The arrival of this independent coffee shop in Colmore Row has brought the Hudson building to life again.
The writer looks back to the first incarnation of the Java Lounge years ago – as a cybercafe in King Edwards Road, Moseley.
Marked from the outset by friendly and courteous service and very good coffee, it was good to see it move to larger premises in good position on Moseley high street – 115 Alcester Road.
On the Stirrer website in 2013 we read about its good coffee and finely flavoured homemade soup with unusually good bread, welcoming atmosphere, a good range of finger-food, fine paintings by Sue McClure . . . “Take your laptop – the Java is WIFI equipped – or cut down expenses by using a cyber café instead of buying a new computer or shelling out for expensive repairs. At ‘off-peak’ times novices are given help if needed”. It is still wifi equipped but the row of in-house computers is no longer to be seen.
Akram Almulad, the founder of the Java Lounge, was born in Birmingham to parents of Yemeni origin. His interesting account opens with a quest in 2004, to discover how to deliver high quality coffee:
“My journey took me back to my roots; Yemen. Apart from being the birthplace to my parents, Yemen is where the earliest substantiated evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th Century. In Yemen I discovered how coffee was grown and the different processes involved in producing the green coffee bean. I also observed how coffee was consumed in traditional coffee houses. On my return from that experience I felt enriched in coffee tradition. I continued my education in coffee, learning all about the different types of coffee and roast processes. I also teamed up with top baristas who helped me develop my barista skill set. All that was left now was to find a location suitable for the coffee house. In 2005, with a small budget I had raised through part-time work, I finally found that location: Alcester road, Moseley Village, Birmingham, UK. This is where Java Lounge was born.” Read the full account here.
Akram now presides over Java’s new premises in the Hudson’s Coffee House building, 124 Colmore Row, described in Pevsner’s The Buildings of England as “one of the most important monuments of the Arts and Crafts Free Style in the country”.
It was commissioned by Eagle Insurance and completed in 1900. W.R. Lethaby, its architect, co-founded the Design Industries Association and the Art Workers Guild.
The place to be!