JMitchell x La Bottega Milanese – Short Sighted

A matter of Design..

Design and lifestyle is a matter high on La Bottega Milanese’s agenda, a mainframe on which  to deliver urban cafe culture the Milanese way – but mostly our coffee & gospel La Classica.

When it came to looking at options to replace our stools, we wanted to pick fresh & local. This is nothing new, we started doing this back in 2009, thirsty to share & pitch in the exciting independent spirit synonymous with Leeds – any excuse for a collaboration and a coffee.

Any excuse for a collaboration and a coffee..

Shortsighted logo

Shortsighted – The Collab

Staying true to our mantra ‘If it’s not from Italy, then it’s from Yorkshire’ we decided to go local, if we could find a bright young talent to help along with support and exposure – even better.

Step forward John Mitchell..

John in his laboratory with Shortsighted x La Bottega MIlanese stools.

John in his laboratory with Shortsighted x La Bottega MIlanese stools.

The brief was simple, sharp design, understated and elegant capable of working along the calming vibe of the The Light store space.

A matter of design

A matter of design

Just as we did with First Light Leeds and Liam for the refit and the bench design for the store, we wanted to be closely involved in the design and progress with John as well – and thoroughly enjoyed the process.


Drawing board and coffee

And here are the results of a lot of hard work on John’s part, a piece we absolutely love which encapsulate all aspects discussed in the brief.

If you want to come and see for your self, the stools are at The Light store in Leeds on The Headrow. If you want quality design led furniture and break the Ikea mould, beat a patch to John’s website where you can buy or commission your pieces.

We are proud to have worked with John so early on in what we believe will be a stellar career, even prouder to have helped along a young local talent in this ever growing corporate world.

John at work

John at work

A designer maker and proud Yorkshire man based in Leeds Jon Mitchell is using his experience of bespoke furniture making and knowledge of the industry to shake things up and bring his own take on how furniture should be designed and made. 

The Jam Jar is the makers mark of Jon Mitchell Furniture and placed into every piece it symbolises the inspiration, passion and dedication that has gone into every piece of furniture, it allows the whole creative process to be stored within the piece. If it doesn’t have a Jam Jar it isn’t Jon Mitchell Furniture

Shortsighted in the lab

Shortsighted in the lab

furniture, craft, design, independent, local, coffee, labottegamilanese


Shortsighted_8 Shortsighted_13


Live Leeds more Italian..

Two Leeds power houses get together and do swappsies of their best Panini stickers….

Leeds is lucky to have two genuine and progressive Milanese Businesses in its mist.

La Bottega Milanese and Livin Italy are collaborating in an effort to make Leeds live more Italian, or Milanese?

Press Release

Anything for a free holiday home…

We have the Coffee, they have the wine….simple uh?

You benefit…

To launch this collaboration we are throwing a FREE wine tasting event on Friday the 2nd of September at our Bond Court site.

The event will be hosted by Laura of The Yorkshire Wine School with LBM & Livin’ in the House.

Please rsvp via email with max a plus one. Quick as places are limited.

Salute e buona Colazione.



Already a staple of many Leeds city dwellers for their regular coffee hits throughout the day, La Bottega Milanese is an embodiment of urban cafe culture, and is now inviting customers to share more of their lives in residence, as they can choose wine or coffee in their favourite espresso bar, from today.


Supported by Yorkshire Wine School LIVIN’ Italy’s wine to be available at Bottega Milanese is carefully produced by small growers, LIVIN’Italy family friends. The award winning vineyards Mattia works alongside were founded in 1928 and reside in North East Italy. Wines available to sample will include wines from Veneto (Merlot, Cabernet, Pinot Bianco and Grigio, Verduzzo, Valpolicella, Bardolino, Soave, Prosecco) alongside wines produced in Piedmont, Friuli, Abruzzo, Puglia and Sicily.


Laura Kent, Yorkshire Wine School Owner and WSET local educator said: “I am really thrilled that LBM will be selling wine alongside their excellent coffee and authentic Italian food, even more so once I heard that YWS favourite LIVIN’ Italy would be supplying the wine. At Yorkshire Wine School our mantra is ‘Wine Tasting For Everyone’ and with LBM now offering a wonderfully convivial place to enjoy a glass of Italian wine it brings a little piece of Milanese culture to the local scene!”



