Eh ... It's always busy, food is ok, coffee is ok, tea is ok ... But nothing to write home about.
Brilliant location in St Albans, right in the heart of the Market Place, sandwiched between Christopher Place, the Maltings and the buzz of St Peters Street.
The Merchant showcases a great range of teas and coffees, all available to drink on the spot or to take a leaf or bean home with you. Unfortunately I feel that they don't really know how to prepare their asian teas, using too many leaves when they make a pot for one and any delicate flavour you might enjoy from a nice oolong or green tea quickly becomes over brewed and blah. Also the majority of their food seems to be premade and a bit like picking something out of the Costa or Starbucks fridge, a little unimaginative and not fresh made to order.
I would also expect the service to be a bit better service in this UK flagship store (Western Australian franchise).
Still, a great location that seems and seems to be very popular with Mums during the week and everyone on the weekend.
Unusually this cafe allows you to place your coffee order and sit down and they will deliver your order to your table. Unfortunately this can take a while. They have a wonderful array of cakes however we have ordered what appears to be a rather nice looking cake from the cabinet and had a rather forlorn thin slice delivered to the table.. Other friends have had similar issues too. It is centrally located and probably gets a lot of tourist and lunchtime trade.
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