Look mum no hands!

Cold Brew Crew

Meet our Head Barista Simone Dessi. He shares his passion for coffee, roasting, and why he convinced us to start our own cold brew…

Why Simone, WHY?
During summer lots of customers ask for iced coffee… Usually you make an americano and add tap water, or an espresso with ice. The flavour isn’t the best and it’s not a good beverage.

Cold brew is famous.

The beverage doesn’t like to be mixed with ice… a cold brew process is a good extraction for coffee. The flavour is a lot better. For me, it’s the best way. I like to use this Shalaitu from Ethiopia by J. Atkinson & co coffee.

The Shalaitu has a citrus and acidic taste with a hint of nectarines. For the summer heat I think it’s the only solution. To create our brew we’re using a different system… It’s an Australian method. I discovered this way of cold brewing one year ago from an Australian I met in a London coffee shop. We got on and he taught me his technique. It’s similar to the ‘traditional’ process except we don’t use a drip filter. We’re using industrial tea bags. Dropping them into our brew pot and leaving it overnight. No filtering is required…. resulting in a cleaner cup. The ratio of ice to coffee is the same. That’s the rule we can’t and won’t change. Every time we brew we’re making about 12 litres. Using this for 2/3 days maximum.

It’s going really quick! It’s really popular!

Who is this roastery then?
J. Atkinson and son are from Lancaster. I met the roaster during the Cafe Culture Show. He got me to try his espresso and it was really really good. We’re using the Prototye as a guest espresso… this Shalaitu (I love it) is for filter and cold brew. The Negelle Gorbitu for aeropress.

So how do you know about coffee?
Me? I’ve been a barista for 15 years. Before this I was working for Shoreditch Grind, then Exmouth, and before that a guy in Australia… In Italy I was a barista trainer. Since last year I was a trainer at the Speciaty coffee Association of Europe too.

Now I am approaching a new world… from September I will open my roastery.

Roasting hell! Tell us more!
The name is Jack Coffee. It’ll be based in Mile End. We ll hire a roasting machine Probate 5kg and Probatino for sample roasting. It’s good equipment. I think we can do a great job (I hope). It’s an exciting new step for me. At the end of the month one my favorite roaster from Italy, Paolo Scimone (His Majesty Coffee) is coming over to teach more on how to roast.

Coffee is my first passion.

I miss this part of the coffee. I want to stop being a barista now. I want to roast. We’re aiming for two/three clients. We want to provide them with a good experience and service. We’ll probably roast two types: Costa rica washed and Brazil natural . But each roast will be a different. What I want to do is only speciality coffee that I like. All good quality. If you look around there are a lot of roasters here in London. My idea is when you are get really big. It can be difficult to keep control of your coffee. I want to do everything myself. The roasting, sourcing the bean, creating the bag, the label. Everything will be done by me.

This, to me, is what an artisan roaster is.

Can we cup it?
Yes I’ll host a cupping with my own coffee - coffee roasted by me. Probably after the first roasting in August… so the first week of September? Watch the events page for an announcement.

A little bird also told us about Barista Championships…
Yes! I’ve had an idea to host a Barista Championship and I’m currently looking for the coffee. I might have found something by a micro loft from Colombia. Nothing is confirmed just yet and I’m working towards this. That’s another project I’ve got on *laughs*. We’ll have the semi finals and then the finals. I’ve thought up some great tasks for the baristas. Coffee is my passion. So I don’t see my life any oother way. For me it’s not stressful because I love it. When you have a job you like I think that’s a good thing.

It’s the same for us too. We combined all our passions into one business: coffee, beer, pies, and bikes!

Try our homemade Cold Brew at Old Street and Mare Street over the summer.
You can find Simone serving up the best damn coffee he can at 125 Mare Street, and watch out for Jack Coffee opening and roasting very very soon.

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