromatics that I wanted to bottle them up and take home.
Signature drinks & mojitos
My husband opted for the blended pistachio. With pistachio, there is always the possibility of it being too strong but here the flavors were spot on.
Presented with pieces of lemon and a sprinkle of chopped mint on the top was the Passionfruit mojito. I loved the burst of freshness from the drink. A scoop of crunchy passion fruit seeds and a stronger passion fruit flavor would have taken this drink up a notch.
The parmesan tossed fries with cheese sauce was a well-presented plate of fries with a pretty top of fresh greens. The cheese sauce was mild and went well with the fries but I was wanting for some tanginess to tie it all together. The generous mix of greens with the cheesy frieds uplifted the plate.
The cafe’s tall shelf of books was something every customer was taking a picture of. Tom Clancy, Colin Forbes, Wilbur Smith, are some of the recurring titles. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the Hunger Games are a few from the popular series. The library also has a selection of self-help, memoirs & autobiographies, and even a section dedicated to women’s fiction.
I enjoyed the relaxed and cozy vibe at the cafe. This is a great place to stop by to get lost in a book or to get some work done. Wishing the team at the Storie Cafe the best in what looks like a very promising beginning.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to review the cafe. The tea and smoothie were complimentary. This is my honest opinion.