St Martin’s Coffee and Tea

May 9, 2011

Sorry it’s gone quiet, but a couple of so-so meals about which I couldn’t think of much of interest to say and general lack of writing mojo led to me taking a bit of break. But I’ll try and climb back on that pony now. Just hope some of you are still there.

I did get quite excited this weekend when I discovered that, finally, Leicester has acquired something approaching a specialist coffee and tea merchant. I’d been indulging in a favourite dream of mine to open a coffee shop featuring 50 varieties of  unusual coffees that people would try whilst discussing politics and listening to my eclectic playlists of Sufjan Stevens, Charles Trenet and John Coltrane. The next day I stumbled across St Martin’s Coffee and Tea when passing through, err, St Martin’s Square. I think it only opened last week and seems closer to my ideal than anywhere else in the city.

Big jars of clearly labelled coffee and teas line the walls, along with coffee making paraphenalia. There’s nice looking cakes too and Leicester-made Helsham chocolates,  and the design is all modern clean lines.  There appears to be just a couple of seats so  I think the plan is to develop a market for high quality beans and leaves to take away. A quick chat with the owner Andy suggested he knows whats he’s on about and he was keen to point out the beans are all roasted locally – well Nottingham anyway – and in the last few days.  Whether turnover means they can continue to meet that aspiration I don’t know but at least they want to do the right thing.  Beans aren’t cheap but there is a broad range of stuff that I don’t think can be bought elsewhere in the city  – blends start from £4.95 for 250g, while current stock also includes Monsooned Malabar, Ethiopian Sidamo and Djimma, Sumatra Mandheling, and Pasajquim from Guatamala. If you’ve got curiousity or just money to burn you can also get Kopi Luwak, the beans that have famously passed though the discriminating digestive systems of civet cats in Indonesia (£25 for 100g).

Some coffee beans recently

I’ll be going back soon for a longer look and to try some of the produce.  Those interested in knowing more about coffee might want to sign up for a handly little email course run by coffee evanagelist and roaster Stephen Leighton who trades out of Stafford as Hasbean. As well as selling wonderful coffee online and producing videos, blogs and podcasts about his life in the business, he offers Coffee 101, a course providing a daily email for 10 days covering the history of coffee and an introduction to techiques of harvesting, washing, roasting beans and making the drink. Each one is an interesting five minute break with a cup of your own favoured bean. Find out more here:   http://www.coffee101.co.uk/ or go to www.hasbean.co.uk .

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4 Responses to “St Martin’s Coffee and Tea”

  1. Charlotte said

    Yay! You’re back Tim. This blog is one of the things that keeps my leaving Leicester grief at bay. How long is it going to be before Alex finds this?

    C x

    Like

  2. Charlotte said

    When I say ‘this’, I mean the shop, of course.

    Like

  3. Jessica said

    Ooh! Fantastic news! I’ll be checking it out at the weekend and perhaps purchasing some Ethiopia Djimmah- one of my faves 🙂

    Like

  4. […] if not most, Leicestershire readers will have read or otherwise seen that St Martins Tea  and Coffee in St Martin’s Square, Leicester, is closing the cookware part of the […]

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