Daddy Daycare Ep. III: Walk on the Wild Side…of Leeds

Previous episodes of Daddy Daycare have featured trips to Otley and visit to Leeds for Seth’s first Thai.  In this episode Paul and Seth are back in Leeds to check out some new openings and have a quick peek at a roastery.

On our days out Seth and I like to experience new things, andsince neither of us have used the 36 bus from Harrogate to Leeds so we thought we’d tick that one off on both our counts.  En-route, whilst Seth was recharging the batteries, I noticed a post on Instagram by Leeds roasters Maude declaring an open brew bar that morning/afternoon.

Seth on the Harrogate to Leeds 36 bus

Maude is linked with Mrs Athas and we took some of their Papua New Guinea ‘Rika Rika’ coffee as a guest when they first got up and running, so since I hadn’t visited the roaster we decided to pop in.

Matt gave a brief tour of their impressive space and brewed up some lovely coffee.

Matt from Maude Coffee Leeds brews up

Maude are very clear on what they want to do and that is service the top end of speciality coffee shops.  Matt is well qualified to talk about coffee and also train others to quite a high standard.  He doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to giving his opinions on coffee and is absolutely clear that for him it’s all about single origins.  He’s trying to source his green beans from alternative companies to introduce some more variety to the UK market which can be dominated by a few suppliers and for this we applaud him.  I’m sure we’ll get something from them again relatively soon.

Seth in front of the Probat Roaster in Maude Roastery Leeds

They have a 12 kg Probate roaster, although Matt said they tend to keep the batches at around 10kg to give more stability and not stretch the roaster to it’s absolute limits (he actually said it in a much more complicated way but I’m paraphrasing).  The baby is present to provide scale.

There have been a few new openings in Leeds recently and they have clustered across the river in south Leeds.  North Bar’s ‘The Cross Keys’ and Out of the Woods have been around for a while, then came Northern Monk’s brewery and refectory and now they are joined by new offerings from Laynes Espresso and Manchester mini-chain Caffeine & Co.

Leeds Dock


The opening of Caffeine & Co in the Leeds Dock area seems to have gone quietly ahead without anyone really paying too much attention.  We’ve had a blow-by-blow account of the progress because the general manager is none other than our former head barista Ben Loebell who has moved on to further his experience.

Manchester mini-chain Caffeine&Co newly opened at Leeds Dock

I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve not been over to the docks in recent times, but on a bright summers day it looks fantastic. There has been the relatively recent addition of the Google Garage and I hear a rumour that Sky have recently taken a lease nearby so that should add to the footfall in the area.

The space they have taken on is pretty vast with lots of seating both in booths and tables.  There is one particularly large table that must seat 8 or 10 people that looks like prime real estate for those needing to have a meeting.  It’s all looks very well designed with splashes of colour from reclaimed wood cladding, polished concrete floors and Scandi upholstery.

Interior at Caffeine&Co Leeds Dock

In their Manchester outlets they use Square Mile as their primary supplier (according to their website) but here they are going to operate rotating single origin coffees with Assembly coffee as their  first roaster on espresso and Yorkshire roasters Dark Woods and North Star on chemex and filter respectively.

It was only day two of opening here so they were just getting up to speed on the food side of things, but that was ok, we only wanted some toast anyway.  Ben made me a split shot with the guest coffee prepared on the Nuevo Simonelli T3 machine – with which he is very happy!

Coffee menu board at Caffeine & Co Leeds Dock

There are big plans for the unit to have a full brunch service, offer beer and wine into the evenings as well as cheese and charcuterie boards.  We look forward to seeing how it all comes together.

Sheaf St in Leeds is home to the new venture from Laynes Espresso

Laynes’ new unit is located within the second co-working space designed and operated by Duke Studios called Dukes Sheaf St.  The space itself is essentially a double-double fronted garage with seating and two bars.  From behind the first bar Laynes will operate their coffee and lunch service, whilst Duke residents serve alcohol after work from the other.

The furniture is a mixture of new pieces much of which has been etched by Duke Studios’ laser cutting machine with quotes.  It was a hot day on Wednesday so both garage shutters were up opening up the vista onto a busy Crown Point Road!  The place was quite busy with some Leeds Indie glitterati coming to pay their respects with Matt and Lil from Leeds Indie Food, Ash from Belgrave Music Hall and Sarah from Noisette Bakehouse.

The food menu is pretty short, (unsurprising given the space they’re operating in) but it’s got something there for most people.  I ordered a salad and a sandwich for us to share.  It was only day 3 and they were busier than they were expecting so I think it was understandable that there was a slight pause before the food was delivered.

Sheaf St Menu

Almond, ricotta, mint, radish and courgette salad at Duke Studios Sheaf St Leeds

Haloumi Sandwich Sheaf St

It’s always difficult to tell what will happen to a new location even for an established favourite like Laynes.   I’m sure Dave has plenty of plans in terms of how to attract more customers and get people to travel the extra distance to Sheaf St.  It’s certainly a fantastic facility to have for the people that work at Duke Studios – who doesn’t want great coffee and a food option on their doorstep.

So that was it.  A relatively short walk back to the bus stop and we were heading home.  I think we’ll have to give Leeds a miss for the next outing and head somewhere else.  Where that is……you’ll have to wait and see (for that read I’ll have to work it out!).


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