Category Archives: breakfast

Upshot Espresso, Sheffield – The North’s Coffee Community, pt VII

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.

image

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!

image

image

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!

image

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. 

image

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.

On filter they had an Ethiopian Doyo from local artisan roasters Foundry and Columbian filters Finca El Agrado and Finca La Esmerelda from Workshop.

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!

image

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. 

image

image

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! 

image

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
@UpshotEspresso

Advertisements

Amazing Graze returns, Left Bank, Leeds

Amazing Graze returned to Left Bank Leeds, for the second year running at the former St Margaret of Antioch Church last weekend. Wanting to bring street culture to the people of Leeds, the duo behind Manjit’s Kitchen – Michael and Manjit had drafted in great traders to feed the masses, and entertained all ages with art stalls, workshops and performances during the day, and for those wanting to stay into the evening the legendary Stir it Up, local musicians and DJs. 

I was itching to get there Saturday morning, dragging the other half along when we were both ravenous for a spot of lunch! The traders on show were ones they’d met along the way since starting their street food adventure, who also happen to serve great food reflecting cuisines around the world.

image

Our lunch started at Fish& with their twist on fish and chips. Being a creature of habit the other half got a Sharing Box with all three fish batters.  A good way to start our Amazing Graze Saturday! 

image

That was just for starters! Our next course was a burger, it just had to be really after hearing Original Fry Up Material were back in Leeds. They’d won the hearts of many and then some during their residency at Trinity Kitchen.

image

My aim was to try and graze (pardon the pun), to work my way through as many stalls as possible. Yeah, it’s a lot of food but it was worth a try!! I’d been banging on repeatedly how AMAZING OFM‘s burgers were, so I shared a Cheesy burger with the other half. He absolutely LOVES burgers and knows a good one when he tastes one. After being asked what he thought, he quickly admitted they were indeed fantastic and I hadn’t been exaggerating the whole time! For me a great burger needs a soft bun that doesn’t fall apart even at the last bite, a patty made of top quality meat, well seasoned and cooked pink, so it oozes meat juice. Fresh salad, preferably lettuce which is sliced, perfectly melted cheese and just enough sauce to come through, but not detract from other flavours. Well here you have it, have a gander at this!!! 

image

It’d obviously made a lasting impression on the other half, as before we left he got his hands on one of their Bacon Chilli Cheese burgers, which he thought this was EVEN better than the Cheesy burger!!! 

image

image

Next up was a little something from the organisers of Amazing Graze – Manjit’s Kitchenwho were as usual dishing up their wonderful vegetarian Indian street food.

image

image

image

image

Since their first appearance on the Leeds street food scene, they’ve built such a loyal following it’s no surprise to see them holding an event with such wonderful traders! Manjit’s well equipped to hold her own against these guys though and I ordered a Samosa Chaat which I’ve eaten many a time, basically because it never fails!! With its multilayering textures, flavours and the pockets of heat you get from chilli, its great at just £4!!

Later I tried some Bhel Puri and Aubergine fritters which both hit the right spots, in particular the Bhel Puri which was full of fresh flavours and great combinations of textures. 

image

Relative newcomers to the street food scene The Grub & Grog Shop were serving up their ‘grub’ with tasty sandwiches, stews and salads, also their own homemade rose lemonade with grapefruit and honey ‘grog’.

image

I was lucky enough to baggsy the last Flemish beef stew, sharing it with a friend. A few years ago, my best mate and I explored Ghent for the day where I ate the regional dish Carbonade Flamande, which this is loosely based on. I distinctly remember on that occasion in Ghent I found it incredibly intense and rich, so I must admit I was glad this version was less intense as it was certainly the better for it. There was tender beef in a lovely rich gravy, flavoured with beer, the vegetables were soft but still had a touch of bite left. 

image

image

Other Leeds favourites included Madeleine Bakehouse with their beautifully delicious bakes and sweet treats.

image image

Also newcomer to the street food scene Bánh mì Booth with their Vietnamese Bánh mì sandwich and noodles.

image

image

image

image

I recently reviewed them at the Kirkstall Bridge Inn which you can read here, but sampled some dumplings here and thought they were good, they had a crisp wrapper exterior filled with well flavoured pork. Very nice! Some No Name veg fritters I found disappointing, they were lovely and crisp, but for me lacked flavour and were a little bland. I did like the satay sauce that accompanied them though and could even be made more peanutty.

