"Numbers" Mike pays tribute to a Birmingham favourite. The Jewellery Quarter is fittingly known as a treasure trove of hidden gems. Possibly foremost among these is a little coffee shop named Brewsmiths which is much loved by its customers for its quirky charm and attention to quality.
Located on Livery Street, a few yards from the rear entrance to Snowhill Station, Brewsmiths’ chilled atmosphere attracts a variety of customers. Many of them are return customers and it quickly becomes apparent that many of them know Dave and his team as the orders for tasty beverages and food are taken. The customers in the shop are among the friendliest and polite I have come across anywhere and only add to Brewsmiths attractions. I am somewhat of a caffeine fiend and stresshead but still find myself relaxing in Brewsmiths in a manner that I sometimes find difficult elsewhere.
I know people like the espresso there but I’m an old fashioned “white coffee please” type of guy. For people like me Dave has a serve yourself system with a superior Brazilian coffee (£2 each or £3 bottomless) and an honesty box. How nice to be treated like an adult! The advantage of this is that it allows Dave’s team to prepare the food more efficiently and customers to get their caffeine fix quicker. Very nice coffee it is too. The menu is varied and of uniformly excellent quality but I would be remiss if I did not mention that it includes THE BEST BACON SANDWICH SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME!!!!
Brewsmiths also has an interesting range of loose leaf teas. I’ve often been told that loose leaf tea is of higher quality than bags and tastes much better but never believed this held much relevance for me until I started experimenting at Brewsmiths. Just one example is the Dragon Eye tea which is a visual feast as it is placed on your table but has a subtle and refreshing flavour which belies its floral appearance. Dave and his team will always endeavour to guide you to a tea which suits your own palate, especially a certain Sarnie Sorceress who shall remain nameless.
Brewsmiths offer take-out for local offices as well as providing a venue for relaxed and effective meetings. Language learning groups, business meetings, writers’ meet ups and more find it useful but it’s also not unusual to see two old friends having a chat or someone beavering away on a laptop. In fact, I have written several of my articles there but I wouldn’t hold that against them. A quick glance at the noticeboard (or its Twitter feed) confirms that Brewsmiths has become a hub of activity in the local community and I am sure it will continue to fulfil this role admirably.
There are many excellent places of interest in the Jewellery Quarter (including several great pubs – you know what I’m like). But, since I moved away from the Jewellery Quarter, Brewsmiths is the place I miss most.
So I make a special trip. And so should you.
214 Livery St, Birmingham, West Midlands B3 1EU
Photos courtesy of Mike & BF archives