CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Cloud Coffee


Quite some time back I noticed a new coffee shop that was preparing to open in the previous spot as Whaletown Coffee. Naturally, as I live just across the border of Crookes and go up there several times a week to do my shopping, I was very interested in trying it out. Unfortunately I tend to do my shopping late in the day, well after I’ve had my daily allotment of two coffees. Realising that this has been a pretty lame excuse, a few days ago I finally made an effort by foregoing my second morning cafetiere, which of course spurred me to climb up Crookes Mountain a bit earlier in the day.

And I’m really glad I did. Owned by the trio of Con, Aaron, and James, Cloud Coffee is located across the street from Dana Cafe and the new Finnish bakery, Cafe Nort, and just down the road from the Two Sheds micropub. It’s also very convenient to Co-Op, Sainsburys, Just Natural, and Bargain Booze. The interior of the cafe is pleasingly basic, with orange, white, and black decor. On the day of my visit, although the pavements of Crookes seemed to be overflowing with people obviously celebrating the sunny day and their end-of-the-month paycheques, the cafe was fairly quiet, with just me on one side, two women sitting at a table on the other side, and three men at the counter who were chatting about all sorts of coffee brewing methods and equipment. It reminded me a bit of some of the chats I’ve heard near the brewing vats in a lot of the serious American breweries I’ve visited -- except, of course, this was all about coffee.

My cortado was nice enough, served in a clear glass macchiato-sized cup, with a rosette on top. The coffee is pretty smooth for my taste, but that’s not too unusual in Sheffield. But I really appreciate the casual, unpretentious feel of this place. I recall stopping into Two Sheds several times for a late afternoon pint and finding the cafe’s unsold Depot Bakery croissants--which I consider the best croissants in Sheffield--on the counter. So these guys are obviously happy and eager to be part of the Crookes community. As I sat and sipped my cortado I surveyed the simple graffiti-styled graphic art that decorates the walls, and for some reason the colour orange seemed to bounce out at me from most of them. But this could be because I was in sort of an orange mood.

As one might expect from a serious coffee shop, Cloud Coffee also sells coffee beans and coffee-making equipment. And besides just being a good local place in Crookes to have a coffee, the place is very dog friendly, and they host occasional after-hours events such as the Coffee and Clobber Club, pop-up vintage clothes events with DJs, etc.

I noticed on their Instagram page that they refer to themselves as "your friendly neighbourhood spro slingers". In my Seattle days, when we lived amidst a plethora of coffee venues and coffee carts, and every doctor, dentist, hairdresser, and auto repair shop had an espresso machine, we always referred to getting a spro. So I love these guys for using that term. Not only is it cool but it saves time, which is a good thing these days.

Speaking of saving time really has nothing to do with a recent email conversation I had with my Bay Area friend about uterine transplants:

I just read that the first human uterine transplant in the UK was performed earlier this year in Oxford, on a 34-year-old woman who was born with ovaries but without fallopian tubes or uterus. Her sister, who has two children and doesn’t want any more, donated her uterus to her sister. The removal surgery took over 8 hours, and the implant took over 9 hours. The recipient doesn’t have any fallopian tubes, so I’m assuming they harvested some eggs surgically from her ovaries.

The currently very healthy embryo (presumably created and grown in the lab) will be implanted into her new uterus. And after she gives birth to the two babies she ultimately wants, the uterus will be removed and the immunosuppression treatment stopped.

So I’m wondering if they’ll be returning this perfectly good but somewhat used uterus to her sister? Or will they just put it up on eBay? Wow, uterine transplantation is fascinating! And it brings up other interesting questions, like,

"How many times can a uterus be used / (before it's allowed to be free?)".

And can it be long before it will be possible to transplant a uterus into a male body? That might resolve several problems.

In related news, Vicky recently brought my attention to the fact that Kathy Hatcher of Birmingham, AL was born with two uteri and is now 34 weeks pregnant with fraternal twin girls occupying both slots. A leap forward in parallel processing! A one in a million chance!

Some male person I once knew thought it would be great to have a foetus implanted into his arm, so he could become the first man to give birth. It would definitely be easier if you could implant a uterus so that the foetus would have some room to develop. But I’m not sure if a foetus would actually fit in an arm.