Moka pot with a ‘third wave’ eye

Caffeine Magazine July issue

The front cover of Caffeine Magazine ft our LBM article

Our story with this beautiful publication goes back a long way, we are proud to have been the first coffee shop outside of London to be an official stockist – a relationship that carries on to this day.

When we were asked by the chaps at Caffeine Magazine to write a piece on the usage of this iconic brewing method – we happily obliged.

As always at Christmas time with the gifting of Moka pots, come the requests for recipes and how to’s. So we thought it would be a good time to re-highlight this popular post.

Here is the article that featured on issue Jun-July 2013 – enjoy..

First patented in 1933 for the Italian manufacture Bialetti, the new Moka Express coffee pot came to symbolise far more than a piece of equipment for “stovetop espresso” at home. Completely unintentionally , this cheerfully-looking piece of kitchenware reflected the changes that Italy experienced under Benito Mussolini’s Fascist Party in the 1930s.

Mussolini wanted to make aluminium the national metal of Italy – after all, it was light, strong, good-looking and very modern. To this end, he imposed an embargo on stainless steel so that Italy can could profit from its home grown bauxite ( aluminium ore). After invading Ethiopia, – major coffee-producing country – in 1935, Mussolini’s formula was complete.:
Coffee +aluminium= a dynamic new empire.

Before the moka pot, Espresso was enjoyed in coffee bars, mostly by men on their way to and from work, and only the wealthy could afford to have a proper Espresso machine at home. But thanks to its inexpensive price tag, the Moka allowed everyone to enjoy a superior espresso-like experience indoors, and Bialetti’s design cheekily echoed the silver coffee pots of more upper-crust dining tables. It was after the Second World War that the Moka truly rocketed to fame, however, as many Italian, Central European and Latin American households fell for its charms. It has been held in great affection for 80 Years – 90% of all Italian homes have one – and Bialetti has sold more than 300 million units since its launch.
The Espresso promise is technically incorrect, however, as Espresso is achieved by a different brewing method with at least 9 bar of pressure, while Moka pots reach 1.5 bars. However the occasional appearance of ‘crema’ caused by the inner dispenser funnel design (fresh coffee also helps), created an ideal marketing hook that lead to the ‘Moka Espresso’ label.

The little fellow was the first thing I packed back in 1997 when I moved from Italy to the UK, as imagined I would be unable to find a decent coffee here – and at that time I was right! It’s therefore quite ironic, that nowadays I pack an Aeropress on my trips back to Italy (not because I have fallen out of love with the Moka, but because it’s a different brew experience , I hasten to add).

These days the Moka sometimes receives negative reviews, as using on is not as straight forward as it looks and can result in over-brewed coffee. But then, brewing coffee with a syphon it’s not a walk in the park either..

‘… is the thing: coffee brewed with a Moka can be amazing….”

, especially when applying the best principles, practices and tool from the third wave movement. That’s why we serve Moka pot at La Bottega Milanese, my coffee bar in Leeds. My method blends heritage with contemporary techniques, and a good sprinkling of tips that have been passed down through generations of baristas and domestic Moka men/women.

Follow the tips below, try not to be greedy with the liquid yield, and remember not to leave it to overgrew on the hob.

A pre second crack roasting level is desirable. In our tests, we used a Panama Hacienda La Esmeralda and Ethiopia Hachira N2 (£10 for 227 gr) both by Grumpy Mule Roasters LINK LINK LINK——————>
Good results are also achieved by combining a roast that is rich in chocolate tones ( see La Bottega ‘Classica’ £5.95 for 250gr), like an Ethiopian Harrar or Sidamo, with a more floral Ethiopian or a fruity Kenyan.

Between Aeropress and Espresso. The grounds should have the consistency coarse sand (not powdery).

The desirable minimum is 36 hours from roast, but feel free to experiment with younger coffee.

Ingredients for 3 cups – serving.
-15gr fresh coffee beans
-Cold** filtered water, approx 160ml (allow for different hardness and total dissolved solids TDS in regional waters, consider using bottled water).
**Together with Chris Weaver, at the time head barista at Bottega Milanese, we conducted multiple hot water vs cold water tests on Moka pots. After numerous blind tasting sessions with respected figures from the industry, the overwhelming consensus was that using hot water delivered a much flatter brew that lacked body. In my opinion, a slightly longer brew with cold water on medium heat delivers a stage comparable to the blooming and pre infusion of other methods.

