Knife + Pen

coffee 4 eva

In Uncategorized on May 5, 2010 at 11:08 am

Yesterday while running in London I was attacked by a Starbucks sign. A particularly windy day I was minding my own beeswax zooming on by, when I heard a screech and a metal Starbucks sidewalk board inches from my face. I screamed, people stopped, I pretended that I was a normal human being not being attacked by a phantom Starbucks sign, people rolled their eyes. Sigh.

Lately, as our coffee intake has increased we have become more and more interested in where our coffee is coming from, who makes the most delicious cup and what makes one type of coffee better than another. After attending a London Gastronomy Seminar where the sweetest, geekiest man spoke about coffee as if it were a Romeo and Juliet love story, we began to investigate in earnest and found a veritable treasure trove of London coffee haunts.

Our local, the Espresso Room is a coffee kiosk, where they pick beans as if they were fine wines. Interestingly they differentiate not only between beans, but what kind of contraption should be used to brew, where it comes from, what notes are noticeable within each sip and the history of its travel. Basically when you buy the coffee, you also buy a small biography. Still, we have found when we have to run to the grocery store we are more educated about how we want our coffee to taste based from where it comes from.

Our second choice, a place called Caravan, roasts its own beans. Although this is admirable, we have noticed coffee is hit or miss, based on the youth of the beans, if they have had time to grind it properly and how mean the barista is.

Lastly is a small coffee shop called Dose Espresso, which is deeply invested in ethical coffee- down to using biodegradable packaging and a worm farm to turn their coffee grounds into fertilizer and contribute to coffee charities. Does this make the coffee taste better? Probably not but it is nice that our coffee money is going to a better place.

All of these places are only within a mile radius of our house. It seems everywhere we go more and more specialty coffee shops are popping up. Is it a worldwide obsession? Are we going to start paying as much for coffee as wine?

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  1. London has a great history of coffee shops.

    Was the first stock exchange formed in a coffee shop in London?

    Investigate the north side of Hampstead Heath for the coffee shop that George Orwell frequented and used to be a speed chess gathering place.

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