Nottingham is hot.
Not since the heyday of Brian Clough has Nottingham received so much attention on the national scene. Nottingham was a run-down clone of larger cities but thanks to hard work by the council, local entrepreneurs and artists, the city is thriving. The music scene is in the vanguard of the city’s assault on the national psyche – Jake Bugg, Amber Run and the Sleaford Mods have made the broadsheets take note. But something else is hot in Nottingham – coffee – with a local coffee shop recently voted 2nd best in the UK.
When the big coffee shop chains moved into Nottingham, local people decided that the city deserved more than Starbucks and Costas. Local cafe’s appeared offering good quality coffee in friendly, personal venues. Then came the boutique coffee shops to whom good wasn’t good enough and offered Nottingham coffee on par with any in the world.
But it wasn’t enough for the people of Nottingham. They wanted specialised coffee beans, distinctive roasts and the ability to have them at home as well as in coffee shops. Now companies such as the Roasting House offer freshly roasted coffee beans delivered the same day. Coffee cannot be fresher when the beans are roasted, ground and used within 24 hours. Within Nottingham, the coffee is delivered by bicycle – it’s cheaper than posting and cuts the beans’ carbon footprint – but they serve the rest of the UK via the post.
Nottingham’s growing cafe culture has spread to specialised cafes. These still serve good coffee and food but they have their own theme. The city boasts one of the few kitty cafes in the UK. Up to 20 cats roam the cafe’s spacious and controlled environment. A new boardgame cafe has just funded on Kickstarter and will open soon. Already open and thriving is the Nottingham Contemporary cafe bar, situtated in one of the country’s top modern art galleries. In also features plenty of live music from local and national bands. Nottingham’s coffee scene is rocking, or possibly folking or gaming or petting cats or enjoying highbrow culture.
With the best coffee shops, the best coffee and the freshest roast beans possible, Nottingham coffee lovers are served better than anywhere, including London. The big city has great coffee but the sheer scale of London works against it. The compact city of Nottingham means everything is nearby. If you don’t like one boutique coffee shop there are plenty to choose from within a few minutes walk. Alternatively, have your freshly roasted coffee beans delivered to your door.
The Nottingham Coffee Scene was written by Chris Tregenza.
Photo of Nottingham University Boating Lake by Blinking Idiot. CC-SA