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CAFE BUILDOUTS

Atkinsons Coffee at Lancaster Castle

HISTORY

Last November Lancaster Castle finally opened its doors to the public, uncovering months of careful restoration work to this 1000 year old monument, part of which would become home to our newest location, Atkinsons Coffee Lancaster Castle. In what was once the prison kitchen, inhabiting a space unseen for over 150 years, now sits the new Castle cafe, providing a unique coffee experience for tourists or coffee lovers alike. Overlooking a patchwork of medieval architecture within the Castle's grounds, this would be part of a transformational project for the city - with the long wait for the people to have their castle back!

DESIGN

From the creators of The Ordsal Chord and Liverpool One, Archcitects BDP headed up the building work, preserving ancient artefacts while adapting the castle for modern day purpose as a world renowned tourist attraction. It was clear that attention to detail was hugely important for them in executing this balance and after months of re-landscaping and building, using stone quarried from onsite rubble, we finally moved into our cafe space. The final stage of our cafe build out was made that bit easier when we were treated to an immaculate shell, complete with soundproofed ceiling and walls, underfloor heating, ceiling lantern and wall-long bi-fold windows.
When considering the cafe interior, we felt it important to show respect to the Castle's past by using a minimal materials pallet with simple, clean lines allowing a backdrop for the building's original architecture to shine through. With a heavy use of birch ply through the two rooms, complimented by green wall tiling and planting the aim was to soften the edges, contrasting the bare stone interior to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. An uncluttered matt black counter with matching machinery would allow the focus to be centred on what we do best, the preparation and delivery of excellent coffee and service.

COFFEE

At the design stage of any cafe build-out, we always aim to put coffee first, considering how to create the best work flow and customer experience. Although predominantly a tourist destination, our aim to deliver top notch coffee and service would be no exception here.

To increase speed and consistency of espresso service we opted for the brand new Mythos II with variable grind speed, burr temperature and grind by weight feature giving a dose accuracy of 0.2g. This would help us cater for busy tour bus rushes without compromising on coffee quality. We paired this with one of the last of the infamous La Marzocco FB80s, a cult classic among baristas the world over for its temperature stability, great build quality and classic design. With a rotating espresso offering of blends and single origin coffees we've gone for our flagship espresso blend Prototype first in the hopper with bags of fruit notes, juicy body and complex acidity, currently an all African lineup of coffees!
To showcase all that's great about single origin coffee we've dedicated our longest brew bar yet to the preparation of hand brewed filter coffee. Our brew method of choice to deliver speed, consistency and excellent cup quality is the Immersion Dripper. These are great pieces of equipment for making filter coffee. Quick to make and almost impossible to get wrong, they combine the simplicity of an immersion method with the flavour clarity of paper filtered coffee. This paired with a Mahlkönig EK 43 means we can expect some awesome coffees brewed on this bar. Currently brewing we've got two delicious coffees, both sourced from recent origin trips to Nicaragua and Brazil, Santa Maria Natural and Anærobic Siteo Da Torre.
Not forgetting tea, this brew bar will also be serving a wide selection of seasonally rotating teas brewed at optimal temperatures on the temperature variable Marco Mix Boiler.

To accompany your tea or coffee we will be offering a selection of freshly baked cakes from our bakery down the hill at The Hall, toasted sandwiches and soup.

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