Leeds’ own The Greedy Pig showcased their ‘Nose to Tail’ menu, I was very gutted I didn’t manage to get my hands on any. I heard the dishes were pretty special, in particular the Tongue Tacos!!

image

El Kantina served up Mexican delights and Las Paelleras the Spanish Paella and tapas dishes on offer.

image

image

image

I tried some of Las Paelleras’ Andalucian Shrimp fritters with aioli dipping sauce. They were crisp and golden, the prawns were well cooked and juicy and I did get a hint of spring onion running through them. The aioli sauces were great and went well with the fritters. My only picky criticism is the fritters were a tad greasy. 

image

Manchester’s Diamonds Dogs with their humongous hotdogs. I have no chance of managing one of these beasts as they are so generous in size, especially once I’ve already started eating other yummy things. Next time I really need to plan ahead and not eat a thing beforehand!

image

Last but by no means least, Ginger’s Comfort Emporium with her ‘ice-cream for grown-ups’.

image

image

I hadn’t realised they were outside until I was leaving so was pretty full by then and had to miss out. On what I’d seen on social media with photos of delectable sweet treats with a difference, I MUST rectify this next time !!

image

All in all Amazing Graze was a wonderful event for people wanting a relaxing time, eating your way through a number of different delicious cuisines. It’s another example of fantastic collaboration between independents, roll on this time next year!!! 

Amazing Graze

Left Bank Leeds

Froth & Fodder – The North’s Coffee Community pt V

I’d never heard of Froth & Fodder until their appearance at North Star‘s Latte Art Throwdown. This place was originally called Cool Beans until a few years ago, and can be found opposite Leeds University’s Parkinson Building on Blenheim Terrace. Mostly frequented by students, lecturers and other University folk. As not being a part of Leeds University’s alumni I’ve never really had much reason to venture here, often driving up through the University on the way to Headingley and beyond. It’s definitely a bit of a hidden gem with it’s subterranean feel as you walk downstairs from street level.

image

With its relaxed feel and quirky mix of furniture, such as leather sofas, old school desks, wooden P.E. benches and artwork on the walls, there’s a laid back atmosphere. Sam, the Head Barista said they like to have art exhibitions at Froth & Fodder, in particular they recently had art work from Leeds College students exhibited.

image

image

Their coffee’s from New Town Coffee Roaster based in Edinburgh, who provide them with a seasonal custom blend. In the future they would also like to incorporate guest coffees to their menu too.

image

In terms of food they have a breakfast menu, including the customary full breakfast (meat and veggie versions), and their best seller is a 9 hour slow cooked belly pulled pork sandwich using meat from well known Sykes House Farm from Wetherby.

image

I HAD to go for the pulled pork sandwich,  I thought to myself it can’t be so popular for nothing!! I asked for a small one (£3.50), it arrived in a lovely fresh submarine roll filled to the rafters with soft pulled pork, there was also a sprinkling of sliced spring onions and some hoisin sauce. I soon realised why it’s their best seller as it was VERY tasty and definitely a great choice. I was very content, with my pulled pork sandwich, fresh OJ and The Raconteurs playing in the background. Just goes to show simplicity is extremely yummy!

image

I spied the person sitting alongside me with a rather tasty looking bacon sandwich too and I hear their full breakfasts aren’t nothing to be sniffed at either!

Some of their baked goods are made by Brown & Blond, the artisan brownie makers, and they also have a selection of other sandwiches and salads too.

image

image

In the future they plan to extend their menu and have more choice for gluten free and also start showcasing guest coffees too, which I’ll look forward to trying out.

image

If like me, you’ve never seen or heard of Froth & Fodder before give it a try, you can relax in theredo a spot of work whilst having a good feed and listen to some great music at the same time. There are a number of similar establishments on the same stretch of Leeds which may lure you in, but this is one you should give a chance if you haven’t already. 

