Yorkshire and The Humber

Opposite Café, Leeds

23 September 2008

Opposite Leeds University is Opposite, a buzzing café with excellent coffee.

Opposite Café, Leeds

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.

Opposite Café, Leeds Opposite Café, Leeds
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.

Opposite Café, Leeds Opposite Café, Leeds

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.

Opposite Café, Leeds Opposite Café, Leeds

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.

Opposite Café, Leeds Opposite Café, Leeds

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

Website: http://www.oppositecafe.co.uk
Twitter: @oppositecafe‎

We visited on 23 September 2008.

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  • H 15 April 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Superb coffee shop with a very interesting espresso blend. Certainly themed to suit it’s local student population, but by no means excludes visitors of any age. Have tried many of the drinks on the menu and have yet to find anything other than a quality coffee every time. Sensibly priced food is only slightly let down by mediocre presentation, but is tasty and plentiful nevertheless. My current favorite coffee shop in Leeds by some margin. Keep it up!

  • Michael 23 September 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Best cup of coffee I have ever had!

  • Laynes Espresso, Leeds – Cosy Coffee Shops – Independent coffee shops in Britain and elsewhere 27 November 2011 at 11:02 pm

    […] with Opposite, Leeds now has […]

  • Paul 29 December 2013 at 7:59 am

    Its nice and casual with great coffee but could do with a really good scrub to make it look a bit cleaner.

    It looks like a student hang out because that’s what it is but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean the grubby second hand dilapidated furniture every now and then.
    I also managed to pop into the kitchen and believe me that was a lot worse.
    Other than the very basics being missed I hear the coffee is great but for Gods sake pick up the boxes stacked up against the wall in the cafe and put them away and SCRUB THE GRUBBY PLACE and then I reckon you are onto a winner.

  • AJC 11 April 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Hi I’ve personally come across a number of independent cafes serving Square Mile beans, including the famous Kilimanjaro Coffee and its sister cafes Project Coffee, Press Coffee, Blackwood Coffee and Wellington Coffee all across Edinburgh city centre, so this is definitely not the only cafe that does that outside London 🙂

    • Cosy Coffee Shops 14 April 2014 at 10:47 am

      Hi AJC, thanks for your comment. You’re absolutely right – there are plenty of coffee shops outside London serving Square Mile. However, this post was written in 2008!

  • Unique Coffee Shop - My Flat White HK 4 December 2016 at 5:18 pm

    […] With Laynes, Opposite, Mrs Atha’s and others, plus two new roasteries in North Star and Maude, the Leeds coffee scene is on the up. Mrs Atha’s is highly recommended; definitely up there with the best the city has to offer. […]