Posts Tagged ‘Nottingham Coffee Trail’

Cappuccino at The Specialty Coffee Shop

September 1, 2019

The Specialty Coffee Shop, not somewhere I have visited for a while I thought as I was that way I would drop in as nearest place to get out of the rain.

As always excellent coffee.

I am seeing Click everywhere. Not sure why.

I find Leftlion which I have not seen before. Similar to Now Then and Independent Life but larger format.

Nottingham has a glossy freebie, as with glossy freebies everywhere, straight in the bin. Leflion a marked improvement.

A couple of guys come in, we chat. One tells me how he enjoys honey crunch chicken in Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage and of Krema and Canopy for coffee, notes coffee has improved at Canopy with a new barista. Surrey Hills not good, always empty. I agree.

A couple of ladies each bring to the counter a HuskeeCup to buy. The only two. I was aware of HuskeeCup but the first time I have seen one in the wild.

Buy a HuskeeCup and get first coffee free. The cup costs £15 (this may include cost of the lid which is extra), assume a coffee £3, brings the cost down to £12.

The design is elegant The lid and saucer are extra. The cups stack.

Michelangelo said the egg shape was ideal for latte art.

There is a scheme HuskeeSwap, whereby bring in a clean undamaged cup, and will receive coffee in a washed HuskeeCup. I know not if operates in The Speciality Coffee Shop.

HuskeeCups are made from the husks of coffee beans which would otherwise been a waste product.

Now stopped raining, sun comes out.

Lunch at Cartwheel

April 26, 2019

Cartwheel excellent for coffee. Today I decided to try for lunch.

I would usually eat at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station. Not today, too crowded and my favourite spot overlooking Nottingham Canal was taken. I thought I would give Cartwheel a try for lunch.

It is rare, a good place to eat but not good coffee, good coffee but not good food. Cartwheel a rarity, excellent food, and excellent coffee.

Prior to placing an order, carafe of ice cold water brought to my table, poured into a glass, then knife and fork and paper napkin neatly laid at the side.

This level of service, the norm in Athens, not in England.

Avocado on sourdough bread toast with side of potato hash.

Excellent, generous portion size. Potato hash sufficient for two.

After lunch, a cappuccino. Excellent.

I was asked, did I fancy a cake? No thanks, already too full

I was tempted a V60, and liked how served, cup, carafe and card providing information on on the coffee served, but not sufficient time.

Cartwheel is featured in the latest Great Food Club Handbook.

Cobbler and shoe shop next door, Loakes shoes, is well worth popping in.

V60 and Om Nom at Outpost Coffee

December 27, 2018

In indie coffee shops, not only excellent coffee very often interesting reading material.

I came across Om Nom in Magazine Brighton. Then when I came across again later in the day in Infinity Foods I decided to pick up a copy, On Nom issue 3.

Issue no 2, long sold out.

The day after the longest day, the Saturday before Christmas, I decided to try my luck in Ideas on Paper in Nottingham, as always keeps back issues. I was out of luck, issue 3 but no earlier issues.

They did though have latest issue of Standart and Ambrosia.

Then another idea, Outpost Coffee. I had seen Om Nom on display on a previous visit. I may be in luck. And I would have as always an excellent V60 from one of their single origin coffees.

At first I thought I was out of luck, not on display, then I noticed more reading material tucked away on a shelf. I was in luck, not only a copy, they kindly gave me their copy.

As always an excellent V60 served in ceramic.

The ceramic cup, Åoomi dust ceramic coffee mug, is on sale at Outpost Coffee.

V60 Japanese iced filter shaken not stirred

September 12, 2018

James Bond likes his martini shaken not stirred, that was my V60 Japanese iced filter coffee at Outpost Coffee.

A V60, no, I changed my mind a V60 Japanese iced coffee. But with an added twist, as James Bond would say, shaken not stirred, shaken in a cocktail shaker. Even though I observed how it was made,I queried what was served, as noticeable difference, a different taste.

V60 made as a V60, but half the water as ice, which instantly chills the coffee as drips through.

I say half, I am assuming the ratio was 1:1.

The coffee was a very expensive Kenyan, sold only by the bottle at £10 per bottle.

I had tried on my last visit. The taste was different, very fruity. Though the only real comparison would be to try both methods, not rely on memory.

I think the agitation, introduction of air, has made a difference. Think Champagne.

It was though an excellent drink of coffee.

