There’s been a revolution. Even if you haven’t spent the last 13 years working in the industry, like our Steve, you may have noticed how coffee has become all the rage. Personally, I only really understood the degree of the new obsession when Steve began introducing me to the industry. We kicked off by visiting the 2012 London Coffee Festival, a trade show that was open to the general public. It was heaving with people!
Our next step was a barista course at Taylor Street Baristas. This was meant as an intro for my benefit, but because it was at one of his favourite Cafés, Steve came along anyway. You just can’t keep that man away from a big, shiny espresso machine! Again, most attendees weren’t in the business but interested Londoners who wanted to perfect their coffee making.
The course began with a tasting. This involves slurping luke warm black coffee, a bit of a rough awakening for a Latte-with-sugar-girl like me. Similar to wine, or, as the real coffee nuts say, even more so, coffee differs depending on regions, seasons, picking techniques, roasting process, and, most importantly for us, coarseness of the grind, tamping pressure and extraction at the consumption end. A lot of variables to get your head around. I understand now why the new generation of cafe owners puts such effort into training their baristas.
We’ve since done many more coffee tastings as we toured the independent coffee roasters of London. Roasting is another sideline of the coffee revolution. It’s a highly technical affair and certainly way over my head, but it was great meeting so many of the people involved in this business. They are all driven by a pride in their product I’ve not seen in many other places, and several make superb blends. However, there was one that stood out for us.
It was in a tiny showroom in Broadway Market, Hackney, that one particular blend knocked our socks off, both as an espresso and with milk. We were also impressed by the roastery itself, located in the arches of a railway bridge, and the genuine interest the crew took in us and our project. So we felt certain that we had found both the coffee and the people that fit in with our own personalities and ideas.
We are delighted to announce our cooperation with Climpson and Sons, a truly special London coffee roaster whose name you will most likely have heard if you’re into your beans. We can’t wait to present this coffee to you on Green Lanes. One thing is certain, you will drop the sugar. I did.
As for the building site: We’re expecting to get it back from the builders early this week. The ugly red walls have been plastered over, a huge transformation and a big day for us. Now the back of the shop is being levelled with screed and then it’s down to us (Steve and me, that is).
One of our first tasks will be to lay the nearly 100sqm of reclaimed parquet floor that were delivered a couple of weeks ago. Besides Steve, no one really believes we can do it, some people have explicitly warned us. But the blocks are there now, and we are hopeful. We’ll certainly bond with the place, that’s for sure.
Luckily, we’re not all on our own. We have wonderful partners and a bunch of awesome friends who have all been (coerced into) volunteering their help. That means painting party on the weekend! Guys, you know who you are, thanks very much in advance! We are truly lucky to have this kind of support. And of course we promise some treats to keep everyone fed throughout the weekend.
Next week we’ll be doing a business trip in a van to an undisclosed location (on the continent) to pick up our furniture. Then it’s back to more floor laying. We’ll be in touch with more news soon, thanks for following our endeavour.
See you soon!
Steve and Linda