Page 1


How and when did London become the European coffee capital? Page 34



London’s finest coffee shops create unique combinations especially for us Page 12


Take your espresso to the next level with our grouptest of quality grinders Page 18





Welcome to the launch issue of Caffeine

07 TH E G RI N D

The latest news, views and brews


London’s top independent coffee shops reveal their favourite recipes to enjoy with their favourite blends


Your chance to win a years worth of freshly roasted coffee from

1 8 H O M E G RI N D ERS

We put three of the best home grinders through an in-depth test



We drop into the newly renovated Rapha Cycle Club in Soho – a chic yet cosy temple to pedal power and great coffee

28 S N A P S H OT

A photo story on the art of café society


How to turn your home into a haven with the perfect kit for making a lifetime of great brews for less than £50

34 NEW Z E A L A N D C OFFEE I N VA S ION And why Britain welcomed it with open arms

38 FI N D U S

Looking for a copy of Caffeine

39 TH E K N O C K B OX

Experiencing caffeine withdrawal in West London


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Welcome to the first issue of Caffeine Over the past few years we’ve witnessed a huge change in the UK’s coffee habits, and have enjoyed the development of coffee appreciation from adrenaline kick to gourmet drink to be savoured. Now a bold new generation of independent coffee shops and their artisan suppliers are striving for quality over sheer profit to the benefit of everyone involved in the supply chain – especially the thirsty “Cafficionados”, as we like to call ourselves here at Caffeine HQ. Coffee is still an affordable luxury, even in these belt-tightening times. In this launch issue we explore how London metamorphosed from the tea capital to the coffee capital of Europe with a little help from our friends in New Zealand (see page 34), and how to reproduce great coffee in your own home without spending a fortune on gadgets (page 30). Plus, the latest developments on the coffee scene, the chance to win free tickets to the London Coffee Festival (page 11) and a whole year’s supply of freshly roasted beans delivered to your door – that’s right, a whole year (page 33). That should keep your mind and digestion on top form! See you soon for Issue 2

Scott, Katia and Nick

Follow us on twitter @caffeinemag Like us on


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ESPRESSO BONGO Caffeine and creativity go hand in hand, but when

London-based architect and art director Edy Piro took on a “night job” as a DJ he needed an extra hit to get him through the night and back at his desk the next day. Edy was born in Salerno in southern Italy and has lived in London since 2002. During a visit to Portland, Oregon, he was very impressed by the café scene there and saw that there were other ways of drinking coffee – most Italians being very traditional and conservative in their coffee habits. In his spare time he started sourcing and distributing his own coffee brand, Terrone & Co, which he founded in 2010. He is the only Italian coffee producer in the UK to roast his own beans in Italy – in a refurbished 1950s Vittoria machine with a customised flame that doesn’t hit the beans directly. The result is a slightly more fruity and sweet blend than you might expect from an Italian coffee. Edy’s labels reveal the exact proportions of each blend and his cups are ordered by size, not name: 2, 4 , 6, and 8 oz determine whether you’re ordering a neat espresso or a flat white. In the past, Southern Italians were dismissed as “terrone” – “workers of the earth” – but, proud of the region’s heritage, Edy decided to turn the phrase on its head. It now has a growing fan base and won a gold star in the UK Great Taste Award, 2012. Terrone is mainly distributed in restaurants but you can also buy it from Terrone & Co, Edy’s espresso bar open every Saturday in Netil Market on Westgate Street, just round the corner from Broadway Market in Hackney, East London or from the Italian deli, Melograno Alimentari, on Clarendon Road in Holland Park ( Alternatively, have a cup after your pizza at the Sacro Cuore pizzeria on Chamberlyne Road in Kensal Rise ( or the Santa Maria Pizzeria on Saint Mary’s Road, Ealing ( From £5.99 for 250g;

THE LONDON COFFEE FESTIVAL For three days in April, Brick Lane hosts the London Coffee Festival, and we have 5 pairs of tickets worth £19 a pair - to give away! To win, follow us on Twitter (@CaffeineMag), tweet us a message with the hashtag #LCFCaffeineMag by 31 March. First 5 plucked from the nest win two tickets to the Festival. The Festival is where brands and independents exchange news, views, and brews, while raising funds for Project Waterfall to deliver clean-water projects in coffee-producing African countries. As well as hosting the annual UK Barista Championships, the Festival encompasses tastings; roastings; demonstrations of the latest brewing techniques; advice on setting up a coffee shop; music; street food; artisan speciality cheese, meats, breads and much, much more! London Coffee Festival, 25-28 April (industry only, 25-26 April), Old Truman Brewery, 15 Hanbury Street, Brick Lane, London E1 (020 7691 8836;; 10am-7pm; tickets from £9.50.

