For every Newcastle coffee drinker and coffee cafe, there’s a great coffee story

By , 18/09/2019 20:44

Savour the memory: Graeme Thrift and his wife Sarah at work at their cafe, Corner Lane Espresso in New Lambton. Picture: Max Mason-HubersCoffee and stories go together like love and marriage, bread and butter, black and white.
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As the Newcastle coffee scene continues to boom, so does the conversation about it.

Graeme Thrift, the owner and operator of Corner Lane Espresso and Little Lane Espresso in New Lambton,has warm memories of the cup of coffee that left the biggest impression on him.

“I was travelling through Italy in my 20s, driving around in a little Renault Clio,” Thrift said. “I stopped for gas at an old style servo with ‘cafe’. Inside an old Italian man motioned for a coffee from his old chrome machine. Not realising being later in the day, he would only give me an espresso and that’s what I got, with a couple of sugars thrown in. No English was spoken just some cash and a nod.

“It was so dark, thick and syrupy, but I was buzzing the rest of the day. Definitely got us to Venice quicker.

“I could never have imagined some 25years later I would be working our espresso bars with legendary Italian Faema coffee machines and roasting our own coffee. Grazie Millie.”

Thrift’s story about his most memorable coffee is one of 50 told in this Saturday’s Weekender cover story, as writer Nathalie Craig asks the question, ‘What is a perfect cup?’

From Adamstown to Swansea, Woodville to Bar Beach, baristas androasterstell Weekenderabout their “perfect cup” of coffee.

For AngeloLuczak, a barista at Moor in Newcastle’s East End, it was a cup of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe that set him on his career path.

For Alice Joy at Pickled & Pressed cafe in The Junction, “coffee is a moment of pure pleasure”.

Enjoy our Saturday read.

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