Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Week beginning May 19th - It's been a proud week

Last week was pretty busy, not just in the shop itself but all over the place. On Monday on my day off I caught up with Kaffeine legend Karolina Malinowska for lunch and we went to Workshop in Clerkenwell, then on Tuesday I had minor surgery to my elbow to remove a cyst, leaving me with four stitches, then on Wednesday I worked the floor and we got hammered busy, it was a great day, but I did my old trick of not eating properly and that has it's consequences.

I have discovered that by doing this, at about 2 am in the morning my body says 'help, need energy' and so releases all this sugar into my system and you end up wide awake for the next four hours, till the alarm goes off or the children wake up at 5:30 am. So on Thursday I was a bit tired.

But on Thursday I went to the Cafe Culture show, where I was honoured to be on the speaking panel with Hugh Gilmartin, formerly of the Coffee Boys, along with four others. We were talking about how to provide great coffee when it is not your core business and I was there to relate the stories about Marylebone Cricket Club and how we provide espresso and filter at major match days.

I remember going to see the Coffee Boys talk at Cafe Culture back in 2008, and they said to the crowd then that of all the cafes you must go visit, be sure to go visit Flat White. I promised myself that one day, they would say that about my business, and on Thursday not only did they do that exact thing, but I was even on the speaking panel!

Then back to the shop to change into my Black Tie, pick up the children, take them back to Walthamstow, meet Mrs K who took them home and then I was back into town to meet Chef Jared as we were off to the British Sandwich Awards.

Over 650 people at the four and a half star Lancaster Hotel for a four course/half a bottle of wine, band and entertainment and even Aldo Zilli as compere and awards presenter. We were shortlisted in the category of Best Independent Cafe Bar Retailer and received a Gold Award, coming in second.

This is twice we have won an award from the BSA, as we also won a Gold Award in 2011.

Very, very proud of all the staff and the hard work and effort they put in to even be able to be considered for this award, and especially proud to be able to take Chef Jared along too, as he has done so much for the reputation of Kaffeine with our menu development.

Home by midnight, up at 5:30 am again, and off to work where we met with the Director of the London Living Wage Foundation who came to see us in action. Again, this is some thing I am very proud of, that we can and do pay our staff a fair and decent wage per hour and that we are recognised for that. I was able to tell the story about the days when I used to work for £5.85 per hour back in 2005 and how I have come across so many hard working people who only get paid the basic minimum and how I feel this is not fair. We are the only cafe in the U.K. who does this, and the Director told me that their mission now is to get more and more hospitality businesses involved as well.

Then, in the middle of all this, Jay Rayner walks in and orders a double espresso, which he told us reminded him very much of blueberries in it's profile. He stated that he is doing a piece on the London Coffee scene and could he talk to some of our customers, which he did, and then he spent five minutes with our lead barista Bianca talking about our processes and documentations including extraction yields, our dialling in sheets and our preferred brew recipes.

Finally, on Friday night I received a photo of the Melbourne Coffee Expo, where five of our former staff (Amy, Missy, Luke, James and Nick) had met up as two of them were competing in the Australian Brewers Cup (well done James and Nick by the way).

Talk about feeling like a Dad, seeing your 'family' all together on the other side of the world, it was another, very proud moment indeed.

So bit exhausted, very, very proud and very, very happy. That's London life for you.

Please enjoy the menu this week, as we will enjoy bringing it to you.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60 (V)
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60 (V)
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.70 (GF, V)
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with home made preserves 1.90
Pumpkin seed and apricot fruit toast 2.40
Banana bread 2.40

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 1.90
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet Muffin: Apricot and almond 2.40
Savoury Scone: Insalata caprese (tomato, mozzarella and basil) 2.40
Buckthorn and white chocolate friands 2.40 (GF)
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Melting moments biscuits 2.00
Canele 2.40

French retro baguettes 5.00
Hummus, carrot, cucumber, olives and rocket (V)
Ham, gherkin, Dijon, Gruyere, red onion, spinach

Foccacias 5.30
Smoked salmon, aioli, capers, dill, red onion and rocket
Crumbed aubergine, tomato sauce, mozzarella, spinach (V)

Salads: 5.50/6.90
Roasted H&G Walters’s organic duck with mango, cucumber, shredded carrot, Asian herbs and oregon grape dressing
Asparagus and foraged sea aster, parmesan, lemon, basil and mustard (V)
Raw rainbow radish and honesty seed pods with spring onion, chives and parsley (GF)

Tart: 4.40 or 7.90 with salad
HG Walters Organic Chicken pie in a pistachio pastry

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