Artisan coffee has reached Newcastle. At the heart of it all is the Ouseburn Coffee Company, a magnificent roastery / café combo.
As a one-off, OCC was open on a Sunday for the Ouseburn Festival. We stumbled across it by chance – a rare and delightful thing.
Owners Ali Hammond and Simon Bonnin were on hand, pulling the shots from a small room at the front of the premises. OCC is first and foremost a roastery, with a grand old roaster on view. It has all sorts of buttons, including a big red one. Must be good.
Simon prepared a flat white and chatted about the company while a steady stream of intrigued locals wandered in. My flat white – with their Foundry No. 2 blend – was wonderful.
OCC is still new to the Geordies, opening as recently as March 2012. It is part of a mini “third wave” coffee movement in NewcastleGateshead – I can’t wait to go back and visit the other options.
However, I would be amazed if the city has anything better to offer than OCC. In addition to its tiny, no-frills café (no cakes, no food – just coffee), it’s a proper artisan roastery, still a surprisingly rare thing in the UK.
Simon, Ali and co-owner Pete (Simon’s brother) are intent on bringing top quality beans to the north east and beyond.
OCC is a proper independent place run by coffee gurus. Running a startup business is a tough, tough road (I can empathise), but, if the quality of the coffee and the passion of the team is anything to go by, it’s sure to be a success.
Foundry Lane Studios
We visited on 22 July 2012.