Coffee lovers can now make their own customised blend at the new Coffee Island, a two-minute walk from the hotspots of Covent Garden and Leicester Square
CUSTOMERS AT Coffee Island’s first London shop in the West End, on 5 Upper St Martin’s Lane, can describe the aroma and flavour that suits their taste and ask the barista to make a personalised blend, while connoisseurs can revel in the possibility of ordering the exact percentage of specialty coffee they want.
Coffee Island’s concept stems from a single promise: you get the best from what you want. Those wishing to just grab a quick cuppa and go, can do so knowing they will taste delicious, high-quality brews with a palate precision. This is because all beverages served are the cumulative result of specialty coffee knowledge and the usage of items that allow meticulous brewing methods, such as Chemex, AeroPress, syphon and cold drip. It is perfectly engineered coffee that mixes scientific geekiness and a fondness of direct trade with farmers. And if that comes with a yummy pastry on the side, well, that is just divine. For the hungrier there are also fresh, handmade sweet and savoury breakfast options and for lunchtime, a great variety of fresh sandwiches, salads and delicate smoked, cured meat and fish dishes.
It all becomes more exciting when you ask the barista for a tour of how to expertly prepare your own brew at the Home Barista Station. You can be trained on the brewing equipment and then take the rich flavours home by ordering delightfully fresh roasted coffee from their grindery. Coffee making artefacts, beans and blends from all over the globe are available to buy on site. It is the uniqueness of their product and the direct connection with small producers that stands out. You can find out who cultivates the beans available in the shop, how it is grown, picked and dried.
Known as ‘the coffee nerds’ and with stores spread across the Mediterranean, sustainability, customisation and unique products are the core of Coffee Island’s philosophy. Coffee Island has been a member of Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) since 2010. Additionally, it is a member of the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), the world’s largest coffee trade association counting nearly 3,000 company members. Coffee Island has recently been awarded Best Coffee Chain – Southern Europe at the Allegra European Coffee Awards 2016 – the most prestigious awards in the European coffee and food-to-go sector.
Nestled in between Leicester Square and Covent Garden, Coffee Island is a global experience. Founded in Greece, the shop handpicks the finest quality beans from all around the world to ply discerning coffee lovers with a broad variety of filter coffee blends, flavoured coffees, single-origin specialty coffee, teas and handpicked herbs and espressos.
Coffee Island’s Microfarm Project searches and reserves microlots of limited edition single origin specialty coffee from small, carefully selected farms. The conditions under which they are grown, picked and processed are unique and cannot be repeated. Thus, it is impossible to reproduce the same cupping profile twice. The microfarm single origin coffees change every three months to provide a specialty coffee journey. Whether your tastes lie in South America, Africa or elsewhere, the salient point is that the choice is yours. Skilled and coffee-obsessed staff can help you at the in-store grindery as you whip up your perfect blend. The Microfarm Project presents five different single origin coffees: El Salvador Vista Hermosa, Ethiopia Sidama Ardi, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Kochere, Brazil Ametista, and Colombia Huila. Each of them offers a distinctive taste, aroma and mouthfeel, making your coffee experience one of a kind.
For a more exclusive choice, Coffee Island also presents a Guest MicroFarm every three weeks. A new Specialty variety (according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s evaluation) is selected from around the world, based not only on farms that cultivate their coffee, but the culture of coffee, too. Customers can try these guest coffees with different brewing methods, producing different cup profiles. This means that successive visits to Coffee Island become a journey for the senses.
The Microfarm Project has one major objective: to make speciality coffee available to all. To make what is premium common. The customer gets to drink superb coffees and the farmers and farming communities’ work and living conditions are improved by the partnership through Direct Trade. Direct Trade means that Coffee Island are supporting farmers in the protection and improvement of the soil, water, and of each local microclimate and consistent coffee purchases at fair trade rates, increases the income of farmers and improves the quality of the coffee yield coffee.
Beyond the bean, staff are trained in state-of-the-art facilities to gain the full appreciation of all things coffee. The artisan roasting team work hand-in-hand with the R&D team in sections such as grading samples of green beans, sample roasting and a cupping room. The delicious beverages served at the espresso and brew bar are the cumulative result of specialty coffee knowledge and brewing methods. A great variety of coffees are brewed with sophisticated brewing methods, such as, pour over, Chemex, AeroPress, Syphon and unique signature cold coffee drinks. They all have one thing in common, the offer of different cup profiles that can be enjoyed in the coffee shop or taken away to warm up in these winter months.