92 Degrees Review

92 Degrees Review

I basically live in 92 degrees – ok not literally, but I spend a lot of time there, a lot. It is 12.30pm now and I have just stopped by for a couple of hours before my next lecture on Modernist Literature. So, naturally I have ‘The Good Soldier’ by Ford Madox Ford with me and an espresso – perfection.

img_0265

Whether I am studying, meeting a friend for coffee, or simply craving a coffee break, you’ll usually find me in 92 Degrees, situated on 24 Hardman Street. The combination of the décor, music and warm and friendly staff make this independent coffee shop unique. I find that going out for coffee isn’t just about the coffee itself, it is also about the environment creating an experience.

You’re probably wondering about the name? I love this – It comes from the idea that 92 degrees is supposed to be the perfect temperature for roasting coffee, according to the founders of this coffee shop. I find the taste to be quite strong and with a sharp kick. However I don’t think it is bitter, rather it’s just on the strong side. I find there is fruity note to it whilst maintaining that sharp edge – not sure what that is but it keeps me going back. 92 Degrees is also a speciality roastery and prides itself in being the first one in Liverpool to do this in addition to running a coffee shop.They sell wholesale coffee to businesses, offering three very different blends, as well as offering their skills to develop your own distinct blend (https://www.92degreescoffee.com/pages/wholesale-coffee). You can shop for their coffee blends in store or online in addition to other products such as cafetières.

They have recently added almond milk for an extra 20p and coconut milk for an extra 40p to their dairy free options which already includes the free option of soya milk. This is great if you are dairy intolerant like me. In addition to this they have a range of lunch options which are also dairy free, healthy, and delicious (the super salad looks gorgeous!). Also, look at the tea board!

img_0270

I have never heard of Strawberry and Kiwi before, and the Baked Apple sounds so good. I like the quirky range of teas – adds an extra layer of intrigue to this coffee shop.

The décor has an earthy style to it with the green plants, open space – partly created by the high ceilings – and the wealth of wood. The casual style creates and calm and relaxed atmosphere, making it the perfect place to sit and read a good book. I feel I could curl up in the corner and stay there all day – or is that just me having already spent hours at a time in there?

img_0254

img_0255

img_0247

img_0261

img_0249

img_9616

The high ceilings make the space feel open whilst still maintaining a cosy feel. Large windows are also a beautiful feature as they let a lot of light in. The white walls and large entrance also help to create this open feel, creating the illusion of an uncluttered seating area. The building is also interesting in itself. It is a Grade II listed building situated in the Georgian quarter and therefore adds a bit of character to 92 Degrees; a coffee shop steeped in history. As seen in the images above, there are a variety of lighting styles to make the space feel smaller and therefore cosier in the evening. Below is a photo from mid-December which further demonstrates this cosy feeling (keeping in mind there are Christmas decorations filling space and adding light – but they look fabulous don’t they?).

img_9837The music adds to this calm atmosphere with a mixture of jazz, modern and contemporary. Ever heard the song ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’? – a classic! This song started playing whilst I was studying for my January exams a few weeks ago. How can you concentrate with the soothing voice of Bill Withers just causally playing in the background?! You can’t.

So, if you are already hooked on paying a visit, this review just gets better. Live music is also a part of what makes this coffee shop feel like it is engaging with the local community.

Instead of coffee and tea you can opt for an alcoholic drink to accompany your evening of live music.They have ‘craft & world beers alongside wines & aperitifs’ as well as a ‘home roasted speciality coffee cocktail menu’ which they say will be ready soon according their website (https://www.92degreescoffee.com/). Live music is also played in the afternoon on occasion.

The work of artists is also a significant part of 92 Degrees. At the moment they have an exhibition which ties in with the earthy style. It was created by Lauren Pitchford for The Laurel Tree Gallery.

img_0263

 img_0264

img_0262

I love how the bold colours make a seemingly calm landscape look so powerful with a destructive potential.

I hope you pop over to 92 Degrees at some point – it’s definitely worth a visit! The staff are seriously fab. I almost never leave without someone calling goodbye, even if it’s from the back of the shop – this makes just a quick stop to pick up a coffee all the more worth it.

Georgia x

p.s below are a couple of photos I took whilst revising – thank you for getting me through revision 92, you’re a lifesaver.

Review of Laynes Espresso

Review of Laynes Espresso

Whenever I go to Leeds I always stop by Laynes Espresso for a coffee. Today I went to Laynes to do some studying and (excitedly) visit the new extension. The exposed brick creates an urban vibe and the lighting is low which adds a relaxed yet sophisticated feel. The furniture is minimal which I absolutely love. Everything is dark brown and black; the perfect colours to play with the low lighting and exposed brick.

img_0679

Now of course I need to mention the coffee. Laynes use different blends but I always find that the coffee is quite strong. I like it but my mum finds it quite bitter. Then again I do have strong taste. My mum finds that soya milk or cow’s milk cuts through the sharpness.

Every few minutes one of the baristas would come downstairs with people who seemed to be friends coming to visit the new extension. I can’t count how many times I heard the exclamation ‘Wow!’ (couldn’t agree more!). I really liked this as it makes the business feel friendly and passionate about what they do. Independent coffee shops are clearly on the rise, popping up every two minutes. But Laynes Espresso have something extra as they not only look independent but they bring the family-like atmosphere amongst the customers.

The baristas wear grey aprons and one guy wore a white shirt with it and the apron was worn across the whole body, giving a chic and elegant look. However most of the baristas wear the apron folded on the bottom half of the body, creating a casual (and I also might add very trendy) look which I love because it gives a relaxed and urban feel to the coffee shop, in line with current trends.

The staff here are lovely and welcoming. I am always greeted with a warm ‘hello!’ (just heard a happy, perky one now whilst writing this (kudos to the barista – 10.30 in the morning). The staff are a huge part of why I come back here.

The menu is always very sophisticated and sticking to its Yorkshire roots with the dish ‘Yorkshire Rarebit’ (I quite fancy the Toasted Banana Bread though to be honest; served with orange mascarpone, candied walnut and honey – sounds delicious!). Before I became gluten intolerant I used to have the sourdough – you’ve got to try it! (I may have some today though 😉 it’s hard to resist). They will also be extending this menu.

For the dairy and gluten free sufferers like me (and I do mean sufferers, who wouldn’t want a great slab of chocolate brownie!) , Laynes Espresso are perfect. They do vegan and gluten free options, including cake! They taste just like they are packed with dairy goodness.

Whilst I was there I bumped into two camera men and one of them kindly took some photos of me. I wore a tunic from h&m as well as some old jeans, probably from Next, and my Jones the Bootmaker boots.

img_0696

img_0693

img_0695

So if you are in Leeds now, or visiting soon, pop over to Laynes, trust me it’s AMAZING.

Georgia x

p.s I got the sourdough 😉