Pumphrey’s Brewing Emporium

The Pumphrey's Coffee sign: 'Pumphrey's Coffee Served Here'Pumphrey’s, the coffee and tea merchants, is something of a legend in the North East and in Newcastle in particular. A family firm which can trace its roots all the way back to 1750, it’s still going strong. As well as wholesale roasting and distribution, Pumphrey’s has a retail arm, Pumphrey’s Brewing Emporium, right in the heart of Newcastle’s Grainger Market.

Regular readers will know that I have a thing for markets. So you can imagine my delight on not just finding a market, but on finding one with a top-notch Coffee Spot in it as well. Newcastle, I think I love you!

Pumphrey’s Brewing Emporium sells coffee beans and all manner of coffee equipment, as well as tea and other hot beverage sundries. Not only that, but it also dispenses coffee wisdom to those who wish to learn it and, to top it all, you can get a great cup of coffee, either from the espresso machine or brew bar. What more could you ask for? A bright, sunny day? In Newcastle? Yes, I had that too!

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

I have this thing about markets. When I was younger, I used to turn my nose up at markets, wondering why people would go from stall to stall buying things at each instead of getting everything in one go from a supermarket. As I got older, I became a little wiser…

Now I can’t do without them. Guildford’s North Street Market is a real treasure: without it, my quality of life in Guildford would be significantly diminished. It’s not just where I regularly get my coffee beans, it’s also the source of much of my weekly shopping.

All of this is a lead-in to say that Newcastle has a most amazing market. While North Street market consists of temporary stalls along the pavement of Guildford’s North Street, Grainger Market is housed in a purpose-built structure dating from 1835 and packed full of cafes, fruit and veg stalls, butchers, fishmongers and so on. Had I not been on a one-day Coffee Spot quest, I’d have loved to explore this fabulous building and all its many stalls and shops, but, as it was, I had to make do with a quick wonder around, a short gawp at the architecture and then make a bee-line for the thing that brought me there in the first place, Pumphrey’s Brewing Emporium.

Situated in the Arcade, on the market’s Clayton Street side, under a fantastic iron and glass roof, Pumphrey’s is a two-faced beast (I mean that in the nicest possible way). It occupies a double stall in the centre of the hall, facing out onto two aisles. One side houses the retail arm, selling an almost countless number of single-origin beans and blends (I quickly ran out of fingers and, being in public, kept my socks on and hence had no recourse to my toes) as well as having a bay dedicated to loose-leaf tea. On the other side is the Brewing Emporium proper, a long bar with a few bar stools, an espresso machine at one end, a brew bar in the middle and grinders, espresso machines and the like for sale at the other.

You can sit or stand at the bar, or, if in a hurry, get a takeaway. If espresso’s not your thing, the staff will brew any of the beans on sale for you and it’s all very reasonably priced. I wanted to try everything, but knowing that I had a long day of Coffee Spotting ahead of me, I restricted myself to my usual test-case, a single shot espresso (double shots are also available).

My espresso, a Daterra Bruzzi bean, came in a classic cup with a glass of tap water as standard and although it was a little fruity for my palette, I couldn’t fault it. I was served by four lovely baristas, Emily, Joey, Daisy and Helena, who worked both sides of the stall: no division of labour here. They were very knowledgeable about their coffee as well as being very friendly and engaging. They’ve already invited me back for a tasting session….

If I lived in Newcastle, I imagine I would be getting most of my beans from Pumphrey’s and I also imagine that could find me sitting at the bar, drinking a lot of coffee, probably with my weekly shop spread out at my feet…

THE ARCADE • GRAINGER MARKET • NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE • NE1 5QQ
www.pumphreys-coffee.co.uk +44 (0) 191 4144510
Monday 09:00 – 17:00 Roaster Pumphreys (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 09:00 – 17:30 Seating Bar (very limited)
Wednesday 09:00 – 17:00 Food N/A
Thursday 09:00 – 17:30 Service Counter
Friday 09:00 – 17:30 Cards Amex, Visa, Mastercard
Saturday 09:00 – 17:30 Wifi N/A
Sunday CLOSED Power N/A
Chain No Visits 20th April 2013

You can read more about Pumphrey’s, the company behind the Brewing Emporium, in an extended version of my article from Issue 5 of Caffeine Magazine.

If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, check out the rest of Newcastle and Gateshead’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Newcastle & Gateshead.


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