Posts Tagged ‘Outpost Coffee’

Afternoon in Nottingham

September 3, 2020

A lovely pleasant warm sunny afternoon in Nottingham.

Roads from Nottingham Station leading to Broadmarsh closed. Let us hope remain closed.

I look in a pop up shop making face masks. But the double-lined ones. I wish I had not lost in Lincoln a few days ago the cotton face mask  that replicated the paper masks.

I had picked up a face mask before catching the train, but again double layers (not apparent until take out of packaging) and a mix of polyester and cotton. I prefer cotton.

In the shop they showed me a pocket between the two layers. I assumed that was how it was. The one I had picked up earlier, a small cloth marked pm2.5. I now realise what it was. A filter to slip into the pocket the make 3-ply and give additional protection, but also make even more difficult to breathe.

Last week a long detour around the derelict Intu Broadmarsh shopping centre, this week could walk through.

I am seeing owls. Did not notice last week. Maybe because I took a different route.

Building work, demolition, renovation everywhere. All for student accommodation. Not good news when we have a homelessness crisis with people living on the streets.

I looked in Cartwheel Coffee. Food looked tempting and it would have been pleasant to sit outside. I was after a bag of Ethiopian coffee.

Barista kindly ground a few beans espresso and V60 pour over. This gives a reference for a grinder for calibration.

Lunch at Paste, a Thai restaurant. A mistake, as it was not very good. My fault as picked the wrong dish. Stir fried vegetables, which if fished in the bottom found a few pieces of meat.  In the past I have had deep fried chicken with a creamy sauce.

They have removed the tables in the middle, temperature scanned as enter.

There used to be a tall girl, never smiled. Maybe she has left.

Closed at 2-30. I have not noticed it closed before, but maybe I was an hour late.  I asked staff as we were leaving. They said because of coronavirus.

I also raised their failure to answer on social media, that I had visited Monday previous week to find closed.

VAT has dropped from over 20% to 5%. It is not being passed on, prices have not changed.

Outpost Coffee has changed hands, now Kigali, focus on coffee roasting, with Kigali as an independent coffee shop.

I learnt The Specialty Coffee Shop closed at three as did Kigali.

I stayed and had a cappuccino.

Too late to visit Luisa’s chocolate.

Word on the street, Wired closed due to greedy landlord doubling the rent.

Looked in Cobden Chambers. Ideas on Paper not open.

Head to station via Market Square. Not many people about.

Reluctant to leave at four thirty as a warm pleasant sunny afternoon, but if I visit Cartwheel Coffee or take a walk along the Nottingham Canal, stay another hour, I will be on a rush hour train.

Train not too busy.

Nottingham cold mid-January afternoon

January 15, 2020

A sunny albeit cold afternoon in Nottingham.

It is not every day visit a bean-to-bar chocolate maker, craft beer brewery and a coffee roastery all in one day.

And visit a Thai restaurant and a coffee shop.

To Paste, Thai restaurant. Excellent lunch, generous portion size. As last week, empty.

Looked in Ugly Bread Bakery. Mentioned the Panorama programme on town centres broadcast on Monday, worth watching.

Invited to a meeting with retailers the following day.

Head off to Sneinton Market.

Pass Bookwise, a second hand bookshop. I briefly look in.

Sneinton Market fairly easy to find, head off straight down the street. The further I walk down the street, the seedier it becomes.

Google Maps says five minutes, more like ten minutes.

Steinton Market something of a disappointment. I was expecting something like Trinity Market in Hull. I was also expecting fruit and vegetable stalls. But no, revamped units, now let to small businesses by the local council. A good idea. Though nearly everything appeared to be closed.

I then happen upon Luisa’s bean-to-bar craft chocolate, the jewel in the crown in Sneinton Market.

I pop in, but at a delicate process. I am asked can I pop back? No problem. I am off to Blend coffee shop, I will return a little later.

Sneinton Market is three rows of long low outbuildings. In the second row I find a craft brewery. I pop in. Not open to visitors, but I walk in anyway. I buy a can of expensive IPA, only a choice of two. I don’t like cans, I prefer beer in bottles.

Then in the third row I find Stewarts of Trent Bridge, a coffee roastery. Again I pop in. I am kindly shown around, not that there is a lot to see apart from a Probat coffee roaster.

Then to Blend, a coffee shop, the retail outlet for the coffee roastery.

Open and airy, like a warehouse, but smell of frying bacon not so good, nor the loud unpleasant music, too loud. I was surprised how busy.

For an outlet for a coffee roastery not exactly showcasing their coffee, a single origin, not at all obvious, appears to be a blend that changes monthly and the house blend.

