Hard Lines is a coffee shop and roastery based in Cardiff, Wales. Even if you are not from Cardiff, you may recognise them from their fun, smiley-faced branding! Hard Lines select, roast and serve great coffee that’s been sourced sustainably to build long-lasting relationships at origin. They believe that what They’re trying to build is about more than just good coffee. Aiming to keep it fresh, fun and not too serious throughout.
We were lucky enough to chat with Matt from Hard Lines to talk about their iconic branding, brews, Cardiff and more...
Hey Matt, thanks for chatting with us! Can you please tell us about Hardlines Cafe and how it came about?
Hard Lines started as a very small Aeropress pop-up bar! Serving filter coffee to the people of Cardiff in whatever location would have us! Five years on we find ourselves with one cafe, one espresso bar and a roastery. It's been quite the journey but we’ve loved every minute of it.
Your branding is very iconic! What was the inspiration behind the design?
We’re really lucky to work with an amazing designer (@itscadilane) she creates all of the faces for our bags as well as lots of other images we use to promote the brand, that paired with Steve who handles all of our content and has a killer eye for detail helps build a clear brand. It was always our intention to try and keep things fun, approachable and light-hearted. We want our coffee to be accessible and familiar. We’re quite lucky that we can take some risks and be quite playful with the brand, not being scared to change and adapt has served us well I think.
Let’s talk about your brews! Can you run us through each brew you offer and in your opinion what makes each one so special?
When selecting our coffees we always try and balance a selection that will have a little bit of everything. If big, bold flavours are your thing then you’d maybe look to our House Party coffee or maybe our current Guatemala. If you’re a fan of fruity and bright then Ethiopia Dambi Udo will certainly be your bag! Our offering rotates regularly, with coffee being a fruit, different countries harvest at different times of the year so an offer list that is always changing is good as it usually would suggest that roaster is buying coffee that’s super fresh and in season or fresh crop.
Tough question but what's your current fav blend and why?
I think by the time this goes out it's probably very likely we would have released our Christmas coffee! This year it's a super delicious coffee from Mexico, one we had last year and couldn’t wait to bring back! It's got a kind of fresh out the oven cookie taste about it with a nice warming winter spice. I’m drinking a mug as I’m writing this and I can’t get enough!
Being based in Cardiff, what are your favourite things about your local community?
Cardiff is such a great city! It has a strong independent community and we have the best customers in the world (I'm sure everyone says that, but we do!) People want to support independent businesses here and that helps nurture and grow new and exciting companies. You’ll find lots of amazing things in and around the smaller suburbs and that gives things a really special feel as well. We have a lovely balance of green space as well as exciting restaurants, cafes and bars. Head on down, it’s closer than you think!
I see that you have a Running Club, what an awesome idea. Can you please tell us more about this
Yeah, we’re loving our run club! It was born out of one of the many lockdowns of last year! Quite a few of the team discovered running during 2020 and when we could finally get back together it just seemed like a great way of getting out and about! It’s certainly made a big difference to my mental well-being and if we can get people out and enjoying the amazing city we live in then that's only a good thing!
We might be fishing for compliments with this question ha ha but what made you choose to use our compostable packaging? Is sustainability important to Hardlines Cafe?
Absolutely! It’s certainly something we’re conscious of and want to try and make the correct decisions where we can. We still have a long way to go but making changes like our cups and take away items to decent packaging and switching our labelling to 100% compostable and moving to a more efficient greener coffee roaster is only a step in the right direction. Over the coming years, we hope to double down and make some big changes to the business for the future.
Lastly, what’s the best way for our readers to order your brew?
A couple of ways, easiest would probably be via our website hard-lines.co.uk or if you find yourself in Cardiff please call by the shop, the team are super friendly and you’ll be sure to have a great time. You can keep up to date with happenings via social media as well @hardlinescoffee