Gwilym Davies has sworn off lattes and flat whites. The 2009 World Barista Champion has also removed cappuccinos and cortados from the menu of his Prufrock Coffee trolley at London’s Present. Gibraltar, SG-120 and all the other groovy terms for an espresso with hot milk have been banished from his vocabulary. Henceforce all his milk-marbleised coffees will be identified by their cup sizes: 4 oz, 6 oz or 8 oz. [Read more...]
One shortcut to following the global coffee scene is to track the movements of Tim Styles, such is the Australian barista’s knack for turning up at seminal shops at the right time. He’s worked stints at Ray Cafe in Melbourne, Joe the Art of Coffee in New York, Flat White in London, Intelligentsia in Venice (California) and Penny University, the pop-up brew bar in London’s Shoreditch which popped down on the 30th of July. [Read more...]
“The British capital won’t be a coffee capital,” I wrote in April 2009, “until the taste for excessively milky coffees recedes and the best coffee shops look beyond espresso to filter- and siphon-brewed coffees. I’d also like to see more coffee shops sourcing and roasting their own beans.”
One year on, those conditions have been met and the wishes of the growing legion of local cafenatics has been granted: London’s great coffee moment has come. [Read more...]
Antipodean know-how and joviality invigorate the landscape for the top 10 coffee shops in London. Baristas from New Zealand and Australia transform waves of rich espresso and smoothly textured steamed milk into lattes so velvety you can barely see a bubble. Two Kiwi imports, Ozone Coffee and Allpress Espresso, have recently opened roasteries and coffee shops in London.
Yet it’s home-grown talent that represents the cream of the crema: Two of the last four World Barista Champions are British and work in London: 2007 winner James Hoffmann is co-owner of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, an artisan roaster supplying beans to half of the top 10 London coffee shops. 2009 champion Gwilym Davies co-operates the Prufrock Coffee Shop on Leather Lane, now the best coffee shop in London, as well as the “Prufrock” coffee trolley he and partner Jeremy Challender rolled into the menswear boutique Present. And Monmouth Coffee maintains world-class standards for sourcing, roasting and brewing beans while supporting small-batch indie roasters just getting into the act. [Read more...]
10:20 am, April 10, Nude Espresso, Hanbury St., London: A fellow cafenatic admires the proportions of his flat white (what New Zealanders and Australians call their less-milky latte). He laments that lattes back home in Eastern Europe are whipped-cream-topped confections served in a short-stemmed, ring-handled glass. I recognize that glass as a mazagran, which, like the dollop of schlagobers, is still served in the classic coffeehouses of Mitteleuropa. But only now, in what I will henceforth refer to as my Good Friday eureka moment, do I grasp that the mazagran holds the key to a mystery that has baffled thousands for decades. Okay, perhaps that’s a slight overstatement. Let’s call it a mystery that has baffled me for months: How did the eggnog liqueur coffee drink featured in the grand cafés of Prague as well as my new book, Coffee Love, get the name Alžírská káva – “Algerian coffee?” [Read more...]