Sunday, June 10, 2012

Workshop Coffee Co. (London) - ♕♕♕♕♕ 1/2

   My last piece on St Ali (Melbourne) of Australia was probably a little clumsy and needs time to decipher,  as it was too 3 Dimensional an issue to explain clearly in words and also veering off into the technical side,  but as a super duper fan of both their espresso based coffees as well as their lighter and brighter 3rd Waver single origin coffees,  I wanted to clarify the individual points and justify why in the end  I became disappointed during my last few visits to there,  especially knowing precisely what they are usually capable of with their house espresso based coffees  (their Single Origins still remain superb on both roasting and extraction side within the whole group.).    Workshop Coffee Co. in London however also has St Ali roots.  

The St Ali chair is still sitting outside here..
This gives clues as to it’s origin of beginning.  Many coffee drinkers in London believe London cafes to carry attributes to the Australian coffee scene, and this is not without basis as Antipodean influence can be found in quite a few established cafes,  including some previously covered cafes Flat White (London) and Taylor St Baristas (London) locally,  plus others who also have baristas trained from Down Under.   Workshop Coffee Co. was first started as the St Ali outpost in London,  and it was a collaboration between the Melbourne’s St Ali Group & their London local investors.   Somewhere in between however they have decided to split again due to deviations in their methods of approach.   And so,  the London St Ali was recently renamed to Workshop Coffee Co., but rumour has it that St Ali founder Salvatore will be back soon to start up another London based St Ali just to give it another go !

But the Shop has been renamed to Workshop Coffee Co. nowadays -

Self Probat roasted -

London roasted Single Origins -
Despite the in-amicable split in the business partnership,
some of these S.O. coffees definitely rings a bell and has been seen in the Melbourne St Ali.

Espressi are made on a Synesso here -
Although this is no longer a St Ali,   but if u have read my last review on that cafe,
their house blends clearly worked way better on the Synesso than on the La Marzocco Linear machine.     It might not apply here,  mind you. 

Rwanda Buf Café COE #3  (Aeropress) -
Workshop Coffee Co. used to excel in Siphoned coffees,  but nowadays they have made a hard decision to use purely Aeropress for filtered black coffees,  as it is more repeatable and consistent.  It has pros and cons,  but potentially less highs?   I have had this Rwanda Single Origin a few times in Melbourne cafes using various methods although this is the newer vintage.  This Red Bourbon was really balanced without jagged edges,  with cocoa and apricot note and a slight chocolate finish.   Not very bright,  but balanced overall and quite expected red bourbon like.  For an Aeropress cup,  this was actually excellent indeed.   ~  8/10

House Espresso -  Synesso Pulled
Made from 50% of the above expensive COE Rwanda Buf Café,  and 50% of a washed Brazilian.   This was aged slightly longer than per normal for around 3-4 weeks time,   to allow the Rwanda Buf Café to manifest itself in the cup!    Initially sip was typical lemon-orange zest from washed Brazilian with a slight bitter peel background,  but just like the above Aeropress Rwanda,  the red fruit and apricot really began to take over when it mattered.  Having an espresso which transformed itself right inside your mouth is always interesting and a winner.  As long as it is balanced,  which it was!   This was of superb quality and very memorable,  probably a bit sour fruity despite the big body,   for those used to Italian espressos.   ~   10/10

Some Muffins -

The Menu -
The breakfast, lunch and now a newly added dinner menu looked very promising indeed.
I was actually hoping to either eat at here or The Modern Pantry opposite,  which both sounded promising.  Somehow I ended up eating at another place.  But looking at the menu alone this was very good grub for a café and reminiscent of the Melbourne cafes and their gorgeous food,  if not more promising!    But the coffees I drank here,  totally to their credit,  were even better than the ones I drank at the original St Ali in Melbourne during the last few visits  (albeit they were in the middle of a transitional phrase too,  so they will eventually be back to their game).   But even measuring the original St Ali’s peak form,  Workshop Coffee Co. definitely isn’t losing out on anything.   In fact,  I actually prefer here by a slight margin!  It was really that good..





Price: Pounds $3 to $6
Coffee:  ♕♕♕♕♕ to ♕♕♕♕♕♕

Opening Hours -
Mon-Sun 7am-10pm  (Mon,Sun -6pm)

Address: 27 Clerkenwell Road EC1M 5RN
Ph: 0207 253 5754

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