Cartwheel Coffee

September 12, 2018

Following directions given by Nelo’s coffee kiosk, I this time easily found Cartwheel Coffee. A lovely building, next door a cobbler and shoe shop, out the back a courtyard and tea shop, all within the same building, Enfield Chambers.

Cartwheel Coffee roast their own coffee. Looking at the coffee, freshly roasted and very high Q grade, high 80s if not over 90.

I ordered a cappuccino and flapjack. The flapjack contained beetroot, yuk. Maybe I struck lucky, no beetroot, or maybe, a tiny amount for flavour without the vile taste of beetroot. The flapjack excellent.

Cartwheel Coffee is listed in The Great Food Club Handbook 2018, only it is not listed. Confused, so were they. Listed on-line but not in the book. Does one have to pay for a listing in the book, if yes, then the guide lacks all credibility. I was less impressed by The Great Food Club Handbook 2018 compared with The Great Food Club Handbook 2017. Places omitted I would list, places listed I would omit.

Afternoon in Nottingham

August 29, 2018

It would have been a day in Nottingham, arrive late morning, but thanks to dysfunctional bus service running at least 12 minutes late, I missed the train, and had to catch the next train an hour later.

The train had usb charging points hidden beneath the seats.

Not seen before, a coffee kiosk outside Nottingham Station, Nelo’s. Cappuccino OK, not great. It would improve if the coffee was ground fresh for each cup. The guy was knowledgeable about coffee, but it needs more than a piece of paper from 200 Degrees to make a barista.

The biscotti biscuit was excellent.

Lunch at 200 Degres near Nottingham Station, but no coffee. Their coffee is not great, though I like the ambience of the coffee shop and the food and cakes are excellent.

I tried to find Cartwright Coffee that the little coffee kiosk and one of his customers had recommended. I could not find nor Jamie Oliver that I was told was nearby.

I asked a passing Black girl but she did not know. I knew Nottingham better tan her, even though she was a local.

She suggested I took a coffee in Pret a Manger. Ha, ha.

It was therefore The Speciality Coffee Shop.

Michelangelo said both his guest coffees even though single origin, were suited to espresso, not filter.

I tried Rwanda from Maude Coffee Roasters. Excellent cappuccino. I asked was a light roast, as was reminded of coffee from Base Camp? I was told yes.

I picked up two bags of coffee.

I looked in Ideas on Paper in Hebden Court. Picked up a copy of Ambrosia San Francisco edition.

I looked in Wired, said hello. I would have liked to have had a cappuccino, but no time. Next time.

On to Outpost Coffee. A V60. I let them choose. A Kenyan coffee, a bit too acidic. Very expensive beans, so expensive, sold in small glass jars. I did not inquire the cost.

On the shelf a Gina cold brew tower which I had not seen before. They brought down onto the counter for me to have a closer look.

V60 emptied into a takeaway cup. A sacrilege I know. But I had a train to catch.

A couple of years ago Guildford had cows dotted around the town, Brighton snowdogs, Lincoln Barons, then last year Knights. Nottingham has Robins. Why Hoodwinked I do not know.

Train 1721. I was very lucky to catch. Were it not for cramming the passengers in like sardines and the time it took to board I would have missed the train.

200 Degrees Flying Horse Walk

May 1, 2018

On previous visits to Nottingham, I have not been able to find 200 Degrees Flying Horse Walk, even though I know I have been in the vicinity.  Therefore my first port of call on leaving Nottingham Station was 200 Degrees Nottingham Station.

Too early to eat and I did not want a coffee. I called in to ask where their other coffee shop was, as I had not found on previous visits, also to check the roast date on their beans.

For a coffee roastery, I would expect not to find old coffee beans. There can be no excuse for this.

When I queried why, they said deliveries Tuesday, today being Tuesday, check back later.

Following their directions the coffee shop was more or less where I expected it to be, though could I find it, no.

I walked through Flying Horse Walk, a modern arcade, no luck.

I walked around the block, no luck, checked alleys, no luck.

Then found it, hidden by scaffolding.

Inside dark and gloomy. Full of people on laptops. No ambience. I much prefer 200 Degrees Nottingham Station to 200 Degrees Flying Horse Walk.

I checked the beans. As 200 Degrees Nottingham Station, too old.

I ordered falafel wrap. As 200 Degrees Nottingham Station, excellent. I learnt at both coffee shops they make their own food on site. Baffled though why vegan sausages.

