Flat Caps Coffee Experience

Katie Hull pays a visit to one of Newcastle's popular independent coffee shops.

7th December 2015

Whilst easy to miss, Flat Caps Coffee makes for the perfect soothing antidote to the busy shopping streets of central Newcastle. Hidden beneath the whimsical gift shop Elula on Ridley Street, Flat Caps not only serves unique blends of expertly selected coffee, but offers an environment that epitomises the phrase ‘urban escape’.

Descending the fairy-lit spiral staircase, you are met with an air of calm and tranquillity, which makes for a relaxed environment suited to quiet conversation, working or reading. The clientele match the vibe of the small place: think artistic coffee appreciators, quiet and unassuming, yet basking in the atmosphere of a successful independent coffee house.

The wooden tables painted white with pale blue legs have a rustic feel to them, and the bench around the perimeter of the room is adorned with a multitude of pleasingly mismatched cushions. Most of the tables are small, suggesting a quiet and more solitary environment than some, increasing its appeal to the reader who wants to enjoy a quietly humming background noise without the distraction of other loud conversation.

even if the coffee is not up your street, there is a multitude of drinks on offer

The overall aesthetic of the shop is rustic. Muted tones of blue, white and dark brown wood make up the colour scheme of this small haven, contrasting the shining silver coffee machine and glass syphoning equipment, not to mention the large number of awards and trophies, on proud display at the counter. The wooden slatted walls are a duck egg blue, decorated with a variety of cool artwork in various styles, making for an interesting gaze around the room and the surroundings.

The fact that the shop is windowless as it is in a basement does not pose a problem, rather it has been used to the coffee house’s advantage. As opposed to being dingy, large wall lights and fairy lights refute a cosy atmosphere in preference for a bright, well-lit but calm environment, whilst a large heater maintains that the room is comfortably warm.

flat caps coffee is definitely worth a visit

The eclectic and calming pipe music playing ensures that you stay fully relaxed (although I was a bit surprised at the sudden interspersion of Sweet Home Alabama), at a volume that compliments but does not intrude. The coffee itself is fantastic, with a menu describing ‘tasting notes’ to enable you to make the perfect choice. However even if coffee is not up your street, there is a multitude of other hot and cold drinks on offer to suit any taste. It is clear that the owner Joe really knows his stuff, and had a clear vision in mind when opening the coffee house.

Small and effortlessly pleasing, Flat Caps Coffee is definitely worth a visit. A stimulating place to work or relax. The tranquillity of the rustic atmosphere and the pleasant aromas of fresh coffee and even tastier sweet treats ensure that you will emerge from your visit feeling calm and totally chilled out – the perfect end to a hard week at uni.

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