Bringing a New Zealand twist to Sheffield

Are you satisfied with the coffee you buy? A New Zealander has opened an independent café providing a whole new coffee experience different to that of chain coffee shops.

Jonathan Perry

I visited Tamper coffee on a Friday afternoon. Although the café is supposed to close at 4:30pm, customers were still coming in and buying coffee as late as 5.20pm.

The owner, Jonathan Perry, 35, who also is a trained coffee barista, came from New Zealand and settled in Sheffield nine months ago.

“Sheffield has really close ties for me, my mom was originally from Sheffield, my grandparents were from Sheffield and my wife was from Yorkshire. She lived just the other side of Sheffield.”

Jonathan worked in the coffee industry in New Zealand for four years, before coming to England and he has always had a passion for setting up a coffee shop. Jonathan explains the origin behind the name;

“Tamper is a tool you use when you make a coffee, so that’s sort of a key component.”

The tamper is use for packing the ground coffee into the basket of an espresso machine. Without tamping, the coffee would not be brewed properly. It is a word which espresso enthusiasts will know, but it may be unfamiliar to the general public.

Coffee is not only big and hot

6 oz. sized coffee cups in the bar

As a New Zealander, Jonathan also brings a New Zealand twist to the cafe.

“Everything we try to do is very influenced by New Zealand.”

They provide a special steak and cheese pie which Jonathan said is typical New Zealand food. They also aim to give a New Zealand coffee experience.

“Like the espresso, we make it in a traditional way, with each one in a 6 oz. cup. I think now, people just have an expectation that coffee should be served in a big cup and should be hot. What we’re trying to do is bring it back down to where it should be and where it originally was. It’s all about taste and flavor and not about size,” He said.

It’s not about being unique

Jonathan believes that fresh ingredients can bring a bit more taste, so he uses locally produced milk from Our Cow Molly and Yorkshire-roasted coffee beans.

“The milk we have was actually delivered this morning. It’s the freshest and works really will with our coffee. I can use the big supermarket milk, but it has been sitting around for a long time.”

Jonathan adding Our Cow Molly milk into fresh coffee

This insistence on quality makes Tamper coffee stand out, but Jonathan said;

“It’s not about being unique. To me, it’s also about using local people. About buying locally, then more jobs are created in this area.”

It’s just a starting point

Tamper coffee has only been open for six months, but it has become very popular. However, for people used to buying coffee in chain coffee shops, Jonathan thought it might be a bit scary.

“Because they don’t know what they are going to get when they come in for a drink. The big chain is about feeling safe and it doesn’t matter about the best cup of coffee. When I order a large latte, it’s a large oversized latte but that’s what they give.”

Jonathan appreciates people who are willing to walk in for the first time. He also said that they keep trying new things and each week there may be something slightly different. “It’s to keep people interested.”

Although Jonathan has only lived in Sheffield for nine months, he loves it here. He told me that he and his wife already have a long term plan.

“Tamper coffee is just the starting point for us.”