GFD: From out Café Correspondent – Quay Ingredient; 9Bar Coffee; Flat Caps Coffee – Newcastle

A Day, In Newcastle.

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I started my day in Newcastle at Quay Ingredient, where I had Eggs Florentine, because, let’s face it, I always do. New place, same breakfast. I like that Quay Ingredient is under a bridge, the Tyne Bridge, to be precise. I like less the driver of the 4 x 4 who parks right in front of the cafe just as I am about to attempt to photograph it. I also don’t appreciate the other customers who crowd the interior, making the unobtrusive taking of photographs impossible.

This, I acknowledge to myself, is unreasonable, for without these customers, Quay Ingredient would go out of business and there would be nothing for me to photograph. I vow to come back later, when it is quieter, preferably just before it shuts, so I can get some decent pictures. Naturally, I fail.

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9Bar Coffee pumps out the music; loud and incessant. It is fast, up-tempo. It makes me want to do things in a hurry. On the walls are slogans such as “The pressure is good for you” and “drink coffee: do stupid things more quickly”. There is a theme here, if only I could detect it.

9Bar boasts the world’s best cheese toastie. I try it; it is very good. World’s best? I have insufficient data with which to make that judgement. The coffee comes in different receptacles: glasses, small and medium-sized red cups and large white cups. By careful observation and listening to others conversing over the music, I come to the obvious conclusion: coffee in glasses and red cups, good; coffee in white cups, not so good. My coffee came in a glass, naturally.

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The contrast between my previous stop at 9Bar and my final destination, Flat Caps Coffee, could not be more stark. Flat Caps exudes calm. Even the espresso would probably be laid-back and chilled (although also served at the correct temperature), but I’ve been drinking espresso all day and want a change so I have a V60 pour-over, a clean, full-flavoured, smooth coffee, the best of the day. I’ve never thought of coffee as “clean” before. I look in the cup once I’ve finished and discover no residue at all, nothing coating the sides. Clean indeed.

Joe, the owner, head barista and chief bottle-washer (he was washing bottles when I came in) wears a flat cap. This is how it should be; a good end to a good day.

by Brian at


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