Cappuccino on St George’s Day

April 23, 2018

What better way to celebrate St George’s Day than a cappuccino in Madame Waffle, brewed using Red Brick roasted by Square Mile?

 

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V60 Japanese iced filter coffee at Makushi

April 21, 2018

A few days ago, I had a V60 using a Rwanda natural Gatare from Alchemy at The Speciality Coffee Shop.  It was excellent.

I came away with a bag, or at least half a bag, as that was all they had.

Today I thought, rather than have a cappuccino at Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill, why not try this coffee as V60 guest coffee.

Then on arrival, I thought why not as a lovely day to sit in the garden, as a V60 Japanese iced filter coffee.

This is brewed as a V60 with two big differences, the carafe has ice, and only use half the water, the other half is in the ice.

The ice instantly chills the coffee as it drips through onto the ice.

Allow the ice to melt, then serve with ice.

Enjoy.

 

 

Harlequin Cafe and The Attic

April 20, 2018

On leaving Spring Espresso Lendal and wandering around, arrived back at York Minster, then found Harlequin Cafe and The Attic overlooking a small square, King’s Square.  I was actually heading towards a market or at least following a sign to a market.

First Floor Harlequin Cafe (closed) and on the second floor The Attic.

Through a door and up narrow stairs.

I have lumped the two together, but strictly speaking I should not as two different one a tea shop the other a coffee shop cum drinking den in the evening.  The only reason I have is because Harlequin Cafe was closed. All I could do was peer though the door and carry on upwards to The Attic, quite literally the attic.

Why was Harlequin Cafe closed, I asked on reaching The Attic. Why was it closed, I inquired? I learnt it closed at 3-30 in the afternoon Looking perplexed, I was told it was a tea room.

Not wishing for yet another cappuccino I chose, or was chosen for me, pour over Kalita Wave using a single origin from Has bean, I think a Burundi.

A signed copy of Coffeeography occupying pride of place on the shelf. I suggested why not invite Stephen Leighton for an afternoon of conversation, such an event of  conversation with Stephen Leighton had taken place one afternoon at Coffee Aroma.

A choice of KeepCup or ecoffee reusable cups. The black with Attic, far more attractive than ecoffee in Oxfam.

A short walk to a local market but now no time to have a wander round.

I asked the way to the station as now in a more modern less attractive part of the city and lost.

Spring Espresso Lendal

April 20, 2018

What a difference walking down a street can make.

Excellent brunch at Burr Coffee, the coffee awful.

Is my sense of taste awry? No, bad coffee.

Spring Espresso Lendal serves coffee from Square Mile, Red Brick espresso blend and single origin.

I have yet to have a bad Square Mile coffee and Spring Espresso Lendal was no exception.

Excellent cappuccino, restoring my faith that my sense of taste had not gone awry.

Did they have guest coffees? Occasionally, but very rarely as always a changing guest coffee from Square Mile.

I noticed a Synesso espresso machine. Showing an interest, I was told the only one in the country, at least of that model. Spring Espresso have a second coffee shop in York with a different Synesso.

On the counter a small cold brew tower. I have never seen one so small, though unusual to ever see one in the UK.  It was dripping at one drip every two seconds through the coffee and into a carafe below. Eight hours.  Odd though to serve with tonic.

Burr Coffee

April 20, 2018

Alighting at York Station the final stop, wandering through  the streets, over a bridge over the River Ouse and into the city centre.

Passed a couple of coffee shops, one of which was Brew and Brownie, but too hot to sit inside.  Ended at York Minster, back tracked to Lendal and found Burr Coffee.

Excellent brunch at Burr Coffee, the same cannot be said of the coffee. The cakes looked tempting, but I did not try.

Looking at the menu outside, brunch field mushrooms and halloumi cheese with pine nuts on toasted sourdough bread. Generous portion size and excellent.

North Star Coffee on sale, espresso blend and single origin, though no single origin served, no pour over.

I have had North Star before at Canopy Coffee, not good, therefore was curious.

Cappuccino ordered. It was terrible, chocolate dumped on top, scalding hot, undrinkable.

I kept taking a tentative sip whilst eating my lunch, but my opinion did not change, it was terrible coffee.

I had been tempted to buy a bag of North Star coffee was not sure which, though my decision had been made for me, as apart from The Docks an espresso blend, the single origin which I would have preferred, was all too old.  Having experienced an awful coffee, I decided not.

Further down the street, Spring Espresso Lendal serving Square Mile Coffee.  What a difference a few steps can make.

Sometimes I wonder, is my sense of taste awry. I then have a decent cup of coffee, and realise no, I have been served bad coffee.

