Tag Archives: coffee community

The Coffee Kabin – The North’s Coffee Community, part XI

During my continual search for independent coffee shops in the North, I’d been struggling to find any in Huddersfield. Thankfully social media came to the rescue, pointing me in the direction of The Coffee Kabin, based in Huddersfield.

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I ventured over at the end of July, and met owner Simon Frewin who’s originally from the town to find out more. Opened just a couple of months, this coffee house takes pride in its independent status, focussing on using the best coffee from artisan roasters around the UK and is located in close proximity to Huddersfield University.

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Simon fell in love with the drink whilst spending time in New Zealand on a rugby tour, some four years ago. At the time he was serving 100’s of coffees a day in 35°C during the daily grind in a restaurant. I wondered if it was easy to enjoy the drink so much in that heat, but Simon said it was easy to fall in love with the drink when great coffee is the norm over there, regardless of the temperature. Fair enough!!

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Even though they looked at other areas like Leeds and Ackworth, they finally decided on Huddersfield, where they knew the area well and could establish themselves without the competition of other well known establishments. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have future plans to open up another Coffee Kabin elsewhere, there’s certainly no rush as Simon has a realistic outlook, with the plan to establish themselves in Huddersfield and build their reputation there first. 

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Local coffee roaster The Grumpy Mule produce their house coffee Widescreen, chosen because it suits a wide range of customer tastes and is an easy drinking coffee. They regularly host guest coffee; such as Origin and Workshop Cult of Done. At the time of my visit they were showcasing coffee from Berlin roasters The Barn on Aeropress, indicating the seriousness of this coffee establishment.  Other brewing methods such as V-60 and Chemex are techniques Simon would also like to employ in the future to. 

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Apart from the coffee, they take pride in the sourcing of their baked goods, using Garforth’s well respected Dumouchel Bakery. Even though food is an important part of the service The Coffee Kabin provides customers, their primary focus is the quality of the coffee.

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He admits that with all new businesses, there’s a steep learning curve, but it’s been worth the hard slog and fully understands the need for this to continue to make it a success. Up to that point he’d started to enjoy seeing regular customers and gradually familiarising himself with the local community more.

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In the future Simon would love to hold brewing classes, to hold antipasti/wine evenings and make more use of the generous space they are lucky to have. Possibly to employ a chef to start serving brunch!! 

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Their first cupping session is Saturday 13th August, where they’ll be hosting The Grumpy Mule. If you’re interested in coffee it’s a great way of finding out more!

The Coffee Kabin
37-39 Queensgate
HD1 2RD
Huddersfield
07980 373 699 
http://www.thecoffeekabin.com

Somewhere Else Coffeehouse & Bakery – The North’s Coffee Community, pt X

My hunt for independent coffee haunts has once again taken me to Sheffield with Somewhere Else Coffee. This recently opened coffee establishment is family owned and run by Caroline and Katie Scott, a mother and daughter duo who originally hail from Rotherham. Having once been in the business of managing a boatyard building barges, it’s certainly a bit of a departure to making an espresso, but this dream of opening their own coffee shop was just too great.

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Choosing the city of Sheffield for its home, they appreciated what the place had to offer in terms of history and character. After a long search to find the perfect space for the shop, they saw completely by chance an empty betting shop that had been covered up for years on Eccleshall Road. Being able to see passed all the work that it would need, they fell in love with the space, in particular the front window. For the interior they used inspiration that harks to the past, with recycled and reclaimed materials found every now and again in there quirky designed interior.

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They wanted to use a local roastery for the coffee and happen to use Leeds based roaster North Star!! These guys are certainly getting around, and no wonder with their superb coffee, you’ll be able to find North Star’s Dark Arches for their house coffee. This is something they are very proud of at Somewhere Else, as they are the first to sell coffee from North Star in these parts.  Somewhere Else isn’t just about coffee though, tea also plays an important part on their beverage list too; using Sheffield based Birdhouse.

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Cakes are all homemade by Caroline’s own fair hands, popular they are too; in particular their blueberry, strawberry and almond cake which goes down a storm! With many of them catering for a range of dietary requirements, whether they be gluten intolerant, dairy or vegan there’ll be something delicious for you!

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I really liked the space they’ve created, having used lots of reclaimed materials to produce a shop that’s light, bright and mixed with quirky touches every now and again. Upstairs there’s a more cosy snug and a studio room that showcases work from local artists and University students. In keeping with one of their main priorities of being a part of the local community, they help to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

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Keeping the shop in the family is very important to these guys and their aim is for it to grow steadily, building a firm base on Eccleshall Road and doing a good job of it. In the future they’d like to sell coffee beans, increase their repertoire using different brewing techniques such as Aeropress, and possibly hosting coffee cupping events.

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If you’re ever in Sheffield and fancy coffee from fantastic local roaster North Star, served in relaxed surroundings by some lovely people, why not try Somewhere Else Coffee?

