CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Previous Coffee Columns >> The Grind Cafe
Recently a reader recommended a new cafe in Green Lane, saying the "flat black" was exceptional. Always eager to have a reason to explore Sheffield's industrially historic Kelham Island area, I set off one morning before work in search of this cafe. The sudden exit from the busy triangle made by the merging of Infirmary Road and Penistone Road down into the opening of Green Lane makes me feel as if I've stepped down a ramp out of 2011 into the 19th century. As I strolled down the historic lane, passing old brick works, I could almost hear the workers' stories of owners past and of the destruction caused by the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864, and I imagined the modern cars fading into horse-drawn drays and carts. And I nearly expected to see flat-capped cutlers, little mesters, and buffers emerging from the works yards.
Green Lane isn't that long, and as I reached the end I began to worry that perhaps I'd been sent on a wild goose -- or perhaps a wild cutler -- chase. Then I spotted the outdoor tables and chairs and the modern glass frontage on the corner just past Cornwall Works where Green Lane ends and Alma Street and Russell Street begin. As I entered the Grind Cafe I found myself back in the 21st century. It's a bright, inviting, contemporary-styled cafe with clean wooden tables and chairs and windows as walls -- a sparkling gemstone surrounded by brick canyons. Old jazz singers crooned from the speakers, and the aroma of fresh ground coffee made a beeline for my nose.
Although it was a pleasantly sunny and cool day I decided to stay inside and perched at a high window seat -- although because the walls are made of glass one could technically say that every seat in the place is a window seat. My double macchiato was served in a white tulip-shaped cup with demitasse spoon and capped with a lovely leaf rosette, and it was perfectly made. The coffee beans are from a Yorkshire roaster called Limini, and today's blend consisted of beans from Brazil, El Savador, and India, creating a smooth fruity brew. Although I'd normally like a darker, more robust roast for my espresso, I would be interested to try other blends they might be offering on future visits. Basically this macchiato was lovely, and the rosette remained at the bottom of the cup, waiting to be consumed with the last sip.
The cafe serves some very attractive meals and sandwiches. Today's chalkboard offered lasagne; a smoked salmon and chive tartlet; goats cheese, asparagus, roasted red pepper, and olives; Portobello mushroom and haloumi; and Parma hand. They also serve salads, breakfasts, croissants, and cakes, and they're open 7 days a week, which is unusual in such an industrial area. As I gathered my belongings to continue my industrial archaeological journey to work, I decided I'll have to splurge on something to eat next time I come here. If I can find my way back, that is. I'll remember to click my ruby heels together three times and chant, "There's no place like the 19th century, there's no place like the 19th century, there's no place like the 19th century..."
Speaking of chants reminds me of a recent and very short e-mail exchange with my Bay Area friend:
...and since that was so short, here's another one from a year ago with another reference to rabbits: