It was around seven years ago that a nice chap, namely Gwilym Davies, made for me a delicious cup of coffee.
This was to be a life changing event – much more than I realised at the time – and it introduced my senses to what a proper cup of coffee should taste like. Soon on a Sunday morning I was driving across London at the crack of dawn to buy bunches of Parrot Tulips at Columbia Road Flower Market, and to wait patiently in a snaking queue of bleary eyed punters at a coffee cart for that seriously needed caffeine hit.
Little did I realise that this delicious flat white was prepared by a World Barista Champion using the ubiquitous Square Mile beans on a Nuova Simonelli Aurelia coffee machine. Welcome to the world of proper coffee – using seasonal specialist beans, prepared on the best equipment money can buy, by talented individuals obsessed by the need for a near perfect balance of taste and consistency. I'm very grateful to Gwilym for his intro and for making some memorable cups of coffee.
Forward to the present moment, the coffee industry is a big global business and within it operates a niche for artisan specialist coffee shops, not satisfied with mass turnover but rather quality over quantity. Many with kitchens preparing inventive and exciting food offerings.
I still love my coffee but my needs and tastes have developed considerably. Now I like to experience many different types of brewing methods including V60, AeroPress, filter, cold brew and espressos, and enjoy visiting different coffee shops all over the world.
I live in London and therefore have a few places I like to frequent as they consistently prepare what I deem to be a very good brew. It's not just about the coffee itself but also atmosphere, barista, beans and perhaps most importantly consistency!
Finally, I should point out that all the places I have suggested use coffee beans from different roasters, I think it's important to experiment and try brews from a variety of coffee roasters, not just from the UK, as each roaster has a different profile.