Sunday, 1 April 2012

Week beginning April 2nd - Our guest espresso weekends

I'm really very lucky and grateful that the staff who work at Kaffeine are all passionate and enthusiastic about their jobs and not only that, but also passionate and enthusiastic about the business.

Kaffeine would not be the business it is today without the fantastic input, ideas and creativity from our staff, who it seems are constantly thinking of new and different ways to run or improve the business. Sometimes it takes me a while to action them, or to get my head around it, but more often than not, it is the right thing to do. Many of the few business books I have read all highly recommend talking and listening to your front line staff about how the business runs, as they are the one of best sources of information you can have on ways to improve. I wholeheartedly agree.

One of these ideas was brought to me by our former lead barista, Catherine, who recommended that instead of running decaf on weekends, when we only sell two or three coffees, why not run a guest espresso, where we could feature different coffees from roasteries across London and the UK. We soon implemented that and as it proved to be a great success we have continued it.

Since Catherine has left, our lead barista James has really taken on the role extremely well, planning up to a month ahead what coffees he will feature each weekend, dealing with the roasteries, creating contacts, managing the supply chain from samples through to invoicing and finally, designing and writing the customer side descriptor sheets as well as the baristas tasting notes.

Each Saturday he is in 30 minutes early to dial in the new blend to our decaf grinder, tasting and assessing, then recommending how best the coffee is to be served or to be recommended to our guests. Our service staff are all briefed, and we can then recommend with confidence a different, but often just as good as the Square Mile red brick, coffee.

We have had coffees from roasters such as Square Mile (wonderful single origins), Union Hand Roasted, Extract Coffee, Caravan, Climpson and Sons, Origin, Small Batch and St Ali to name a few, and the list will just get longer as more roasteries enter the UK market.

We find this has so many positives. It creates interest and improves the knowledge and skills of our baristas, it gives our customers, many of them regulars, a different coffee to try on the weekend, it helps to raise the profile of other roasteries that may not have had that chance, and if you are one of the many 'coffee geeks' that frequent us on weekends, you now have two espresso blends to try.

In April, James is planning a London Roastery month, to coincide with the London Coffee Festival. He also plans to run a guest decaf, and what I am looking forward to is a guest cascara weekend, where we will have two different cascaras served in 3.5 oz glasses one after the other so you can really taste the difference between the two.

Unfortunately, this does mean we cannot offer a decaf to those who wish for it, and for that we apologize to our decaf customers. We wish we could, but because of limited bar space we cannot fit three grinders.

However, each weekend we sell up to 3 kilos of our guest espresso, that's between 120 and 150 coffees, as well as retail bags if you wish to buy some to take home.

We like to think that this is a really positive action, one that will help raise the profile of coffee and roasteries in London and the UK, as well as enhancing the skills and knowledge of the staff who work in the industry. Long may it continue.

Oh, and encourage and listen to your staff ideas, they are a wealth of information and knowledge.

Easter Opening Hours
By the way, we are closed Good Friday, but open the rest of the weekend with Hot Cross Buns on the menu all week. Have a wonderful Easter weekend and travel safe.

Porridge - served w choices chopped dried fruit, muscovado sugar, golden syrup or honey 2.70
Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.30
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.30
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passionfruit, peach) 3.50
(add 30 p for granola or yoghurt)
Ciabatta Roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.70
Ciabatta Roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.70
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.70
Croissant with gruyere cheese and plum tomatoes 3.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with homemade preserves 1.70
Cinnamon and raisin toast 2.30
Banana Bread 2.20

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissants 1.70
Pain au chocolat 2.30
Almond croissants 2.70

Baked Treats
Hot Cross Buns 2.00
Cider, mushroom, sager and cheddar savoury muffins 2.00
Lime friands 2.00
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.30
White chocolate blondies 2.30
Portuguese tarts 1.90
ANZAC cookies 1.70
Afgan biscuits 1.70


Soup 3.70 or 4.20
Watercress and salmon

French retro baguettes 4.70
Pickled spiced beetroot with goats’ cheese, rocket and Dijon
Coppa cotta ham with apple butter, gruyere, gherkin, red onion, spinach

Foccacias with sea salt and rosemary crust 4.90
Smoked salmon with aioli, red onions, capers, rocket and dill
Bufala mozzarella with asparagus, lemon mayo, tomato and spinach

Salads 4.90/5.90
Roast lamb with stewed rhubarb, broad beans, salsa verde, baby spinach
Pickled Jonathan apples with walnuts, mature cheddar, rocket and Valencia orange dressing
Roasted piccolo parsnips with wild garlic and tarragon dressing

Tart 4.00 or 6.90 with salad
Brown rice tuna bake with rouille

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