The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide
The guide to indy coffee shops in North of England for third edition now includes Wales.
With the nation’s thirst for speciality coffee seemingly unquenchable, it’s hard to believe that just ten years ago you’d be lucky to sniff out a good cup of coffee in London, let alone in the rest of the UK. — Indy Coffee Guide
I had popped into Madame Waffle and noticed that not only Standart on sale, they also had The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide on sale.
Now in it third edition, what was the The Northern Independent Coffee Guide now includes Wales, hence the change in tittle.
Inclusion of Wales a huge mistake. North Wales is not the North of England. Why not a guide for Wales?
A new editor, and I guess to justify her existence the format has changed.
Moot point whether for the better or not.
The maps are now associated with their relevant entries, which is an improvement.
Gone the information about coffee, which is a great loss. Instead, a brief sketch of key coffee people.
Noticeable by his absence, Bruce Whetton at Madame Waffle, a pioneer of speciality coffee before it became trendy. Hopefully an omission to be corrected in the fourth edition.
A noticeable increase in the thickness. Whether due to an increase in the speciality coffee scene or being padded out with North Wales, I do not know.
Several entries, light text on a dark background, not a good idea, as nigh impossible to read.
A noticeable absence from the first edition was Stokes, included in the second edition, now relegated to the footnotes, and deservedly so.
From Christmas to New Year, a noticeable loss of quality. Several months later their house blend undrinkable.
Stokes need to decide what they are.
Are they a supplier of catering supply coffee to greasy spoon cafes, bars and hotels, in a race to the bottom with local supplier Lincoln Tea and Coffee, that bag from bulk roasters low quality commodity coffee, over-roasted, defective beans with an unpleasant aroma? Or are they a supplier of speciality coffee? At the very least, form a separate and distinct division, Stokes Speciality Coffee, with its own distinct packaging, and showcase at The Lawn.
A shame to see a fourth generation family coffee business fall by the wayside.
Stokes have recently relocated their roastery and offices to The Lawn, and opened Stokes Lawn Cafe at The Lawn, though Stokes at The Lawn would have been a better name. At The Lawn they have three excellent baristas, have invested in top quality equipment, the ambience is pleasant, as are the staff, then let themselves down with poor quality beans.
Last week, cappuccino at Stokes Lawn Cafe using their house blend not good. Why I do not know. Using their Guatemalan…keithpp.wordpress.com
Cappuccino in Stokes Lawn Café. https://twitter.com/keithpp/status/903364626867466240 I again chose their Guatemalan…keithpp.wordpress.com
I am pleased to see Madame Waffle has now been included, a noticeable omission from previous editions.
Most of the afternoon spent in Madame Waffle. https://twitter.com/keithpp/status/903637515143454721 Excellent…keithpp.wordpress.com
But why no inclusion of Makushi, a coffee shop and roastery half way up Steep Hill?
I could have had a coffee at Stokes on High Bridge, but no, walk up Steep Hill and have a coffee at Makushi. https:…keithpp.wordpress.com
In between the very heavy showers, with water running down Steep Hill, I made it to Makushi without getting wet. https…keithpp.wordpress.com
Another addition I would recommend The Little Tractor Coffee Shop, hidden within Bird’s Yard, a junk shop at the bottom of Steep Hill.
The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop aka Wheelys no more, welcome The Little Tractor Coffee Shop. On Friday walking up Steep…keithpp.wordpress.com
Coffee trails are new for this edition.
My suggestion for a Lincoln Coffee Trail (starting in the High Street where the River Witham flows through the town centre): Stokes on High Bridge, Coffee Aroma, Madame Waffle, Stokes at The Collection, The Little Tractor Coffee Shop, Makushi, Stokes Lawn Cafe. [see Coffee culture in Lincoln]
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.
The downside of taking me where my feet take, may have the advantage of discovery, but too many bad coffee shops, too much bad coffee.
I have never understood why anyone opens a coffee shop to serve bad coffee, though too many do. If I wanted bad coffee I would frequent the chains.
There can though be no excuse for drinking that undrinkable yuk in Costa or tax-dodging Starbucks or Caffè Nero, when armed with a copy of The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide it is easy to find somewhere that serves coffee worthy of the name, and once tried, you will never go back.
How credible an indie coffee guide when those listed are paying £500 each for a listing? When coffee shops that do not deserve a listing are listed? When those that deserve a listing are not listed? Those relegated are those that have not paid. Why are the publishers not upfront about this?