Common Ground

There is an unsaid common ground that comes from the bitterness of a morning coffee, something that people who would otherwise be miles apart can find solidarity in. It is the mundane of the daily routine, of the commute or the school run or the library session. It springs to the forefront of people’s minds as they awake to the world. It connects you to strangers, to the neighbour you see through their kitchen window as they finish their final sip before rushing out the door, to the person sat next to you on the train with their takeaway cup as you hurtle towards the city, to the barista you see every morning in all of your moods as they hand over your steaming lifeline.

It’s simplicity brings us together beyond the mornings, past the sleepy thoughts and into the challenges of the day. Into the afternoon meetings, the catch up with an old friend, the ‘would anyone like a coffee?’ at the end of a dinner party. It’s an ongoing feature, a comfort, a necessity, a habit, a treat. Communities form themselves around it as though it’s the heart, it pulls people towards a fleeting shared moment in the madness of their days.

I know I’m romanticising again but I’m in awe of the abundance of something so simple, of the daily presence of it in the lives of so many, lives that are so individual and far apart but not really. I’ve been thinking about this on my morning tube journey, we get the same trains, shop at the same places, cook the same things, read, watch and listen to the same things, drink the same things. There is simultaneously a world of similarities and differences within all of us. How wonderful.


I like coffee. I’ve mentioned this before, but now I’m doing a whole post on it. You’ve been warned.

I thought I’d share some of my favourite coffee spots in Leeds and slightly beyond. I’m surprised I’m doing this, I remember a time when we’d moan as mum dragged my siblings and I from cafe to cafe for ‘research’, but here we are.

North Star Coffee Shop and General Store

North Star – Leeds

Slightly out of the city centre, North Star is down by the docks. They roast their own beans and send them out across the city but it is worth visiting their shop. I’d recommend the cardamon and caramel blondie (trust me) and getting there and back via the free water taxi from the train station.

Kapow – LeedsScreenshot 2018-10-26 at 21.31.33

Tucked away in Thorntons Arcade is Kapow coffee, small but very very good coffee, they know what they’re doing. Everytime.

LS6 – Leeds

Primarily known for it’s brunch, LS6 is popular among students, so it can be heaving at midday on a Saturday. However, the coffee is not to be overlooked, rich, but not bitter, and very creamy.

IMG_2665Cafe 164 – Leeds

Again, slightly out of the way, Cafe 164 is down past the bus station and connected to the much loved Bakery 164. Cafe 164 hosts North Star beans and always has an exhibition going on inside, the coffee is good too (obviously). They’ve worked out ways to be one of the best, for example, they froth their almond milk with the coffee to avoid curdling, clever stuff.

Wolfox – Leeds

Down by the train station, Wolfox are another one who roast their own beans. They’ve got a nice big space, lovely staff and some great food too.

Locke’s – Jersey

New to the coffee shop scene in Jersey this summer, Locke’s is owned by a local couple who are making sure Jersey can compete with the mainland’s coffee shops. And they’re succeeding. Great crockery, great people and obviously, great coffee.


The Kiosk – Bedford

Last but by no means least, The Kiosk, where I was introduced to coffee. The reason for all mum’s ‘research’. Small but lovely, especially when I’m working. If the weather is too rubbish there’s always The Pavilion near by.

So there are my recommendations, if you’ve got any of your own please send them my way.

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