Tib Street, in Manchester’s Northern Quarter (itself replete with multiple speciality coffee shops) is a busy place. At one end, there’s the venerable North Tea Power, while if you progress northeast, you’ll soon reach newcomers, Just Between Friends Coffee, closely followed by the subject of today’s Coffee Spot, Siop Shop, across the road from the recently-closed Ezra To Go.
Siop Shop is a relative newcomer itself, having been open for precisely one week when I was last in Manchester (for the 2017 Manchester Coffee Festival). As a result, it didn’t quite make my radar, but on my return this year, it was high on my list. For those that don’t know, Siop (pronounced “shop”) is Welsh for shop. Iwan, who owns Siop Shop along with his partner, Lucy, is Welsh, Siop Shop providing a small slice of Wales in Manchester, complete with bilingual signs. You can even say hello and order in Welsh if you like!
Siop Shop made its name through its awesome doughnuts, but there’s also full breakfast and lunch menus, plus cake and sandwiches. Local roaster, Dark Woods, provides a bespoke house-blend (Coffi Coffee) on espresso, while there’s a daily guest on espresso and another on V60.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Siop Shop began as Blawd, wholesale bakers of extremely highly-regarded doughnuts, supplied to some of Manchester’s best coffee shops. Fast forward to 2017, when Iwan and Lucy decided to open their own coffee shop, where they could both make and sell their doughnuts. Thus Siop Shop was born.
Siop Shop occupies a large spot on the northwest side of Tib Street, on the corner with Silver Jubilee Walk. Windows line both sides, with the Tibb Street side in particular being pretty much all windows, while down right-hand side (Silver Jubilee Walk) there’s another window at the front, plus a bench and a handful of tables, which provide the outside seating.
All the windows make for a wonderfully-bright spot, unless you’re there late on a rainy afternoon in November, in which case the ample electric lights take over. The door is right on the corner at 45⁰, leading to a simple, open square space. The counter is mid-way back on the right-hand side, the open kitchen behind it. The seating, meanwhile, is arranged in an L-shape around the counter, in the front part of Siop Shop and down the left-hand side. There are a variety of tables, plus a window-bar along the right-hand side, between door and counter. There’s also a solitary bar stool down the left-hand side of the counter, ideal for watching the espresso machine, a gorgeous Kees van der Westen Mirage, which is just behind the counter on the right-hand wall.
Starting to the left of the door, you’ll find a six-person table with benches on three sides, then come two small, three-person tables lined up front-to-back, before the last of the seating, against the left-hand wall. There are two four/six-person tables with benches, followed by a pair of two-person tables at the end, which can be pushed together to form a four-person table. All have benches, with padded benches running along the left-hand wall.
Siop Shop built its fame on its doughnuts, made by Lucy using a two-day cold-fermented dough. This is left to prove overnight, before being fried each morning, although at weekends, the doughnuts are frying throughout the day. However, it’s not just doughnuts, Siop Shop offering breakfast, lunch and toasted sandwiches. And then there’s the coffee…
Siop Shop has been influenced by Aussie/Kiwi café culture. Everything is simple, but done well, with no pretence, and no airs and graces. Indeed, such was the lack of show that when I first walked in, I was a little worried that I wasn’t going enjoy the coffee, but I should have had more faith. Dark Woods is the mainstay on espresso, with the bespoke Coffi Coffee blend in main hopper where it’s joined by a daily guest, with another on V60, Siop Shop bringing in roasters from all over the country.
During my visit, a Guji from London’s Dark Arts Coffee was in the second hopper, Siop Shop using this as the default for coffee with milk, which proved to be an excellent choice. I had a flat white, the milk holding the pattern well, and in perfect harmony with the coffee, which isn’t always the case with single-origin Ethiopians. Of course, I had to have a doughnut. With a choice of at least nine flavours, I went for raspberry and was well rewarded. My light, sugary doughnut had a crispy top, while the centre was filled with raspberry jam, the tartness of the jam perfectly off-setting the sweetness of the doughnut.
December 2018: Siop Shop has won the 2018 Best Cake Award.
|53 TIB STREET • MANCHESTER • M4 1LS|
|Monday||08:00 – 18:00||Roaster||Dark Woods + Guests (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 18:00||Seating||Tables, Window-bar|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 18:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Doughnuts|
|Thursday||08:00 – 18:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 18:00||Cards||Amex, Mastercard, Visa|
|Saturday||08:00 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:30 – 17:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||1st November 2018|
If you liked this Coffee Spot, then check out the rest of Manchester’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Manchester & Salford.
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