I asked for a cappuccino. As far as I could tell, no pour over on offer, or if there was not obvious as I did not see.

I was asked what size? Show me the cups. I asked for the correct size. Then a silly conservation ensues, told it is personal preference. No, there is only one size for a cappuccino, the correct size. It is always best to keep quiet than display ones ignorance. And if do not know, do not wish to know, then get out of coffee.

My coffee is brought blended with chocolate.

No, a cappuccino does not have chocolate, ether blended or dumped on top.

I take it back, ask for a cappuccino with no chocolate. I should not have to ask. I should be asked. And a good coffee shop would not ask as they would not dream of insulting clients with chocolate.

What is brought is not good. OK, but not good. Lukewarm, mediocre at best. Marginally better than 200 Degrees, which is a very low bar to exceed.

It is then back to Luisa’s. An interesting conversation on chocolate ensues.

I had tasted samples earlier. Another taste. Each one is better than before. In essence it is wow. Mind blowing chocolate. I have never before tasted such exquisite chocolate, though I have yet to try Bullion or Bare Bones from The Steam Yard. One fruity, maybe cherry like, another more citrus. Mind blowing flavours. The last one I tried, as I hold it in my mouth, the flavour intensifies.

These are not added flavours, these are the intrinsic flavours of the chocolate. This is what chocolate should taste like, not like Cadbury’s. A coffee analogy, coffee does not taste like the vile tasting undrinkable coffee served by Costa or Starbuck’s.

It is then to Outpost Coffee to enjoy a decent coffee.

Then to Ideas on Paper. Where I needed to visit, half price sale on back issues of magazine. But only time for a quick browse, no running late.

Dash Vegan zero waste shop has gone from Cobden Chambers. The restaurant had gone when I visited a few weeks ago. It was the zero waste side I excepted to go. I say gone, it has relocated to Hopkinson. But how long before it goes, as not a viable business the amateurish manner in which it is run. A pity they had not advised customers soonest, not waste a visit to find closed a notice posted on the door, especially as I had passed Hopkinson earlier, as would other customers if arrived by train.

Managed to catch train with a few minutes to spare. Have to walk to the front of the train to get on, standing room only.

Nottingham last day of August

September 1, 2019

Train to Nottingham, full of drunks. Why are they not stopped from boarding the train?

Cold and starting to rain when arrive in Nottingham. Warm and sunny when I started off.

Looked in BearHeadZ down the side of Nottingham Station. Resisted the temptation to stay for a drink.

Crazy people at Gourmet Coffee in station, cannot take photos, we will call security.

Gourmet is an utterly meaningless attribute, usually signifies crap coffee. Reinforced by not serving coffee in correct cup size.

Looked in 200 Degrees, fairly busy. OK for lunch, but not for coffee.

Lunch at Cartwheel Coffee. And a cappuccino. Very busy.

A chat with the guy who runs the Loakes shoe shop. Excellent place for shoes.

I am surprised to learn the tea shop out the back has closed. Surprised Cartwheel do not take it over as a lovely hidden courtyard to sit on a pleasant day.

On Leaving, heavy downpour, cold.

Why an ice cream van with an engine running in a pedestrianised street?

I head to The Specialty Coffee Shop, 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 in Guildford, 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.

Looked in Wired to find a friend. Gave her a copy of The Independent Brighton & Hove Coffee Guide. No time for a coffee.

Popped in the zero waste shop in Cobden Chambers. They really must get their act together. It must rank as one of the worst zero waste shops in the country. Poor stock, small bags difficult to get anything in, jars are marked with contents but no price.

Picked up Drift London edition from Ideas on Paper. I had hoped to find a back copy of Standart, surprisingly no back copies of Standart, only latest edition. Latest Drift, only one copy left, had been saved in case I dropped in. Did I have a copy of the Tokyo edition? Why, did he have in stock? No. Currently on sale at £2000.

To Outpost Coffee. Not likely to make the train I had hoped to catch, I decide on a later train.

I look in a cheese shop. Excellent selection of cheese. I pick up unpasteurised Lancashire cheese. I am complimented on my excellent choice.

Only just make the train. Standing room only.

Cappuccino guest coffee Café Amárena

May 22, 2019

Café Amárena located in the centre of Protaras, one of only two coffee shops in Protaras serving specialty coffee, the other Miyu Coffee overlooking Fig Tree Bay.

Very rare examples of quality coffee in Cyprus.

Coffee at Café Amárena not that great, should be better. Not the baristas. Suspect the coffee, it could be far better than Samba.