-3 cup stainless steel Moka pot.
-Good ceramic-burr hand grinder or domestic grinder.
-Scales (you own some right?!)
-Electric/Gas hob or burner (aluminium Mokas cannot be used with induction hobs)
-Small basin with ice water for an ice bath (or place in the sink with the cold water running)

-Prepare ice bath, or be prepared to have a sink running cold water towards the end of your brew.
-Fill the bottom chamber with cold filtered water, in line with the release valve – the water should not seep through the holes of the filter (use the scales to memorise the amount of water used, for future reference). For brew ration enthusiasts the figure to aim for is a ratio of 1:11 coffee to water, which delivers a solids vs soluble yield of approximately 13.5%.
-Making sure it is clean and bone dry, insert the middle chamber funnel in the bottom chamber, set on the scales and tare off. Add 15gr of coffee.
-Resist the urge to pt down with a spoon! Instead set on a flat surface and carefully knock the bottom chamber to level out the coffee and achieve a uniform dosing in the filter. As a rule of thumb, if scales are not available, heap the filter with coffee to form a coffee dome (not a pyramid) and knock on a flat surface to level out the coffee grounds (for other Moka Pot sizes 6-9 etc, work with the 1:11 brew ratio). Twist the upper chamber in place, again making sure that is clean and bone dry (especially the lower mesh part that will come to contact with the coffee grounds).
-Set over a low to medium het on the hob. Make sure the burner is not wider than the Moka pot base. The times it takes the water to reach the upper chamber depends on the size of your Moka pot ( Note I have not said ‘boiling water’ as pressurised steam from the bottom chamber pushes almost boiling water through the coffee into the upper chamber).
-Start your timer
-The coffee should begin appearing in the upper chamber after approximately 5 minutes, if using a 3 cup Moka. If this happens more quickly, you are not using enough coffee or your grounds are too coarse. If it happens more slowly, you are using too much coffee or your grounds are too fine.
-Check time. The total time from the very first drops of coffee appearing in the upper chamber, to the coffee reaching optimum yield (approx 110ml), should not exceed the 1 minute mark ( max 1’10”). Too quick? Your coffee is too coarse or you have not put in enough coffee, resulting in a flat, watery sour brew. Too long? Your coffee is too fine or you have put in too much., resulting in an astringent, over-extraceted ashy brew. Does this process sound familiar? It should do, brewing trouble-shooting with the Moka Pot is no different from any other coffee brewing method. The trick is to stop in time and not overgrew. As a general rule, never wait until all the liquid has stopped coming out of the bottom chamber, for chances are it’s too late. If you have made a mistake, go back, change a few details and pursue what a great coffee coffee tastes like to you.
-As the coffee reaches the 1 minute mark (max 1’10”), from its first appearance in the upper chamber, immediately remove the Moka pot from the heat and plunge in the ice bath or under cold running water (just the bottom end..) This cools down the bottom chamber & mass, thus killing extraction – so there is less chance of over-brewing.
-Stir and serve, without adding any water.

As for all coffee equipment, keep very clean, and wash the different parts as soon as you can after brew. Replace the inner gasket every 6 months of medium use, if dark in appearance and flaky, replace immediately. In order to maintain the shower screen unblocked and clean, drop it in Puly powder and hot water after every other brew. Many people believe you should not wash the moka pots completely, as leaving a thin layer of coffee oil prevents the coffee tasting metallic. I don’t agree. Aged coffee oils is always bad news,anywhere, anytime. Just keep your moka squeaky clean, and if you have any doubts, purchase a stainless steel model.

To conclude, I’d say that when used correctly, the Moka Pot is a very rewarding brewing technique. It produces a velvety, full-bodied cup not as clean as a V-60 or Aeropress, but with richer notes and mouth feel. Just keep an eye on that timer.

—The Brikka—-
A variation on the Moka, the Brikka features a modernised weighted pressure valve, which essentially acts as a pressure cooker. This means less vapour is released from the valve, so that pressurised water reaches the upper chamber at a much lower temperature. This lower brew temperature is similar, and perhaps slightly lower than the 92/94 degrees widely applied to pour overs and opens a new world of possibilities for this old-fashioned charmer.


Article and imagery credits: Farah Menswear UK


When Farah menswear contacted us to run a piece on creatives & indie Businesses in Leeds, it did not take long for us to say yes..

