We've been using the same Monmouth espresso blend since the Cake Shop opened seven years ago. Not only are they based right round the corner (and are very neighbourly folks into the bargain), but also their coffee has an unrivalled complexity and depth of flavour.
But change is in the air! In seven short years, the London coffee scene has exploded. Monmouth were the trailblazers, and now young coffee businesses are following in their footsteps. Lovely indie roasteries are springing up all over the capital – and while we have no intention of replacing our beloved Monmouth blend, we have to admit that we're a little curious.
We're going to be holding a series of coffee tasting afternoons, at which we'll trial new espresso blends from local roasteries that have caught our eye. They'll be held at the Cake Shop once a fortnight over the next few months (we'll keep you updated with details of the dates, times, and the coffees we're showcasing via our Twitter account and the shop blackboards). Like wine, coffee contains a huge range of flavours and tasting can be a very subtle business: blends are judged not only on the nose and body but also on the mouthfeel. We'll be posting our tasting notes as we go along.
Our first guest espresso blend is going to be Red Brick Espresso, from Hoxton-based Square Mile Coffee. It's a combination of two seasonal beans: the creamy, nutty La Peña from Costa Rica, and the fruity Kenyan Kangunu AB.
Do come along and let us know what you think. Does this blend complement your favourite cake? Do you find that you prefer something with more pronounced acidic high notes? Can you taste any difference at all? We'd love to hear your impressions, opinions and recommendations – and if there are any roasteries reading this who'd like to be featured, drop us a line...