UPDATE: Penny University to pop down 30 July.
If you want to see a Londoner famous for his temperature control get a little hot and bothered, just tell James Hoffmann in the most noncommittal tone you can muster you thought one of his featured brews from Square Mile Coffee Roasters was “fine” or “okay”. Better still, tell the 2007 World Barista Champion that, upon reflection, you suppose his coffee shop in London’s Shoreditch, Penny University, “fills a hole”.
“Ambivalence,” says Hoffmann, “is a terrible thing”.
Conversely, saying you positively hate his prized Blackburn Estate coffee from Tanzania is likelier than not to make him smile and get his attention. A puritanical shrine to brewed coffee that deprives its would-be disciples of espresso, milk and sugar, Penny University is meant to provoke. And so Hoffmann will take a “definitely hate” over a “sort of like” any day, even if devotion and love are the rightful responses to this groundbreaking, unplugged, pop-up coffee shop. [Read more...]