Continental service standards with proper, locally sourced Yorkshire food – that’s what Refresca is all about.
The latest addition to Leeds’ thriving coffee scene isn’t in the city centre, it’s in the suburbs – in Bramhope, to be precise. Refresca is Mark Frankland’s labour of love. It’s inspired by his trips abroad, where the coffee and service were of the highest quality. It’s something he struggled to find on these shores, particularly in the suburbs where he felt people were missing a trick. So he’s found the perfect unit right in the heart of Bramhope to create his own, unique coffee shop.
The cafe itself is fairly straightforward – dark wooden furnishings and exposed brickwork with light, modern touches that make it a welcoming spot to spend an hour or two. But the focus is really on the food and drink. Mark has gone to great lengths to find local producers right here on our doorstep – and that means the quality is through the roof.
The coffee comes from Casa Espresso, a family-run business based in Baildon. They roast all their beans in house, including the Charlestown Espresso Blend which Refresca use – it’s a mix of Brazilian and Sumatran beans that combine for a rich and smooth coffee. And if you’re not a big fan of coffee, they have a huge range of speciality teas that are just as good.
Frankland is very proud of his drinks, “I think our coffee holds its own against the best out there. We combine that with accessibility – no one is made to feel silly at Refresca just because they ask what a Macchiato is! Our teas are the finest you can get too, we serve them with a tea timer, so it’s brewed exactly to your liking.”
Let’s not forget the food. Refresca’s most popular breakfast dish to start your day is the smashed avocado served on toasted sourdough, with the bread from Otley – if you’re lucky it will be still warm from the oven, because it’s delivered fresh each day. Looking for a delectable lunch? They have a range of freshly made ciabatta sandwiches, filled with the likes of mozzarella, tomato, pesto and basil. They also do salads for the health conscious folk of Leeds, and afternoon tea for the more indulgent diners.
Frankland took us through some of his personal favourites from the menu, “I like simple, clean, fresh food, but I am also a chocoholic! So I would recommend our smashed avocado complimented with feta on sourdough – the citrus zing of the lime in the smashed avocado goes really well with our coffee. I would have to follow that up with an indulgent cake or traybake and an espresso, of course. The same care goes into our cakes, made by The Baking Biker and Tootsweet Treats all locally. Not many of our customers can resist the OMG Brownie, Lemon Drizzle Loaf or one of the show-stopping Tootsweet cakes like the Creme Egg Cake.”
When it comes to food and drink, there’s very little that Frankland hasn’t thought of for Refresca, but there’s one other element that might catch your eye. You see, the little ones will be kept well entertained, thanks to the world map on the wall, which tells you where the coffee and tea comes from. They can also pick up ‘Little Explorers’ backpacks to take to the table, which include a tablet loaded with kids games, as well as colouring pads and crayons.
It’s these little bits of attention to detail, on top of the quality food and drink, that should make Refresca one of the most popular cafes in the suburbs. There’s a really strong focus on quality here, and that’s going to make it a favourite with locals in Bramhope.
Refresca, 1 Tredgold Avenue, Bramhope, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS16 9BS.