The Music Rooms is by far one of Lancaster’s best kept secrets that once discovered ensures return visits and continual coffee cravings. Self described as “a comfort zone for coffee geeks,” the bijoux cafe is nestled in the Parisian – esque Sun Square and attracts the arty, intelligent and delicate souls of Lancaster’s cool crew. The owners are currently branching out by opening another cafe in Priory Hall, which is tucked away on China Street. The team will be providing more comfy seats, crisp magazines and the ultimate chilled playlist when they open their doors on the 6th October – a cafe par excellence and a trés trés chic one at that.
I spoke to Music Room’s co – founder, barista and my favourite ginge Caspar Steel who spilled the beans on the perks of his job.
- First things first – is it your policy to give interviewers free coffee and cake?
- Great, now that’s sorted we shall begin – how long have you been a barista?
The Music Rooms opened on the 23rd August 2010 after I saw the building was for sale, I told my parents and it sprung from there.
- Were you keen to learn?
Yes, it stemmed from a passion for coffee which was passed down from my parents. I was inspired by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe convention we visited in Switzerland 2007 and I was eager to learn about something more practical away from academia.
- So would you say your family has had the biggest influence on you?
I naturally denied liking the idea of the job for a while as a way of rebellion but the more I learned of the trade, the more I enjoyed it.
- Have they provided you with any good advice?
My father – “you can only be productive when the muse is with you,” which was why I spent my entire school career behind on work.
- Deep. The highlight of your career so far?
Music Room winning gold smiles for Best filter coffee in the UK. Go us!
- What’s the best thing about your job?
Free coffee all day and going on coffee benders.
- And the worst?
Coffee come downs.
- What’s your most impressive skill?
Being able to make pretty patterns and shit.
- Me and a friend once had two of your coffees back to back and were left feeling drunk and unable to walk afterwards – is this a sign of the strength of the coffee or of our embarrassing weakness?
A mixture of the intoxicating charm of the Music Rooms and your combined feeble capacity…we only put a little bit of speed in it.
N/B We didn’t really put drugs in the coffee, Stephanie just can’t handle my beans.
- Thanks for that – what makes Atkinson’s coffee unique?
Our espresso blend was a gift given to us by the Greek gods of love, art, poetry, dance and beans. On top of this the blend always changes with the seasons so the coffee is always freshly harvested.
- Why do you think The Music Rooms outshines other coffee shops in Lancaster?
Our cakes are made by fairies and our coffee by coffee wizards – enough said.