I don’t know about anybody else but this series of bank holidays continues to confuse me. I can’t figure out what day of the week it is any more, and it’s quite hard to keep up with all the bits and bobs and life admin I need to get done this week.
Having spent the morning running around like a headless chicken making to do lists about to do lists, I completely forgot that I had made arrangements to meet up with a couple of my friends for a quick lunch hour coffee and gossip. With all three of us running late we decided to ditch the Brindley Place meeting point in favour of somewhere a little more central to all of us: Grand Central.
Set above Birmingham New Street station, you can see some of what Grand Central has to offer simply by looking up to the heavens when stood next to the timetable boards. With the usual suspects like Costa owning a spot within the new food and shopping complex, at midday post-bank holiday the area was noticeably much busier than I’m used to.
Walking past Costa and immediately giving up before having even walked through the glass doors (the queue was out the door) I was already texting my friends to see if there was anywhere else they fancied meeting for a quick catch up. I’ve got enough going on in my life without queuing for a boring old coffee.
After a few back and forth messages we decided to meet at Joe and the Juice, which can be found right outside the main John Lewis entrance. The bright pink logo is hard to miss, and there’s plenty of seating and the all important plug points *cheers*
Joe and the Juice is a Danish import which has recently really taken off in the UK. With franchises seemingly popping up all over the place now, it was only a matter of time before Birmingham got in on the action. Like most branches, the Grand Central J&tJ offers a large selection of healthy vegetable and fruit juices, as well as colourful energy boosting smoothies – there’s even a special green concoction reserved solely for the hungover amongst us. *Noted*
We ordered our drinks and took a seat towards the back of the open plan juice bar, managing to secure a table which overlooked bustling New Street station below. I have to say on this occasion it took a little bit longer than I would’ve expected to receive our drinks, especially being that the queue wasn’t particularly long, but having said that all three of our drinks did arrive pretty much at the same time and were attractive and inviting.
The 12oz Energy Shake arrived first and the first thing that struck me was how pretty the baby pink drink looked. Raspberry, banana and vanilla milk are combined to create this shake which promises to give you a boost – perfect for the mid afternoon slump maybe?
Another member of the group decided on the Coffee Shake, made from a generous shot of Espresso and vanilla milk. I have to say, it made a Starbucks iced frappe seem quite lame, and in choosing the larger ‘mighty’ size (16oz) you get a real caffeine kick that’s more summer-days friendly.
Despite being drawn to the bright green juices with mint (reminds me of a mojito, lol at self) having been battling a seemingly never ending cold recently I chose the aptly titled Go Away Doc. Carrot, apple and ginger all go in the sunshine coloured drink, and it tasted fresh and healthy. Knowing it had no added sugar I felt virtuous after just a few sips (laughable really when I think about the 3 burgers I smashed at the weekend) and it was a refreshing alternative to the usual Cappuchino I’d have ordered if we had gone to a coffee shop like planned.
Small quibble (not J&tJ fault) would be that it might have been nice to showcase local/independent businesses in GC, although I understand it’s all about getting the rent paid, and in that respect chains have the skills to pay the bills I guess. It’s not the cheapest option available either (the 3 drinks came to well over £10) but the juices and shakes were all hand made and full of fresh ingredients.
I’d definitely drop by this Brummy Joe and the Juice again, and was particularly interested to try the Breakfast Club ‘handheld meal’ which according to the menu combines acai, strawberry, banana, granola and almond milk. It’ll have to be reserved for a post-gym visit though; imagine the carb content is through the roof in that bad boy..
Have you tried this place? Did you enjoy your drinks or find it overrated? Let me know in the comments section below 👇🏼
Joe and the Juice, Grand Central, B2 4XJ
*Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with any brand/company mentioned within. All views are my own*