Burr Coffee has on sale The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide in which they are listed.  The listing opens up a whole can of worms. If not serving quality coffee, why are they listed? How independent is this guide, what credibility, when coffee shops are paying £500 to be listed?

Burr Coffee, excellent for lunch, not somewhere for coffee.  A cafe serving coffee, not a coffee shop serving food.

 

Afternoon in York

April 20, 2018

Wednesday very hot, hottest day of the year, fortunately Thursday not as hot.

Virgin Trains Doncaster to York running several minutes late. Then at the last minute, train switched to another platform. Passengers only became aware on seeing the train pull into another platform. Station staff then tried to stop passengers boarding and refused to hold the train to enable passengers to board.

Whilst waiting for the late running train, a train for Kings Cross pulled in with announcement already full standing room only.

Alighting at York Station the final stop, wandering through  the streets, over a bridge over the River Ouse and into the city centre.

What struck me, walking from the station, and then wandering around, the number of tourists.  Second that the centre relatively unspoilt, even where chains, and there was a good mix of independents where there were chains, the streets had not been destroyed, original buildings and shopfronts. Oxfam did though have to be an exception, ugly shop sign. Could they not have had the good grace to have had a sign in keeping with the character of the building?

Contrast with Lincoln, a historic town, and yet few tourists compared compared with York. Could this be due to poor town centre planning, destruction of whole swathes of the town centre, the latest being Sincil Street?

The  centre of York traffic free contrast with centre of Lincoln where it is not.

Passed a couple of coffee shops. I wandered in a couple, but far too hot to be sat inside.  Brew and Brownie tempting, but too hot inside. Ended at York Minster.  Back tracked to Lendal and found Burr Coffee.

Excellent brunch at Burr Coffee, the same cannot be said of the coffee.

Brunch field mushrooms and halloumi cheese with pine nuts on toasted sourdough bread. Generous portion size and excellent.

North Star Coffee on sale, espresso blend and single origin, though no single origin served, no pour over.

I have had North Star before at Canopy Coffee, not good, therefore was curious.

Cappuccino ordered. It was terrible, chocolate dumped on top, scalding hot, undrinkable.

Further down the street, Spring Espresso Lendal serving Square Mile Coffee.  What a difference walking down a street can make. Excellent coffee.

View story at Medium.com

Then wandering around, arrived back at York Minster, then found Harlequin Coffee and The Attic overlooking a square, King’s Square, as I followed signs to a market.

First Floor Harlequin Cafe (closed) and  on the second floor The Attic.

Not wishing for yet another cappuccino I chose, or was chosen for me, pour over Kalita Wave using a single origin from Has bean, I think a Burundi.

A short walk to a local market but now no time to have a wander round.

I asked the way to the station as now in a more modern less attractive part of the city and lost.

Crossed a different bridge over the River Ouse en route the the station

On arrival at the station found train running fifteen minutes late, which meant would not make connecting service at Newark.

Train left twenty minutes late.

It was announced, leave at Newark, walk to other Newark Station, fifteen minutes walk, will be met by station staff and guided where to go.

Not true 15 minutes walk. It is 15 minutes walk into town, and that is assuming know the way. No staff greeting passengers. No transport to convey passengers. not even bottles of water handed out which was the least they could have done.

Poorly signposted across the town, including dircting on unnesseary long way around.

— to be completed —

Outpost Coffee

April 17, 2018

Popping in Ideas on Paper to pick up their one and only copy of Coffee Shop North, I was asked could I pop back.

Asking of coffee shops, I was given the same advice as my last visit from Chocolate Studio, exit Cobden Chambers, turn left and head off down the street.

This I did, first saying hi to the barista in Wired.

I found nothing, turned on my heels, then spotted Outpost Coffee.

A small coffee shop, roast their own coffee.

The coffee on sale in a box, though I was informed, the coffee beans are in a bag inside the box.

A selection of cakes.

Limited outside seating.

Chatting with the barista, he said they source their coffee from different suppliers, and are now establishing relationship with growers and engaging in direct trade.

Coffee cups not compostable, costs too high.

I suggest, hike the price of takeaway to cover the extra costs, offer discount if customers bring in their own clean cups for a  refill. They currently offer a 50p discount.

My cappuccino excellent, served in a strange cup, no handle resembling an extra large egg cup.

It was then just time to pop back to Ideas on Paper, collect my copy of Coffee Shop North and head for Nottingham Station.

 

The Speciality Coffee Shop

April 17, 2018

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station.