Somewhere Else Coffee
965 Ecclesall Road
Sheffield
S11 8TN
http://www.somewhereelsecoffee.com/#/
http://www.northstarroast.com
https://www.facebook.com/BirdhouseTeaCompany

Tamper: Sellers Wheel – The North’s Coffee Community pt IX, Sheffield

I’m back on the trail hunting out the best independent, artisan coffee purveyors for my series on The North’s Coffee Community, this time in Sheffield with Tamper: Sellers Wheel. Located on Arundel Street near Sheffield Hallam University, Sellers Wheel was opened in August 2013 by Tamper owner Jonathan Perry and Ben Smith of The Hop Box.

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The original Tamper: Westfield Terrace is a place for coffee enthusiasts, with an intimate feel between barista and coffee drinker, while Sellers Wheel has a slightly different vibe. It’s a cafe with a greater emphasis on serving wonderful coffee, but also good food and thoughtfully selected craft beers/ales, which is where Ben’s expertise comes into play.  They’d like Sellers Wheel to be more like a brewery cafe, similar to what you may find in Jonathan’s previous home New Zealand.

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This Grade II listed building was originally a silversmiths workshop based around a courtyard. The place has been stripped back, exposing the original brickwork and comes with a relaxed, semi-industrial feel.

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On entrance into Sellers Wheel I instantly got the feeling that even though this place has good square footage, with a large dining area, the coffee is still very much a big deal here, with their grinders and La Marzocca machine taking centre stage on the counter. Serving coffee to take out and sit-in, they have a concise menu of variations on a theme of espresso, all expertly made. For those wanting something a little cleaner they offer pour overs and Aeropress. There’s even a beautiful cold-brew drip tower on show; slowly dripping feeding away for hours on end (8 hours I think), resulting in a clean beverage that possesses low acidity and is well-balanced – an indication that these guys are serious about their coffee.

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Their single origin coffee of choice comes from London based roasters Ozone. This paired with their La Marzocca machine works well with their beans producing a great shot of espresso.

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I loved the look of the stripped back main cafe area, its rustic wooden benches and seating reminding me of old school chairs; it really suited the space and just seemed to fit.

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To accompany the coffee are an enticing array of baked goods which come from a variety of different sources, such as Wellbeck Bakehouse from Worksop, Sheffield based #brownies and their very own kitchen bakes the carrot cake and Anzac biscuits.

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Sellers Wheel with its extra space is well equipped to host events; such as their monthly supper club – Tamper Late, the last one celebrated Yorkshire produce from local suppliers. It’s also allowed them to demonstrate their culinary talents with food and coffee matching, using different brewing techniques to showcase their favourite single origin coffee in the best way.  Tamper Wind down – allows the perfect opportunity to chill out after work with wine, craft beer and cocktails every Friday. Lastly, Tamper Workshoptheir monthly coffee workshop where they hold cupping sessions and try out new coffees.

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In addition to their main dining room they are fortunate to have what they call the Board Room, available for hire, whether it be for meetings or larger groups who need a bit of space for relaxing, catching up with lunch/dinner from their main menu.

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I couldn’t visit without trying out their menu, they have an extensive breakfast/brunch menu ranging in price from £3.50 – £9. Both being fans of Eggs Benedict, I added extra smoked salmon to mine, whilst the other half went for bacon. I found the service friendly and warm, there’s a lovely relaxed feel to the space and I’d find it very easy to spend a lot of time in there. If only Sellers Wheel was in Leeds!!

Even though the place had really filled up quite quickly, service from the kitchen was pretty lively and brisk, fantastic as we were both pretty ravenous. I must say that when the plates arrived they looked very pretty indeed, but it’s not all about the aesthetics is it?!

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My dish had the flavours to match its good looks and is one of the best Eggs Benedict’s I’ve had in a while! Perfectly, and I mean perfectly poached eggs, with gloriously runny, golden yolks accompanying the hollandaise to sauce the dish. The hollandaise was deliciously smooth, but not too rich and clawing as it can be sometimes. The addition of a hash brown was a pleasant surprise, lovely and crisp adding extra texture and flavour. Plenty of metallic spinach and a vibrant red pepper sauce made it a fantastic mid-morning meal. I say ‘meal’ because it was a decent size.

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At £8.50, possibly a bit more pricey than your bog standard Eggs Benedict, but this wasn’t bog-standard, ours had additional extras – spinach, pepper sauce, hash brown, micro herbs and salmon making it well worth the price. Zero complaints on the opposite side of the table, during my usual need to take tonnes of photos before eating, (it’s a wonder that I actually eat), he’d already wolfed down nearly half of his, especially commenting on the crisp, salty bacon in a big way! A great way to set yourself up for the day ahead! 

