Through The Lens: Tamper Coffee/The Depot Bakery
Ellie Grace takes a look ‘Through The Lens’ at Tamper Coffee & The Depot Bakery.
Ages ago I heard about this new coffee place that had opened up called Tamper Coffee on Westfield Terrace but never actually found the time to go there. Then a few people I knew started going to a new place in Sellers Wheel which turned out to be Tamper too, but I STILL never went. I finally got round to going late last year and I’m so disappointed in myself for not going sooner – however I’m not dwelling in the past and I’ll just be grateful that I’ve discovered it now. So if you haven’t been before but like me keep meaning to go, just man up and go, I promise you won’t regret it. Maybe read what I have to say first and then go, or maybe read this blog while you’re there? Wild.
I decided to visit Tamper: Sellers Wheel as this is closer to my house (lazy) and they have started an after hours menu so I thought I would go check it out. I really enjoy the feel of the place, when you walk in you are greeted with a lovely smile and asked if you’re having take-away or eating in. If you’re after a take-away it won’t take long for them to make your order and while you wait there’s a cosy little seating area. You’re not picking this place for it’s fast turn out of coffee, it’s not a “fast food or drink restaurant”, you’re picking this place for its quality and love of coffee so if you get annoyed waiting 3 minutes for your coffee then you’re in the wrong place. I think there’s a sausage roll shop up the road.
If you’re after seating then you’re in for a treat as the decor is really tasteful and inviting. You get table service but in a wonderfully informal way that makes you feel loved but not suffocated. I’ve eaten here before and the food was absolutely phenomenal, I don’t think what I had was particularly the healthiest but it’s February now so all New Years resolutions are long gone and all we care about is great food now. In the beginning they only really sold baked goods and more breakfasty (yes it’s a word) items, but with the freedom of a large kitchen they have allowed for their chefs to be creative and show off their skills. It has certainly paid off! All their baked goods come from the bakery which is just down the road, so everything is freshly made and delivered every morning across both venues. As well as baking things themselves they support a lot of local businesses by sourcing all their produce locally. The creativity of the chefs does not stop at 5pm anymore, they have launched an After Hours menu which is every Friday 5-9. They had originally opened at this time to allow after work people to pop in and have a drink, but after popular demand they introduced the food menu. It is a seasonal menu so changes every month and offers their diners a chance to try something a bit more “serious”. There is still a great selection of craft beers and other drinks, but if you still want the taste of coffee and you’re feeling wild (it is Friday after all) you could try the espresso martini or any other cocktails they have to offer. The cocktail menu has been put together by one their staff members, and a good friend of mine, which is great to see a real team effort in all aspects of the place, if you go then make sure you say hi to the boy being fancy with cocktails!
I should probably tell you a bit of history about the place, shouldn’t I? Well 3.5 years ago Jon and his wife, Natalie decided to open up a cafe and bring a taste of New Zealand to Sheffield. Jon is a Kiwi himself and has really admired the New Zealand cafe culture so wanted to share this with people. I hear you asking what’s so different about a New Zealand cafe and a cafe in the UK? Well why don’t you visit Tamper and you’ll instantly get a different vibe to a British cafe, and you’ll probably fall in love with it. The atmosphere is chilled and friendly with a real emphasis on quality. First they opened up Westfield Terrace as an intimate coffee house, and as New Zealand has a big breakfast culture, it’s the perfect place to pop in for some coffee and breakfast or brunch related goods. 18 months ago Sellers Wheel was taken on and in came Ben, the co-owner. They have always had a long-term vision for Tamper and this is where Sellers Wheel comes in with their informal and relaxed dining culture. Ben has never been to New Zealand but you can clearly see that Jon’s vision is very clear and can be seen throughout all venues. Ben has a background in beer which is where the great craft menu comes in. We all know Sheffield is great for craft so it definitely helps to have someone who is in the know to get the best in, which of course means that a lot of their beers come from smaller local breweries.
They push for quality and their coffee is really good, but what makes it so good? They have a supplier called O-zone who are Kiwi coffee roasters and if you visit their website you can instantly see that they are incredibly passionate about what they do. With beans from East Africa, Brazil, Indonesia and many more places, they know exactly where to source the best stuff and roast it in the best possible way. This passion is definitely carried on in Tamper as they pick out which beans they want and blend them perfectly in store, even with a different blend each day so your tastebuds are constantly being tested and nothing ever gets tired. If you wanted to know about the coffee you were drinking then go ahead and ask! The staff are armed with plenty of knowledge about the beans and blending process so can fill you in on any details. With regards to the staff I don’t think you’ll ever be unsatisfied with your service. They’re all so nice! It’s not a forced niceness either, genuine friendliness and the dynamics between the staff members is perfect and rubs off on their relationship with the customers. I asked a couple of the girls about their time in Tamper and they were both happy to tell me that they love working here, they get along with all their colleagues and the customers are lovely, give or take one or two. It’s a really great place, with a positive atmosphere and passionate staff that I would highly recommend either popping in for a coffee or staying a bit longer for a bite to eat. Even if you have a bit of work to do, bring your laptop along and kill two birds with one stone.
However, if it’s a Saturday morning and you’re after something a bit more casual, why not try out the new Depot Bakery?
And here we have The Depot Bakery, where doughy dreams are made. This place has only been open to the public for a month now and is already a very popular spot for baked goods and that all important quality coffee. Nestled in a warehouse space on Arundel Street you’ll be drawn in by the smell as your nostrils fill with the scent of freshly baked bread. The Depot Bakery is where Tamper bake everything for their stores and a month ago they decided to open it up to the public as a place to come and grab some goodies or even sit down and eat your goodies. The choice of food will blow your mind, savoury or sweet? Mango or lemon? Just have it all. I had a mango curd doughnut and I think it’s my new addiction. The space feels really warm and inviting even with it being a big open warehouse space. The road may not be appealing but as soon as you see those silver shutters open and hear the sound of coffee being made you’ll soon forget where you are. It reminds me of being somewhere European, maybe in Berlin? It’s a great place to bring the kids, they’ll love it! It’s open every Saturday 8-2 and I’ll probably be there every Saturday scoffing my face with mango doughnuts.