I skipped coffee. I do not find their house blend great.  I wished to try their guest blend, which I have yet to try, though at their other coffee shop.

I headed off in roughly the right direction.  At Market Square headed off down Friar Lane, which is not as the name suggests a pleasant lane, though maybe once was, about to turn around, I found The Speciality Coffee Shop,  where I was greeted by Michelangelo, head barista and co-owner.

It is a myth Italians know about coffee, serve great coffee.  They do not.  Michelangelo though is one of those rare exceptions, an artist whose palette is coffee.

The Speciality Coffee Shop lives up to its name, a wide range of speciality coffee, from Origin, Alchemy, Gardrlli.

Rubens Gardrlli coffee roaster and owner of Gardelli Coffees won the World Coffee Roaster Championship in China last year.

Something I noticed, which I have not seen since Athens, coffee on offer with a Q of 90+. Was it from Ninety Plus? No, and Michelangelo apologised that he had nothing 90+ to offer me.

Michelangelo full of enthusiasm, the type of enthusiasm that is infectious, offered me a coffee to try.

At first I thought he was offering me a batch brew. I declined, until he told me it was a V60 he had just brewed.

It was excellent.  A Burundi. At least I thought a Burundi, but on reflection maybe a Rwandan.

I then tried an Ethiopian from the batch brew. I preferred the V60.

Then a cappuccino. Again excellent.

The cappuccino, Alchemy Elixir, very much like the coffee roasted in-house at Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill, a light roast bringing out the intrinsic flavours.

An unusual coffee menu on the wall. No listing  of cappuccino, flat white etc. Instead filter or espresso, milk or no milk.

Do not know your flavour notes? A large mural covering the back wall may help.

A selection of cakes and savouries.

A board outside indicated the lunchtime menu.

I ended up spending most of the afternoon there, chatting with barista James and a few of the customers.

James showed me something new. Everyone knows, cannot make a cappuccino with fake milk, it looks disgusting, tastes disgusting.  Why even try? James blended in the pouring jug.  A strange beige colour. I tried. Not great, but we both agreed better than what is usually served with fake milk.

Last year, only one year after it had opened, The Speciality Coffee Shop was awarded the best independent business in Nottingham.  There are these days so many awards being handed out they have become worthless. Not in this case, well deserved.

Noticing the time, I realised I had to walk back to Market Square, find Ideas on Paper to pick up a copy of Coffee Shop North and maybe back copies of Standart if they had (they had not).

On my way Cold Brew Coffee, now being remained at £2 a coppy. Last visit £4 a copy, though in Lincoln it was £3 a copy.  Less than the cost of a cappuccino.

I did not think I had time to try any more coffee shops.

Ideas on Paper gave the same advice as on my last visit by Chocolate Studio exit Cobden Chambers, turn left, head off down the street to find coffee shops. This I did, first saying hi in Wired. I found nothing, turning on my heels I found Outpost Coffee.

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station

April 17, 2018

As my last visit to Nottingham, excellent lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station.

As my last visit, I skipped coffee. Their house blend is not great. I wished to try their guest blend, but wished to try at their other coffee shop, which I have yet to find.

I headed off in what I thought was the correct direction, did not find, but did find The Speciality Coffee Shop where I spent the a large part of the afternoon.

Afternoon in Nottingham

April 17, 2018

An hour later than I would have wished in Nottingham thanks to appalling bus service, now three weeks running late, missed my train, had to wait an hour for the next train.

On my last visit I only just made the train, but today no.

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station overlooking Nottingham Canal.

I skipped coffee. I do not find their house blend great.  I wished to try their guest blend, which I have yet to try, though at their other coffee shop.

I headed off in roughly the right direction.  At Market Square headed off down Friar Lane, which is is not as a the name suggests a pleasant lane, though maybe once was, about to turn around, I found The Speciality Coffee Shop,  where I was greeted by Michelangelo, head barista and co-owner.

Time pressing, I headed back to Market Square to find Ideas on Paper, to pick up a copy of Coffee Shop North and inquire back copies of Standart.

He was popping out, pop back in a few minutes.

I inquired of coffee shops. I was given the same advice as the previous week, exit out of Cobden Chambers, turn left and head off down the street.

This I did, sticking my head in Wired to say hi.

I found nothing, turned on my heals and headed back.

It was then I spotted Outback Coffee.

Back to Ideas on Paper, picked up the only copy Coffee Shop North. No did not have Standart. Experiencing the same problems as everyone else, distribution issues.

Minutes to spare, a cake from 200 Degrees Nottingham Station and hopped on the overcrowded train as it was about to pull out.