London Coffee Festival is always a mad time of year. In the Old Truman
A pre-requisite of curating a range of tasty coffees is the desire to shift and rotate your roasted offering to reflect what is tasting best at different points in the year. We aim to always offer two single origin espressos (alongside a single origin decaffeinated espresso) as well as between three and five single origin filter options. It's challenging, but we love the variety and fluidity that this offers, rather than artificially creating a diverse offer list through altering our roast style or blending coffees together.
As well as our current coffees we put some other samples on the cupping table to bookmark the range we have available, with some 'no longer fresh' and some 'not quite ready' coffees providing some context for when we use the terms “fresh” and “seasonal”.
The London Coffee Festival is almost upon us once again.
As cafe owners, coffee lovers and roasters from across the country descend on East London, we'll be keeping the shutters at our Roastery in Bethnal Green up a little longer than usual on Friday 13th April from 5:00 p.m..
Providing a welcome break from the franticness of the festival, we'll be putting coffees from our current range down on the cupping table. You'll be able to taste these alongside some past favourites and a preview of some new arrivals as we seek to highlight our commitment to continually move with coffee’s seasonality.
All that, plus a few drinks and a whole host of conversations.
Find us at 29-43 Vyner Street, London, E2 9DQ.
We're looking forward to welcoming you.
Be sure to pick up your copy of the latest Caffeine Magazine, as I talk to David Burrows about Fairtrade certified coffee, why we don't buy it, and our focus on a cycle of quality instead. Additional insights from Steve Leighton and Tim Wendelboe make it an informative article for those confused about the role of certifications in specialty coffee today.
“I see better quality coffee and better prices for producers as being inextricably linked,” says Williams. “Without us committing to providing a reliable and appropriately priced market for the best quality coffees, we can’t expect farmers to go to the extra efforts and lengths that the production of that quality requires."
Caffeine Magazine is stocked at all Workshop Coffee Co. locations, and many other quality purveyors throughout the UK.
Coffee lovers in the UK are a lucky bunch. A recent upswell in the appreciation of great coffee, all around the country, means that there’s never been a better time to order a cup.
The press, blogs and social media all abound with stories of the latest cafes, roasters and, more recently, baristas who are putting energy and resource into improving this widely loved drink, celebrating them as talented harbingers of quality. And it’s true. A lot of work is required to take what is basically a handful of dried legumes, and turn them into a drink that warrants crossing town to taste.
But that quality that coffee lovers seek starts long before any roaster or barista is in the picture. The complexity, clarity and character of flavour that we now expect from roasters and cafes is not the product of the cleverest roasting, the fanciest espresso machine, or even the most ironically mustachioed barista.
Though many of us fail to appreciate it, the quality of what we look for in our daily coffee is established long before the beans arrive in Europe. It’s high time to remind ourselves that the coffee we love began the journey to us a long way away, as the seeds of a single ripe cherry, grown on a healthy coffee tree.
Just as we appreciate that the world’s best chefs are at the mercy of the producers that supply them, so too are roasters and baristas only capable of producing roasts and drinks of a quality befitting their ever-increasing price tag because of the care and diligent work of the world’s best coffee growers.
Coffee is a fickle and fragile fruit. As a tree, it’s susceptible to a wide range of diseases and attacks that can decimate crops: leaf rust, insect infestation and snap frosts to name just a few. During its preparation for export, if not dried correctly, coffee runs the risk of beginning to ferment and rot, resulting in a tainted and unsaleable product. Once dried and sitting in warehouses or on ships, the raw beans undergo organic degradation, turning woody, dry and stale. Even if all these risks are avoided, there’s still a chance that bandits will cut through warehouse locks, or hijack road transportation, and make off with a farmer’s entire year’s work.
Coffee production is hard and risky work, but it needn’t be thankless, too. In reality, it’s thanks to committed growers, millers and exporters that we as roasters and baristas have the opportunity to put that ever increasingly delicious coffee into your cup.
While it’s certainly true that the skill of baristas, and the quality of coffee being served has never been better, it’s important that as coffee lovers think beyond the barista, and give some thought to those responsible for growing our coffee.
