Settling down in a shop was always a longer term ambition for us, but a few things happened at the start of the year which acted as a bit of a catalyst. A nice wee unit came up, so in the middle of January we put in an offer, and it was accepted.
“You can’t open a shop in a month”
Things then ground to what seemed like a halt for what seemed like forever while the solicitors did their thing.
We eventually got things signed and sealed on 13 April and quickly went to work.
After a couple of weeks stripping, sanding and prepping it started to look a bit like a cafe:
A few new toys arrived:
And then we were pretty much done:
So, a month to the day after getting the keys, we had a ‘not so secret’ secret opening to work through any issues.
Things seemed to go pretty well, which sets us up for the big opening on 20 May:
We’ve always been about searching out the best, most exciting coffee from roasters in the UK and abroad. Having a constantly changing selection and always offering new experiences is at the heart of what we do, and that’s going to continue. We’ve got a few tried and tested roasters we always go back to when new lots come on (Foundry, Workshop, Caravan), but we’ll also be casting the net far and wide to try out any roasters that match our philosophy. Lots of naturals, lots of African coffee, lots of fun, interesting tasting notes and (hopefully) sweet, juicy, fruity brews.
We’ll also be serving tea from Pekoe in Edinburgh. Too often tea is just an adjunct, but we’ve invested a wee bit to do tea properly. It would be a shame to bust a gut trying to do amazing coffee only to serve up lacklustre tea.
Coffee is the focus, and we take it seriously, but we also want to have a friendly, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere; people shouldn’t feel intimidated or put off coming to somewhere that serves ‘speciality’ coffee. We’ll be doing our utmost to be accessible to everyone, regardless of coffee knowledge or experience.
Coffee will always be the #1 priority, but we’ll also be doing bakes. Once we’re properly into the swing of things, we’ll start doing sandwiches and light bites too.
For espresso, we’ll be using our custom Mahlkonig #weeK43, Nuova Simonelli Mythos One, and (for now) Rancilio Classe 6. There will be a new arrival on the bench at the start of June which we’re pretty excited about, so watch this space.
To the left we have a Fetco 2131 batch brewer. We’re big advocates of batch brew and will be serving this as our primary filter method. We’ll probably do hand brews in the future, but for now it’s all about the batch.
As we’ll be indoors and don’t have to worry about the wind making scales go crazy, we’ve upgraded to some Ohaus Navigators for weighing portafilters. These are super fast, super accurate, basically just super in every way. We have Acaia Lunars for weighing yield too.
Next to them, we have a new Marco Mix PB3 multi-temperature boiler. This instantly gives water at up to three different temperatures, which is ideal for teas and Americanos. It also gives us flexibility should we decide to do manual filter too.
We’re mega excited about this. Working indoors, in the dry, without the wind and the rain, should mean we can be more consistent. Being open every weekend means we have a chance to search out even more great coffee to serve. We’re also pretty nervous about the whole thing, but that’s part and parcel of pushing yourself.
We can’t wait to get started, and hope you’ll come by for a brew soon.