Only way to check, try a guest coffee of known quality, a Brazilian single origin from Outpost Coffee.

Opening the bag, a wonderful aroma.

A test espresso showed the coffee was excellent.

An amazing difference, far better cappuccino than Samba and these days there is no excuse when there is no shortage of quality roasteries to choose from.

Many thanks to head barista Antonis Voukkalis.

Early May in Nottingham

May 3, 2019

A cold day, a cold wintry day, I had jumper, big coat, and regretted not a warmer shirt and a scarf.

I was cold most of the day and did not start to feel warm until mid afternoon.

Cold on the train to Nottingham, or maybe I had not warmed up.

Cold, but then always cold down the side of Nottingham Station.

By contrast, last May Day Bank Holiday last year 29C.

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station, nearest place to find warmth. Lunch excellent, falafel wrap, but not coffee, coffee mediocre at best, and there are far better places in Nottingham for coffee.

Crowded when I arrived, no seat by window overlooking Nottingham Canal, and noisy, lucky to find a table free. Nearly empty when I left. Lunchtime rush.

Back into the cold and it was cold, head to Cartwheel Coffee.

Cartwheel Coffee surprisingly near empty, usually very busy.

I could have had my favourite spot by the window, but too cold, or at least it would have been every time the door opened.

Excellent cappuccino and salted caramel chocolate tart. The cappuccino a tad too cool.

Passed by an interesting clock I not noticed before.

Finally starting to feel warm, and back on the street did not feel so cold.

I had considered leaving mid-afternoon.

Few people about. A cold miserable day.

I looked in Wired. Brief chat, promised I would pop back later, but when I did, too late.

I looked in Think in Cobden Chambers opposite Wired.

It has now been partitioned off, which is a pity as was one large open space.

Dash Vegan the food smelt good, but I had eaten, and had not already eaten and not warmed up I may have eaten again, the other half a exhibition and co-working space.

I do not know whose idea to partition the ground floor, but has completely ruined the ground floor.

I looked in Dash Vegan Zero Waste Shop.

Little change from last week.

They are trying too hard to be zero waste, focus on vegan gluten free to exclusion of all else is a huge mistake.

Clothing claimed to be organic cotton. Not as soft as I would expect for organic cotton. Maybe the dyes used.

To Ideas on Paper.

Long chat picked up latest Caboodle and Om Nom. Latest issue of Om Nom, issue 4, big improvement on previous issues.

I dropped off Now Then and Independent Life.

A lot of interest in I-D magazine, Greta Thunberg on front cover.

Looked back in Wired, who I wished too see had finished her shift and left.

To Outpost Coffee.

Excellent cappuccino, a single origin from Brazil.

They have changed their packaging. Now bags not boxes.

Just managed to catch the train. As always standing room only.

Afternoon in Nottingham

January 15, 2019

Two-coach East Midlands train Lincoln-Nottingham-Leicester.

It could have been worse, it could have been a clapped out single coach train. At least this train was refurbished and had usb charging points. Though few use as hidden below the seats.

I took the opportunity to charge a power bank. I did not think it needed charging, other than maybe a top up. To my surprise took the entire journey to charge. Failing power bank?

A new stall outside Nottingham Station selling dosa. Too cold for street food but not impressed. Appeared to have been already made, did not look appetising, was then popped in a frying pan, hotted up, ingredients tossed on top.

I was not impressed. Not the way to make a dosa. Nothing like the quality or professionalism of Ollo Foods with a stall on Guildford farmers market.

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station overlooking Nottingham Canal.

Tomato soup was something of a disappointment, tasted like tinned soup, but the falafal was was excellent.

200 Degrees is a small chain. Coffee mediocre at best.

Excellent cappuccino at Cartwheel Coffee.

An organic single origin from Honduras.

On sale Frank Green reusable cups. These, together with rCup, are the worst reusable cups on the market.

I suggested get shot of, stock KeepCup or ecoffee bamboo cups. But ideally encourage relax with specialty coffee served in glass or ceramic, discourage takeaway.

I looked in Wired, but who I wished to see was not there.

Their own branded glass KeepCup. Large. I have never seen large before.

Guest coffee Girls Who Grind.

On my last visit I had been told by Outpost Coffee of a nearby zero waste store. I asked of the vegan stall. Cobden Chambers, but not today. I checked, no, not today. A pity, as I wanted muesli, which I had hoped to find.

Ideas on Paper not open. No information to say when open. Annoying as was the reason for my visit.

V60 from Outpost Coffee. They were busy.

I looked again Ideas on Paper. Not open.

Nottingham Station. Long walk down a long platform to waiting train.

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.

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.

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.

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