Froth & Fodder
30 Blenheim Terrace
Leeds
United Kingdom

 

Moments – The North’s Coffee Community, pt VI

Just off Swinegate, opposite Malmaison there’s a very unassuming coffee shop that I have wandered passed countless times without realising. Only when compiling my list for my series on The Coffee Community I came across Moments on the web. 

image

Moments is owned by Agne who worked for a coffee shops chain for many years, working her way up though the ranks. About ten years ago when working in Buckinghamshire, she regularly served an elderly couple who gave her the impetus she needed to follow her dream she hadn’t realised was there hidden away. They gave her a £10 pound note as an investment to start it up the business, in monetary terms £10 doesn’t go that far these days, but it was this symbolic gesture that was the catalyst for what was to follow. This now sits proudly in the coffee shop as a reminder as to what started this journey for Agne.

image

image

For Agne its not just about the coffee, a major factor for them is ensuring customers are made to feel welcome and comfortable. After just spending a short amount of time at Moments it was clear to see that people do, and even when I was there customers were praising the service they got very openly.

One of the strings they have to their bow is that virtually all the food on their menu is cooked from fresh ingredients in their kitchen, with Vilius, Agne’s brother a trained chef in charge. They have come up with a food menu that had plenty of choice, ranging from breakfast, omelettes, porridge, crepes, sandwiches and chef’s specials. Also from the support of Laura, Vilius’ girlfriend, who is also a trained barista they form a good team who really want the business to succeed. 

Being an independent business they feel that supporting local businesses like them is important, so all their meat and eggs are sourced directly from local Yorkshire farmers.

image

image

The coffee has been sourced and roasted at Bradford Roasters Limini, where they have produced their own blend.

image

Even all the cakes they sell are homemade and produced in the kitchen by Vilius.

image

image

From just a short space of time spent with the team here at Moments I felt very welcome, it’s really obvious  that they care a lot about the service they offer, whether it’s the coffee, the food or their relationship with the customer. 

If you ever walk by Malmaison, take a look across the road you’ll see it, pop in side and give them a chance if you haven’t already.

Moments
8 Swinegate
Leeds
West Yorkshire
LS1 4AG
0113 244 6818
https://www.facebook.com/MomentsCoffeeLtd?fref=ts
https://twitter.com/Moments_Coffee

Saturday brunch

Friends who know me well know I have a huge interest in art, so I went to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield for the 1st day of a new exhibition. They have a restaurant in the YSP centre which serves cakes, sandwiches, soups and freshly prepared hot specials. I’ve eaten in the restaurant a few times and always driven home having been well fed and never disappointed.

Well, unfortunately I couldn’t really say the same today. I always try to be positive with my comments but am finding it a little difficult in this post. I’d only parked for 2 hours, because 2+ hours is £7.50 (quite steep I think), so could only stay till midday. They weren’t serving anything off the hot specials until 11.30am so instead I ordered the brunch. The lady at the counter said this consisted of sausage, bacon, poached egg, tomato, mushroom, toasted muffin, rocket and brown sauce. It was busy in restaurant so it took about 20 minutes for my food to arrive.

IMG_2277

The bacon was very thick and a little tough, I’d rather have 2 thinner slices of bacon with crispy fat, the sausages were ok with quite a big meat content. I find that sausages with too high a meat content can be a little dry, which these were unfortunately. The mushroom was warm, the tomato not too sharp and the muffin could have been toasted for longer, it was a little tasteless. The poached egg was still runny inside but it could have been softer on the outside. I didn’t even finish it!

It cost £8.50 for the brunch and approximately £2 for a pot of tea. I’m sure I’ll visit the restaurant again as I’m a regular at the sculpture park. But next time I’ll make sure I only order when they are serving hot food because I was sadly disappointed.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park
West Bretton
Wakefield
WF4 4LG