The independent speciality coffee sector is still growing at a staggering rate and this year’s guide to the northern scene reflects this. — Ian Steel
A useful guide to indie coffee shops in the north of England.
Now in its second edition, more coffee shops added.
Personally I would not use a guide, I prefer to see where my feet take me, wander around, discover for myself. I did though find interesting, the various coffee shops and if I was in one of these towns, then yes, I may be tempted to pop in.
Ian Steel in the introduction emphasises that indie coffee shops collaborate they are not in competition.
I have seen this cooperation in Lincoln, where when short-staffed, one barista helps out in another indie coffee shop. And with the launch of a loyalty card for indie coffee shops, an indie coffee shop chain disrupter loyalty card, this cooperation could be taken much further.
A bit of a mouthful, though the concept is simple enough. A group of indie coffee shops, serving quality coffee, have a joint loyalty card, may still retain their own loyalty card, have to be stamped by at least three of the participating coffee shops, free coffee can be taken at any of the participating coffee shops.
What the card does, in addition to rewarding loyalty, it encourages coffee drinkers, who may by chance, have stumbled upon one coffee shop, to try out other coffee shops.
A conversation I have often had in coffee shops, customers and baristas discuss and recommend other coffee shops to try.
It also has the positive effect, of not only introducing people to excellent coffee, but keeping money circulating within the local economy.
There can be no excuse for drinking that undrinkable yuk in Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks or Caffè Nero, when armed with Northern Independent Coffee Guide it is easy to find somewhere that serves coffee worthy of the name, and once tried, you will never go back.
I like the idea take five coffees and get a free guide, or of course, could be buy a guide and have a free coffee.
Northern Independent Coffee Guide can be found on sale in listed coffee shops.
I have picked up several, both first and second edition from Coffee Aroma, then given them away.
There is also a South West Independent Coffee Guide.