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Coffee Shop: North by Dan Saul Pilgrim

22 September 2015
Coffee Shop: North by Dan Saul Pilgrim
Using the most popular crowd funding platform ‘Kickstarter’ to back his venture into publishing Dan Saul Pilgrim - equal parts designer and coffee lover - has conceived an art book devoted to the northern coffee industry. Certainly in Leeds there is a specially reserved place for the love and appreciation of the aromatic brew and Dan’s work is an effort to capture the essence of all that is sacred in the process: sourcing and grinding, brewing and serving, drinking and socialising.

Coffee Shop North - Dan Saul Pilgrim Photography by Mark Wheelwright

What Hop & Barley are doing for beer, Dan Saul Pilgrim is aiming to do with coffee, documenting the different, unique take on the beverage. Dan is himself a frequent visitor of various shops and cafes suiting different moods, or different company. Laynes features prominently in Dan’s kickstarter video; he praises their attention to detail and laid back approach, Mrs Athas their slightly more London-esque vibe; and of course La Bottega Milanese, expanded from their tiny shop in The Calls to two thriving, Italian run coffee shops located in The Light, and a larger headquarters at Bond Court.

The book is about documenting a moment in history, where the coffee scene has seemingly exploded over just a couple of years. With coffee houses and shops diversifying according to an increasing appetite for multi-purpose venues: art gallery space, events, music, alcohol and food, it is a chance to capture what is increasingly abundant now while a distinguishable line can still be drawn.

The strive for perfection common amongst the more revered baristas is also reflected in Dan’s own approach to production; he wants quality, perhaps reviving the idea of the ‘coffee table book’, a concept which is increasingly synonymous with a kind of façade of education and style that serves little more purpose than aesethetics. Now in a kind of meta-way, Dan is hoping to produce a love letter to coffee that can be appreciated for its visuals and content. His minimal style is incredibly contemporary, and carried through his work for his design studio Logan and Saul (his most recent familiar work is with The Swine That Dines, a small plates conceptual menu by The Greedy Pig). For Dan, the relationship between coffee and aesthetics is one of mutual appreciation, so producing such a publication made perfect sense.

For a nation of tea drinkers, our fidelity to the leaf has been shaken by the emergence of European-quality coffee. Dan’s proposed work doesn’t just document Leeds’ coffee scene, but also, as the name suggests, a general northern demographic, exploring Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and York meaning plenty of coffee pilgrimages are crying out for intrepid explorers.

Like most kickstarter campaigns, there is a wide range of donations you can pledge, and many perks to be unlocked. Check out his video and campaign here.

Emma is a Freelance Writer for Leeds Living. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds and specialises in writing cultural editorials.