Coffee Kabin

The counter at the Coffee Kabin, cakes to the left, coffee straight ahead.Just to the south of Huddersfield’s bustling town centre and directly opposite Huddersfield University campus, is the Coffee Kabin, perched on the busy Queensgate, which serves as part of Huddersfield’s ring road. The name Coffee Kabin is, on the one hand, a bit of a misnomer, “cabin” conjuring in my mind a small spot akin to Manchester’s Caffeine & Co or, even more appropriately, Grindsmith.

Instead it’s a surprisingly big place, with a spacious upstairs seating area and a cosy downstairs, where seating shares space with the counter. On the other hand, “cabin” fits perfectly, bringing to mind an image of wooden floors and bare, stone walls, a look which the Coffee Kabin pulls off so well. And, to be fair, who said cabins have to be small?

On espresso, the house-blend is from local roasters Grumpy Mule, just down the road in Holmfirth, while there are guests on espresso and filter. To counter-balance Grumpy Mule’s proximity, the guests rotate regularly between London’s Workshop, Cornwall’s Origin and Berlin’s The Barn. There’s also a decent selection of loose-leaf tea, an array of cakes and (all-day) breakfast and lunch menus, plus award-winning hot chocolate from Kokoa Collection.

November 2017: these days, the Coffee Kabin goes by the name “Epicure Bar and Kitchen”. Simon is still at the helm, and still turning out superb coffee, but the focus is (even more) on the excellent food. Expect a full update as soon as I can get back to Huddersfield!

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • The Coffee Kabin, in Huddersfield, as seen from across the busy Queensgate road.
  • 'Never go without great coffee!' - sound advice.
  • The airlock system keeps it nice & cosy inside, while keeping the traffic noise out
  • The counter occupies the back half of the store...
  • ... while the front half is given over to the seating.
  • There are three tables on the left as you come in.
  • Clustered around this neat water station in the corner.
  • Between the tables and the counter is this very plush three-seater sofa...
  • ... while its matching armchair is tucked away by the stairs on the opposite side.
  • More seating upstairs, you say?
  • These stairs, persumably...
  • Here we go!
  • The view of the downstairs seating from halfway up the stairs...
  • ... and the view of upstairs when you get to the top. Look at all that space!
  • There's this table at the back...
  • ... followed by this pair of sofas around a neat coffee table made of crates.
  • Very comfy.
  • There are plenty of seating options, such as this table just beyond the sofas...
  • ... or these small tables on the oppsite side by the stairs.
  • A view of the remainder of the upstairs seating.
  • This pair of sofas looks very comfortable too...
  • ... while there's a long, communal table by the windows.
  • A reused base of an old sewing machine makes a nifty stand in the corner.
  • A panoramic view of the upstairs from by the windows.
  • One of the pair of black leather sofas in close up.
  • The rest of the seating at the back.
  • Is there no escape from Caffeine Magazine? Obviously not!
  • Time to head back downstairs...
  • ... where you'll find these lovely photos adorning the walls. They are all for sale.
  • There's also plenty of reading material to go with your coffee...
  • ... and plenty of coffee and coffee-making kit for sale.
  • Plus some hot chcolate! No escape from these guys either!
  • You can buy the houseblend beans (from Grumpy Miule) or beans from the guest roaster.
  • So, to business.
  • There are decent (all-day) breakfast & lunch menus, plus cakes & more coffee kit for sale.
  • I like the re-use of the scales as a cake-stand...
  • ... while here are some more conventional cake stands.
  • The drinks menus behind the espresso machine.
  • Main menu: coffee (espresso, with milk & with water) on the left, others on the right.
  • Details of the house- and guest-espressos, complete with tasting notes.
  • On the other side, the guest filter gets the same treatment.
  • My brie, grape and cranberry sandwich, on focaccia, toasted, of course.
  • And my coffee, the guest, all the way from Origin in Cornwall, through the Aeropress.
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From the outside, Huddersfield’s Coffee Kabin is not much to look at, largely because you’d have to stand in the middle of Queensgate to get a good view, at which point you’d be run over. Stepping inside, an airlock system more reminiscent of colder climates (although I suppose this is “up north”) leads you into the small, cosy downstairs. Solid stone walls give it warmth and character, although they don’t really lend themselves to windows, so natural light is at a premium. This is largely supplied by the single window at the front and, while I was there, the open door (which might explain the airlock; otherwise it would be both noisy and draughty). However, multiple white spots at the front keep it nice and the bright, while bare, glowing, golden bulbs at the back add to the warmth.

There are three square tables to your left as you come in, arrayed around the window and a water station on a barrel in the corner. Facing these is a three-seater red leather sofa, with a matching armchair on the other side of the room, which completes the downstairs seating. Behind the sofa comes the counter, a delightful, L-shaped wooden affair, cakes on the left, grinders and two-group La Marzocco Strada facing you. The food menus are on the wall to the left, appropriately enough behind the cake, while, on the back wall, behind the espresso machine, are the drinks and coffee menus.

Upstairs is accessed by a flight of stairs on the right-hand side. Here it’s even more spacious: thankfully the temptation to cram too much in has been resisted. It’s also bright, with two windows at the front. There’s a similar mix of tables and sofas, although the greater space leads to more variety. There are two two-person tables, one four-person one and a pair of long, communal tables with benches. The seating is rounded off by a pair of black two-seater sofas facing each other at the front, and an L-shaped configuration of another pair of sofas at the back.

Simon, the owner, realising that Huddersfield is not necessarily the natural home of speciality coffee, does a good job of explaining the options and engaging new customers about their choices. When I tentatively suggested black coffee, he offered me an Americano, but deftly steered me towards filter. The menu backs him up, listing espresso, followed by “with milk” options (from a 4oz piccolo through flat white, cappuccino and a 10oz latte; no buckets here) before tacking on “with water” at the bottom (6oz long black and 10oz Americano). Finally, the beans are prominently displayed (espresso on one side, filter on the other), complete with tasting notes.

I took Simon up on his offer and had an Aeropress of La Perla from Costa Rica, roasted by Origin (the guest espresso was also from Origin). It arrived beautifully presented on a wooden tray in a handleless glass carafe with a small tumbler by its side. It’s a very subtle coffee, smooth and sweet, with delicate fruity notes that my limited palate were just picking up. I also had a Bree, grape and cranberry sandwich on focaccia, toasted, of course. It was lovely, the melted Bree combining with the crunchiness of the toast, the cranberry adding just the right sweet notes.

Thanks, by the way, to Steve Edwards, for putting me onto the Coffee Kabin in the first place!

37-39 QUEENSGATE • HUDDERSFIELD • HD1 2RD +44 (0) 7980 373699
Monday 08:00 – 17:00 Roasters Grumpy Mule + Guests (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 17:00 Seating Tables, Armchairs, Sofas
Wednesday 08:00 – 17:00 Food Breakfast, Sandwiches, Soup, Cakes
Thursday 08:00 – 17:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 21:00 Cards Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 09:00 – 21:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday CLOSED Power Limited
Chain No Visits 31st October 2014

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5 thoughts on “Coffee Kabin

  1. Oi, Brian! Any more sly little digs like the above, and it’ll be you that’s toast!
    😉 another fetching little coffee table, if decidedly different to the Lego stunner 😉

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