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Back Buzz - March 10, 2014

pumping heartSteam Yard Coffee Company, Division Street, Devonshire Quarter, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Recently a friend told me about a new coffeehouse that has opened in town off Division Street. On the first day of a long weekend Andrew and I headed into the city centre to do a couple of errands and then visit the Steam Yard Coffee Company. The cafe is set back off the street in a courtyard called Aberdeen Court, just across from the Frog and Parrot pub. I believe it's in the same spot that Jack's Records used to be before it went the sad way of 21st century record and book shops -- in other words, into extinction.

The coffee shop was opened by Nick Pears, who used to run the Motore coffee cart near Sheffield Hallam University, and Matt Cottrill. As we entered two friendly baristas greeted us, and there was some nice genuine blues and jazz playing (as opposed to Starbucks-style jazzak). The walls of the two small rooms are painted a good art-gallery white, and there's a bright orange door to the toilets which makes a pleasing accent. There's a distinctly 1950s retro rebel biker theme to the place, with denim motorcycle jackets, pictures of Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, and Gregory Peck, and other objets d'art displayed on the shelves including a copy of the New York Coffee Guide and a large tome on the Bauhaus. I was unusually attracted to the sensual vintage motorcycle helmet, perhaps because it was open-faced. Keeping to the orange-accent theme there is also a vintage orange and silver Olympus Trip 35 camera.

As I was still a bit buzzed from the morning I ordered a single macchiato, served in a classic white cup, and Andrew had his traditional double macchiato, served in an orange cup. They were both presented with nice heart rosettas on top. The Pollards coffee is very nice, quite smooth but tasty. They're doing an excellent job, in my opinion. Andrew had a doughnut as well which was very light and pleasant.

The cafe also serves cakes, locally made sandwiches, toast with jam and peanut butter -- oh, and look: there are oranges in the cake counter! I keep being reminded of our own orange kitchen wall, so I guess I'm feeling quite at home here.

Speaking of eclectic decor and doughnuts reminds me of a short e-mail conversation with my Bay Area friend from last year on a fascinating Internet reference site:

In researching links for CoffeeBeer, I happened upon the Uncyclopedia website, modelled after Wikipedia. The original article I found was Benson's 4D House of Pancakes. I then checked out a few more subjects including Sheffield, Seattle, string theory, doughnuts, and pants. It looks like another great way to waste the time that one never has anymore.

This is awesome! "Pants" reminds me of the article on socks you found in Wikipedia in the earlier days, before that site was infected by the patrols of too many literal-minded people. The larticle on Benson's 4D House of Pancakes is brilliant. How did you learn about this theory? It must be very new. Googling the exact phrase yields no sources other than Uncyclopedia. Does that mean that references to it on other web sites spontaneously fall back into a black hole? Did this theory slip through a worm hole after Stephen Hawking formulated it retroactively to 1999?

Can I set my Google preferences to give higher priority to Uncyclopedia? They have a nice profile of Michael Jackson.