WE’LL SQUEEZE IT OUT OF YOU Making espresso has always required a lot of kit, and as beautifully sleek and increasingly compact as those espresso machines are, there’s very little out there that can be described as portable. Thankfully, a London-based firm has created the ROK, a truly manageable and environmentally-friendly espresso maker. It doesn’t need electricity and relies on nothing more than your own elbow grease to create enough pressure to push the water though the coffee grinds. Plus, being hand powered allows you to control the extraction to perfection. Originally marketed as the Presso, this new model is beefed up, made from engine-grade metal and virtually indestructable! Now you can book a fortnight in the sun and still get your daily caffeine fix without the extra 20kg baggage allowance... £129;


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Former President of the United States, Ronald Reagan



No electricity, no engine, no noise and a perfect cup of coffee… Now that’s what we call environmentally friendly! Rolling onto our city streets this year is the Velopresso – an ingenious coffee-vending trike with a unique pedal-driven grinder, gas-fired lever espresso machine and – the cycling barista will be happy to hear – a configuration that lets you operate the machinery from the saddle. The science bit? Velopresso is all about grind-on-demand, so a comfortable pedal of 80–100 rpm creates 200–250 rpm at the conical burrs and never overheats the beans. A traditional 14g double shot dosed direct to the portafilter is about 5 seconds of gentle pedalling, and an 18g double shot takes around 8 seconds. This compact stainless steel and aluminium coffee chariot also incorporates plumbing; storage for water, milk, beans, cups and tools; and its designers – Royal College of Art alumni Amos Field Reid and Lasse Oiva – are working on a burner that will eventually run on ethanol fuel derived from used coffee grinds. Well done, boys - we want one!


Is your barista still pouring the same old latte art? Store Street Espresso’s Chris Weaver ups the ante for 2013


A four-stage tulip with a double heart at it’s crown. An enchanting yet simple twist on a classically symmetrical design.


This swan with outstretched wings (or peacock with fanned tail, to some) is a challenging but rewarding design to add to your repertoire.


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An offset rosetta that curves at the top to connect with a heart. It will always bring a smile to the face of your guests.



OTHER Imagine if your favourite cup was served with food specially made to go with it… Taking coffee connoisseurship to another level, Jennie Milsom asked three cafés to come up with menu pairings. Do try these at home! ROGER RICHARDS


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Ross Brown, owner of Browns of Brockley

FILTER COFFEE MADE FROM LA LAGUNILLA CUP OF EXCELLENCE #3, PRODUCED BY ANDRES MARTINEZ LEON, ROASTED BY SQUARE MILE, PAIRED WITH PECAN AND HAZELNUT BUTTER WITH HUCKLEBERRY JAM ON TOASTED RYE BREAD “Nine times out of ten I’ll drink filter coffee. I brewed this with the Hario Pour Over Chemex, a standard 60-gramme of coffee to a litre, using reverse osmosis filtered water at 96ºC with a contact time of about four-and-a-half minutes. “What I find remarkable is that this coffee is so true to its description on the pack. I really do get the chocolate and the aftertaste is really plummy. When it gets down to about 50ºC you get the hazelnuts. It’s clean and has a beautiful depth of flavour, so I wanted to pair it with something subtle. “We often make our own butter using cream from Northiam Dairy. Sometimes the cream’s so thick when we get it in, it already looks like butter. I blitzed the nuts, toasted them off in the oven, then infused the cream with them overnight. The nuts are strained out, leaving


some graininess in the cream, which then gets whisked up into butter. “Spread the nut butter onto the toast and you’ve got the hazelnuts again and a nice tang from the rye. The jam is huckleberry – we brought it back from the farmers’ market in Portland when we were last in the States. It’s quite sharp, but again works with the plumminess of the coffee. “Sadly the Lagunilla’s too expensive to serve in the café – it would be about £5 a cup – but I’d really like to create a coffee mixed with a nut butter. People don’t like to mess around with espresso, but it’s not so different from making a latte.” Browns of Brockley, 5 Coulgate Street, Brockley, London SE4 (020 8692 0722)