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A lovely cafe which I think is a bit of an all-rounder, somewhere that has great coffee, food, drinks, is pleasing on the eye and an ideal place to spend time any time of the day – breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea and dinner! In the future Tamper may start holding training courses for barista, possibly masterclasses, whatever avenue they choose to follow I’m sure it’ll match the high standard they’ve already set themselves!

Do you know of any fantastic independent coffee establishments that I’ve not visited yet in the area? I’d love to know if you have any recommendations!

Tamper Sellers Wheel
Arundel St
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
S1 2N
0114 2757970
http://tampercoffee.co.uk

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.

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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!

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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!

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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. 

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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!

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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. 

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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! 

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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

Spring Espresso, York – The North’s Coffee Community, pt VI

When I first started this series on The North’s Coffee Community I focussed on Leeds and Harrogate, but since speaking to different people involved in coffee it’s got me looking further afield, such as York.

I love York with all its history, iconic architecture and cobbled streets – this is one of the UK’s great cities in my opinion. Having old friends living near the racecourse I’ve visited the place many times over the years. But with my love for coffee developing only recently, I really had no idea of their fantastic independent artisan coffee shops, and I don’t mean Betty’s!

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For my first Coffee Community post in York, I’m starting with Spring Espresso, after a gratefully received recommendation from Ruth at Bean & Bud in Harrogate.

Spring Espresso first opened in Autumn 2011, on Fossgate. The owners, Steve and Tracey previously worked for the Cafe2U franchise, selling coffee around the area from a red van before opening their own place.

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As with many of these coffee community stories, I’ve found that there are people who are seemingly woven into the fabric of these stories. Tracey and Dave Olejnik (Laynes Espresso) have been friends for years, both possessing a love and obsession of coffee in the days before Laynes, when Dave worked at Opposite in Leeds. As Dave opened Laynes in Leeds city centre, Tracey and Steve saw a gap in the market in historic York, where Third Wave coffee hadn’t really found its way into this part of Yorkshire.

With their spot on Fossgate, they’ve built a space with an open feel and calm ambience. This was fully intended with Tracey wanting a relaxing environment where every customer could be seen in one glance. They’ve even implemented the principles of feng shui into the layout of the shop to guide energy flow through the shop!

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One of the first things you can’t help but notice is the stand-out branding on the walls. Steve once served in the Air Force so I assume that’s the link to Spring’s logo, very cool it is too!!

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Another thing I admired was their attention to detail, with customer service being one thing they pride themselves on, greeting customers across a low-level counter means their much-loved Synesso Hydra machine is on show, baristas can’t hide behind brewing apparatus or paraphernalia, and it encourages interaction and builds a dynamic between barista and the customer.

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After recently watching a BBC programme on the coffee scene in the UK, they mentioned a certain coffee chain, which I won’t name who style themselves on the old school traditional Italian coffee shop. I’m SO glad Spring Espresso haven’t gone down that road, and instead have a lovely space with great pieces of furniture made from wood lovingly salvaged from old Yorkshire mills. A prime example is the gorgeous low level circular table at the front of the shop, made from a 17C pulley wheel previously used in a Sheffield mill.

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So what about the coffee, they champion London’s Square Mile Red Brick and often host guest coffees, from artisan roasters like Caravan. Using coffee from Direct Trade is very important to Tracey and Steve, where coffee is bought straight from the growers. Relationships based on respect are built and is mutually beneficial to all parties, where growers are helped to grow the best coffee, often in very difficult environments and circumstances.

After spending the morning with Tracey and Steve, chatting whilst I drank a fantastic latte made with Square Mile’s Red Brick seasonal espresso, the love and passion they have for what they do, the extensive knowledge and experience they have at their fingertips was highly enviable and infectious!!! I think I was a little in awe when I found out that Steve’s competed in the UK Barista Championships many times, having achieved 3rd place in 2012. So this team REALLY do know their stuff and blew me away with it!

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They know their tea as well, 2013 saw them winning BSA 2013 Accreditation and Best Drink award for Best Tea!!! These guys are certainly not one trick ponies, using 10 speciality teas from the Canton Tea Co.

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I visited on a quiet Sunday morning (9:30am) and when I arrived a lot of their regulars were already in there, a couple of hours later the place was full – I have a feeling this a very common occurrence!!

The baked goods are all made by Tracey’s fair hands and I did spot her version of the Bostock slice. I was so tempted to go home with one, next time I’ll definitely snaffle one up!!

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Tracey and Steve are in the process of opening a second shop in the city centre, with the same great coffee and service, but with extra square footage they’ll be able to serve more of the York masses and tourists from far and wide! You are lucky, lucky people!

York for me isn’t just a city I’ll visit for it’s history and architecture anymore, it’s somewhere I can drink wonderful artisan coffee from some lovely people, who really know what they are doing. Oh yeah, it’s an independent too!!

Spring Espresso
45 Fossgate
York
YO1 9TF
07779 294149
http://www.springespresso.co.uk