Kapow Coffee has been on my radar for a while. A small spot, it’s on The Calls in Leeds, a quiet street running parallel to the railway tracks and the river, half way between the station (and the likes of Laynes Espresso) and Leeds Dock (North Star). Spiritually, it’s the successor to the original La Bottega Milanese, which started life a few doors away before moving on to bigger and better things at The Light and Bond Court. However, other than using La Bottega’s espresso blend from Dark Woods, it’s very much its own place.
Kapow has a cut-down, espresso-based menu, supplemented by tea from the Canton Tea Co, a toast-based food menu and plenty of cake. There’s also an impressive selection of retail beans from a range of roasters. While there’s not much seating, what Kapow lacks in space, it makes up for in cosiness and a friendly atmosphere.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Kapow Coffee is on a corner on The Calls, conveniently located next to a footbridge over the River Aire. The building itself is a glorious, brick-built corn mill dating from the 18th/19th centuries, which has been converted into a hotel (42 The Calls). Kapow occupies an independent space on the ground floor and while not connected to the hotel, I know where I’d be going for my morning coffee if I was staying there.
In size and shape, it’s almost a cube, slightly wider than it is deep and just about as tall. There’s a massive floor-to-ceiling window on the right, with a central glass door. The majority of the seating is on the right, with the counter on the left beyond the window, although there are a pair of windows in the left-hand wall at the back of the counter, making it a very bright space.
There’s a pair of two-person window bars, one to either side of the door, plus a corner bench seat on the back/right-hand wall which can seat four or five, with a single, round coffee table. Finally, a two-person bar is tucked against the wall running down past the counter, away from the main seating. If pushed, you could probably seat 10 people, maybe 11.
When it comes to coffee, probably the most impressive thing is that, as well as the cut-down espresso-based menu, Kapow sells a wide range of beans from a variety of roasters. While I was there this included Leeds’ very own North Star, along with Yorkshire-based Rounton Coffee Roasters and, all the way from London, Union Hand-roasted.
I had a flat white, made with the La Bottega Milanese espresso blend. This was excellent, a very smooth, fruity coffee, that was the perfect start to my day and every bit as good as I remember it from my visit to La Bottega Milanese.
This is the original branch of Kapow, by the way, the owner having opened a second in the city centre, in the lovely Thornton’s Arcade, in April of this year. Although larger, it retains much of the original Kapow’s cosiness/friendly atmosphere as well inheriting the retail side of the business, but at the same time offering a much-expanded range of coffee, including pour-overs.
|44 THE CALLS • LEEDS • LS2 7EW|
|Monday||07:00 – 17:00||Roaster||Dark Woods (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 17:00||Seating||Bars, Table|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 17:00||Food||Cake, Toast|
|Thursday||07:00 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 17:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa (£0.30 under £5)|
|Saturday||08:00 – 17:00||Wifi||No|
|Sunday||10:00 – 15:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||Local||Visits||28th August 2017|
If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of Leeds’ speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Leeds.
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