At Farah, we believe in creativity and we want to celebrate it. Disguising itself in the way we dress, the way we think and the careers we take, creativity can be found hiding in the backstreets of every town and every city throughout the world – and we’re keen to explore it.
Combining great minds and utilising unique talents, we decided to visit some of the cities that we believe wear their creative hearts on their sleeve. But rather than jetting off to New York, Tokyo or Paris, we wanted to celebrate the great and good that exists a little closer to home, here in the UK.
For our first stop, we headed to Leeds. As a city, Leeds is evolving. As businesses rise in the centre, art galleries, cafes and pop-up shops spring up around just about every corner. These independents form the lifeblood of the town, they are the creative hands currently carving their names into the contemporary landscape – they are the ones we’re here to meet.

Described as a ‘melting pot’ of creative talent, fashion and business, it didn’t take us long before we found the names, faces and trends of those currently contributing to Leeds’ creative movement. From craft beer brewers to fashion-conscious barbers, independent bookstores and backstreet coffee grinders, we want to shine a light on the people who are helping Leeds to recognise its creative place in the north of England.
By shaking the hands of some of the region’s finest talent, we were keen to discover how their creativity was influenced by the city that surrounds them – and how current trends, styles and designs have played their part in each of their individual stories.

In this video, you’ll hear from those we were lucky enough to meet. You’ll see the likes of Northern Monk and their awesome brewery, you’ll see the slick team behind King Koby’s Chop Shop and the delicious coffees sold by La Bottega Milanese. You’ll also see Leeds – a city on the move, a city that’s changing and a city that’s growing. It also just so happens to be the same city that all our creatives call home.

La Bottega Milanese Coffee shot

Farah is embarking on a tour to find the creatives that make this great country tick. Starting in Leeds – the home of the Farah-partnered Beacons Metro festival – we trawled the streets of the city to find the businesses at the heart of Leeds’ melting pot of creative talent.

Caffeine – the fuel that drives so many creatives. But what about those who grind, pour and serve our daily blends? Surely they too are worthy of a spot within our burgeoning club of young creatives? Well, if any that you know happen to possess just a mere percentile of the skills, flair and vision held by Leeds’ La Bottega Milanese, then the answer can be a resounding ‘si’.
Coffee houses for the urban addict are hardly in short supply. From high street lattes through to in-house Costas, there’s no denying that if you find yourself in need of a pick-me-up within any city centre, a good old fashioned cup of Joe can be found in two shakes of a sugar packet. So why is it then, that given the sheer number of coffee shops in existence today, it’s so hard to find somewhere you’d want to sit, savour and actually enjoy your next cappuccino? So often it seems that throughout the urban landscape, so many are opting for safety over style, convenience over comfort and the uniform over the unique – and for us here at Farah, that simply won’t do.
Citing “Milanese lifestyle” and “continental café culture” as two of the main factors behind his business, we knew that when we found Alex and La Bottega Milanese, this was a place worth celebrating. Established in 2009, La Bottega Milanese is an Italian espresso bar boasting two awesome outlets in Leeds city centre. Throughout each location, every hanging bulb, white wall and neatly trimmed barista epitomises Alex’s hunger for what he passionately describes as “urban café culture” and “better coffee” across the board. “We bring real heritage and in-situ experience of the Milan Espresso Bar scene,” argues the founder of La Bottega Milanese. “We bring the public a progressive take on something that is part of our national DNA. The appetite for better coffee was clear with the arrival of Starbucks in the UK. We just decided to go one better and anticipate the demand for the real thing.”
When pressed about his company’s style, Alex cites “subtle elegance” alongside words like “classy” and “detailed” – which, given the immaculate appearance of the baristas that man the counters of his creation, feels like a fairly accurate description.
From every latte, macchiato and freshly ground bean, La Bottega Milanese is an espresso bar Leeds can be proud of. Alex’s creation is unique, well-designed and brilliantly bespoke – it is personal, creative and cultured. Simply put, La Bottega Milanese signifies everything the high street, over the past decade, has failed to be.


This year the infamous fixie riders street event begun at LBM Bond Court and finished for the mother of all parties at Aurelius Cycles of Leeds.
Checkpoints and in situ competitions took place across the city in secret locations.
The first event was the ‘ Track Stand’ which took place right outside our store.  Faces on, Espresso running through their veins (and other drinks), the first battle commences..


Halleycat'ers leaving Stage 1 LBM

Halleycat’ers leaving Stage 1 LBM

Track Stand Event


Halleycat racer drinking coffee

Zombies do coffee



© 2019 La Bottega Milanese