Part of our tenth anniversary celebrations, we're proud to introduce the Workshop Coffee Professional Community – our industry purchase programme. A new initiative based on old principles, it's one way in which we hope to continue building relationships with those within the specialty coffee industry.
2021 marks our tenth year seeking out, roasting and showcasing exceptional coffee from our home here in London.
At once exciting and at the same time entirely arbitrary, the movement from single to double-digits has us reflecting on just how much we have learnt since we began roasting coffee. We’ve encountered numerous and ongoing firsts along the way, spanning new coffees, origins, locations, roasters, team members, partnerships and more.
In the pursuit of progress it can be all too easy to get swept up in its momentum. However, change has only been a constant for us in allowing us to hone in and focus further on the unwavering tenets we strive to adhere to.
We’ve always aimed to keep a set of guiding principles squarely in our sights: a commitment to the people that grow and prepare the product we’re lucky enough to source, roast and serve; an unwavering focus on offering a continuously improving, consistently delicious product; a dedication to building lasting relationships, be they with farmers and producers at origin or our wholesale partners across the world.
As well as taking the occasional moment to reflect over the coming months, it will be these guiding principles that we’re keeping at the front of our minds as we begin our second decade. Using this milestone as an opportunity to double down on our beliefs, we’ll be continuing to look ahead, paving the way for the next ten years (and beyond) of Workshop Coffee.
To kick this process off, we’re proud to introduce a new initiative based on old principles.
The best relationships rely on a cycle of open communication and accessibility, which is why we’ve always sought out those who share our values. Whether team members, producing partners or those looking to introduce exceptional coffee to a new community, great people doing great things in their own areas doesn’t just align with our own approach – it provides us with another opportunity to learn and improve.
The Workshop Coffee Professional Community is one way in which we hope to continue establishing and building relationships with those within the specialty coffee industry. Providing exclusive discounts to those working with the product we love, our aim is to ensure our seasonal range of single origin coffees be as accessible as possible regardless of your place or position within the industry.
We’re looking forward to sharing more projects and products we’ll be kicking off in our tenth year over the following weeks. Until then, you can discover more about our Professional Community and submit your application here.
Easter weekend is approaching quietly, but quickly, which means our roastery in Bethnal Green will be taking a couple of well-deserved days of rest.
As such, we will not be roasting or dispatching coffee on Friday 10th or Monday 13th April. All orders received between these dates will be dispatched on Tuesday 14th April, at which point we'll return to normal, dispatching coffee, hardware and subscription orders every day of the working week.
Until then, we continue to turn orders around quickly and offer a range of shipping choices that include next working day options. However, please note that all of our carriers are currently experiencing extraordinarily high volumes, which may impact the speed in which your package arrives.
Another brilliantly busy year is hurtling towards its end and so we'll be taking a few days off to recuperate, celebrate and spend time with friends and loved ones.
As always, we'll be making the most of the only three days that Workshop Coffee is closed in its entirety – Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day – but will be back with you as normal from Thursday 2nd January 2020.
A full lis of our festive opening times, roasting days and Online Shop Christmas shipping cut-offs can be found below.
An enormous thanks to you, our customers and partners, for your support throughout the year. We hope you enjoy a well-deserved break and look forward to seeing and serving you more exceptional coffee in 2019.
Wishing you all the very best from everyone here at Workshop Coffee.
Marylebone + Fitzrovia Coffeebars
Tuesday 24th December: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 25th + Thursday 26th December: Closed
Friday 27th - Tuesday 31st December: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 1st January: Closed
Thursday 2nd January: 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Workshop Coffee at The Pilgrm
Tuesday 24th December: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 25th + Thursday 26th December: Closed
Friday 27th - Tuesday 31st December: Open 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 1st January: Closed
Thursday 2nd January: 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Workshop Coffee at White Collar Factory
Tuesday 24th December: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday 25th December - Wednesday 1st January: Closed
Thursday 2nd January: 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Monday 23rd December: Open and roasting as usual (although, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the exact delivery date)
Tuesday 24th - 29th December: Closed
30th + 31st December: Open, roasting and dispatching (although, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the exact delivery date)
Wednesday 1st January: Closed
Thursday 2nd January: Open as usual
Order by 7:00 a.m. Friday 20th December to guarantee pre Christmas delivery in the UK.
When well-sourced, carefully roasted and properly brewed, coffee speaks of the place it was grown, where the pace of life is generally much slower than that of those drinking the end product. Many years of work have gone into your cup of coffee, and in our opinion, it's worth spending a few minutes to prepare a cup and a few more savouring the flavour.
