Sunday, 17 July 2011

North Tea Power - Manchester

Tucked away in Manchester's Northern Quarter, sandwiched between a skate shop and a terrible bar which usually smells of sick on a Friday night is a new gem in Manchester's coffee house compendium.

North Tea Power is a small shop decked out in light wood, with small tables and and a large communal table in the middle. Soothing modern folk music can just be heard over the click of locals' keyboards and the quiet murmur of tea and coffee enthusiasts. The look is effortless and the feeling is relaxed and friendly.

North Tea Power - with thanks to city spy Manchester

Initially North Tea Power just served tea, coffee and cakes - they've lately added food and now alcohol to that mix. We've been popping in for a while and I thought it was about time I shared my little secret with you guys.

I have no idea about tea; but the boy tells me that the have a varied and interesting loose leaf range and provide such oddities as the tespresso and marmalade tea (tea with marmalade in obvs! - based on a drink the proprietors had whilst travelling in Asia). Served in glass french press cafetieres the teas look beautiful and (apparently) taste great.

It's the coffee that I'll shout about. North Tea Power serve the only macchiato I can drink without sugar - the roast is mellow, sweet and not at all bitter. They've stolen the coffee crown from Teacup for me and I'll always pop in when I have the time.

Cakes and bakes are sourced from a family bakers in local Chorlton that have been going since the end of the 19th century. I've eaten my way through a few baked delights (in the name of gastronomic research, of course!), but the one I go back for every time is the florentine. Densely nutty with candied fruit dotted across its surface, the florentine is coated in a thick, buttery toffee  and supported by the thickest dark chocolate base I have come across (I've come across many florentines in my time...). Divine, utterly sinful and will definitely brighten up any bad day, ever.

Flapjack picture as I ate all the florentine before I could take a picture!

Last time we popped in the boy tried the homemade red onion soup - it was well made and well seasoned. The soup was also thick enough to be substantial unlike some onion soups slopped out elsewhere. I tried the three bean and feta sandwich and have to say I'm glad I made the choice.

Served on a crisp ciabatta the sandwich was stuffed with beans with a pleasant bite, intermingled with salty spikes of feta and all covered in a delicious parsley/garlic/lemon/olive oil dressing. Lip-smackingly good and fresh as the spring rain to boot.

Prices aren't expensive, but they aren't the cheapest either. Sandwiches are around the £3.50 mark and cakes range between £1-£3.50ish, so follow other establishments in the area. However where some places can be accused of jumping on the Northern Quarter pricing bandwagon, North Tea Power's conscientious sourcing, friendly and very informative service and quality products makes them stand out from the rest.

North Tea Power is a great places for breakfast (they have muesli and toast and things), lunch or a quiet moment to reflect, collect yourself or just have some me time. My only worry is now I've let you in on my little secret I won't be able to get a seat the next time I need to reflect and collect (or quench my florentine addiction)!

Ps - if you like your drinks that much, North Tea Power does loose leaf tea and pour over beans to take away.

Pps - North Tea Power can be a little hard to find - it's located on a raised row of shops opposite the multi-story car park and up from Afflecks.

Food - 7/10
Atmosphere - 9/10
Service - 9/10
Value for money - 7/10

Total - 32/40

North Tea Power, 36 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LA - 0161 833 3073 - info@northteapower.co.uk
@northteapower http://www.northteapower.co.uk/

North Tea Power on Urbanspoon