Colne is a Lancashire mill town surrounded by beautiful countryside. That much I knew from visiting five years ago. It also has a surprising amount of history, which I didn’t know about, and, as I discovered on my recent trip, it’s got a cracking coffee shop, About Coffee.
You might ask what was I doing in far-off Colne… Well, I might have been there to hike in the amazing hills, but actually I was wearing my other hat (the one I use to make the money I need to zip around the country, hunting down Coffee Spots) and was there for a business meeting. I’d deliberately arrived an hour early, which just enough time to nip into About Coffee, which I’d heard about on twitter.
As it turned out, it was an hour well spent. About Coffee is a delightful café as well as a coffee and tea merchant. It’s got a great range of coffee (and tea), lovely homemade cakes, friendly staff and a toilet in the basement that you have to go out of the shop, down some steps and through what looks like a blast door to get to. I ask you, what more could you want?
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
There’s a danger I’ll get misty-eyed writing this. Regular readers will know that I grew up in northeast Wales and while they speak with funny accents in Lancashire, there’s something to About Coffee that warms my northern heart. It’s a million miles from the trendy coffee shops of the metropolis (well, 185 miles, as the crow flies) and sometimes I think it’s a different country altogether. I wonder what those who inhabit the stripped-back, unfinished coffee shops of the capital, with their exposed air-conditioning ducts and naked light bulbs, would make of About Coffee?
Don’t get me wrong, I like the unfinished look as much as the next coffee blogger, but there’s something welcoming and homely about About Coffee that draws me in, sits me down and tells me I belong. Something honest and unpretentious. And the coffee’s good too. As is the cake.
Anyway, enough waxing lyrical about the north. About Coffee, on Colne’s busy main street, has a pleasing exterior which draws you inside. You’re met by a split-level shop, although one wonders if, in times past, it was a shop at the front, with the steps leading up to the shopkeeper’s quarters at the back. The bulk of the seating (four well-spaced tables) is back here, with racks of coffee and tea making equipment on the walls.
You could also sit down at the front, with probably the best seat in the house being the small round table in the window to your left as you come in. There’s another, plus a bench, opposite the counter which dominates the shop’s right-hand side. Here you’ll find the homemade cakes, bags and bags of coffee and, at the far end, the espresso machine.
I was spoilt for choice. If you fancy a brew, you can have any of About Coffee’s beans in a small or large cafetiere. I counted 14 different blends/single origins which can also be purchased as beans or ground for home use. If that wasn’t enough, About Coffee boasts a very impressive espresso menu containing pretty much every method of pulling an espresso shot that I’ve come across and several I hadn’t (Scorpion Chilli Chocolate Espresso, anyone?).
This abundance of choice spreads to the cakes as well. I was eyeing up the toffee slice, but instead was recommended the raspberry and coconut slice. A pastry base with coconut sponge on top, sandwiched together with a very generous helping of raspberry jam (which goes well with the coconut) it made for a very fine pick-me-up.
I had the house blend as a single espresso, followed up with a double cortado. The espresso was commendably short, extremely hard to photograph and a good, solid drink. The cortado was lovely, with the coffee coming through the milk good and strong. If this doesn’t impress you, there’s also a full range of tea-pigs tea.
Although it’s only been open since November 2012, About Coffee already has a strong local following if the customers I saw were anything to go by. I know I say this a lot, but for me it’s a good test: if I lived in the area, would I go there? For About Coffee, the answer’s a resounding yes. I’d be there for coffee all the time and would probably get my beans there too.
|26 CHURCH STREET • COLNE • BB8 0LG|
|www.aboutcoffee.co.uk||+44 (0) 1282 861212|
|Monday||08:00 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Bench|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 17:00||Food||Cake|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Thursday||08:00 – 17:00||Cards||Mastercard, Visa|
|Friday||08:00 – 17:00||Wifi||No|
|Saturday||09:00 – 17:00||Power||No|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Mobile||3G, Voice|
|Chain||No||Visits||23rd September 2013|
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