Jesmond is served another coffee shop

Another coffee house has opened its doors in Jesmond, this time on the corner of Osborne and Acorn Road. With a chic design, champion baristas and its own roast of coffee, Central Bean claims to have a unique approach that sets it apart from the big high street chains.

“We use a medium roast coffee, which has a sweeter and more complex taste than dark roasts, which the big chains use,” says David King, a lifelong Jesmondite who co-founded the business.

Central Bean uses three types of coffee bean – from Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil – which it also sells in-store.

Before launching the flagship store on Gallowgate, King hired international coffee judge and consultant Andrew Hetzel to help Central Bean find its flavour. Hetzel in turn took King on a trip to Seattle, USA – the home of a thriving coffee house culture and the birthplace of Starbucks.

“I never realised how good coffee could be,” says King. “We saw how independent coffee houses took on the big boys, using unique approaches and harvesting beans with different characters from all over the world.”

The shop is manned by a team of skilled baristas – Italian for bartenders who serve espresso-based drinks – who add a creative touch to the coffee, such as the latte art pictured here. They compete with each other, and staff from other independent coffee houses in Newcastle, in regular “barista throwdowns”. And there’s a former barista champion in the ranks: an Aussie called Alex Forsyth.

The Jesmond shop is the third branch of Central Bean to open in and around Newcastle, with the others on Gallowgate in the city centre and Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth. King says he hopes to have six shops in operation by the end of the year.

Central Bean is part of the Fluid Group, a chain of venues including Bar Luga and Perdu, which King runs with his business partner, Oliver Vaulkhard of Gosforth.

The Jesmond shop was previously occupied for 25 years by Fleurtatious, a florist which now operates online.

Local caffeine addicts will welcome another venue to get their coffee fix. But what do you think? Did Jesmond need another coffee bar? What’s your favourite place in Jesmond for a latte or Americano? Tell us below.

10 thoughts on “Jesmond is served another coffee shop”

  1. Paul Rea says:

    I’m pleased to hear this is a local outfit. I used to visit Starbucks but on sheer principal have boycotted them for years now as I don’t subscribe to their philosophy and their big corporate American values. Sorry I won’t rant. I haven’t visited Central Bean but will do in the future. I’m not convinced Jesmond needed another coffee house but as they are local it does makes it acceptable in my book.

  2. Stu says:

    The plethora of students and young professionals milling around Starbucks implies that another coffee house will always find customers. However, I do wonder whether Starbucks is simply another brand that the Ralph Laurenites and Jack Willsians ‘consume’ and Central Bean will struggle to match that.

    I don’t drink coffee, and Starbucks does pretty much the perfect quickie hot chocolate in my eyes, but nevertheless…game on.

    I recently had a go at Starbucks on my own blog, which you might enjoy;
    http://thankedgnat.wordpress.com/2010/04/08/swastikarbucks/

  3. Liz says:

    Pleased that Starbucks has some local competition, but like Paul not convinced that we really need another coffee shop.

  4. Graham says:

    Good to see locals having a go, but definitely a saturated market, please bring something new, coffee has been done to death!!!!!

  5. David says:

    Anyone who has not tried Central Bean must. It is in different class to Starbucks, the quality of coffee is fantastic. I hope that they keep the standard this high.

  6. paul says:

    Another example of the economic effects of studentification on the local economy.
    Coffee shops are only growing at this rate because there is a demand. Cant say ive noticed any local families sitting there when ive gone past.

  7. Laura says:

    Looks good, but overpriced in my view, I know they are local but still got the corporate feel, or at least a desire to be.

  8. Lesley says:

    Feel sad at the loss of Fleurtatious, another local business run by local people has disappeared. I bought flowers for Valentines, my Mum’s birthday,my fathers funeral..and sometimes just something lovely for me. It beat the pants off the sad offerings of our local supermarket from which i wud boil my head before ordering my wedding flowers. Once these “services” go a community loses something… DOES jesmond need another coffee shop? About as much as we need another bar!

  9. fleurtatious says:

    That little corner will be lovely to drink coffee and people watch and we should know we’ve done it for years !! However it is sad that Jesmond is losing its little shops. We have seen many changes over the years and watched a lot of businesses come and go. The parking for us was a nightmare. It probably put our customers off just pulling up outside our shop and running in like they used to!
    We may not be on Acorn rd anymore but we are still very much in business. We are in jesmond every day dropping flowers off for our customers and exhibiting in wedding fayres across the region
    our customers can ring us as usual on 0797 9856704
    We wish Central Bean every success for the future. They have made a really fantastic job of converting our shop.
    good luck guys !!

  10. Brian says:

    A bit desperate, I felt a little sad when I went in and there was no-one in there, I soon joined the masses in Starbucks, Central Bean have managed to create the same atmosphere as the site on Gallowgate, empty!!!

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