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Jared Bryant, head chef at Kaffeine

“Cascara is the husk of the coffee cherry that you brew in the same way as tea. This one has some apricot notes and is more fruity than some. It might be a drink, but the cascara at Kaffeine is all to do with the kitchen. I cook it down for twoand-a-half hours with some watermelon, pressed apples, dried chilli, cardamom and mint, then let the liquid seep through muslin overnight. What you get is an essence, like a cordial. We finish it with some sparkling water and serve it over ice. Cascara has a really potent amount of caffeine – one glass is maybe the same as three coffees. Have too much and you’ll wake up in a cold sweat, panting, at 1am. It’s Kaffeine’s Red Bull. “For the salad, I make up a paste of ginger, cumin, paprika, garlic and coriander and mix it with lemon, salt and low-fat Greek yoghurt and use it to marinate chicken thighs overnight. Then I grill them under a high heat and combine with lettuce leaves, chilli, a mint dressing and pomello – a fruit like a grapefruit, but that’s not as bitter and has more sweetness. The chilli in the sparkling cascara adds a fieriness – similar to a ginger beer – and the mint is cooling. There’s a salty sweetness going on in the salad but the cascara isn’t too sweet, so it cleanses the palate as you eat it. That’s why it all balances so nicely. It’s my ideal lunch.”


Kaffeine, 66 Great Titchfield Street, Fitzrovia, London W1 (020 7580 6755;


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Fabio Ferreira, co-owner of Notes

AN ESPRESSO MADE FROM SWEETSHOP BY SQUARE MILE PAIRED WITH A 28-MONTH AGED PARMESAN CHEESE AND CHESTNUT HONEY “When I first came to the UK, having cheese as a dessert was really weird. I grew up in Brazil, where we’d normally have cheese for breakfast. That’s definitely my Grandmother’s style. When I was younger, the only way I could drink coffee was with cheese, so this pairing brings back lovely memories. In Brazil, speciality coffee makes up just a tiny percentage of the coffee market. Most people drink ‘brush coffee’ – literally the green beans that are swept from the floor and roasted. Everything there has a market for roasting, but brush coffee is really bitter and smells mouldy – really disgusting, actually, like an old shoe – but we’d drink heaps of filter brush coffee with loads of sugar in tiny espresso cups. “I wanted to pair an espresso with a hard cheese and some honey. Just as the Italians like to have

Parmesan with a syrupy balsamic, chestnut honey also works really well with it. For this to work with a coffee, it needs to be an espresso with acidity. You’re taking something so sweet – the honey – and adding an acid. We’ve been serving Sweetshop at Notes – brewing 19 grammes for 28 seconds – and it has amazing acidity. “I’d taste this combination all together at the same time. Dip the cheese in the honey, put it in your mouth and take a sip of espresso. The honey breaks the acidity in the espresso whilst the cheese is very savoury and has a lovely creaminess. The Parmesan, espresso and honey is basically a dessert on a very small plate. If you finish your meal like this, it’s a very good ending.” Notes, 31 St Martin’s Lane, London WC2 (020 7240 0424;

Jennie Milsom is the owner of With Jam and Bread (386 Lee High Road, Lee Green, London SE12; 020 8318 4040; and author of Café Life London (£12.99, Haus Publishing; available from The Armchair Traveller at the bookHaus,


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Ground rules

For great espresso at home, you need a good burr grinder. We asked Dave Corby to put the industry’s teeth to the test with a carefully selected shortlist GARY SMITH

hen you buy quality beans from a respected independent roaster, it’s extraordinary to taste the fantastic flavour and fuller, clearer, cleaner cup from a quality grinder, whether you’re using a “prosumer” espresso machine, French press or drip coffee system. I tested three grinders – the Ascaso i1, Eureka Mignon and Mahlkönig Vario. All were brand new, so I’ve made an educated guess about their long-term performance. I’ve also compared them to my Mazzer Mini E, bought in 2008, whose burrs are at 40% of their service life and which I modified to reduce grind retention and prevent clumping. The Mazzer is professional level and now costs more than £500, so the comparison is a bit unfair, although some coffee enthusiasts might consider it a base-level grinder. Although grinders can cost thousands of



