Tamper at Sellers Wheel is the second coffee house set up by Nat and Jon Perry. Having firmly established their Westfield Terrace cafe as one of the top coffee shops in Sheffield, they opened up at Sellers Wheel in 2013. Sellers Wheel has many of the stylistic elements of the original Tamper: exposed brickwork, reclaimed school furniture. The intimacy and warmth of Tamper can’t be faked, and the coffee stands on its own as the finest available.
This second venture sees Nat and Jon being even more ambitious – as if bringing exceptional coffee to Sheffield wasn’t ambitious enough – with a much larger space, a full menu, and even a great selection of beer hand-picked by local craft beer vendor, The Hop Box. Everyone involved is there to do what they’re best at, which makes Tamper a genuinely special place with high standards.
These standards are set with the choice of coffee. Having spent twelve years back in his native New Zealand, immersed in the coffee culture and working with local coffee roasters in Auckland, Jon developed a knowledge, understanding and passion for what makes a perfect cup. To this end, Tamper are the only places in Sheffield with coffee from Ozone Coffee Roasters. Based in Shoreditch, Ozone work tirelessly to get as much flavour from each cup of coffee as possible – going beyond black bitterness, to nuts, fruits, and the soil the coffee was grown in. This is why I tend to have the V60 pour over or the cold brew: the slow processes manages to extract every single drop of flavour from the coffee. The ‘everyday’ coffees, such as the flat white, americano and espresso, are also special – not just hits of caffeine but drinks to enjoy. In less talented hands, coffee of this quality can still end up a harsh mess in a cup.
The big difference between the Sellers Wheel and Westfield Terrace shops is the range of food. At Sellers Wheel, the menu – from New Zealand chef Steve Tauliliili – is full of Southern Hemisphere-inflected fare that brings a personality to your plate as well being bloody lovely to eat. Dishes range from the "all black" burger to the amazing – if underwhelmingly described – "mince on toast" (beef chilli, toast, poached egg). A full range of eggy breakfast/brunch plates sit alongside hearty steak sandwiches and a decent amount of vegetarian dishes, such as sweetcorn and chilli fritters. If you have room left, or an exceptionally sweet tooth, a variety of pastries are available – including lamingtons, the chocolate/coconutty New Zealand staple, and current food trend hybrid ‘bronuts’ (brioche-based donuts). And on Friday evenings, the place now stays open for After Hours, offering special seasonal meals from 5 to 10pm, to be enjoyed with beer, wine or cocktails.
On a recent mid-morning visit I went for French toast – it was such a welcome oddity to see on a menu that I had to have it. Fluffy, egg-coated fried brioche arrived topped with thick slices of full-flavoured bacon, fresh strawberries and a dusting of caster sugar. Poured generously over the top was maple syrup that had been laced with espresso, giving the sweetness a gentle bitterness and an extra hit that was needed to fight off the sugar coma I was about to fall into.
That’s what sets Tamper at Sellers Wheel apart. It’s not simply offering up brunch classics, it’s putting a good stamp of personality on them, adding a slight variation that raises the bar. Everything at Tamper is shot through with their New Zealand-ness, a desire to stand apart and deliver absolutely brilliant quality produce. Keep an eye out for Tamper’s special events: late evening meals and coffee tasting sessions.
Tamper features in a short film we made with Sheffield Hallam Uni, alongside a bunch of the city's other foodie favourites – watch below.
- Words by
- Greg Povey
- Images by
- Nigel Barker