There’s Effy from Skins, the pre-eminent young Millennials behaving badly UK TV series. And there’s Effy, the popular international DJ and electronic music producer. And all that’s to say nothing of Uffie, another Millennial behaving badly, whose music has proven oddly influential over the last decade, and was sort of the French answer to Kreayshawn, one supposes. But all these entities have got got nothing on Effy, a new coffee bar and bakery located in Nottingham, a city in the Midlands region of the United Kingdom. This is a lovely little shop doing serious coffee and pastries, incorporating historic Nottingham lacework design, top flight coffee brewing gear, and an international approach to featuring multiple roasters. In a 2024 Build-Outs season boasting an embarrassment of riches, this spot is one of our favorite new openings of the year.

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DONA chai, specialty coffee's other half
Ceado E37Z Barista Grinder, Flavor on repeat
DONA Cardamom Rose
DONA tea, Equitably sources teas and tisanes
Ceado E37Z Barista Grinder, Flavor on repeat
DONA now serving Matcha
Ceado E37Z Barista Grinder, Flavor on repeat
Ceado E37Z Barista Grinder, Flavor on repeat

The 2024 Build-Outs of Coffee is presented by Ceado and Dona. The 2024 Build-outs of Coffee is sponsored by Pacific Barista SeriesLa Marzocco, and Ghirardelli

As told to Sprudge by Mitch Farr.

For those who aren’t familiar, will you tell us about your company?

We are a small independent specialty espresso bar and micro bakery, focused on showcasing the world’s best coffees from the world’s best roasters in a completely accessible way. We are also currently one of the leading coffee shops in the UK promoting wage growth in our industry with the starting hourly rate for a barista at Effy at £15 per hour (far higher than London and we’re not even in London).

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Can you tell us a bit about the new space?

We relocated to our new shop at the end of 2023 and finished fitting our bar and brew area in February. Our shop is a small 30-square-meter room with four-meter-high ceilings and stained glass windows along the frontage, with the building dating back almost 200 years. As Nottingham is known for its lace industry we dug into our new spaces history and found out that John Heathcoat (pioneer in the lace industry) presided in our premise so we’ve incorporated that into the design with our brew bar countertops and bar tabletops being completely custom made to have large “thread” shapes cast into a concrete surface.

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Onto the fun bit. In the center of the shop we have our bar that me and my two best mates who work with me (will & Alex) built. It is a 1200mm x 1200mm mirrored steel cube with two single-group Slayer espresso machines positioned at 90 degrees to each other. This is then accompanied by our back bar where we single dose on an Acaia Orion which then goes into our Mahlkönig EK43 with Turkish burrs and WDT with the autocomb and tamped on the PuqPress!

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The idea of having essentially a big mirrored obelisk was 1) it’s cool 2) to create a new talking point no matter what day it is. Be a newcomer to the shop being completely amazed at such a wacky setup or an artist noticing the light reflecting from the stain glass windows onto the cube and moving into different loa tons around the room at different points of the day/year.

Finally downstairs we have our bakery where we make enriched doughs, little pastries, and focaccia for our sandwiches

What’s your approach to coffee?

Again similar to our bar our approach may seem quite novel. We use coffees that most shops wouldn’t dare/afford to run on house espresso. We source four or five coffees per house espresso order instead of buying x kilos of one coffee. When sourcing we will sample/cup/check the solubility of the cupping samples with the VST refractometer to ensure we have well roasted soluble coffees for ourselves and customers to brew.

We then have a budget of £30-60 a kg for espresso. This is where the fun starts. In order to make the business financially viable we brew espresso as 20g split shots with consistent EY yields of over 25% (this is very important to ensure our drinks are comparable strength to other cafes) we use high extraction baskets from WAFO in Taiwan to help achieve this number. We brew at low flow rates with high temp and do not use time as a variable.

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We strongly believe that creating a thicker puck to extract from allows for consistent and higher extractions than we/most of the industry are used to. We also brew some coffees on big 25g WAFO baskets if they are on the lower per-kg price. This is when our theory really comes into play. Our approach is so much more layered than I can write on here, but sit me down in a room and I’ll
ramble for hours!

Any machines, coffees, special equipment lined up?

A Weber EG1 is our next purchase for our bar. It’s hard to buy much more when you have two Slayers.

How is your project considering sustainability?

We have tried to only use hard-wearing, locally sourced materials that will last for as long as we look after them. With beauty and patina only awaiting the materials future.

Also from a bar flow perspective the whole bar has been designed to take all the RSI associated problems away from the baristas, be it the QuinSpin at a bar height where you don’t need to shrug your shoulders (also QuinSpin means no knockbox whacking shoulder issues) PuqPress and AutoComb to stop tamping associated injuries and having a whole station within an arm’s reach of barista ensures my staff alongside there high base pay and constant wage growth can last behind the bar potentially till they have kids!

Are you working with craftspeople, architects, and/or creatives that you’d like to mention?

We built everything, plumbed everything, and designed everything ourselves with an honorable mention to our mate Hannah at AWN Studio for making the concrete countertops with the cobalt blue “threads” cast into them as mentioned before.

Thank you!

Effy is located at 20A Heathcoat St, Nottingham NG1 3AA. Visit their official website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

The 2024 Build-Outs of Coffee is presented by Ceado and Dona. The 2024 Build-outs of Coffee is sponsored by Pacific Barista SeriesLa Marzocco, and Ghirardelli