One way that the ‘specialty’ coffee industry has established itself in the market place is as something 'other'. Quality-oriented coffeeshops are defined against a backdrop of high street chains and those stuck in the second wave. The wares of a ‘specialty’ coffee roaster square up against anonymised blends comprised of cheap, defective and typically carbonised coffees from commercial coffee roasters, available for a few pounds in your local supermarket, often replete with FairTrade and Organic logos. Through brand tribalism and a shared language and aesthetic, we have defined ourselves in opposition to what else is available. Yes, we can discuss cup scores and defect counts, but ultimately ‘specialty’ coffee is experiential, emphasising flavour, provenance and quality over convenience, frugality and affordability.
If you want something special and delicious, time and skill are as necessary ingredients as high quality beans and brewing equipment. If you want something less costly, more everyday, and you aren't so fussy about your morning cup, cheaper coffees are available, often coming ready-ground to save you some time. And, if you value convenience over everything else, at the expense of affordability and flavour, you have instant and pod coffees.
These are the antithesis of special.
Pods and instant coffee fall into an even lower category than the cheap whole bean and pre-ground coffee options; they're not even proper coffee. Watching with growing concern at a recent muddying of the waters between specialty and commodity coffee, we now see 'specialty' coffee roasters introducing certain products into their own ranges that, for us, cannot be considered specialty.
‘Specialty coffee solutions' that remove the need for cleaning up, along with any effort or skill in coffee brewing, are becoming increasingly prevalent. You can buy 'specialty' instant coffee, 'specialty' coffee pods and single-serve drip packs and coffee ‘teabags’ that you simply dispose of when you're done. No grinding, no mess, no fuss, and undoubtedly an inferior tasting cup of coffee at the end of it.
To be clear, we're not a group of curmudgeonly Luddites looking to preserve the status quo and neither are we against our industry pushing the boundaries. 'Specialty' coffee has always been progressive by design and delivering quality coffee is an ongoing, iterative process underpinned by continual change and improvement, driven by experimentation and learning. However, it needs to be said that these apparent advancements and embracing of technology developed for convenience and commodity coffee are detracting from the value of 'specialty' coffee. A subpar and innately compromised product is being peddled at an inflated price tag.
First addressing the subpar and compromised product, 'specialty coffee pods' and 'specialty instant' are ludicrous in the same way that 'Gourmet Microwave Meals' are; the promise of something special is instantly undermined by the delivery mechanism. The calibre of the beans being used to create instant and pod coffees is not retained via the process of pre-grinding and dosing into pods or through freeze-drying brewed coffee. To claim to be delivering both quality and convenience when these product lines are introduced onto a 'specialty' roaster's offer list is equivalent to the promise that pots of instant noodles can provide a comparable flavour experience gained when eating a bowl of slow-cooked bone broth and hand-pulled noodles. Convenient food products don't claim this, accepting their mediocrity as a trade-off for convenience, but grandiose claims are being made about the quality of the wares in ‘specialty’ roasters’ 'convenience' coffee ranges.
Onto the inflated price tag. Whilst rebranding a coffee pod a 'capsule' may make the price of 55p sting a little less, for just 5.4g actual coffee that's a price of £101.85/kg. If you splurge for the 85p capsule, you're spending £157.40/kg. That's equivalent to £25.46 or £39.35 for a 250g retail bag of beans. As difficult to comprehend as the high prices is the idea that 5.4g coffee is a reasonable dose of coffee to prepare a single cup.
Lacking enough raw ingredient to create good flavour intensity, body or to give the drinker the caffeinated effect they seek from their brew, means that a coffee pod’s size inevitably mars the discerning coffee drinker’s experience.
'Specialty instant' is even more costly. It can cost upwards of £3.10 for a sachet designed for 250g water. You'd need 16.8g to produce 250g brewed coffee in a pourover using a typical brew ratio of 60g/L. That’s the equivalent of around 15 ‘serves’ per 250g bag of beans. The equivalent cost of a 250g bag of coffee in terms of instant, in this case, would be approximately £46 per bag or £184/kilo.
We should not applaud convenience at the expense of quality, especially when it is also at the expense of expense itself.
In today’s world, many of us would sooner waste money than time because the latter feels increasingly finite. It's something we understand, but we also believe it can be overcome. After all, it takes less time to grind your coffee than it does for your kettle to boil, and if you want to enjoy a delicious, freshly brewed cup of coffee whilst remaining hands-off, there are fantastic brewers that fit the bill, such as the 50-year-old MoccaMaster.
