Laynes is a newbie in Leeds, a city which deserves (and now has) another brilliant coffee shop.
Like most startup businesses, Laynes’ success is down to the owner. When the premises became available, Dave Olejnik snapped them up, and proceeded to mold Laynes as he saw fit. This included ripping out layers of grime and plasterboard so that a brick wall could see the light of day.
Since May 2011, Laynes has opened 7 days a week, and Dave has had just one day off.
This passion and/or obsession is easy to spot. Laynes is precision-engineered, the Vorsprung durch Technik of coffee shops. But it’s neither charmless nor clinical. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s a damn nice place to go, with a nice environment, friendly service and terrific coffee.
The coffee is down to Dave, a brilliant barista. My cohort and I had a flat white, delicious and beautifully presented. We also had a pour-over, a lovely way to enjoy good, tasty coffee (generally nicer, I’d say, than an Americano). This method is increasingly popular.
The beans are from Square Mile, one of the country’s top roasteries. Ever popular in London, its reach is extending further. But Dave likes to mix things up. We were enjoying the last of the current Square Mile “round”; next time it might be HasBean, Origin, Bolling/Grumpy Mule or whatever roastery tickles Dave’s interest.
It’s an unusual way of doing things but good for the customers, as Dave wraps his expert tastebuds around the latest and greatest seasonal roasts.
Aside from coffee, there are also fresh pastries, juices and more. There’s not much space but Dave has plans to increase seating.
Everything’s done right, but there’s no hint of coffee snobbery. It’s just a very fine coffee shop.
Along with Opposite, Leeds now has two.
Carl Fleischer (another barista at Laynes) on Twitter: @carlfleischer
16 New Station Street
We visited on 21 August 2011.