pounds, the home user can happily spend under £300. There are many grinders on the market but, as coffee equipment supplier Bella Barista says, a lot are “too cheap and not good enough to stock”, and I’ve not found an inexpensive grinder with acceptable results – especially on espresso machines – for less than £200, especially when it begins to wear. (See page 32 for tips on budget brews.) With all the grinders except the Vario, I used a portafilter insert to reduce the quantity of grounds falling on the counter. (You can make a quick insert by forming a strip of thin card into a circle and sealing with sticky tape.) In every test, prior to pulling the shot I stirred the ground coffee in the portafilter for an even distribution of particles and better extraction. Without the stir, extraction seemed a little variable, which I attribute to fines particles settling during the infusion of the coffee puck.

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Left to right, Eureka Mignon, Ascaso i1 steel and Mahlkรถnig Vario


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The fabulous bicycle boys are all heading to Soho, where this enticing cafĂŠ and cycling emporium presents the best kit for your bike and your brew... GLEN BURROWS CAFFEINE -

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Left: The main café area at Rapha in London’s Soho. Top: The Brewer Street entrance. Far right: Food for champions – the fig rolls and banana loaf were devised with nutrition in mind. Right: Semi-formal tailoring meets city riding with this single-breasted jacket. Inset below: Classic cycling caps displayed beside the latest equipment for your home brew

them complete the gruelling stages. Eddie Merckx, perhaps the greatest cyclists of all time, was sponsored by the Italian coffee-machine manufacturer Faema, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that luxury cycling brand Rapha has extended its remit from clothing to coffee, bringing its stylish brand values to a new café and retail space on Brewer Street in Soho. The UK’s first permanent Rapha Cycle Club was designed by British firm Brinkworth. Refreshingly, the interior does not follow the ubiquitous trend for a pseudo-bohemian aesthetic of exposed lightbulbs and stripped wooden floorboards. Rather, it has more in common with a mechanic’s workshop, with a monochrome palette of cool metallic greys with white walls and industrial lighting. This concept even extends to the staff uniform of black Rapha branded workshop aprons. The shop and café blend seamlessly together, so that you can see all Rapha’s wares from any point in the café, just in case you feel the urge to lighten your wallet by buying some cycling gear. Head barista Paul Bonna, from Kaffee Kommune in Berlin, was appointed after a chance encounter in Vienna at the 2012 World Barista Championships.

offee culture and the cycling scene have been comfortable bedfellows for more than a century. As any serious cyclist knows, an obsession with gear ratios and sock lengths transfers seamlessly to perfecting water temperature and extraction times. Early morning rides just wouldn’t happen without a cup of sweet, strong espresso coursing through our veins! Cycling and coffee are even etched into Tour de France folklore: before the days of Gatorade and scientific nutrition, riders would often fill up on coffee (and other nefarious substances) to help



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Pimlico Fresh


Bold St Coffee

The Red Lion


Pop Up Bikes

Loyalty’s a fine thing, but sometimes you need to try somewhere new. We present 15 coffees in 15 coffee bars – you choose the mood...


Giddy Up



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La Bottega



The Espresso Room

Fernandez and Wells

The Association


Kensington Square Kitchen

Toureg Grill



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QUIDS PRO QUO Just because you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean you need to compromise on flavour when you make coffee at home, as a delighted Joshua M Pattinson finds out GARY SMITH

offee beans are fickle little seeds of flavour, but when given the attention they deserve they respond in wonderful ways. Fortunately, brewing the same amazing coffee you find in your local speciality shop is definitely achievable. If your budget and bean skills don’t stretch to the chrome-plated, elegant espresso machines you see in the shops, don’t become despondent. Coffee and equipment supplier Has Bean’s Stephen Leighton recently recommended leaving those to the professionals, as “there are so many things that can go wrong”. On the other hand, “Brewed coffee is something you can do brilliantly at home, if you follow a few very basic rules.” Do these rules let you brew truly special coffee at home for a budget of £50? I approached the Head of Coffee at Harris + Hoole, Jochem Verheijin, to find out. He suggested buying hammers, kitchen roll and catering funnels. Fortunately he also recommended a more viable option: pour-over filters.


