David_Jenkins Senior Member Joined: 18 Jan 2011 Posts: 1 Location: Manchester, UK Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Jan 18, 2011, 4:55am Subject: Recommended coffe shops in Manchester?
1st post here and looking forward to expanding my coffee knowledge and helping out where I can!
I live in Manchester, where there seems to be a lack of quality coffee shops IMHO. I have tried a few recommended places in the town centre, Chorlton and Northern Quarter but I've been disappointed overall. There certainly seems to be nothing of the standard that can be found in the better places I've tried in London (don't wanna break forum rules by naming 'em!) although I appreciate that these were particularly good specialist shops by reputation and that they are, after all, in London.
I have seen previous threads (dating from years ago) about the coffee scene in Manchester but, as they are so old and I don't think many of the shops recommended still exist, I thought it was worth asking again:
What coffee shops do people recommend in Manchester?
Are there even any high-end specialist coffee shops in Manchester?
I enjoy all types of coffee but was especially interested in trying good espresso and filter coffee. I remember a small place off Oldham St that appeared to specialise in syphon/vac-pot coffee but I didn't get a chance to try it before it closed down.
For such a big and cultured city, it seems like a pity :-(
Hope you have managed to find some decent brews around the place...
I have kept a beady eye open for decent coffee in manchester over the years, and have been consistently disappointed, however there is at last a small coffee scene emerging!! (hooray)
The places I have found that I feel contribute to this are:
The small cafe (called 'Aromat' I think) in the craft centre in the northern quarter - the owner Fred is really passionate, a really nice guy, and most of the time you will get really well made drink from these guys. If you're lucky even some pretty respectable latte art. Last I heard were using Matthew Algie 'Darwin' beans, and while it doesn't have the delicate flavours and complexity you will find at your 'secret' london destinations, it is a decent all-rounder and by far the best offering from this particular roaster.
EDIT: Sadly this place is no more : (
Grindsmith - the syphon place you mentioned, and now sadly no longer with us. - The only purveyors of square mile coffee in manchester, good quality coffee while it lasted, and all done with a healthy dose of geekiness. These guys (Ben and Neil) are reputedly looking to open another little shop at some point, so keep your eyes peeled.
An outlet - not been myself, so not much to say except that every barista I have spoken to has recommended it. Northern Quarter.
North Tea Power - IMO the best place in town at the moment, great atmosphere, loose leaf tea, some weird but tasty tea espresso based drinks. Run by a young couple, and the guy really cares about the quality of the drinks he sends out, and so are generally really good. Best espresso in town. Also the closest feel and taste to anything in soho... - using Hasbean coffee, not sure on the blend. Just ordered a La Marzocco FB80, so in about 6 weeks time the quality of everything will jump up another notch : ) I will certainly be there...
Brodericks - This is another one i have not visited, but have talked to the girl who runs it, and I am sure her staff are really well trained. Not really open to the public and is hidden away in an office complex off oxford road called 'unit 1', but i'm sure you could wangle a tasty brew out of them all the same. There is another branch of this small chain in terminal 2 at manchester airport, which has saved my life a couple of times. To be able to get an exquisitely made espresso or cappuccino at 5 in the morning is pretty close to a miracle in my books. Using grumpy mule coffee.
Finally, without wanting to self-promote I am the head barista at the Cornerhouse on oxford road. We are too high volume to compete in terms of absolute quality with some of the places above, but we do our best with limited resources. The upstairs bar is your best bet for quality, where there is always a decent barista and you get latte art at all but the very busiest times.
I know that this reply is a little late... but hope you find it useful and get to try some truly great places. If you find any not on this list, I would love to hear about them. Happy hunting,
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