Café 1901 is a wonderful spot inside Newcastle’s Jesmond Methodist Church. It’s a strange space, in that, just as you think you’ve discovered all there is to it, you realise that there’s more! Starting with the tables outside on the pavement, and finishing with the seating at the back by the counter, there are four distinct parts to Café 1901, each with its own specific charm.
However, Café 1901 is more than a lovely space. It serves excellent food, with full breakfast and lunch menus, plus a decent selection of cake. What’s more, the coffee is excellent too. With beans from the nearby Colour Coffee Company (the roasting offshoot of Pink Lane Coffee), there’s a concise espresso-based menu plus hand-poured filter through either V60 or Chemex.
However, where many would be satisfied with a single espresso blend throughout the year, Café 1901 regularly rotates its espresso, running a different single-origin or blend every couple of weeks. Another single-origin is available for the filter coffee, while there’s also decaf from Bristol’s Extract Coffee Roasters and tea from the local Ringtons. Ever adventurous, Café 1901 was also serving a cold-brew (hot) chocolate from Kokoa Collection.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
From the street, the Jesmond Methodist Church and its Hall, cuts a very impressive figure. The church occupies the left-hand third of the building, the church hall taking up the remaining two-thirds. Café 1901’s entrance is at the far end, where there’s a small patio area on the pavement, a pair of four person tables flanking the door.
Stepping inside, you find yourself in small, pleasant, lobby area. “This looks nice and cosy,” you think, with its four-person table to the left of the door. Then you notice the big, glass double doors to your left, opening onto a large hall. There’s a four-person table, just inside the door, with reclaimed cinema seats. Beyond that are two of the most comfortable-looking sofas I’ve seen, plus some armchairs and a small, round table. Beyond them, there’s another row of tables and a further pair of armchairs. And that’s only the start of it!
The hall stretches away to the right, some cleverly-placed shelves splitting the space in two. The front, with the aforementioned sofas, occupies the space by the tall, narrow, frosted-glass windows. Beyond the shelves, you’ll find a beautiful, wooden counter on the right and yet more seating on the left. This includes a magnificent, eight-person wooden table in the middle of the room and two booths, each with a table and two pairs of old cinema seats. There’s also a baby grand piano in the corner on the left-hand side and another couple of two-person tables. Finally, a pair of reclaimed barber’s chairs occupy the far end of the counter, where you can watch your filter coffee being made.
The front of the hall’s gloriously bright, light flooding in through the tall windows. The back has mostly borrowed light, but is far from gloomy, an abundance of lights brightening the place up. There’s also natural light from a pair of windows behind the counter, where a door leads to the kitchen, Café 1901 cooking all the food to order.
The hall’s about as tall as it is wide, and maybe twice as long, the soaring ceiling only adding to the sense of size and space. Whitewashed walls at the front give way to bare stone at the back, while there are wooden herringbone floor-tiles throughout. With an emphasis on friendly, welcoming service, it’s the sort of place that appeals to a wide age range. There were families with babies on the morning I visited, and you could easily take your grandparents there for afternoon tea and not feel out of place.
I started my day with a flat white, my first taste of Colour Coffee. It was a comparatively strong, dark roast, but not unpleasantly so, and was without any hint of bitterness. Indeed, as a first coffee of the morning, it had the kick that I’m look for! The milk was beautifully steamed as well. I also had breakfast, which was, naturally, Eggs Florentine, with a rich, creamy sauce and well-poached eggs. It came with a huge slab of toast and another on the side.
I got chatting with Debbie, who has been running Café 1901 since February. She insisted on making me a V60 of an Ethiopian from Colour and who was I to refuse? This had a lovely, fruity nature, becoming even fruiter as it cooled.
December 2015: Café 1901 was a runner-up for the 2015 Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
|ST GEORGE’S TERRACE • NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE • NE2 2DL|
|www.jmc-newcastle.org.uk||+44 (0) 191 340 9774|
|Monday||10:00 – 18:00||Roaster||Colour Coffee (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||10:00 – 18:00||Seating||Tables, Sofas, Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||10:00 – 18:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||10:00 – 18:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||10:00 – 18:00||Cards||Mastercard, Visa (£0.50 under £10)|
|Saturday||10:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 16:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||22nd August 2015|
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.
If you liked this post, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button. If you have a WordPress account and you don’t mind everyone knowing that you liked this post, you can use the “Like this” button right at the bottom instead.
Don’t forget that you can share this post with your friends using the buttons below.