Smiling Eyes Coffee Co is the latest coffee venture to hit the city and is bringing the current trend of high quality, speciality coffee served from design-led mobile units to our fair city. This specially-converted Volkswagen T2 van houses a truly gigantic Astoria dual lever espresso machine and one of the friendliest baristas you’re ever likely to meet. Jo Hart, proprietor of this exceptional conversion, is what you would probably refer to as a coffee obsessive; passionate about each and every espresso she pulls and putting the quality of each cup at the forefront. “This is the first career in my life that I’ve been this fastidious and cared this much that makes me sure it’s finally the right one!” explains Jo as she prepares my short black. A small queue forms while we continue our caffeine dominated conversation but she remains unfazed and crafts each order with the same consideration and attention to detail as the previous one, coupled with a beaming grin and a hearty thank you.
On the coffee side, Jo is serving Winchester Coffee Roaster’s Synergy espresso blend; a smooth, sweet cup with excellent milk chocolate and red currant tasting notes, perfect as a short americano or flat white. Tea is of course provided by the local and inimitable All About Tea and their signature Portsmouth Tea blend while the chocolate in Jo’s hot chocolates and mochas owe their greatness to Green & Black’s drinking chocolate. The quality on offer from Smiling Eyes is simply unmatched in the small-but-growing Portsmouth mobile catering trade; it really is as close to a speciality coffee shop on wheels as you’ll get in the city.
You can find Smiling Eyes on a Monday at the Student’s Union market, Tuesday’s outside the Citywide Taxi office and on weekends at the Palmerston Rd market but be sure to follow @smilingeyes2014 to keep up to date with where you can next grab a top notch brew.