CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Previous Coffee Columns >> Eight Ounce

Back Buzz - November 25, 2012

pumping heartEight Ounce Coffee Shop, 355 Glossop Road, Broomhall, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

I first noticed this cafe a few months ago while out walking with my table tennis mate Trevor. I was intrigued by the name, because drinks usually aren't measured in ounces in the UK. In the US, 8 ounces would be the size of an average water glass, so I couldn't see how this amount could be relative to your average espresso drink. Still, the place looked inviting, so I added it to my list of coffee shops to try.

On a recent crisp autumn day I decided to walk to work, stopping halfway at Eight Ounce for a double macchiato to give me the energy to finish the walk and the day. Located in a storefront that was previously a tanning studio called Consol Suncenter, Eight Ounce opened late last year and has a warm, inviting atmosphere. There is a variety of seating options -- sofas, comfy chairs, wooden tables and chairs -- with bookshelf wallpaper on one wall. I seated myself on a small sofa by a coffee table. My double macchiato was served in a bright orange cup that had the essential white interior, and on top of the coffee was a lovely lily rosette, making a perfect presentation. The coffee is extremely smooth but very nice, and I could definitely feel the caffeine. A biscuit was served with it as well, along with a demitasse spoon, and I felt very content. The jazz that was playing softly in the background was as smooth as the coffee.

The cafe offers a typical menu of breakfast and lunch items: croissants, including the rare option of butter and jam (I'm sorry, but I like butter with my already buttery croissants), bagels with a choice of spreads (I would choose peanut butter and cream cheese, but then again, that's just me), salads, and sandwiches and paninis on artisan baguettes, bagels, or ciabattini. And for my bacon-sarnie-loving English mates, a dry cured bacon baguette is featured.

Eight Ounce roast and sell their own select origin Rialto coffee. My barista told me they have several roasts available. But £4.00 for 200 grams seems a bit pricey to me.

The cafe is situated kitty-corner from the starkly functional architecture of the Royal Hallamshire Hospital. Opened by Prince Charles in 1979, the hospital features 850 beds and 17 operating theatres; but it was the car park, manned by our friend Bob, that I could see from my sofa, with the spinning beacon of an ambulance just up the road. Strangely enough I did have a great view, with day-glo autumn foliage, rich green hedges, burnt-orange brick houses, and Yorkshire stone walls. As a result the normally ugly 1970s hospital architecture reminded me of the beachcomber Southern California houses of my early childhood -- except without the autumn foliage, the non-earthquake-proof bricks, and the Yorkshire stone, of course.

I was so impressed with my lily rosette, still visible even two thirds of the way down, that I took a photo. Now, that's class.

Speaking of class reminds me of a recent e-mail exchange with my Bay Area friend about something not classy at all:

I can't believe this. Thanks to QR (Quick Response) codes on gravestones that can be scanned by smart phones, we'll have no rest from social networking technology after we die, even when our ashes are scattered to the wind.

This takes all the fun out of my research project on famous people's graves. Nooooo! This is an April Fool's joke, isn't it? It must be April 1 somewhere on the globe. It's the Dawn of the Digital Dead. If somebody tags a grave with a smart phone I want to see a zombie walk up and eat them! Not some cheesy web page with nauseating music. Somebody, please, go to the Living Headstone™ page on Facebook and click the "turning over in my grave" icon!