Monday, November 4, 2013


This week for a bit of a change I'm trying something different. As I mentioned I recently moved to England and this opens up a whole new world of cafes, bakeries and restaurants to my awaiting palate. Therefore I feel that I should include this in this little blog and share a little more of my life. So I'll start today with a little review of a cafe that we visited on a recent trip to Sheffield.

So a little back-story, my sister is something of a coffee expert, although she would deny it if you met her! A couple of years ago she started educating herself about coffee growing, roasting and brewing methods. These days she is something of an encyclopedia of good coffees and has taught all of us little bits and pieces along the way. If you ever sat down with her for a coffee you would really learn a lot and gain a new perspective on the drink that many of us rely on to function. I may even ask her to write a guest post and if she was willing it would be a really interesting and insightful post, I guarantee you. If there is a quality coffee shop that serves filter third wave coffee in your area, she will probably find out about it and be able to get information you may not even know. When we were going to travel to Sheffield she told us that we had to try Tamper. This interesting and quite different cafe combines great coffee that they source locally with high quality food and a quirky New Zealand personality.

The back wall of the cafe boasts some fantastic flora and fauna
The story of this place is interesting. The owner is a kiwi fellow who came to England and reportedly wanted to bring 'the very best of New Zealand Cafe culture to Sheffield.'
We went to their second location in Arundel St, which seems to have been built into an old garage or factory. They keep the exposed brickwork and big old windows which gives the places a real earthy feel but they contrast this with the beautiful art and quirky touches like candlesticks in the windows. The rustic theme is continued in the bathrooms where they have beautiful big Belfast sinks. The whole place just seems to give an impression of authenticity, real quality and a nod to tradition.

The staff were incredible welcoming and attentive. We went at a relatively quiet part of the day, but they appeared to be busy preparing for the lunch rush and non-the-less we were served very quickly and even staff who were not dealing with us directly were friendly and helpful.

So onto the foodie review. Lets start with coffee. This place serves coffee in a variety of ways. You can get normal style espresso coffees/cappucinos/lattes etc but interestingly these are also available with either soya milk or almond milk. However the piece de resistance is their filter coffees. I have it on good authority that filter coffee is the best way to get the full subtle range of flavours of a third wave coffee, and in Tamper they offer filter coffee in two ways; pour-over or aeropress. We ordered both in our group and with different coffees. In terms of flavour, the coffee was absolutely delcious and the subtle flavours were beautifully enhanced by the preparation methods. However we all felt that the quantities were something of an issue.

Pour-over for two

Aeropress filtered coffee
 The top picture above is the pour-over filtered coffee for two. As you can see there is not a lot of coffee there, in my humble opinion this is barely enough for one, let alone two. The second picture above shows how the aeropress filtered coffee is served and one of the little cups that all the coffee came in. This is quite a cute way to serve the aeropress and although the quantity isn't huge, my bf felt like it was enough. However as you can see the cups are tiny!! We also ordered a latte in the group and this came in the same teenie, tiny cup. I appreciate that quality is more important than quantity and I'm not looking for a Starbucks 'Trenta,' in fact we are actively trying to avoid that but it feels like there can be a middle ground were quality comes in larger quantities?!

Ok moving on from coffee before I embarass myself by thinking I know more than I do let's move on to food. The food was frickin' amazing! We had a late breakfast/brunch and therefore justified eating a dessert with our breakfast ;) But let's start with the main breakfast which was absolutely beautiful.

Mushrooms on toast

Poached eggs on an English muffin

Healthy breakfast combos

And....we didn't order these but look at these frittatas
So suffice is to say they definitely get the quality/quantity balance just perfect in the food department. I could literally have sat there and ate everything entirely with my eyes for hours but.........we were quite hungry. Well let me tell you, the taste lives up to the beautiful picture that they paint on their wooden boards! If I had one criticism it would be that the granola came with too little yoghurt. As you can see from the picture above, you get a shot glass of yoghurt with a bowl full of granola, they include some milk too but honestly I'd opt for double yoghurt next time. Otherwise the mushrooms on toast and poached eggs were simply incredible and went down a real treat with the group.

And then we moved onto the ever important breakfast dessert, and well........just enjoy ;)

Little pies that ooze deliciousness

Filo pies and gorgeous pear calfouti

Buttery croissants and individual cup sized puddings!

So overall what were my impressions of Tamper Sheffield. I felt that the atmosphere was wonderful the cafe seems to blend old and new while keeping a real sense of wholesome authenticity. The staff as mentioned make you feel very much at home and the excellent quality coffee and food just top off the whole dining experience. It is definitely somewhere that I would go again and I would recommend it to anyone. Check out their website and facebook to see what else I missed

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