9Bar coffee Grey street Newcastle – the bar has been raised

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Slight delay in getting this review but on 3rd November we visited 9 bar on Grey street next door to the theatre royal. The shop is quirky with what looks old school furniture it had a nice area outside to sit as well, but not really the weather for it at this time of year. On the day we went I think that they were serving ‘Bernard’ by colour coffee. I think that this is the blend that they serve on a regular basis.

As we have done with all of the other places so far we tried and scored a flat white so the results are below

Taste 8.75/10
Flavour 8.25/10
Aroma 7.25/9
Temperature 2.5/3
Appearance (design on top) 4.75/6
Consistency 2.75/3
Smoothness 7/9

Total 41.25/50

As you can see from the score above 9 bar has set the new bench mark for flat white is Newcastle. It Perfect amount of milk. Good intense coffee flavour balanced with some sweetness and floral notes some of us also thought that the coffee had a toffee/caramel flavour

We will definitely come back and we also love the custom 9bar cups

There are no lines or comparisons needed for this coffee, this is simply a great coffee that you must go and try when you are in Newcastle

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Coffee ninja visit to Harvest Canteen – OCC

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Saturday 1st November we had a family coffee ninja visit to harvest which is the OCC (Ouseburn Coffee Company) canteen in Jesmond. OCC are an artisan roastery established in 2012 and recently opened harvest to sell its coffee. The canteen itself has not been open very long and is pretty minimalistic so is spacious inside, but some of the ‘picnic’ tables are not very sturdy and there are the some random expensive looking furniture items around the outer walls at the back of the seating area.

As this was a weekend we invited our partners, wives and children so in total there were 10 of us 8 adults a toddler and a baby. We all ordered food at various times and to be honest the staff seemed very stressed and not very welcoming or friendly. It was as if it was an effort to serve us. I would say that the place was not really child or disabled friendly either.

We all had some food or other,ma number of us had poached eggs which were pretty good but the service was slow, and again when our food arrived no smile or polite conversation

As we have done with all of the other places so far we tried and scored a flat white so the results are below

Taste 7.5/10
Flavour 6/10
Aroma 6.5/9
Temperature 2.5/3
Appearance (design on top) 5/6
Consistency 2.5/3
Smoothness 7.5/9

Total 37.5/50

In summary the flat white was Floral and citrusy and slightly like caramel but there was not much aroma. A good and pleasant flat white

So overall this coffee is pretty good but not quite up there with the best we have tried. It’s like a decent German car claiming to be a BMW but not quite hitting the mark, and when you complain to the salesman he is no longer interested as he already got the sale.

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Pumphreys @ Grainer market Newcastle

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Wednesday 29th we visited Pumphrey’s coffee in the Grainer market Newcastle. Pumphrey’s has been around in Newcastle in one guise or another for over 200 years and they also roast their own beans at a dedicated facility in Blaydon just across the Tyne. The shop in Newcastle has two sides, one where you can buy loose beans or tea and other brewing related paraphernalia. The other side is a coffee bar with a few stools where you you can enjoy your favourite brew.

The staff were friendly and were very efficient at serving us 5 flat whites. The latte art on top was amazing possibly the best so far it was precise and each cup was perfect

So here are the results

Taste 8.25/10
Flavour 6.75/10
Aroma 6.25/9
Temperature 2.5/3
Appearance (design on top) 6/6
Consistency 2.5/3
Smoothness/creme 7.25/9

Total 39.5/40

We thought the coffee we had was very flavoursome. It was nutty, earthy and slightly chocolatey, a couple if us thought there may have been a touch too much milk which masked some of the more subtle flavours, but overall it was a great flat white that is up there with the best so far

Overall to summarise this coffee is like a warm sunny autumn afternoon. Walking along crunching the leaves and basking in the suns rays before winter sets in. Very satisfying and something you are not going to get every day

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Olive & Bean is up with the best so far

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We visited Olive & Bean on Monday 27th, this place is on Clayton street near the entrance to Eldon square. We got a take out today as there was a wait for a table. But we can understand why, the cakes and food looked amazing. We will be definitely be paying a visit again to try one

The staff were friendly and helpful and the surroundings were pleasant.

