Spring Espresso

The Spring Espresso logo: a winged espresso cup with the slogans "Righteous & True Since 2006" above and "Spin and Roll" below.York is part of the not-very-well-known Yorkshire Coffee Triangle, along with Harrogate (home of the inestimable Bean & Bud) and Leeds (which featured in my latest article for Caffeine Magazine). This lack of recognition is a shame, since the area contains one of the greatest concentrations of high-quality coffee shops outside of London. Spring Espresso, on York’s Fossgate, is right up there with the best of them.

Like the other mainstays of York’s independent coffee scene, The Perky Peacock and Harlequin/The Attic, Spring Espresso is very much a home-grown talent. Opening in the autumn of 2011 (although with roots going back to 2006), Spring Espresso is the creation of the lovely Steve and Tracey, both of whom I was fortune enough to meet when I visited one Sunday morning.

There are two main reasons for visiting Spring Espresso: the excellent coffee from London’s Square Mile and the warm welcome you get from Tracey and Steve. The food’s not bad either (okay, so that’s three). And the cakes are excellent (four). And I’ve been told the tea’s very good too (five). I think I’ll stop now…

You get the picture…

December 2016: There are now two Spring Espressos, with the second opening on Lendal. Expect a write-up in 2017, just as soon as I get back to York!

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Spring Espresso, on York's Fossgate
  • Stepping inside: the view from inside the door.
  • The window-bar is immediately to your left as you come in.
  • The round coffee table by the window.
  • One of the two semi-circular coffee tables by the wall at the window end...
  • ... and one of the two square tables at the counter end.
  • The pair of sofas and the second coffee table.
  • The view from behind the counter.
  • A shelf of coffee and coffee-making kit. And tea.
  • The right-hand end of the counter is laden with cakes... And tea-pots...
  • ... and seen here from the other side.
  • There is also food: panini, sandwiches and this toast-based all-day breakfast menu.
  • I had the crumpets. I haven't had crumpets in years!
  • There's more cake over by the grinders.
  • Today's espresso blend.
  • The all-important coffee menu.
  • You can also have cold brew, which is being made here right next to the till.
  • The barista's view of the business end of the counter.
  • So, what to have... Something from the filter station, maybe?
  • Or something from the espresso machine?
  • Espresso, I think...
  • Here we go...
  • ... and 19 seconds later, some lovely espresso.
  • Now for the milk
  • I am constantly in awe of those who can do latte art.
  • The pattern starts to take shape.
  • I just don't have this level of patience!
  • Surely that must be it by now?
  • No, one more to come!
  • Now for the finishing touch...
  • Almost there...
  • Et voila!
  • Look at that! Beautiful!
  • Here's one (Tracey, I believe) prepared earlier.
  • And Steve (I suspect) prepared this one for Fancy a Cuppa.
  • My humble espresso. Cracking cup though!
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Often I’ll describe a Coffee Spot in terms of its uncluttered layout, or spacious interior. However, neither of these apply to Spring Espresso. Not that this is a criticism: most of the Coffee Spots I visited in York occupy small premises and Spring Espresso has filled what space it has with some very comfortable seating. I just had that feeling of everyone being on top of each other.

Spring Espresso is on Fossgate, one of York’s original Roman streets, which runs down (and over) the River Ouse. From the outside, your eye is immediately caught by the impressive logo painted in the window, a winged espresso cup with twin mottos “Righteous & True Since 2006” and “Spin And Roll”.

Stepping inside, you are confronted with an interesting selection of seating. Immediately to your left is a four-person window bar, while ahead of you, four small tables nestle against the right-hand wall. The first two are semi-circular, glass-topped coffee tables, each with a pair of stools, while the others are higher, wooden tables that you can squeeze three or four people around.

At the back, on the left-hand side, is the counter, while the space between it and the window is occupied by a pair of coffee tables. The first, near the window, is a round, glass-topped affair, with a two-seat sofa and, against the left-hand wall, a pair of armchairs. The second, a rectangular, wooden affair, has a pair of two-seat sofas, one either side, one facing the window, the other the counter. Finally, up against the left-hand wall by the counter, is a narrow bar, which completes the seating.

The main reason for coming to Spring Espresso is the excellent coffee. Square Mile’s Red Brick seasonal blend is the mainstay, with a regularly-rotating guest espresso on the second grinder (I’d just missed a Nude Espresso bean, which was being replaced by another Square Mile). There’s also a decaf option, plus you can try the guest bean as a pour-over on the V60 if you fancy.

I started off with a flat white using the Red Brick blend. The coffee came through the milk well, resulting in a very smooth, sweet drink, which is what I’ve come to expect from the Red Brick blends over the last couple of years. I was sufficiently impressed to try it as an espresso and while it’s still not quite what I’m looking for in an espresso, it wasn’t nearly as sharp or bright as some shots of Red Brick that I’ve had in the past.

I was also tempted by the food, which included sandwiches and toasted Panini. However, it was a little early for lunch and the breakfast menu looked really good, with several varieties of toast. In the end I went for toasted crumpets, which I’ve not had in ages and which were delicious. I could just have easily have gone for one of the many excellent-looking home-made cakes though!

While I was there, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Fancy a Cuppa himself, who is a big Spring Espresso fan. However, I think meeting me traumatised him somewhat: he was last seen in Transylvania, heading east, and vowing not to stop until he got to Australia. Silly man! As if he can get away from me that easily…

45 FOSSGATE • YORK • YO1 9TF
www.springespresso.co.uk +44 (0) 7779 294149
Monday 08:00 – 18:00 Roaster Square Mile + Guests (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 18:00 Seating Sofas, tables, bar
Wednesday 08:00 – 18:00 Food Breakfast, lunch, sandwiches, cake
Thursday 08:00 – 18:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 18:00 Cards Mastercard, Visa (£5 minimum)
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 Wifi No
Sunday 09:00 – 17:00 Power No
Chain Local Visits 22nd June 2014, 23rd July 2015

You can find out what some of my fellow coffee-bloggers made of Spring Espresso, starting with Guila in Mondomulia, followed by Diane in A Tale of Two Sittings and Alison in Black Coffee and Other Stories.


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11 thoughts on “Spring Espresso

  1. Thanks for posting another northern place I can visit… next year when I’m no longer pregnant and can fuel my espresso love. Living off Taylor’s half-caffe at the moment. It’s getting boring..

    • You’re welcome. Come next year there should be loads more northern places on the Coffee Spot, including more from York, Leeds and Manchester.

      There’s some cracking decaf out there by the way. I know it’s not quite the same, but it’s better than nothing!

      Brian.

      • Brilliant – I’ll have quite some time on my hands on mat leave. If I can figure out a way to attach baby safely to the bicycle, then it should give me inspiration for destinations with a coffee & cake stop!

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  7. Spring is on my list of places to go. I’m hoping that they have not been hit by the recent flooding. Met the owners while we were franchisees in our previous coffee businesses

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