Saturday, 11 May 2013

Coffee outside the core

Just remembered I have a blog. Once upon a time I used to update it several times a week, with [exciting and informative] [rambling and tedious] (*delete as applicable) reviews of all manner of drinking and dining establishments across the north.

That's gone slightly awry for two reasons; firstly I haven't been eating out much, and secondly I've just moved to Derbyshire, which in case you hadn't noticed isn't in the north. So my blog is now both inappropriately named and lacking in subject material, which isn't a great recipe for success.

The upshot is that I did consider retiring it, but only for about ten minutes. Who cares if it's increasingly off-topic, I like writing it. Onwards and upwards then (or at least sideways, hopefully), to the subject of coffee outside the larger cities.

I know I can get coffee that I really bloody love in Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and anywhere else you'd realistically term one of our major cities (London, Bristol, Glasgow etc). Beyond those? It seems to me to be more of a struggle. I can usually find somewhere good but not great.

Good is still a far better prospect than the chains though, whose general awfulness I was reminded of on my motorway travels this last week (boobie prize for utter shite goes to a Starbuck's flat white: burnt coffee, cheesy milk, wrong texture, almost three quid).

Here are two of the better places I've found. Both are good, neither are great. Suggestions welcome for great coffee away from the city?

Coffee Evolution, Huddersfield

A single shot cappuccino was a pleasingly small size and made with a dark, strong espresso blend. Bitter but not burnt. No flat whites on offer.

Coffee cake had properly buttery icing but was a bit dry. Good value at less than two quid for the coffee and around two quid for the cake.


9a Church Street

Peli Deli, Matlock

The sign above this place proclaims 'amazing coffee' which sadly isn't true. It's well-made, pleasant coffee but a couple of notches below amazing.

The flat white started with a good, velvety texture but reverted into latte territory before the too large cup was finished. Flavour-wise there's a hint of fruitiness, but it's too gentle and needs more oomph.

A mini Victoria sponge was a great little cake; moist sponge, fruit-packed jam and a generous wodge of buttercream. £2.40 for the coffee, £2 for the bun. Just realised I wrote about this place back in January, this time round it was better.


Crown Square


Anonymous said...

Thank goodness. When I read the first two paragraphs I thought you were about to announce the end of one the best food blogs on the web. I adore your sandwich, coffee and fish & chip reviews. Fine dining blogs are ten a penny (ironically). It's the honest grub blogs that are so rare. Also, you don't seem to follow the foodie crowd, you're a maverick. Lets be honest here, who else has done a Bacon Sandwich Quest? So more butties on your blog please (northern or not). And a big thanks for all the stuff you've already taken the time to review and post, it's much appreciated.

Chef Chipmunk said...

Don't be retiring the blog! You're always a highlight in my reader feed!

Dave said...

Anon - I don't think you're my mum or my fiance so that's high praise indeed. Thank you! I can guarantee more butties will be following soon....

Chef Chipmunk - thank you too, most kind :)

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