When our freshly harvested lots arrive from Kenya and Ethiopia in a few weeks time, I’ll be reminding our baristas of my recent travels to farms there, and all the people that I met. And when customers thank our baristas for the great coffee they serve, I trust that they’ll remain humble and deferential, because we don’t magic up the quality in the customer’s drink, we’re merely a conduit that helps to maintain it from farm to cup.
Director of Operations
Easily one of the most gratifying comments we've received in a review, perfectly encapsulating everything we try to instil in our Baristas, thanks to the good folks at Londonist.
For those of you on the pulse, you may have noticed that we put a temporary stop on accepting any new wholesale customers. We thought we should take the time to explain the thinking behind this decision.
As you may have noticed from our ‘Where to Drink It’ blog posts, we are working with more and more exciting new cafes around the UK and also internationally. In recent weeks we have been fortunate enough to work with cafes and coffee bars in Oslo, Dublin, Budapest, Stockholm and even further afield. The feedback overall has been very positive and that is something we would like to be able to maintain.
However, as our presence in the coffee industry has grown we have begun to feel the strain. We pride ourselves on the quality and consistency of our coffee and would rather see these standards maintained than suffer at the expense of growing volume. We put a great deal of time and effort into sourcing outstanding green coffee and want to be sure we are always getting the most from it; for ourselves and for our wholesale partners. To do any less would be an injustice to all the care and the hundreds of man hours farmers have put into growing and producing their coffee.
At the moment we feel we can still maintain these high standards, but we are aware that any further growth without a change to our systems may impact upon quality. In terms of quality, first of all we mean the coffee, but secondly and importantly, we also mean that quality of work that our team enjoy. We aim to be a progressive and modern employer; overworking your team for the sake of profit is not a route we ever want to go down.
For those who are keen to stock our coffee at their cafes, restaurants or coffee bars, please do not fret. We are working towards expanding what we can offer and are confident that soon enough we will be opening new accounts again. In the meantime feel free to get in touch with us, as we are still very keen to have those conversations and continue to support those people who appreciate our coffee.
At 7 o'clock this morning, we opened the doors of our third location; our Holborn Coffeebar. Situated at the new Amazon Headquarters, but open to the public, we're looking forward to welcoming guests from 7:00am to 7:00pm, Monday to Friday.
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60a Holborn Viaduct
London, EC1A 2FD
A lovely little video of the Despacio Soundsystem event we helped with in December, featuring our very own Sara and Nico serving drinks (@ 0:33s).
For the longest time, we've had enquiries from around the world asking if and when we'd be able to ship our coffee outside the United Kingdom. And for an equally long time we've wanted to be able to accommodate.
We're very pleased to say that now, we can.
As of this morning, whether you're in Birmingham or Belarus, Uxbridge or Uganda, or any other place around the world, we can take your order, roast your coffee, and send it on.
What are you waiting for? Our Dispensary is open 24/7 at http://www.workshopcoffee.com.
Since April 2011, we at Workshop Coffee Co. have been dedicated to operating at the forefront of London’s coffee community; sourcing, roasting and serving the best coffee possible at our Clerkenwell and Marylebone locations. In March this year -- just six weeks from now -- we’ll be taking the next big step in our journey, opening our Holborn Coffeebar, located at the newly constructed Amazon Headquarters, situated at 60 Holborn Viaduct.
The 1,200 square foot, bisected store space will be dominated by a horseshoe-shaped bar clad in sixteen square metres of Calcutta marble and adorned with twin La Marzocco Linea PBs and an array of Mazzer grinders. A combination of Aeropress brewing, utilising Marco Uber boilers, as well as the addition of the best in Fetco batch brewing and a smattering of EK-43Ts will round out our coffee offering.
With the ability to draw a sliding, lattice-work wall closed through the centre of the bar, dividing the space into stand up coffeebar and a seated gathering area, companies will have the opportunity to hire a meeting or event room, complete with their own bar and Baristas.
A simple, clean and beautiful food offering, coupled with a wall of Workshop Coffee Co. retail coffee, brewers and merchandise will complete the product range. At the heart of the operation, as with everything we do, is our dedication to sourcing, roasting and serving the best coffee possible, to even more of our valued guests across the capital.
We're looking forward to seeing you,
James & Tim.