Extremely convenient coffee options like instant and pods create problems when they're embraced by the ‘specialty’ coffee industry. Coffee becomes just one more ingredient that people become more detached from. We, as an industry, shouldn't be encouraging people to stop drinking 'proper coffee'. The dumbing-down enabled through offering convenient, fast foods means we're eradicating the skills and understanding required to purchase and consume a whole host of ingredients consciously. We also run the risk of seeing these sorts of products retraining a person's palate to accept and tolerate stale tasting goods. In this case, as in many others, faster is not always better. If you're looking for nothing more than a quick medicinal caffeine hit there are far more efficient and cost-effective ways of doing so.
If you haven't got five minutes to make a cup of coffee, grind the beans and drip water through the grounds, then you definitely don't have the further ten minutes to enjoy it. If speed is critical, buy a pod machine, but make peace with the fact that what you are drinking is not special.
However, if you do want to carve out a niche in your day for enjoyment and moving slowly, then here's a link to our V60 brew guide.
At the end of September, Japanese outdoor lifestyle brand, Snow Peak, announced that they’ll be opening their European flagship store in London’s St. James’s Market. Alongside their array of high quality clothing, camping equipment and gear, their first ever European location will also be operating a full-service café in the three-story store, which will proudly serve Workshop Coffee.
Having spent several months working closely together on both the design of the coffeebar and the equipment it will hold, Snow Peak will be pulling shots of our seasonal espressos using a combination of Nuova Simonelli Mythos One grinders and a 2-Group La Marzocco Linea Classic AV. The team will also be showcasing our filter coffees using their own range of titanium coffee brewing hardware to make clean, sweet and fresh cups brewed as pourovers.
From the moment we began speaking with Snow Peak’s Vice President, Lisa Yamai, the parallels between their approach and our own were apparent and abundant. As we continued our conversations and gained a greater insight into their approach, we realised those similarities ran to the very core of both companies.
As well as sharing a passion for things done well, Snow Peak are in continual pursuit of better products. To do this, they're forever tweaking and iterating on what has come before with the aim of making something better.
Their desire to inspire more people to enjoy the outdoors also struck a chord with us. We're always looking for ways that offer people access to the exceptional coffee wherever and whenever they choose to drink it. Snow Peak's beautifully designed, carefully considered outdoor brewing gear is an exciting way of helping people to do exactly that.
We're incredibly excited to begin working together and know exciting things lie ahead in the coming months.
Snow Peak’s London store opens on Friday 25th October and will be located at 16a Regent Street, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 4PH. If you can’t wait to visit their first European store, their UK online shop is open now.
We’ve teamed up with our friends and partners at tokyobike and Kinto Japan to bring you the chance to win an incredibly covetable commuter package.
From an ongoing to supply of coffee, to everything you need to brew and transport it, the prize will also include your own two-wheeled transportation in the form of a brand new tokyobike.
The lucky winner will receive:
A 12-month Workshop Coffee subscription, straight through your letterbox each week
A place on one of our Home Brewing Masterclasses for you and a friend.
A tokyobike Classic Sport Limited Edition
A white 350ml Kinto Japan Travel Tumbler
A Kinto Japan 4-Cup Brewer Stand
With a combined value of over £1,500, entry is simple: just enter your details below between now and Sunday 8th September.
We wish you the best of luck.Win A Covetable Coffee Commuter Package
We’re always looking for new ways that we can help people to brew the best coffee outside of our coffeebars. It’s the reason we began hosting our hands-on, Saturday morning Home Brewing Masterclasses over six years ago and which now take place at our Roastery in Bethnal Green. It’s also why we share our hard-won experiences with a range of brewing equipment with you, be that via thorough testing in the Roastery or taking some of that equipment into environments it’s less than familiar with.
In making this information available, we hope to better equip coffee lovers with the knowledge and tools they need to enjoy exceptional coffee whatever their level and wherever they might find themselves.
Most recently, we’ve been working on augmenting our Online Brew Guides, aiming to make them even more useful for home brewers. Pairing up with London-based voice consultancy and design studio, Vixen Labs, we’ve spent the past couple of months bringing our step-by-step guides to life as voice-enabled audio guides and are proud to introduce you to them.
Introduced by our Head of Quality, James Bailey, the Workshop Coffee Alexa Skill is now available to download and use from the Amazon Alexa Skills Store and contains audio brew guides for our favourite brew methods: AeroPress, Clever Dripper, French Press, MoccaMaster and V60.
