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29th September 2015

The Coffee Column: Federal Café & Bar

Here at The Mancunion Food & Drink, we’re continuing our revolution against ubiquitous commercial coffee brands, to help independent and passionate retailers to thrive in the caffeine-fuelled world of café consumerism


Highly food-pornographic materials on display here.

In our first meeting as editors, Helena and I took the opportunity to get straight down to business by doing a review.

Even before knowing that we were here on business, the staff were eager and friendly, showing us to a seat and explaining that orders are taken at the bar. During my introduction as Food & Drink editor, manager Claudio sat down and shook hands with us and gave a little explanation of the concept behind the café. Federal is Australian/New Zealand founded and takes inspiration from many places to build the ideal spot on the corner of the Northern Quarter.

The changing artworks leave the walls fresh and updated, and the food is delicious with much scope for vegetarians. I had the halloumi and thyme shrooms on sourdough with roasted hazelnuts, and will be returning to sample the almost erotic-sounding croissant french toast with summer berries, almonds, whipped vanilla mascarpone & salted caramel. I could write an entire piece on the food and the atmosphere in Federal, but sticking to the main purpose of this column, we will feature the coffee and leave you assured that both the aforementioned are outstanding.

The café uses Ozone coffee and serves everything from a short to a long black, as well as piccolo to cappuccino. All the standard cups are available with the usual extras of soy milk, decaf, and syrup shots. It also must be said that their coffee art is beautiful, which makes your drink feel extra special. Hand-brewed seasonal single origin coffee is also available in the forms of pour-over and aeropress, which takes a little longer but is worth the wait for real coffee lovers.

For those who are a fan of colder drinks but want the caffeine hit, Federal bottles their own cold brew, which is a unique way of serving coffee that delivers its subtle earthy notes without the bitter aftertaste. The iced variety is also available in vanilla, caramel and chai lattes, as well as americano and espresso on the rocks. Affogato is also a wonderfully indulgent choice for those wanting a sweet that perks them up; this is a traditional Italian dessert made by pouring hot espresso over quality vanilla ice cream. If you get that tired feeling after eating a huge meal, affogato is a good option to boost your energy and delight your tastebuds.

There are also loose leaf teas, matcha green tea lattes, spiced chai and the continental Hot Milo—an Australian malted chocolate drink. Various still and fizzy cold drinks are refrigerated and there is also a Federal juice made up of kale, avocado, ginger, banana, lime and omega seeds for the power protein dieters out there, or for those who just love a good smoothie.

Finally, Federal Café & Bar opens its doors until late on weekends, serving alcohol in the form of vanilla infused espresso martinis and coffee rum old fashion cocktails. So take advantage of the USP Friday night brinner, the breakfast/dinner compound that’s perfect for late-risers or early after-workers who missed out on breakfast. Enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the uniqueness, and enjoy the coffee.






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