The 2017 L.A.T.E Champions Are:
1st Place — Routes Coffee (Heidi Philip-Smith and Nick Williams)
2nd — Coffee Lab (Dhan Tamang and Ben Lewis)
3rd — Grind (Sam Trevethyen and Pratik Shrestha)
A HUGE thank you to all of the competitors who entered, the 12 teams selected as finalists and all those who attended for making last Friday's inaugural L.A.T.E competition a night to remember!
Ed Barry, Monwar Hussain and the rest of the team at Over Under Coffee deserve a special mention also for putting together such afun night and some 'Best On Ground' annoying customer performances!
The night wouldn't have been possible, of course, without the support of some very dear partners and a special thanks has to go out to:
- The amazing judges Ben Morrow, Esther Masdaam and Marcis Dzelzainis from Manhattan Coffee Roasters and Sager + Wilde respectively.
- 1st Prize sponsors and Oat Milk Partners - Oatly
- Media Partners - Caffeine Magazine
- Machine Partners - La Marzocco UK
Thanks again to everyone and until next time
Which Cafe Will Be Crowned 'Best Late Art Team' In The UK?
WHAT: Represent your cafe in real life latte art disciplines to win the title of best latte art cafe in the U.K! Lead by Australian Latte Art Champion, Ben Morrow, judges will score competitors based on their ability to perform latte art in a variety of real cafe situations
(Teams must consist of 2 or more staff from the same cafe/ group)
1st Prize - is an expenses paid trip for two to Stockholm including visiting Oatly HQ and coffee roasting with our friends at Drop Coffee Roasters
2nd Prize - a full tasting menu (with paired wines) for two at Michelin starred (and probably the world’s best restaurant coffee service) Lyles
+ plenty more prizes to be announced.
Judges (led by Ben Morrow) will select the top ten teams to compete. For anyone else wishing to throw down a ‘wildcard’ round will take place on the night with prizes to be announced!
To enter follow the link below and submit
1) A picture of your favourite pour
2) A one line answer to: “What is the importance of latte art in the cafe?”
(entries close - October 9th)
At present, a world of uncertainty exists between what is possible and what is profitable in coffee.
Without a message which resonates broadly with consumers, it's far easier to add value than communicate what's already there.
Nick Mabey's entry video for 2017 Coffee Masters Competition — The Abysmal Distinction
Earls Court has desperately needed someone like Ed Barry to come along for far too long. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with standard high street cafes, but when the chains are your only homogenous options it’s hard to get excited about such a busy hub. Enter Over Under.
Obviously the coffee is great or we wouldn’t be writing this, but what really makes Over Under stand above the rest is their approach to speed of service through design without ever losing focus of customer interaction with their community. In short Ed says, ‘We serve exceptional coffee efficiently.’
There’s a distinction between selling a product and fulfilling a need, and with competition in coffee universally increasing Over Under are deliberately setting new standards for commuters - particularly in regard to customer service. Ed’s experience of progressive cafe culture in New Zealand, Dublin and New York has definitely given him an advantage here.
‘Too many places that make good coffee take too long to serve you a brew, then don’t smile or strike up conversation!’
As a space itself, Over Under is designed with an ergonomic foresight that would make Rolex blush. This seemingly small shop was put together with both customer and staff in mind to make every step of the transaction as personable yet productive as possible.
We’re particularly excited to see a La Marzocco Linea PB with the new built-in Auto Brew Ratio scales at Over Under. While this might seem like a minor feature, it's a serious weapon when it comes to consistent quality at speed in the hands of Ed’s skilled baristas.
Let’s not forget the food offering. Executive chef Connie Grossman drew inspiration from working for Chez Panisse in California, Two Hands in New York and Ottolenghi in London to deliver a simple yet extremely considered menu to Over Under.
All this said, it’s Ed’s refreshing optimism we find so appealing. ‘I’m a 26 year old who’s trying to give it a craic. I am not reinventing the wheel, I just think I can do this better than what’s on the market - especially in West London.’
At every level, this no-bullshit focus on community and serving commuters with Ed’s calm confidence is really what makes Over Under shine.
