CoffeeSaturday Falls Back in Love With Cappuccino

When one great London coffee shop dared another great London coffee shop to park its espresso cart on its premises everyone’s first thought was smackdown. But the docking of Flat Cap, as Notes Music Coffee mobile units are known, at Prufrock Coffee on London’s Leather Lane was the main event of a “friendly” pop-up I organised to celebrate the release of Katie Parla’s Rome For Foodies Dining App and welcome back an old and much maligned favourite from Italy: the traditional cappuccino.

In the age of triple ristrettos and double-shot flat whites the once beloved cappuccino has hit bottom, dismissed by coffee geeks as all froth and no substance. With the failure of Italy, espresso’s spiritual home, to catch onto the third wave of higher quality coffee it has sometimes seemed as if all of the trad capp’s once beloved bubbles have been popped.

Reviving the traditional cappuccino with quality espresso from the UK’s best roasters seemed like a stretch, figuratively and, given the milk texturing techniques, literally. That’s why in planning the 29 October CoffeeSaturday La Dolce Vita Pop-Up I sought support for the baristas Fabio Ferreira of Notes and Jeremy Challender of Prufrock.

Sue Aron, Chloe Callow and Ian James joined me in a Roman biscotti bakeoff. Sue, the creative force behind The Art of Puddings, baked pizza ebraica, which is not pizza as we know it but rather a distinctive biscuit from Rome’s Jewish quarter studded with nuts and fruits. Chloe The Faerietale Foodie and I both prepared tozzetti, the biscotti that is Rome’s answer to almond (or hazelnut) cantuccini. And Ian of Pie For Brains won the bake-off by the narrowest of margins with his take on brutti ma buoni (“ugly but good”), those impossibly light almond meringues.

Trad Capp

Photo prufrock

prufrock

Photo flat cap

flat cap

Photo brutti ma buoni

brutti ma buoni

Photo pizza dolce

pizza dolce

Photo tozzetti chloe

tozzetti chloe

Photo tozzetti dan

tozzetti dan

Photo fabio genaro

fabio genaro

Photo snapper

snapper

Photo pour

pour

Photo trad capp midpour

trad capp midpour

Photo trad capp drip

trad capp drip

Photo david

david

Photo trad capp pour close

trad capp pour close

Photo tradcapp

tradcapp

Photo katie

katie

Photo bikers

bikers

Photo dom

dom

Photo bakeoff

bakeoff

Photo negroni weigh in

negroni weigh in

Photo jeremy al taglio

jeremy al taglio

Photo pizza portrait

pizza portrait

Guest of honour Katie Parla, creator of the new and indispensible Rome Dining App, provided an expert voice from the Eternal City. She’s my go-to source on all things edible and drinkable in Rome. Since I can’t always have Katie around I’m happy to have her app.

The La Dolce Vita pop-up concluded with a negroni pizza party. Pizzaiolo Herbie Leonelli of London’s great Datte Foco brought over Roman-style pizza al taglio.

So, yes, the 60-plus who signed up for this CoffeeSaturday pop-up did fall back in love with the traditional cappuccino. But, yes, the traditional cappuccino did have a lot of help.

About Daniel

Food critic and events leader Daniel Young is the "Young" behind young&foodish

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