If any of you know us in real life, you’ll know we can’t resist a good coffee shop and a pastry or two. With our recent move to the Ranmoor end of Sheffield, we’ve now got heaps more cafes and restaurants in walking distance to explore and try out. It’s hard work but someone’s got to do it!
We’d visited Cawa Coffee once before to grab a quick coffee, as they are only a 15 min walk from our place. Their live jazz night was on at the time and despite only quickly popping in, we knew it was somewhere we had to go back and try again. So when Cawa reached out to invite us to a blogger event, launching their tapas and cocktail menu, we jumped at the chance.
The Cawa Vibe
I’d like to start by telling you a little about the brains and motivation behind Cawa. When we first visited, we maybe mistook it for your average coffee shop. But we were wrong. I urge you to talk to the people in there, learn what they are about and what they want to achieve. From taking the time to get to know them a little, it totally changed our opinion and made us want to spend even more of our time and money supporting them. They are the epitome of independent Sheffield business, keeping it local, fresh and quality. What’s not to love?
There are 4 people behind the business, Robin and Fraser who are siblings, Galyna and another guy who, I’m afraid, we didn’t catch the name of! They all have different experiences but a shared love of creating a space where people of all ages can get together and enjoy really quality, local and ethical produce. Their hopes for a full bakery, an in-house coffee roaster and potentially organic beauty product range gave us the feeling that they will be around for a while. They are so clearly brilliant at what they do, yet carry it off with a casual friendliness that makes you feel completely at ease. They could explain all their produce in detail and tell you why that particular spirit or coffee was chosen. There is proper passion behind this venture!
Main things you need to know are: late opening hours (till 11pm) on Thu-Sun. Love that – places that shut at 4pm on a Sunday suck. Live jazz on Thursdays. Food totally suited to vegetarians and people of all ages who want a place to chill.
Now onto the booze ‘n food…
Cocktails & Spirits
We started the night trying out some of their house cocktails. We went for an Espresso Martini and a Singapore Sling, but you could also try an Old Fashioned or a Negroni. The martini was top quality. It was far more enjoyable, smooth and intensely flavoured than most espresso martinis we’ve tried and that is due to the ingredients. Robin, one of the owners, kindly gave us a shot of the coffee liqueur (Conker cold brew) that goes into it and holy crap is that stuff good. The Singapore Sling looked incredible as it arrived and the taste lived up to expectations. I had been warned that it had a healthy kick of booze in it, but it was surprisingly easy to drink and a little extra bonus we noticed – it was served with a cardboard straw rather than plastic. Nice touch.
We followed up our cocktails with a gin and tonic each. The gin is made by a brewery and distillery in Dorset (keeping it British!) and Cawa stocks their lemon flavoured gin and a pink peppercorn flavoured gin. Smooth, great flavour and beautifully served and garnished. Everything that a G&T should be! You could also sample some beers or wine, and every spirit or alcohol they choose is as locally sourced as possible, and always the best quality.
Tapas & Baked Goodies
The food! So good! As a rule, we’re pretty put off by tapas in Sheffield, due to previous experience, but this stuff was tasty. It didn’t necessarily look the prettiest, but the flavour was bang on. We had 4 different toppings served on small pieces of bread:
- Pear, Little Mester Cheese (Sheffield business), Walnut and Honey
- Pesto, Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil
- Red Bean Hummus with Sun-dried Tomato
- Olive Tapenade with Pickled Onion and Thyme (our fav, which they kindly brought us another serving of)
It is worth mentioning that this place is great for vegetarians and vegans. There were 5 different tapas on offer that night and only 1 was non-vegetarian, which was salmon.
When we left for the evening, suitably contented by gin, tapas and interesting chat, they gifted us with a freshly baked loaf and some Danish pastries. They have a bakery above the shop and the baker definitely knows what they are doing! We got home, warmed up the pastries and they were delish. In the long run, Cawa hope to open a separate place just for the cafe and keep the original site as a bakery. I really hope this comes to fruition, as a quality bakery like that within walking distance of us would be amazing! If you are looking for a great coffee and a freshly-made selection of bread, cakes and treats, then Cawa is for you.
And Finally, Coffee
Now this is definitely Augustinas’ area of expertise, but what I can tell you is that Cawa definitely have passion about coffee. I can count around 10 very good independent coffee shops in town, but to my knowledge none of them have a roastery of their own. Tamper coffee get their coffee from Ozone coffee and Marmadukes serve Workshop coffee from London. Well Cawa have started with sourcing the coffee themselves and are currently roasting it at Smith Street Coffee Roasters, just down the road in Sheffield. But the long term plan is to have an in house roastery to provide themselves and customers with quality beans. It is exciting to see places like Cawa showing true independence.
On our weekend visit I had a oat milk cappuccino (fab) and Augustinas had a V60 made with coffee from Ethiopia, which was one of the smoothest coffees he said he’d had in a while. Some great tasting coffee that went perfectly with the almond croissant and chocolate cruffin we had on a rainy Saturday morning.
The more we learn about Cawa, the more we love it. The people behind it are genuine, friendly, knowledgeable and have a great vision for what they want to achieve with the shop. Please go visit them, have a chat and enjoy the fantastic produce. The prices will be a little steeper than Costa round the corner, but the experience is a million times better! Plus you are supporting local, which is always important.
We’ll be back soon to try out the soups/salads/sandwiches!
Thanks for reading 🙂
Review of Cawa Coffee, 5 Crookes Road, Sheffield, S10 5BA. 0114 268 5774