Over Under Coffeer
181A Earls Ct Rd, Kensington, London SW5 9RB
Words — Bryan Serwatka
We’re hosting Morten Wennersgaard of Nordic Approach to discuss 'why he does what he does' with a panel of special guests to share insight on the most pertinent issues in independent coffee today
Morten Wennersgaard - founder and CEO of Nordic Approach - will deliver a presentation on the formation of Nordic Approach while examining the real benefits of selling a cup of coffee and the threats to our industry in 2017.
The evening will commence with a cupping of coffees at 6pm. Morten has selected a table of coffees with particular relevance to him and his presentation.
Following that, we’ve assembled some of the independent coffee industry's taste-makers and thought-leaders to discuss some of the most pressing issues affecting us all today. On the panel are:
Andrew Tolley - Taylor Street Baristas
Scott Bentley - Caffeine Magazine
Mat North - FCP Coffee/ SCAEUK Events Coordinator
Morten Wennersgaard - Founder and CEO Nordic Approach
Sara Springer - Global Innovation Director - Diageo
Matt Slater- World Coffee Events Re:co Symposium Director
Chris Coleman - Owner and Co-Founder Embassy East
March 9th 2017
7pm - 10pm
Cupping begins at 6pm
244 Ferndale Road
This event is free to public although places are limited so please register here
While celebrating community and surfacing solutions to our shared challenges, the evening will highlight the interdependence in our industry at all levels - farmer, roaster, cafe owner, barista or otherwise.
The Distinction Between What’s Possible and What’s Profitable In Coffee
The topic for discussion by the panel will be the disparity between what is possible in the world of coffee and what is profitable.
Together we've come up with the following questions for debate, but email us if you have a question of your own you'd like discussed on the evening!
What is the source of disparity between what is possible and what is profitable in specialty coffee?
- What are the implications of this for the cafe owner?
- What does it mean for the farmer?
- Where does the responsibility lay?
- What do we propose is a solution?
Well, nothing really, except… if Alastair Burgess and the team created a new venue, reflecting the same values, but adding coffee, French bistro cuisine and wine to the offering too!
Words — Bryan Serwatka
So - what do you need to know about Petit Pois?
Think classic French bistro offerings of the highest quality, coffee done immaculately and world-renowned cocktails all done with a calm confidence. Simplicity and accessibility without sacrificing craft.
Petit Pois has been garnering the prestige of culinary critics since doors opened - probably most notably the unconditional praise of Jay Rayner at The Guardian (the guy seems absolutely obsessed with their chocolate mousse). Such love helps, but resting on laurels isn’t what motivates Petis Pois. That being said, this is the brainchild of some serious culinary heavyweights.
Alastair Burgess of Happiness Forgets and Original Sin is bringing his award-winning drinks expertise and philosophy to the beautiful yet unostentatious bar. At the heart of the operation, Head Chef Chris Smith formerly of Bleecker Street and Le Cordon Bleu is bringing into life the ethos of this perfect simplicity by producing dishes that speak for themselves yet keep people talking. For us at Assembly, we’re thrilled to supply our seasonal single origin espressos; poured perfectly by Johnny Nguyen with his enviable La Marzocco GS/3 and Mahlkönig Peak setup.
It’s hard not to be impressed when observing a skill expertly performed. In sports, world-class athletes make it look easy. In drama, people talk of performances being natural or inspired. At Petit Pois, everything is performed gracefully.
It might seem daft to compare the efforts of a chef to those of Bolt or Olivier, but this is a nation with an obsession for food that seems to be growing exponentially. More people watch cookery programmes than the news and can probably tell you more about the provenance of their wine and cheese than the name and party of their local councillor.
The synchronicity of every facet of Petit Pois is their real success. Each element sings with purpose, beauty and flavour and lacks any ounce of pretence.
What more could you want?
9 Hoxton Square, Hackney, London
Ph: 020 7613 3689
See the madness that goes into making something simple, perfectly.
