The Steamie’s been on my list for a little while. On the eastern edge of Glasgow’s West End in Finniestan, it’s just along from The Cran’ (and pre-dates it by several years). So it made sense to call in for lunch on my one-day, post Glasgow Coffee Festival tour. That and I’d run into the owner, Stephen, at the festival the day before, where he’d extracted a promise that I’d pop by…
Stephen, by the way, has been nagging, I mean, politely requesting, that I visit The Steamie for a couple of years now. It turns out that my failure to do so was not down to slackness on my part. No, I was waiting for The Steamie to start roasting its own coffee, which it did at the end of January. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
As well as coffee and a range of loose-leaf teas, The Steamie has an excellent range of cake, plus an all-day breakfast/lunch menu, serving the likes of muesli and porridge, along with toast, three options for poached eggs (meat, fish, veggie) and another three for baked eggs skillet (two veggie, one meat). There’s also soup, plus sandwiches (eat in/takeaway).
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
On the north-side of Argyle Road, The Steamie’s narrow front is sandwiched into a long row of shops, door to the right, window on the left. There’s a bench out front with a couple of tables which catches the sun for most of the day. Inside, although it’s thin, The Steamie goes a long way back, the layout reminiscent of the original Artisan Roast on Edinburgh’s Broughton Street, particularly with its open counter on the left. This puts the coffee-making on full display, which I always enjoy, and leaves plenty of space for seating.
About four times as deep as it is wide, with a relatively low ceiling, The Steamie could be quite cramped, but the open-counter arrangement gives it a spacious feel. There’s a bench seat in the window, with a couple of tables immediately to the door’s left. This gets very hot when it’s sunny: during my visit, several people moved from there! The remaining seating’s along the right-hand wall: a bench with two small, round tables, followed by a bookcase and, finally, two larger tables, one square, one round.
The counter, which is opposite the seating, is a lovely affair. There’s an old work-bench, which holds the cakes, then comes the grinders and a two-group La Marzocco espresso machine. If you’re after pour-over, this is made on a little table against the back wall over the fridge. Everything is on display, except the kitchen, tucked away at the back on the left.
The décor matches the homely nature of the furnishings, with exposed brick at the back, wooden planking on the left and a painted wall on the right. There are stripped-back floorboards, which still bear traces of the red paint which once covered them, particularly at the edges.
Originally The Steamie used coffee from Artisan roast, but it’s now roasting on a Has Garanti HSG5 in a dedicated facility in Motherwell, with Luke, one of the baristas, doing the honours. There’s a seasonal espresso blend (Tenement), a decaf and eight single-origins. Naturally you can buy the beans to take home with you.
There’s a concise (and informative) espresso menu plus pour-over using V60, Chemex and Aeropress. Although there’s a recommended bean for each method, you can have any single-origin using any method (again, reminiscent of the original Artisan Roast). I asked for a recommendation and my barista, Amy, suggested the Kenyan Sumburu AA through the V60. Served in a flask with a glass on the side, I found it a little thin at first, but it really developed and matured as it cooled, bringing out rich, fruity flavours.
Stephen, the owner, had recommended the Finniestan when we’d met at the Glasgow Coffee Festival, so I’d come for lunch. Stephen and his wife make all the cakes and soup, while Stephen sometimes works in the kitchen, although that’s less frequent now the roasting has taken off. One thing to note is that the kitchen closes at three o’clock (four o’clock at weekends).
Stephen wasn’t there when I visited, but I had the Finniestan anyway. It consisted of a massive chunk of smoked salmon, piled up on a slice of toast with an egg on top. I also ordered a toasted soda scone, which was lovely, reminding me of how much I enjoy soda bread. Lunch fit for a king!
|1024 ARGYLE STREET • GLASGOW • G3 8LX|
|www.thesteamie.co.uk||+44 (0) 7821 544449|
|Monday||08:00 – 18:00||Roaster||The Steamie (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 18:00||Seating||Tables|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 18:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 20:00||Service||Table|
|Friday||08:00 – 18:00||Cards||Cash Only|
|Saturday||09:00 – 18:00||Wifi||No|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Power||No|
|Chain||No||Visits||8th May 2017|
Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of Glasgow’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Glasgow.
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