Easy coffee, funnely-enough

A pour-over is a cone-shaped funnel that you line with filter paper. “The Hario V60 Coffee Dripper is one of the best you can buy,” Jochem says. “It’s just a simple funnel with one large hole at the base, from which you can expect clarity of flavour, restricted body and a very clean cup.” It’s easy to wash, durable and small, comes in glass or ceramic, and costs about £16 (you can find plastic one-cup versions online for £5). Experts agree that most of your budget should be devoted to the grinder. (See our review on page 20).

People often get carried away with brew methods and treat the grinder as an afterthought. If you’re a savvy “coffeesseur”, an upscale grinder is for you, but otherwise the Porlex Mini Hand Grinder, £30, is perfect to start. It grinds about 30g of coffee in one go and has ceramic burrs that stay sharper for longer than steel versions. Jochem explains why a daily grind is so important: “Coffee beans becomes stale around two to three weeks after roasting, but once you grind your coffee, what you usually lose over three weeks, you lose over fifteen minutes.” Being able to change your grind size is important too. Think rocks and sand: if your ground coffee is too much like sand, the water takes too You only get out what you put in! Here long to drip through the are a few of our favourite coffees for coffee. Too much like rocks using with the V60 and the water runs through too quickly. Enjoy the Kenyan Nyeri Ngunguru AA process – and experiment. Big red berry and citrus flavours. £14 (250g); JB Available You’ll need a set of decent from Rapha Cycle Club. digital scales, accurate to a tenth of a gram. You can buy Ethiopian Harrar Fat, juicy, them online for £12 blueberry notes with a light spice finish. £8.50 (250g); upwards. Scales are essential for measuring water and coffee - getting the right Deri Kochi Strong florals; bergamot and lavender mellowing to raspberry ratios creates consistency. A and cranberry. £9 (350g); good rule of thumb is 16:1, water to ground coffee. As to the coffee, like wine, it’s highly subjective. Personally I like fruity cups,

Bean scene


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flat white

Thanks to a growing obsession with Antipodean cafés, it’s easier than ever to find good coffee in town. Kiwi Catherine Jarvie spills the beans


iles Kirby and Chris Ammermann are talking coffee. Over a flat white and a long black at one of the high-stooled tables in Caravan, the all-day restaurant and roastery they opened in East London’s fashionable Exmouth Market in 2010, they’re having a quiet celebration of the sudden ubiquity of a really good cup in the British capital. It wasn’t always so. When I arrived here almost two decades ago, instant coffee was the standard home brew for this nation of tea lovers, while that awful, thin, filter muck long remained the default cup outside the front door. It’s not that there wasn’t good coffee to be had, it was just there were very few places that served it. Even six years ago London remained, in coffee terms, a relatively barren place. The nation had taken the likes of Starbucks and its trademark over-frothed confections to its collective bosom, yet high-quality caffeine hits were still hard to find. Then an influx of bright young things from the Antipodes in the early 2000s changed all that. Independent coffee houses such as Flat White on Soho’s



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Berwick Street – perhaps the first and most famous example – dovetailed rather neatly with Londoners’ desire to seek out top-quality boutique beans. Flat White’s co-founder Cameron McClure attributes some of their success to the “Lord of the Rings effect”. Soho, centre of London’s film industry, was populated by production staff who had spent time working on the films in New Zealand and had fallen in love with its café culture. They were first in line to support the newly opened café at their front door. In 2009, this state of affairs reached a tipping point. In a “Best Cafés” city survey in Time Out, six of the 38 cafés featured were Kiwi run or styled. A few months later, the Financial Times proclaimed that, “London’s Australian and Kiwi cafés have, over the past few years, radically changed the capital’s café culture.” Crucially, by this time corporate chains including Starbucks had launched their own versions of the Kiwi coffee staple: the flat white. McClure is clearly excited by Flat White’s status as the granddaddy of London’s Antipodean coffee scene. But while he considers their success almost accidental (“We didn’t really know how much of a gap in the market there was,” he confesses about their arrival in London six years ago) and reveals only sketchy plans for growth, preferring, he says, a more “organic approach”, there are others who are more than ready to take on the market leaders. Industrial designer turned marketing specialist Tubbs Wanigasekera freely admits that the decision for him and

Caffeine Issue 1  
Caffeine Issue 1  

Sample pages of the launch issue of this new magazine focusing on the independent coffee shop culture in the UK and abroad