CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Previous Coffee Columns >> Cafe Revolution HQ

Back Buzz - July 22, 2011

pumping heartCafé Revolution HQ, 195 Crookes Road, Crookes, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

For some months I've wondered about this new cafe that opened in the same spot as a former cafe that opened in the same spot as a former cafe, and so on. Although the name of this cafe sounds like it might be the meeting place of a radical cell of coffee growers, in reality it's a small, humble, friendly neighbourhood cafe. On the menu they announce that they take great pride in the quality and quantity of the food, which sounds like the portions might be too big for my small appetite. But the selections are very standard, with the usual full English and Veggie breakfasts, the usual cold sandwiches and jacket potatoes, and the bacon sandwiches with optional additions of eggs, sausage, and/or tomato or beans. Perhaps I should write that in a more Boolean way: bacon and/or (sausage and/or egg and/or (tomato or beans)).

I stopped in one Wednesday morning before work to try the coffee. Sadly they only have a push-button espresso machine, and the very sweet girl apologised for it, saying that all the buttons were broken except for "Espresso" and "Cappuccino". So I asked for a combination "cappuccino" and "espresso" to make a double cappuccino. She charged me £2.00 which is reasonable, served it in a round curvy white china cup, she didn't even suggest sprinkling it with a layer of chocolate, and she offered me a demitasse spoon.

So I truly appreciated her approach and attitude to serving me the drink I desired with the materials that were available. It made me think of a pub that doesn't serve cask ale only because they don't have the customer base to turn it over, but they still graciously offer an excellent pint of European lager. Naturally my drink was not the best, most robust and satisfying double cappuccino, but it was a hundred percent better than those self-serve crappuccinos I'm sometimes forced to buy in the University when the only catering facility with an espresso machine is closed.

I sat in a window seat and noticed the view has changed since this cafe's last incarnation, because the relatively new Sainsbury's Local is directly across the street. The City of Sheffield was currently tearing up Crookes Road, and there was a Motorway Maintenance van and a digger directly in front of me, with a huge crevice cut down the length of the street. The crevice resembled the San Andreas Fault as it would be seen in the opening climax of an apocalyptic disaster film. I wondered how far I would have to wander down the road in order to catch a bus to work. But wait a minute -- what was that ashy smoke rising from the crack? Perhaps I wouldn't have to go to work today after all...

One unique service I noticed on the menu is that they do breakfast deliveries on Sundays from 7am to 1pm and they will include your favourite newspaper. Now, how cool is that?

Speaking of coolness reminds me of an extremely short but fiercely hot e-mail exchange with my Bay Area friend from a few months ago:

Nick Woods, a chile grower in Lancashire, has accidentally come up with the world's hottest chile. At 1,250,000 heat units it's twice as hot as the formerly hottest Naga chile. And speaking of the super killer Naga chile, how did they manage to blanch all of the hotness out of its hide? I don't recall ever getting burned from our sofa... Good question about the Nagas. I don't know how they denatured them to make upholstery.

I wonder what would happen if you chased a 1,250,000 CTU chile with a bottle of Mikkeller 1000 IBU. (Probably something similar, but even more violent, than mixing baking soda and vinegar.)