So this was an interesting trip. Wondering around Leeds was quite something. The people were generally really friendly but boy do they like drinking! Anyway, I did a lot of walking around, personally I love to walk and get a little lost stumbling upon unusual areas. This could not last too long though. I had work to do so Google to the rescue for a coffee and working location. I contacted North Star Roasters, unsure if they were coffee shop based as well as roaster – not yet but coming soon. The guy on the phone was super useful though, suggested a couple of places, one of which I’d already found but happily looked into the other suggestions.
First stop was:
This was just a few minutes walk from the hotel and also very central and near the train station. Established in 2011, it has recently been updated, extended and refreshed. It looks fantastic. Very natural with some stunning tiles and a great openness, which is useful. When I arrived it looked was pretty busy with minor delays. I ordered my Piccolo and braised beans brekkie and hunkered down to get some work done in the window of the shop so I could also do a spot of people watching!
The coffee at this time is Squaremile’s seasonal espresso – Red Brick. It arrived on a cure little plate with a glass of water. Marginal disappointment in the stretching of the milk and how it holds. This is very much something I notice but does not take away from how tasty it was. Flavours of creamy milk chocolate with cashew, hazelnut and peachy apricot notes. This coffee was much needed and hit the spot.
The Breakfast was fantastic. Braised beans which had lovely smokeyness with a harissa a fried egg and corn bread. I was happy. Managing to plough on with some work, I then ordered a v60. I am not 100% sure what coffee this was other than Columbian - I was rather focussed, apologies. This was well poured but quite dark but a was a snap of sweet acidity that brightened it up. I very much enjoyed it however would not be a usual choice for me as a v60, I tend to enjoy lighter fuity or floral pourovers, but know many people who would love this coffee.
The service, especially considering how busy it was, made it even better, as well as the great feeling when you hear that clearly many of the customers are regulars. This is something I love about Coopers and what makes places so welcoming. If it was nearby it would be a definite stop for me if I didn’t have a Coopers to hand 😊 So much so that the next morning I made time just as it opened to grab a coffee before having to head home. This Piccolo was also delicious and the pretty tulip latte art picture. Lovingly made as well with friendly faces.
16 New Station Street, Leeds, LS1 5DL
I then made my way to Stage Coffee.
First and foremost a friendly welcome. The place is adorable, simple and somewhere you just want to hang out. It was quiet being toward the end of the day by the time I got there. It also seems to be very slightly further from the main shops (I admit I know very little about the place) but definitely worth a few minutes walking if wanting an ideal coffee stop.
The two guys clearly knew what they are doing and to top it off there was a shop puppy!! YAY. Not a Labbie – Labrador rule O.K.! hehe but still, all dogs are awesome and this Beagle was a great little rascal. Happy times. I was also able to be productive here with wi-fi available.
So I ordered my go to cortado. A great equaliser as I try them everywhere. Here at Stage they use Union Hand Roasted coffee. It was lovingly prepared and topped off with a neat little bit of latte art. The shot was well pulled and milk well textured with perfect micro-foam. A pleasure to drink this coffee was also quite a chocolate and hazelnut driven coffee, with quite a bright and sweet golden raisin finish.
After a while I ordered a pourover. It was SUBLIME!!!
I was so happy drinking this. It was a Kalita pourover. Helped by the fact they have a EK45 grinder, the chap made it beautifully. I had to note what this coffee it was so good - Los lajones honey catuai from Panama. It is an ideal pourover with its initial sweet red fruit flavours which mainly seemed to be juicy blackberry but with depth of dried fruit cranberry type notes. This is exactly why I love coffee, got into coffee and happily go to and support other independent coffee shops and roasters. Definitely look this place up if you find yourself in Leeds.