We continued with trying flat whites and at £1.69 it was as absolute bargain

So our scores for Olive & Bean can be found below

Taste 9/10
Flavour 8/10
Aroma 8/9
Temperature 2/3
Appearance (design on top) 3/6
Consistency 3/3
Smoothness/crema 7/10

Total 40/50

Overall we thought that the coffee was earthy, nutty and slightly citrus and floral. It had just the right amount of milk I and was a good consistency although we thought it was slightly too hot, but not enough to spoil the flavours and it cooled quickly when we went outside. The is definitely up the best flat whites in Newcastle that we have tried so far

The only way to describe this is coffee like flying in business class knowing you have only paid economy seat prices. There is still room to improve to first class but it’s on its way there.

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Central Bean Coffee House Newcastle

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Friday 23rd we went further afield and visited Central bean coffee house at Gallowgate

Again we had 5 people reviewing flat white @ £2.25 and some of us also tried some food this time

The place itself is really airy and open with a good amount of seating. There are plenty of cakes, pastries and sandwiches on offer and nice touches like a board with the names of the staff working that day. We did our best to confuse the people taking out order for food (not on purpose) and they still managed to get our order right

We are not really rating food at this stage, but the panini’s tasted great and the muffins were good too

Overall the marks are below
Taste 7.5/10
Flavour 7/10
Aroma 6.5/9
Temperature 3/3
Appearance (design on top) 5.5/6
Consistency 3/3
Smoothness 7/9

Total 39.5/50

Overall the flat white was a tasty and enjoyable, it is earthy and nutty with a nice aroma and had just the right amount of milk. The Appearance was excellent and the temperature perfect and the Consistency was good.

This coffee was definitely like a German car such as like BMW. Quality and comfortable and also just a bit of excitement, not quite a super car but one you are more that happy to brag to your friends about

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Caffe Nero express @ central station Newcastle 22nd October

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So Thursday 22nd brought another trip out to again to the new atrium at central station.

This time we had 5 people reviewing flat whites @ £2.25 and we went to the Nero express.

Like our review earlier in the week the atrium/entrance to station is looking great and the Nero express has a good seating area where you can watch the people go by going in and out of the station

Nero it’s self looks great and the staff were friendly and the scores can be found below

Taste 6/10
Flavour 4.5/10
Aroma 2/9
Temperature 1/3
Appearance 2/6
Consistency 2/3
Smoothness 7/9

Total 24.5/50

So overall as you can see from the scores this was an average flat white. The taste was pleasant but not inspiring, the flavour was not exceptional if slightly acidic. But we all felt the coffee was served way too hot, ok if you want a hot coffee, but we didn’t ask for this. Also the appearance was not spectacular or consistent between them. Some of us felt that the taste improved as it cooled down but you could also tell that the milk had been overheated. Overall an ok coffee for on the go

To summarise we would liken this to the slow train to Carlisle it does the job and gets you there but no more!

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Filmore & Union @ Central station Newcastle

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Ok so today’s coffee review was again a flat white, this was priced at £2.50

We went down to Filmore & Union which is in the newly renovated entrance at Newcastle’s central station. The entrance of the station now looks fantastic and the coffee shop itself looks great and the staff were really friendly, but the coffee machine was automated to not too much barista skill was required

So our averaged ratings are below

Taste 6/10
Flavour 3.5/10
Aroma 2/9
Temperature 2.5/3
Appearance 1/3
Consistency 3/3
Smoothness 7.5/10

Total 25.5/50

Overall we thought that this was a very smooth and drinkable coffee, great as a coffee on the go and was the ideal temperature to drink straight away

We did think that it did lack a bit of flavour and the taste was average, there was also not much aroma to give you that great coffee smell

We would summarise this as being like a smooth creamy hot chocolate that will sooth you on a cold day but will probably not give you that kick of coffee that you want to get you going first thing in the morning

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