I started this series of articles, taken from my feature in Issue 6 of Caffeine Magazine, with one established player in Newcastle’s coffee scene (Pumphrey’s Coffee). So it seems appropriate to end it with another, Flat Caps Coffee, run by the ever-affable Joe Meagher, ex-banker turned purveyor of fine coffee.
When Joe left banking to become his own boss, he chose coffee as his natural outlet. Initially considering a coffee cart, he quickly realised that there was no consensus must-visit coffee shop in Newcastle. Spotting a gap in the market, Flat Caps Coffee was born. For a long time Joe was a one-man band, but recently he has taken on what he terms “an apprentice” with the view to being able to take the odd day off without having to close the shop!
Flat Caps Coffee will celebrate its fourth birthday in August, making it something of an established player in Newcastle’s fledging speciality coffee scene. I spent a very happy hour perched on a stool at the counter chatting coffee with Joe (who disappointingly wasn’t wearing his trademark flat cap) pausing only while Joe served his customers.
You can find out what Joe had to say after the gallery (which is from my original visit to Flat Caps Coffee).
I present the third of four Saturday Supplements taken from an extended version of my article in Issue 6 of Caffeine Magazine It features Pink Lane Coffee, a coffee shop which has taken the same journey as the subject of the previous Saturday Supplement, Ouseburn Coffee Co. (OCC), but in the other direction, branching out into roasting via the Colour Coffee Company. I chatted with founder, Anthony Atkinson (Anth), who runs Pink Lane and the Colour Coffee Company with his wife.
Anth started as an account manager for a large coffee supplier, but as self-confessed coffee geek, Anth wanted the freedom that he wasn’t getting working for a large company. As the rep for the northeast of England, he visited lots of great coffee shops in the region as well as travelling to legends such as Colonna & Small’s in Bath.
It was while travelling around the northeast that he spotted a gap in the market in Newcastle, which, despite boasting Flat Caps Coffee and Pumphrey’s, still didn’t have the sort of coffee shop Anth was seeking. This led to the setting up of Pink Lane, where the focus is on coffee and all its glorious variations in flavour.
I present the second of four Saturday Supplements, drawn from an extended version of my article in Issue 6 of Caffeine Magazine on the Newcastle coffee scene. Although not specifically written as part of my Meet the Roaster series, it ticks all the boxes, so I have included it as such.
In complete contrast to Pumphrey’s, the subject of my previous article in this series, today it’s the turn of new-kid-on-the-block, Ouseburn Coffee Co. OCC, as it’s known, has been around for less than two years, but has quickly established itself a reputation as a roaster of some of Newcastle’s finest coffee. Based in the sometimes-overlooked Ouseburn valley, just east of the city centre, Al, Simon, Pete and James, the men behind OCC, have created something special. All friends, who grew up in Newcastle, they gigged together in bands in their early years before going their separate ways. They returned to Newcastle two years ago and got back together, this time to create coffee rather than music.
Each of these Special Saturday Supplements can be read as a stand-alone article or the four can be read together as a coherent whole. The more astute amongst you will notice that in a radical departure from recent practice, this Saturday Supplement has come out on a Saturday! For more details, please see my recent State of the Nation(s) 2014 post.
As promised in my recent State of the Nation(s) 2014 post, I present the first of four Saturday Supplements taken from an extended version of my article in Issue 6 of Caffeine Magazine. This was my feature on the coffee scene in Newcastle, which, since Scott wouldn’t let me fill the entire magazine with one article, had to be cut down somewhat. This left me with lots of interesting things to say, but nowhere to say them.
Until now, that is…
We start, appropriately enough, with where it all began in Newcastle, and that’s Pumphrey’s, a venerable company which can trace its roots all the way back to 1750 when Leigh Smith established the company that was to become Pumphrey’s.
Each of these Special Saturday Supplements can be read as a stand-alone article or the four can be read together as a coherent whole. It also forms part of the Meet the Roaster series, although it wasn’t written specifically a Meet the Roaster. The more astute amongst you will appreciate that I’ve actually published this Saturday Supplement on a Thursday, but that’s just the way it is…