Lonely Planet Writer

The pink drink that everyone in Cardiff is desperate to try

An independent coffee shop in Cardiff has caused a bright pink stir with its latest speciality drink that goes by the name of Barb. The eye-catching cuppa is the invention of Hard Lines coffee shop, who came up with the drink while testing out different options for their winter menu.

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“We rotate our seasonal drinks every three months, and back in November we were at our Cardiff Market kiosk trying to come up with one that tasted suitably spicy for the season,” says Sophie Smith of Hard Lines.

“We’d made a great tasting drink using chai spiced milk and agave syrup, but it needed something else to make it really stand out,” she continues. “That’s when Zak Thomas, one of our team members, suggested using something from Clancy’s, a stall just across the market that sells herbs, spices and food powders. He went over there and came back with beetroot powder to add natural colour and extra flavour, and that was it!”

As for the name, it pays homage to their beloved coffee machine, a light pink beast called Barbara, or Barb for short. If you want a shot of coffee in the drink for added punch, it becomes a Dirty Barb, but most people just ask for ‘the pink coffee’ that they’ve seen doing the rounds on Instagram.

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“We’ve been so busy making Barbs, because people have seen their friends sharing pics of this bright pink drink on social media and they want to try it for themselves,” says Sophie. “One day, we made 40 Barbs here in the market. It was bonkers!”

With Barb being seasonal, she’s only on the menu until the end of February. After then, there’ll be another drink to take her place, maybe the next big thing to shake the city’s thriving independent coffee scene.

You can try Barb at Hard Lines’ coffee shop in Castle Emporium and their kiosk in Cardiff Central Market until  28 February.

By Amy Pay