Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Grindsmith Espresso and Brewbar

Ever since seeing 'Grindsmith' on kickstarter months ago, an uber-cool urban eco-pod of a coffee house, I had been eager to venture to Greengate Square to give it a try.

There it is, the little cutesy

I was adamant that given the compact-wooden-pod nature of the place, I should only go in extreme weather conditions in order to make the trip all the more exciting. In beloved but rainy Manchester, blue-skies and sunshine qualifies as extreme conditions. As such, during a sunny June Sunday, I seized the opportunity to sip on a 'Grindsmith' flat white, with sunshine beaming through the open fa├žade (almost entirely made of glass) - I was not disappointed. An excellent decision on my part to go when sunny and excellent brewing skills from Grindsmith as far as kick-ass flat white's are concerned.   

Upon arrival I geekily bombarded the barista with brew-related questions. Reminiscent of my younger self during science lessons, I was intrigued by the variety of brewing instruments and keen to learn more. The bearded (of course he was) man that served us was genuinely friendly and really chilled, just what you'd hope from an edgy coffee cavern really. He let us sample their cold brew. He told us that it takes 24 hours to make and has four times more caffeine than their normal coffee (you know the 'normal' espresso that makes me abnormally hyper-active for a sustained period of time).  Upon hearing about the caffeine content and sampling the unusually fruity cold brew (potentially comparable to a cross between some sort of tea and coffee) I momentarily transformed into an owl-like creature.

Coffee with a view...

As it was Sunday afternoon it didn't feel appropriate to consume an entire glass of the hardcore cold brew, so I went for, as I always do, the flat white. Like I said it was a good'n and all the more appreciated due to the unusual urban haven Grindsmith have managed to create. I can just imagine returning during the winter months for quite a different and somewhat cosier experience. Being such an exposed vessel, Grindsmith has a capability unlike any other Manchester coffee house to provide a diversity of atmospheres dependant upon the weather conditions in which the cafe is encased. I think that each time I go (I do hope to go many times again) the place will have a distinct feel.

Cold-drip Coffee

Their Tea selection is on the left there.

Grindsmith offers little when it comes to food, there was a very small selection of baked goods but they looked rustic and appealing. I wasn't expecting an extensive food menu, nor was I disappointed by its lack. What is pretty darn cool however, is that Grindsmith stock 'Ginger's Comfort Emporium' ice-cream - absolutely the best ice-cream I have ever tasted! (See my review of the cafe in Affleks palace) Marry this with a Grindsmith espresso and you've got an Affogato sent directly from heaven. £3 well spent I'd say - a delightful weekend treat.

The pricing at Grindsmith is nothing unusual, the flat white was £2.50 -  so I'd say toward the upper average of the indie coffee house's going rate. It pains me to pay this much, but for quality coffee it's generally accepted as the norm. I'd rather sparingly visit the likes of Grindsmith and thoroughly enjoy savouring a brew of this quality than pay half the amount for a distinctly average coffee. On another trip I had a Cappuccino, for me it was overly milky and I couldn't taste the coffee well enough. This may be down to my taste: I like coffee strong. However, I'm tempted to say that Grindsmith don't always get it spot on. It often takes an age for them to actually make the coffee and I'm not sure how attentive they are when it comes to the filtered coffee. I give Grindsmith such a positive review because its different, I mean its a pod for god's sake. Yet, it's not the best coffee in the city. I stand by word that it's a great flat white though.

Heavenly Affogato

Seriously though, what a treat!


Take a walk to Greengate Square. Look,  I know the Premiere Inn there is really ugly and a bit of an off-putter, but once inside Grindsmith's coffee haven, you'll forget such an architectural disaster ever happened.

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