Much of the information outlined will be familiar to those that have used the online guides, as we walk through the required equipment, ingredients and crucial steps involved in creating a consistently delicious cup of coffee. However, there is one particularly big, and very exciting, development that the audio guides bring with them: their hands-off nature. Conversing with an Alexa smart speaker, listeners’ hands are entirely freed up to grind, pour and plunge as they listen along and prepare their brew. This, we hope, makes them even more useful to even more people.
The guides also contain a number of additional features.
Built-in, voice-activated timers mean you can be sure you’re perfectly dialled in to experience the vibrant, nuanced flavours of your chosen coffee (whilst remaining in control of when said timer starts). The Alexa Skill also contains a tasting tips section, where James explains what to look out for in each cup, helping listeners to better understand what it is they love about some of their favourite coffees and like a little less about others.
Available to download from the Amazon Alexa Skills Store now, you can find it by saying “Alexa, open Workshop Coffee”. Alternatively, follow this link.
With special thanks to Jen and James of Vixen Labs for their support, help and expertise in bringing this project to life.
From Friday 26th April until Monday 29th April 2019, you'll find us brewing up filter coffee in Covent Garden alongside New England-based running brand, Tracksmith.
Dedicated to championing the pursuit of personal excellence, Tracksmith seeks to celebrate, support and add to running's distinct culture. Their pop-up Trackhouse in Seven Dials, which marks the brands first ever physical presence in the UK, is an embodiment of that commitment. Not only will it showcase their limited edition London Collection and other clothing staples; it's also bringing together the rituals that surround the sport. Conversation and conviviality will be facilitated by freshly brewed coffee and cold beers.
The Trackhouse will be playing host to shakeout runs and panel discussions throughout the weekend. We'll also be there fuelling running's era and facilitating conversations between and with visitors. Showcasing our tangy, sweet Ecuadorian filter, Felipe Abad, we'll be using Kinto Japan's 2-Cup Brewer Stands to brew delicious cups throughout the pop-up.
Their first visit to the UK couldn't be better timed, as tens of thousands of runners descend on London to take part in and support one of the biggest running events in the global calendar: London Marathon. We're excited to be a part of Tracksmith's inaugural visit to our home city and hope to see you there.
Coffeebar opening hours:
Friday 26th April - 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday 27th April - 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Monday 29th April - 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Trackhouse opening hours:
Thursday 25th April - 12:00 p.m. - 8:00p.m.
Friday 26th April - 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 27th April - 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Sunday 28th April - 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Monday 29th April - 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: 9-11 Short's Gardens, Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9AT.
For more information on the pop-up and the activities happening around it, visit the Tracksmith website.
Saturday 6th April 2019 saw the return of The 5th Floor Track Day for the fourth consecutive year.
Kicking off race season for many of London's track cycling teams, the event was hosted once again at Herne Hill Velodrome -- one of the oldest cycling tracks in the world. Built in 1891, the track is no stranger to organised races and large crowds, having played host to thousands of cycling events over the years, including the track cycling event in the 1948 Olympics.
On this particularly grey Spring afternoon, though, the atmosphere was as much convivial as competitive. Music, catch-ups, beer and, of course, coffee provided the backdrop to an afternoon of fast, furious, but ultimately fun, bike racing. It also saw the official launch of The 5th Floor's 2019 kit.
A snapshot of the day can be viewed below, courtesy of our very own Mikey Gatineau.
It's hard to believe that it's been half a decade since we opened what was, in 2013, our second ever coffeebar.
World-class in terms of its design, its levels of customer service and the quality of the tens of thousands of coffees we've served over the past five years, we had high hopes for what we'd be able to do in a new area of the city.
However, the broader building development has never quite delivered on its initial promises of becoming a thriving commuter hub, surrounded by a host of exciting, like-minded operators. This has, in turn, made it increasingly difficult to justify the site long-term and so we've made the difficult, but sensible, decision to close the doors for the final time on Friday 8th March, 2019.
We're immensely grateful to the Holborn community and our wonderful cohort of regular guests for joining us over the years and are sad to be saying goodbye. We hope to see as many of you as possible for at least one last brew over the next week.
In the meantime, we are actively looking for new coffeebar locations both in the area and further afield. The Holborn team will be joining the teams at our other London coffeebar locations, as well as our growing Wholesale Training Team and our Masterclasses will now take place at our Roastery in Bethnal Green.
All that remains is to thank the Holborn team, past and present, for their enthusiasm and hard work on the Viaduct over the years. And, of course, to thank you, our guests, for your continued support.
The closest coffeebar to our Holborn location is Workshop Coffee at White Collar Factory, less than one mile away. You can see our full list of cofffeebars here. If you have any questions or require any additional information on our Holborn Coffeebar, please contact us here.