Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Shoreditch Grind, Shoreditch, East London, UK

Set right on the Old Street round about Shoreditch Grind takes residence in a striking black brick turret of a building with a large cinema style sign. Getting inside they carry through the nice design but counter balance the heavy bold exterior with a light interior of white walls, large windows and light wood.

For such a tiny space they do incredibly well to seat as many as they do. A serving counter at the back take prominence with simple wooden tables and chairs filling the central space in front. The trick is their window bars and stools which turn every available edge into somewhere to sit. 

These edge bars are thin, more of a ledge but just enough for a laptop. Combined with a regular supply of plug sockets along the wall  and free wifi you are set up for a meeting, mobile office or just hanging out and drinking coffee. 

The staff were friendly and well on top of the lunch time rush as they took orders and made joe promptly and efficiently. The stamped mugs were a nice touch and the "Black Card", a credit card loyalty system were really smart and not something to get mashed up in your wallet like all the others. 

The coffee came quickly in a small shiny monochrome cup and saucer. A fine crema was just dissipating around the spots of oil on the surface and it was giving of a sweet gentle aroma that tantalised my olfactory nerve endings no end. 

The initial taste was quite full and strong but immediately became a bit flat. It broadened out on the pallet as I carried on drinking but pulling out the flavour was a little hard. It was certainly smooth and I would say a soft understated coffee in general.

It did have a little too much bitterness but there were also some pleasant tones of citrus on the finish. The biggest issue was that after the initial sip I found the coffee to be a bit bland, not weak nor watery but lacking in flavour overall.

They are famously secretive about their beans, that are available for purchase.  An independent roaster makes a blend of their choosing and sends them regular supplies. Brighton has been mentioned so I'm going to guess at the excellent Small Batch Coffee Company. I've asked them to confirm but am waiting for comment.

  • Black Americano, drink in
  • £1.95
  • Medium strength
  • Smooth but a little bland
  • Fine Crema
  • Small cup
  • Beans: Shoreditch Grind blend 
  • Machine: La Marzocco
  • Grinder: Mazzer

A well above average coffee but with the whole set up  being so well thought out, functional (and pretty darn cool)  to taste something a little bland as the ultimate point of existence was sadly a let down.

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