My latest review has brought me to Sheffield for the first time on my indie coffee exploration, and I must admit I’m still really enjoying the ride and venturing outside of Leeds! Upshot Espresso came onto my coffee radar during North Star’s Latte Art Throw Down, when one of their baristas competed in the event.
Originally from Doncaster, Upshot Espresso started life when Sam and his Dad opened the place 2 years ago. Found on busy Glossop Road, near the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Sheffield University, their main custom comes from both of these establishments.
It’s a light, relaxed space and with an inviting low level counter showing off their prized EK-43 grinder, the creme de la creme of grinders and a yummy selection of baked goods, either produced by an artisan baker in Penistone or by their resident baker Lauren. With a semi-rustic feel from reclaimed wood pine floor boards for counter tops and old army bridge supports for the window table, I chatted to Sam who is the Head Barista/owner of the shop at said window, which for me was the best seat in the house!
Like some other great coffee establishments a low coffee counter lends itself well to interaction and building relationships with customers. They can show off different brewing methods, such as V60 and Aeropress, and a nice bit of latte art. Yeah, I know that doesn’t mean the coffee’s good, but I personally can’t get enough of it!
In this case the coffee’s great, they have two different espressos on at a time, and three filters, swearing by artisan roasters like Square Mile and Workshop. They regularly host guest coffees too, just to mix it up a little bit and keep it interesting. Provenance and traceability plays an important part in their choices of roasters and coffee, so using artisan roasters is at the top of Upshot’s priorities.
At the time I visited there was Square Mile’s Red Brick Seasonal Espresso with 60% La Serrania from Columbia and 40% Santa Ana from Brazil giving brownie sweetness, vanilla aromas and dried fruit finish. Also on the books was James Gourmet‘s Sulawesi Tana Toraja AA Espresso with its rich, silky body, hint of asparagus, sweetness, fruit and floral notes.
They are also the purveyor of fine teas using a nice selection from the Canton Tea Co, and are happy to talk tea as much as they are to talk coffee!
Sam and barista Fran were both friendly, immediately approachable and informative, without feeling the need to dish out every single bit of information on the coffee. They have a great relationship and rapport with their regular customers, which was seen first hand as they joked about with one of them while I was there.
Collaboration with other good indies in Sheffield is important to them, just last week during UK Coffee Week, Upshot hosted a cupping event where local indie Tamper got stuck in too. Sam has also been a guest barista with the team at Bean & Bud in Harrogate. In the future they’d like to host more cupping events and possibly run evening classes such as latte art.
On the food side, at the moment they have a small menu which they are in the process of expanding in the near future. One of the key things is that everything they do matches the standard of the coffee they serve to customers.
During my afternoon I had a much needed piccolo using Square Mile and a slice of the Apple Streusel tart which was scrumptious!
The only reason I tend to come into Sheffield is to visit my best mate, but at least I know where I can get a great coffee and cake fix, a spot of banter in a relaxed environment from a fantastic independent.
I’m looking forward to see what else Sheffield has to offer in terms of artisan independents now!!Upshot Espresso 355 Glossop Rd Sheffield S10 2HP 0114 278 0333 http://www.upshotespresso.co.uk