I was going to return to 200 Degrees Nottingham Station for a cappuccino, though that had not been my original plan, but as it would have meant back tracking, I stayed and ordered a cappuccino, their guest blend.

I forgot they blend with chocolate. Very annoying as disguises the coffee. As with the house blend, ok, not great.

It was then to The Speciality Coffee Shop. I ordered a cappuccino. Alchemy Elixir, sadly not as good as previous visit.

Mayday in Nottingham

May 1, 2018

A day in Nottingham of coffee exploration, following the Nottingham Coffee Trail.

Awoke to a lovely sunny day, a light frost at dawn.

Train to Nottingham, clear blue sky, as train pulled into Nottingham Station, turned cloudy.

Alighting from the train and walking beside the station, quite cool, a cold wind blowing.

Day was variable, cool in the shade, hot in the sun.

First port of call, 200 Degrees Nottingham Station. Too early to eat, I did not want a coffee. Called in to ask where their other coffee shop was, as had not found on previous visits, also to check the roast date on their beans.

For a coffee roastery, I would expect not to find old coffee beans. There can be no excuse for this.

When I queried why, they said deliveries Tuesday, today being Tuesday, check back later.

The coffee shop was more or less where I expected it to be, could I find it, no.

I walked through Flying Horse Walk, a modern arcade, no luck.

I walked around the block, no luck, checked alleys, no luck.

Then found it, hidden by scaffolding.

Inside dark and gloomy. Full of people on laptops. No ambience. I much prefer 200 Degrees Nottingham Station to 200 Degrees Flying Horse Walk.

I checked the beans. As 200 Degrees Nottingham Station, too old.

I ordered falafel wrap. As 200 Degrees Nottingham Station, excellent. I learnt at both coffee shops, they make their own food on site. Baffled though why vegan sausages.

I was going to return to 200 Degrees Nottingham Station for a  cappuccino, though that had not been my original plan, but as it would have meant back tracking, I stayed and ordered a cappuccino, their guest blend.

I forgot they blend with chocolate. Very annoying as disguises the coffee. As with the house blend, ok, not great.

It was then to The Speciality Coffee Shop. I ordered a cappuccino. Alchemy Elixir, not as good as previous visit.

Feeling hungry I ordered tagliatelle. Very poor compared with Bedda, Sicilian guys with a stall on Winchester street food market. Pasta has to be fresh.

Since my last visit a change around in the coffee. Only two bags of the Gardelli left.

Three bags of coffee, Alchemy, Gardelli, The Barn.

Then to Wired. No time for a coffee. I checked what coffee they had, and said I would pop back. As with The Speciality Coffee Shop, different to my last visit.

Next stop Outpost Coffee.  I did not wish for yet another cappuccino, I start to feel sick after two, and had not enjoyed either.

Did I wish for a V60, did I have time? Yes and no, but decided on a V60.

Very, very unusual. If did not know was coffee, maybe tea, but not even tea, maybe a strange fruit not familiar with.

Two boxes of coffee, note boxes not bags.

I asked of the coffee scene in Lincoln. I said excellent, visit Coffee Aroma, Madame waffle and Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill. Easy to find, from Lincoln Central Station, head to the High Street, to The Stonebow, then onward and upwards, The Strait, then Steep Hill.

This is how to find excellent coffee shops, follow your own instincts, go where your feet take you, ask.  Once one specialist coffee shop found they will advise on others, it may not be in the same town (though that helps), may not even be in the same country. On my last visit to Nottingham a couple of weeks ago, I was discussing with Michelangelo co-owner The Speciality Coffee Shop coffee shops in Athens.

Then back to Wired picked up Clifton Coffee Roasters coffee from China.

No time, but popped in 200 Degrees Nottingham Station to pick up a cake.

I would maybe have asked of their coffee deliveries, but so far not been impressed by their coffee and not time. Plus I had so far spent a small fortune on coffee and had an excellent selection.

The Specialty Coffee Shop

April 17, 2018

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station.

I skipped coffee. I do not find their house blend great, which is an understatement, poor quality coffee bulked out with robusta.  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 for The Specialty Coffee Shop.  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 Specialty 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, Gardelli.

Rubens Gardelli 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 grade 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 in Lincoln, 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 ofCoffee Shop North and maybe back copies of Standart if they had (they had not).

On my way Cold Brew Coffee, now being remaindered at £2 a copy. 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.