I guess I should have written this post several months ago as there was rarely a day I didn’t visit Pink Lane Coffee in Newcastle. If there would be a competition for the title of “my favorite coffee spot” Pink Lane would be in the top 3. Opened by husband and wife Anth and Jen Atkinson in May, 2012, the place quickly became “the One” for baristas, coffee specialists, coffee lovers and “average” cool people. In PLC, everything is about coffee. And it has a spot for everybody: you can sit at the espresso bar (like I always did) If you are fancy a coffee talk with the barista, (even if it was expert-owner Anth, super-friendly Chris, left-to-London James, or not-newbie-anymore Allison) who always have time for you even If a coffee-hungry crowd surrounded the place. Or you can just relax in a corner reading a book, working on your new music, design, artistic or not so artistic, important (or not so important) project.
Now let’s talk about the coffee: Anthony is not only a barista but a roaster! While the time I was there the place had a Diedrich roasting machine at the back of the place. If I am right, it was moved to a place where it will be in operation very soon (UPDATE: Anth started roasting under the name of Colour Coffee recently)! But until then (and since the grand opening), PL is a multi-roaster coffee shop, which means there are different beans in the grinder as soon as the recent order runs out (and that depends on how quickly the crowd drinks it). The roasters represented in PL are the best of the UK and sometimes the World (including Extract, Workshop, Alchemy, Roundhill, Origin, Square Mile, Has Bean, Tim Wendelboe and more) and carefully chosen by Anthony. They usually have two different coffees for espresso based drinks (blends or single origins or both in the same time) and a couple of different choices for filter (which can be Kalita Wave, Syphon or AeroPress). If you find too many choices there, (which happens quite often and it is super cool) I suggest asking the barista to help you. While the time you see the selection on their huge blackboard, they already tasted all the coffees and I am sure they have a favorite! (It might vary depending on personal barista-taste, though).
Pink Lane also does quite a lot for the Newcastle coffee community. They are organizing events to get the Newcastle baristas together, such as cuppings (I was there once and I strongly recommend it to you) and recently a Latte Art Throwdown (which I missed as I am in Cambodia now but I am sure was fun). Since I left Newcastle there might be some things changed (the decoration or they might move a few tables, who knows?) But what will never change is the professionalism and enthusiasm behind the blue door.
All in all, this one is a true third wave specialty coffee shop, in every angle: from its design to the high class equipment (LaMarzocco, Mazzer, Anfim) through the skilled baristas and carefully chosen beans. I cannot say much more I guess, but people: If you go to Newcastle, don’t miss Pink Lane Coffee (or count with the consequences)…
Wall art in Pink Lane
My last Flat White by Chris
James is making a Syphon brew (since then he is the manager of the coffee bar in Ace Hotel, London, operated by Square Mile)
cupping set up
I am this happy when I find a great coffee shop
more latte art
cupping session held by the owner, Anth (with the two Hario kettles)
this is one shiny machine!
And now, time for the “what to”…in Pink Lane Coffee:
…order: My favorite choice was an espresso and a piccolo together (splitting the shot). But definitely try a brewed coffee, too!
…ask: From Anthony, anything from growing to brewing (and I mean anything). From Chris, geeky things like tampers, machines, latte art questions (and some fingerboarding tips). From Allison, she is a filter coffee expert with a great taste (plus I would suggest a sophisticated conversation on literature).
…eat: The goat cheese artichoke sandwich is great plus anything baked by Jen is a miracle
…do: Have fun, enjoy the great coffee and definitely sit at the bar once!
where: 1 Pink Ln, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5DW