Time for Tea (& Coffee) at tsp. Hanley

tsp. teaspoon, tee-ess-pee or tisp are the cupcake hustlers of Hanley and the OG business to breathe life and drag the somewhat dilapidated looking Cultural Quarter into the 21st century.  What was just two years ago home to the odd diamond in the rough, countless run down charity shops and greasy spoon cafes, is now a buzzing hive of Northern Quarter-esque eateries.

Cupcakes, pizza, prosecco and a trip to the theatre?  You’re practically spoiled for choice.

Famed for its coffee and freshly baked, Instagram worthy cupcakes topped with Cookie Dough, Jammy Dodger or their last(ish) Rolo, tsp. is the perfect place to pull up a chair, wrap your hands around a steaming cappuccino or freshly squeezed orange juice for a catch up with a pal over a panini.  Or of course, you could perch on one of the window seats for a front row view of passers by (who doesn’t love to people watch?).

I headed to tsp. for a post shopping sit down with Dan last week and despite frequenting on the regular, it was the first time I took along my camera to capture my cupcake in all their glory and to be honest, they don’t usually last very long.

Breakfast and lunch at tsp. are always busy with customers snapping up their smashed avocado on toast or a good old bacon butty to enjoy with a brew (over 12 varieties of it!).  With a newly renovated upstairs area which offers a more laid back vibe with spacious sofas, a selection of books and even a vinyl player and headphones to unwind of an afternoon, it’s a great place to set up base and is often home to a working lunch.  Come a rare and wonderful summers day in the Potteries, you can soak up some sun on one of the bistro tables that line the newly paved Piccadilly and swap your steaming macchiato for an iced coffee or a super sweet and stunning Cake Shake – perfect for keeping the kids entertained or giving big kids a colourful sugar kick.

One of the selling points about tsp.  that caught my eye when it first launched in 2014 was its Suspended Coffee scheme.  Suspended Coffees, which originated in Naples, Italy, means that customers can also pay for an extra coffee which can later be claimed by anyone who needs a pick-me-up.  Whether they’re homeless, having a bad day or have just been dumped, this community element of tsp.  and the ability to pay it forward is such a simple but lovely idea and with tsp. being the only cafe in the city centre (that I know of) it encourages other retailers to follow suit.  Cos what’s better at perking you up then a lovely mug of coffee?  Other than gin, of course.

tsp. recently launched their High tsp. – afternoon tea with the tsp. twist (which I’ve still yet to partake in).  For £15pp or £26 for two, High tsp. is served with a selection of filled buns, mini filled bagels, chocolate brownies, mini macaroons and a clotted cream and scone cupcakes all washed down with a pot of tea.  You can choose to have a fully veggie High tsp., meat or fish fillings or a mix.

If you want that delicious cakey goodness at home, their wares are also available for take out or to be given as a gift and you can even pre order celebratory cakes for that special occasion.  They’re pretty special to look at (especially their Unicorn birthday cake) but taste even better.