The Specialty Coffee Shop
I skipped coffee. I do not find their house blend great. I wished to try their guest blend, which I have yet to try, though at their other coffee shop.
I headed off in roughly the right direction. At Market Square headed off down Friar Lane, which is not as the name suggests a pleasant lane, though maybe once was, about to turn around, I found The Specialty Coffee Shop, where I was greeted as I walked in by Michelangelo, head barista and co-owner.
It is a myth Italians know about coffee, serve great coffee. They do not. Michelangelo though is one of those rare exceptions, an artist whose palette is coffee.
The Specialty Coffee Shop lives up to its name, a wide range of speciality coffee, from Origin, Alchemy, Gardelli.
Rubens Gardelli coffee roaster and owner of Gardelli Coffees won the World Coffee Roaster Championship in China last year.
Something I noticed, which I have not seen since Athens, coffee on offer with a Q of 90+. Was it from Ninety Plus? No, and Michelangelo apologised that he had nothing 90+ to offer me.
Michelangelo full of enthusiasm, the type of enthusiasm that is infectious, offered me a coffee to try.
At first I thought he was offering me a batch brew. I declined, until he told me it was a V60 he had just brewed.
It was excellent. A Burundi. At least I thought a Burundi, but on reflection maybe a Rwandan.
I then tried an Ethiopian from the batch brew. I preferred the V60.
Then a cappuccino. Again excellent.
The cappuccino, Alchemy Elixir, very much like the coffee roasted in-house at Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill, a light roast bringing out the intrinsic flavours.
An unusual coffee menu on the wall. No listing of cappuccino, flat white etc, instead filter or espresso, milk or no milk.
Do not know your flavour notes? A large mural covering the back wall may help.
A selection of cakes and savouries.
A board outside indicated the lunchtime menu.
I ended up spending most of the afternoon there, chatting with barista James and a few of the customers.
James showed me something new. Everyone knows, cannot make a cappuccino with fake milk, it looks disgusting, tastes disgusting. Why even try? James blended in the pouring jug. A strange beige colour. I tried. Not great, but we both agreed better than what is usually served with fake milk.
Last year, only one year after it had opened, The Specialty Coffee Shop was awarded the best independent business in Nottingham. There are these days so many awards being handed out they have become worthless. Not in this case, well deserved.
Noticing the time, I realised I had to walk back to Market Square, find Ideas on Paper to pick up a copy of Coffee Shop North and maybe back copies of Standart if they had (they had not).
On my way Cold Brew Coffee, now being remained at £2 a copy. Last visit £4 a copy, though in Lincoln it was £3 a copy. Less than the cost of a cappuccino.
I did not think I had time to try any more coffee shops.
Ideas on Paper gave the same advice as on my last visit by Chocolate Studio exit Cobden Chambers, turn left, head off down the street to find coffee shops. This I did, first saying hi in Wired. I found nothing, turning on my heels I found Outpost Coffee.