The Sorting Office is a great little coffee shop in the gorgeous Cornish seaside village of Saint Agnes. It looks very cozy from the outside, but like the Tardis it’s somehow bigger on the inside… It was actually the local post office, which has now moved just down the road.
Address: Churchtown, St Agnes, Cornwall, TR5 0TE.
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Interview with The Sorting Office Coffee Shop St Agnes, Cornwall.
You’ve recently been listed as one of the best coffee shops in Cornwall, as a relatively new coffee shop, how cool is that??
It’s very cool! The article in a local magazine came out at the end of last year – it was so great to be listed in the round-up alongside so many other great coffee shops in Cornwall. I think people are intrigued by the history of the building we occupy and love how we’ve got a cool industrial feel with a nod towards the history of the building. Of course we’ve heard great things about our coffee too…..!
Do you ever get people coming to collect their mail?
I have had the odd person occasionally come in with a handful of post looking for the post office – a lot of people still haven’t realised the post office has moved down the road!
I was surprised the first time I popped in at the size of the place inside, it’s like the Tardis – is this a comment you get from other first time customers?
A lot of people are surprised by how well we’ve used the space and how such a small space works so well. People are shocked when I tell them we can seat 18 people when full – in fact I’m sure we’ve squeezed more than that in, including a few dogs too! Pretty much everything you look at is storage, every bench, seat, table is holding something inside – we had to be so clever with storage to make it work. I think the building looks a lot smaller from the outside too so yes a lot of people do comment on the size!
Best selling cake / snack?
We sell a lot of Kernow Curls, these are the Cornish take on the Chelsea bun from Baker Tom. We sell out of these most days, people also love a good carrot cake! Suzy at Rustic Cakes (our cake supplier) makes the best pistachio brownies and my personal favourite is her raspberry and chocolate cake!
I remember you use a lovely looking La Marzocco espresso machine – what grinder(s) are you using?
We use the Mythos1 grinder – it’s a great piece of equipment, but also sensitive to change such as humidity and temperature in the coffee shop. This is why we have to continuously change the grind size of the coffee grain to ensure the coffee runs through the machine in the correct time (between 28-36 seconds). If the grind size is too fine it will run through the machine in over 36 seconds creating a bitter taste, if it runs through too quickly (if the grind size is too coarse) then you don’t get the full flavour of the coffee, it’s a tricky process to get this fine tuned but this is what makes our coffee tasting so good and consistent.
Roaster(s) – who’s beans?
We used Origin coffee roasters and we use their Pathfinder blend of coffee beans. It’s a definite crowd-pleaser with nice berry and stone fruit notes with a slight citrus acidity – in fact I’m still yet to meet someone who doesn’t like this blend!
What’s the most bizarre thing that has occurred so far in the sorting office?
As the coffee shop is full of succulents, I am becoming known for my love of succulents, many of my regulars have turned up with heaps of succulents to fill the shop… it’s becoming a little overcrowded now! I have also been given a 1930’s wedding dress by one of my 80 year old regulars, she gave it to me to wear at my upcoming wedding, it looked like a pair of old discoloured curtains! I tried it on to please her all the same but not the one I have chosen to wear on my wedding day.
Have you served any celebs and if so who has had you the most starstruck? (We saw Ray Davies from the kinks in St Agnes a while back, and apparently Hugh Grant is fond of St Agnes)
We often have Josh Lewsey, world-cup winning rugby player popping in for a coffee as he has a house in St Agnes, we’ve also had the editor of Glamour magazine (we only realised later when she did an instagram post to her 22k followers!) we also have had Frances Quinn off Great British Bake-off – she lvoed our caramel flapjacks!
I love this little coffee shop! I love St Agnes, we tend to go to Cornwall at least once a year, and it’s usually St Agnes we head for. We were there for a week this Easter, and I was really pleased to find that this great little cafe has been created since we were last here. They’ve done a cracking job of the place, it looks (and smells) very inviting when walking past; there isn’t a chance I could have walked past without popping in for a coffee and a chat. I found the staff incredibly nice, they were really enthusiastic about the business, and very chatty, which I found really nice. The coffee was great (Americano), and they had lots of nice looking cakes and other treats. Inside it’s bigger than it looks from the street, and it’s very well done. Whether you’re on your way down to the beach and want a nice coffee to sip during the 10 minute walk, or if you fancy sitting down for 15 minutes for a coffee and a natter, I very much recommend this coffee shop.
Amazing! Beautiful hot drinks, cake and cream teas, beautiful staff and beautiful interior! Well worth a visit! So pleased we popped by!
Kirsty Barker Best coffee around and cakes are to die for ! My little one loves the chocolate almond milk …! Will certainly be our new regular !
Lucy Brightley Excellent gluten free Orange and Almond cake with a lemon and ginger tea enjoyed in laid back surroundings with friendly owners – go you’re missing out otherwise!
Tessa Ann Loved my first visit to this unusual little coffee shop, very welcoming and the coffee just superb. Best carrot cake EVER. Will be back as I hear the cream teas are wonderful.