Just Between Friends Coffee

A lovely Assembly espresso (a washed El Salvador) in a Kaffeeform cup, made from recylced coffee grounds, at Just Between Friends Coffee in Manchester.I’m in Manchester for my annual Manchester Coffee Festival visit, having arrived a couple of days early to check yet more of the city’s excellent coffee scene, including a whole slew of places which have opened since my previous visit (for last year’s Manchester Coffee Festival). I also met up with fellow coffee blogger, Charlotte Scotland (whose blog, Coffee All Way, has just launched), so it was appropriate that we ended up at Just Between Friends Coffee.

Just Between Friends occupies a small spot on the south side of Tib Street, halfway between the venerable North Tea Power and another newcomer, Siop Shop. There are a couple of two-person tables outside on the busy street, while a large sign proclaiming “Coffee” in big letters catches the eye. Inside, Just Between Friends is a small, cosy space with limited seating and a warm welcome. The coffee, from London’s Assembly, is available on espresso, with a daily batch-brew option.  There’s also a limited food menu, including toast, muesli, a couple of toasties and a selection of cakes.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • On Manchester's Tib Street, a large sign catches the eye.
  • I'm glad that I'm not the only one who stands in the middle of the road to get a picture!
  • Here's my version of fellow coffee blogger Charlotte's photo.
  • I love a good A-board that provides clear, concise directions.
  • Let's go in, shall we?
  • Inside, Just Between Friends is a small, square space, with the door on the corner.
  • There's a set of retail shelves on the exposed bricks of the left-hand wall...
  • ... while the back of the store is occupied by the beautifully-tiled counter.
  • Meanwhile, the seating is in an L-shape, starting with a bench along the right-hand wall...
  • ... and a broad window-bar at the front.
  • And here we are back at the door.
  • Here's Charlotte, providing some customer modelling. Or checking out her boot...
  • There's a wooden bench, with power outlets, running on the right-hand wall...
  • ... with three hinged, hexagon tables.
  • The final seating is a long, thin bench running down the centre of the space.
  • Just Between Friends Coffee is a bright space. As well as the windows at the front...
  • ... there's another large window at the back overlooking a courtyard.
  • There's also plenty of lights for the short, winter days.
  • Just Between Friends Coffee is also a green space, with plenty of plants.
  • The retail shelves along the left-hand wall have an interesting design.
  • There's lots of coffee and related products.
  • Naturally there are bags and bags of retail coffee from Assembly.
  • There are also copies of the Northern Coffee Guide, Frank Green cups & Kaffeeform cups.
  • Let's get down to business. The counter is at the back of the store, the till on the left...
  • ... and a refridgerator for the soft drinks built into the front of the counter.
  • The drinks menu is on the wall to the right of the espresso machine...
  • ... while there's a more comprehensive food menu on the counter.
  • The cake selection is on display on the top of the counter...
  • ... while there's also a selection of sandwiches, which can be grillled.
  • I decided to have something from the espresso machine...
  • ... made using Assembly's seasonal espresso, a washed coffee from El Salvador.
  • Meanwhile, Charlotte went for the batch brew made with a natural Burundi coffee.
  • This is what happens, by the way, when two coffee bloggers get together.
  • My version of Charlotte's photo (minus Charlotte's arm).
  • Charlotte's batch-brew, served in a double-walled glass.
  • And here's my espresso, in a Kaffeeform espresso cup.
  • One last look at my espresso.
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If it weren’t for the sign proclaiming “Coffee” in large letters above the window, you could easily miss Just Between Friends Coffee.  Instead, it does its job rather effectively: I’d walked by the previous day on my way to Siop Shop and it caught my eye, prompting me to return the following day with Charlotte.

Just Between Friends, which opened in the spring of 2018, occupies a roughly square space, the door at the front, left-hand corner, set at 45⁰. Three tall, narrow windows run along the front of the store, which is almost as tall as it is wide. Inside, the layout is very simple. The broad, tiled counter is at the rear, behind which a large picture window overlooks a courtyard (which sadly belongs to the adjacent pub rather than Just Between Friends). However, having windows front and back makes it a very bright space. The décor, by the way, is wonderful, with plenty of exposed brick and dark wooden floorboards.

A set of retail shelves line the left-hand wall, leaving a clear line between door and till, which is on the left-hand side of the counter. The seating, meanwhile, is arranged around the remaining two sides, with a broad window-bar at the front (seating perhaps three) and a wooden box-seat along the right-hand wall with three, hinged hexagon tables. You can sit on the bench, or at one of several very comfortable, low, padded stools. Finally, a long, thin bench runs down the centre of the space. You can either sit on it, or use it as a coffee table, sitting on one of the stools.

Turning to the coffee, Charlotte, who shares my love of good, naturally-processed coffees, went for the batch-brew, a Nemba from Burundi, while I (knowing I could also have a sip or two of Charlotte’s filter) when for Assembly’s seasonal espresso, a washed El Salvador. This was served in a Kaffeeform cup, which pretty much made my day, since I’ve been carrying mine around in my rucksack for the last 2½ years, ever since I got it at the London Coffee Festival in 2016. My espresso was every bit as gorgeous as my cup, a well-balanced, fruity espresso, while Charlotte’s filter was even fruitier, bursting with flavour!

56 TIB STREET • MANCHESTER • M4 1LG
www.justbetweenfriendscoffee.com +44 (0) 7818 022169
Monday 07:30 – 16:00 Roaster Assembly (espresso + batch-brew)
Tuesday 07:30 – 16:00 Seating Benches, Window-bar
Wednesday 07:30 – 16:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 07:30 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 16:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:30 – 16:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 08:30 – 16:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 2nd November 2018

Liked this? Then don’t forget to check out the Coffee Spot Guide to Manchester & Salford for more great Coffee Spots.


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One thought on “Just Between Friends Coffee

  1. Pingback: Siop Shop | Brian's Coffee Spot

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