This weekend Mr Tearoom and I took ourselves off to the Cup North 2015 ‘coffee party’ at the huge Industrial space that is Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. Cup North is a two day event with over thirty exhibitors of fine coffee, along with coffee speakers, coffee films, competitions and food. The event was in full swing when we arrived. A bustling hub of coffee experts, cafe owners, big wigs, baristas and coffee lovers all entranced by the aroma of brewing beans.
Initially overwhelmed the only thing to do was, er, well, grab a coffee and take it all in.
My first and much needed flat white was supplied by the friendly faces of Small Batch Coffee from Brighton. After a few sips of this I calmed myself and got to grips with the many suppliers offering up their finest brew.
Along the way we were very much impressed by the individuality of the Bean Brothers. These artisan coffee roasters from Huddersfield had brought along their seasonal espresso’s, Derek and Boozy Gladys, and they didn’t disappoint. Mr Tearoom went for a sample of the Boozy Gladys. She is fruity with flavours of apricot, blueberries and strawberries and boozy with a tot of sherry. Derek on the other hand is a blend of coffees rich in berries, chocolate and almonds, and biscuit with vanilla. They also have a rather good espresso stout to. Mr Tearoom was a fan. I too liked the coffees and the names Derek and Gladys.
After a quick bite to eat and a quick peek at the baked goods on offer by the Cakesmiths, busily pairing cakes and coffee, we got back to business.
The bright and bold Grumpy Mule coffee stand was also bustling with twitchy tasters. This is self confessed ‘coffee with character’. This mules got swag and I liked it.
Our favourite coffee? Well it had to be Leeds based roasters North Star. They are focussed on speciality grade, craft roasted Arabica coffees. Our top selection includes their Costa Rican coffee with intense flavours of honey, pineapple and sweet maple syrup and the Ethiopian mix of delicate rose petals, jasmine florals, hints of apricot and a twist of lime. In short, very nice indeed. In just two years North Star have got themselves a reputation for being top notch coffee roasters and we agree!
Amongst the coffee haze there was a little ray of sunshine in the form of the Brew Tea Company. Yes there was tea at the coffee party, but not just any old tea. The Manchester based Brew Tea Company had a proper tasting, super refreshing, English Breakfast tea on tap along with their new Christmas blend. This tea company got me giddy and definitely warrants a brew review on the blog asap!
And so with a final flat white from the roasters at Allpress, and quite frankly a shaky hand, we bid a jittery farewell to the wired world that is Cup North.