Nick Mabey — The Perfect Madhattan
- Coffee Bitters
- 15ml Sweet Vermouth (we made by fermenting Ribena)
- 15ml Dry Vermouth (we made by fermenting brewed coffee)
- 50ml Rye Whiskey
- 2.5ml Maraschino Liqueur
The concept behind the video is to convey the degree of thought behind creating a product which is simple, perfectly. The more we learn, the more we become conscious that perfection is impossible, yet subconsciously we're driven more obsessively to search for it.
Just before London Coffee Festival, we received a parcel from the folks at Pesado full of espresso gear that’s as gorgeous as it is game-changing. After showing it off at LCF and having countless requests from baristas to put them to the test on the Assembly stand we are now thrilled to say that the Pesado range is officially available in the UK
The Australian barista tool manufacturers are obsessed with detail and hellbent on keeping a step ahead of the coffee tech curve. All machined metal products are made with ‘the most advanced tools for absolute precision,’ so you can have unparalleled control of your coffee. Sounds pretty good right?
Equally appealing are their ethically sourced Zebrano and Wenge wood tools which are hand lathed, hardwearing and finished with a smooth natural wax that’s as seductive as it is practical.
Pesado Costs Less. Really.
Contact here for pricing information
Control Your Tamping Depth
Designed to fit with perfect precision, the Pesado 58.5 tamper’s edges are super sharp which maximises the effective tamping area, improves consistency and ultimately extraction.
To one-up themselves for yet even more consistency, Pesado have just released the most user friendly depth adjuster tamper add-on you’ll find. Once set, this brilliant claw-looking device ensures identical tamp compression between coffees. They were a serious talking point on the stand.
These anodised aluminium portafilters are aesthetically distinctive (like a police truncheon - in a good way) but what’s amazing about them is that they can be manufactured to have exactly the same weight. This 0.01g precision eliminates constant scale taring and is yet another facet of the Pesado brand’s commitment to consistency with no compromise.
There’s also something seriously alluring about these Pesado wooden portafilters. The strikingly raw yet refined wood grabs your eye, but it’s the ergonomic balance in your hand that really makes them irresistible.
Consistent Shower Screen
These are the perfect secret weapons for your espresso machine. There are no sharp corners or extra friction within the membrane to impede flow in extraction, nor is there any warping in shape due to the screens’ being made from a single piece of metal with laser cut holes and a reinforcement nut for better distribution.
It’s sometimes hard to kick up a fuss about something that only your barista knows about - especially after waxing lyrical about other Pesado eye-catchers - but these shower screens are perfect in design and are a fresh implement in nailing that perfect coffee consistently.
See the photos below to for our highlights from the 2016 London Coffee Festival
The London Coffee Festival is over for another year and was attended by a record of 30,488 guests over the four days. It wasn't only attendance however that broke new ground. At Assembly we were lucky enough to collaborate with and be informed by some of the most progressive approaches in the industry. Sincerity towards craft and devotion to innovation engages and motivates us all. We wanted to share some of these moments, with you, epitomised in the photos below.
Among our highlights were:
- Working alongisde Sanremo to showcase the latest in brewing technology as well as present the UK's first Curtis Seraphim brewer
- The UK launch of Pesado precision coffee tools — equipment which facilitate brewing control with no comparison
- Conducting a consumer survey on the Assembly stand to gain insight into the all important end consumer
- The UK launch of Mr. Black — Artisanal cold pressed coffee liqueur garnering respect for both their charisma and uncompromising approach to quality
- Sandows Cold Brew Coffee — who showcased their progress on water mineral recipes (read more here), continued to educate the UK on the cold brew method and all while serving tasty Cold Brew Nitro Martinis
- Karma Cola — The ethical cold drink company with a personality who introduced cans so that those with less time could still Drink No Evil while updating guests on the plethora of social initiatives they are currently active in
- Standart Magazines take over of the Assembly brew bar and flying the flag for sharing the love of coffee globally through print
- Coffee Masters now in it's second year. We cheered on Nick Mabey and James Wise as they did us proud and celebrated Ben Morrow for his faultless winning performance
All photos by Charlie McKay
Assembly coffee, pastries and sourdough baked on-site in the open plan bakery, a handmade wood grill, pig's head sausage rolls...
Do we have your attention?
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