[Homeroast] One Californian's espresso crawl through London

Claus Thøgersen thoeg at get2net.dk
Mon Sep 20 02:41:18 CDT 2010


At my local coffee shop here in Aarhus Denmark, they have introduced 
Aeropress some months ago. Even though they claim that the coffee they serve 
from the AE is strong, I much prefer their Americano. Normally I use 21 gram 
coffee for a 1,5 or 2 dl cup, but I think they used a lower doze, resulting 
in what I considered a week brew.


 ----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Greg Hollrigel" <ghollrigel at gmail.com>
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this 
list,available at http://www.sweemarias.com/maillistinfo.html" 
<homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 19, 2010 9:54 PM
Subject: [Homeroast] One Californian's espresso crawl through London

> Not to derail the Homeland Security Thread ... I thought I would provide
> some comments on some coffee shops I sampled recently in London, England,
> just in case any of you London travellers are looking for recommendations.
> I spent last week there and got to sample some very fine coffees, in my
> opinion.
> I went to 4 shops:  The Espresso Room, Nude Espresso, Dose, and Monmouth
> Covent Gardens.  I tried to make it to Prufrock Coffee, but alas, my
> schedule didn't allow me to get there, and my legs were tired.
> The Espresso Room and Monmouth Covent Gardens are near Covent Gardens and
> Russel Square (in what I consider the western side of Central London). 
> Dose
> and Nude Espresso are in or near the City of London (towards the Eastern
> side).
> Personally, I can recommend each of these shops.  The coffee was great and
> the baristas and staff were super friendly.  The baked goods at some were
> fantastic.  I would say that Dose and The Espresso Room are similar in 
> that
> they are very small shops that seem best suited for take-away.  They also
> only take cash.  Monmouth and Nude were similar in providing much more
> seating and what looked like "home-baked" bakery.
> At Dose, I had a double espresso and a flat white.  I can't always taste
> subtle nuances, but both were very good.  The funny thing was is that they
> also serve regular coffee made by Aeropress.  That is the first, and only,
> time that I've seen Aeropress served in a commercial setting.  I sat 
> outside
> with my colleague who enjoyed a chai tea.  I think Aeropress service may 
> be
> more of a European occurrence, in addition to my hotel rooms ;-).
> At The Espresso Room, I had a single espresso and a capuccino, the first
> day, and a flat white the second.  The espresso was interesting in that
> instead of being served in a ceramic/porcelain demitasse, it was served in 
> a
> small glass "honey jar".  It also appeared to me to only be about a 15 ml
> shot.  The espresso was their summer blend V2, which I believe is roasted 
> by
> Has Bean Coffee.  I didn't ask about their shot volumes due to me already
> running out of energy from the flight, but it was interesting.  My first
> impression was that the shot did not seem to have a lot of body/mouthfeel
> for the first half (7.5 mL !  LoL), but the last bit was incredibly 
> fruity,
> which caused me to change my entire impression of the shot, and give it a
> Hollrigel thumbs up.  :-)  I picked up a bag of  El Salvadore Finca La 
> Fany,
> and will be playing with that at home over the next several days.
> I made 2 visits to Monmouth since it was closer to some of my meetings. 
> The
> first day was an espresso and a flat white for take away since the shop 
> was
> packed.  The espresso was great for my tastes, lots of chocolate and body,
> and super smooth.  Picked up a bag of their espresso blend.  The second 
> day,
> I had a pour over Guatemala and a pour over Sumatra, and another flat
> white.  Just overall great coffee.  Every single drink was full of flavor,
> smooth, and nothing to complain about.  Also, the brioche was out of this
> world.
> Although Monmouth is very high on my list, I think I'm going to have to 
> give
> a slight nudge to Nude Espresso.  I ended up walking 2.5 miles to the shop
> and then 2.5 miles back, all before my first meeting in the morning.  I 
> got
> lost in the City of London a bit trying to follow streets, and went 
> through
> some interesting neighborhoods, and was just about ready to give up when I
> found Hanbury St, where it is located.  It's fun people watching all the
> different folks going to work in a big city (somewhat similar to San
> Francisco, but I like the international/European feel of London), 
> especially
> for someone who lives in a relatively small beach town in suburbia.  The
> shop had plenty of seating and seemed similar in size as Monmouth.  I got 
> a
> double espresso, a flat white, and an americano.  The espresso, much like
> Monmouth, was right up my alley - chocolaty, with lots of body and creamy
> smooth.  The barista made a perfect flat white with very creamy silky 
> smooth
> microfoam.  The Americano was good, but I think they're not really my
> drink.  I just loved the whole atmosphere of this shop, and talking to the
> 2  baristas was great.  They even gave me directions to their roastery if 
> I
> had time to talk shop with the roasters.  I was going to go the next day,
> but my schedule got messed up, and I didn't make it.  Next time for sure. 
> I
> bought a bag of their East espresso blend, and have pulled shots at home
> this morning and yesterday.  Just very very good.  I love this coffee.  To
> make this home-roasting related, this is the goal that I strive for with 
> my
> home-roasting ... my quest continues.  Oh, I also got a fresh berry scone
> for my journey back to the other side of London, and that scone was to die
> for.  Wow!
> So any travellers going to London, put these shops on your list of places 
> to
> go.  They are all great, but my favorites so far are Nude and Monmouth.
> For those of you familiar with Gwilym Davies' "dis-loyalty card", you 
> might
> recognize these shops as being part of that.  Well they are (except for
> Monmouth), and that is how I found out about them.  So next on my list is
> Prufrock, Pitch 42, Climpson & Sons, Taylor St. Baristas, Taste of Bitter
> Lover, and Tina, we salute you.  :-)
> The next week or so is going to be heavily caffeinated as I play with the
> new flavors and these beans.
> Cheers to good coffee, friendly baristas, and home-roasting as Autumn 
> comes
> around the corner.
> Greg
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