I am a coffee addict and due to me spending so much time in coffee shops I have been wanting to do a little series of posts for a while about independent and particularly pretty cafes. However I keep putting off the idea because the beauty of local businesses is that they are individual and unique, but it means that it will only be helpful to a small group of people in the local area that can try it. I have decided I am going to look past this though and actually start writing about what’s around me, as I enjoy taking photos/writing about my experiences and my recommendation may help a few people. We are starting today with Yay Coffee.
For anyone unfamiliar, ‘Yay coffee’ is an independent coffee shop in Scarborough. It has been open for over a year however I only tried it for the first time last week after a recommendation from a friend. As soon as I walked in I knew I needed to go back with my camera and take some photos… Everywhere you look seems like a perfect photo opportunity! I even love how it is not in a conventional location and to get to it you have to go down some steps, it almost makes it seem secretive. However the only thing I would note is it may be hard to access if you struggle with mobility because you have to go down some pretty steep steps to enter the cafe.
What sets this coffee shop apart from many others is just how incredible the atmosphere is. I love how warm and inviting it is, and everywhere is just so relaxed. I feel like I could spend hours in here chatting, watching the world go by in one of the cosy corners and wouldn’t feel pressured or rushed by staff to leave. They also offer free wifi, which would make it the perfect place for revision or working with friends. When I visited I saw two people having a study session together and it looks like such an inspiring location to do so.
Throughout the whole cafe there are books and magazines on the tables, and then there is a separate bookshelf with some others on as well. The books are very ‘coffee table’ themed, so easy reading with many pictures and predominantly non fiction so they would be lovely to look through a few pages whilst having a coffee. One of the ones I looked at whilst drinking was ‘photos from New York’, which was very up my street as I love street photography (although not very good at it, I still like to look at it!)
One of the main parts of the decor is photos in a Polaroid style pinned up on the walls. I presume they are customer photos that have been printed out however they also could just be photos that the managers have taken. I found these particularly inspiring considering I was taking photos at the time so it was nice to see some examples of what I liked.
The menu of drinks at yay coffee is very extensive and it was so hard to choose what to order because there is just so much choice available. It’s most certainly the widest variety of drinks I have ever seen in a coffee shop, and with each option there was usually some information about where the drink originated from etc, which I thought was a really nice touch. My favourite drink was the white hot chocolate, as it was absolutely gorgeous and unique as it’s very rare you see white ones available. Something to note is that the employees make all drinks at ‘drinkable’ temperature, which I think is lovely as you don’t have to wait for them to cool however if you would like your drink at a regular temperature you can just ask!
Although I didn’t try the tea itself, my friend ordered it and I fell in love with how it was presented to her. It came on a tray with a timer, so the tea was at an optimum strength when poured. The idea was that you waited for the timer to run out before you pour the tea so it had brewed properly, I loved that simple touch and it was definitely a talking point. If you are a tea lover, I would definitely recommend trying Yay coffee purely because the experience is amazing and from what I saw there was a huge range of different types of tea (including some unique ones purely for the cafe).
Across the whole cafe there are little notes to the customer, and I have no idea why it has this effect on me but it makes me so happy. Everywhere you look there is a little message, whether it’s about ordering the drinks, wifi details or just a sweet message to make the customer smile. The cafe itself is so customer orientated and I think the customers definitely notice these touches, well I certainly did!
My FAVOURITE part of the whole cafe and something that I have never seen before is ‘the board of communal happiness’. This is a place where customers are allowed to take a piece of paper and a pen (from the side of the board) and write whatever they would like on it, and then pin it up on the wall. I spent ages looking at this and I absolutely loved it, some were beautiful quotes, pretty sketches that were drawn whilst in the cafe, there was even a crossword that the customers could help to fill out. I’m not quite sure why I like this as much as I do, but I wished all cafes had it!
‘As I began to love myself, I understand that I am always in the right place at the right time and everything happens exactly at the right time… So I can always be calm. Today I know this as self confidence’
If you do happen to be in the Scarborough area, I would definitely recommend Yay coffee to get out of the cold and warm up with a hot drink… It’s so nice and so much more than just a coffee shop. If you do end up trying it upon my recommendation, please let me know! I would love to hear what you think about it.
For more information about Yay Coffee then click here.