Opposite Leeds University is Opposite, a buzzing café with excellent coffee.
The young owner Lou Henry opened Opposite a little over three years ago. Since then the café has done well for itself, twice winning the northern heat of the UK Barista Championships.
Lou got in touch and rashly offered a tour behind the scenes. A few months later I took full advantage (on a particularly busy day, sorry Lou!). It was a rare treat and a perk I wouldn’t have envisaged when I set up this meagre blog two or so years ago.
Lou making coffee
I also admit that I know few to none of the intricacies of making good coffee, so it was an eye-opener.
It was freshers’ week at the University and Opposite was bubbling over with students. But there was plenty of room, from a comfy sofa and a couple dozen cubes to tables on the sunny fore-court.
The atmosphere is great. The walls are decked with art, it’s well laid out and the service is very friendly.
The coffee is Fairtrade and the milk is organic and local (from a dairy in Dewsbury). It’s superb.
A slight downside is that much of the coffee (except espressos and machiatos) comes in cardboard cups, which are less comforting than the good old fashioned sort. The reason is the student tendancy to nick things; Lou once lost all her china mugs in one week!
As well as the delicious coffee my companion and I tried a crumble and a brownie; both were wonderful. There are plenty other sweet and savoury treats on offer, all displayed enticingly.
Although filled mostly with students, Opposite is a great place for anyone.
August 2009 – Opposite has opened a coffee bar in Victoria Quarter in Leeds city centre. The coffee there is as good as it is in the café, and I’m reliably informed it’s the only place outside of London serving coffee from the exceptional Square Mile roastery.
26 Blenheim Terrace
We visited on 23 September 2008.