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15 June 2013

The Caffeine Chronicles: Nude Espresso and #guardiancoffee

Since moving to the foodie haven that is my new South of the River hood, I've found that most weekends seem to revolve around food, drink and coffee. Not that I'm complaining. Yesterday morning, I had run out of coffee so I went into work via Prufrock (review here). Because I was also buying a bag of coffee beans and a croissant, I didn't realise at first that I had paid £5 for a filter coffee. Even though it was a really tasty Ethiopian brew and even though it did take the barista about 10 minutes to custom-make it for me, I might stick to my usual macchiato in future. As a Scorpio, I did appreciate the eight-legged decoration on my eight-ounce cup, though.

Posh filter coffee at Prufrock

At lunchtime, we went to Caravan. Sadly, it wasn't quite clement enough to sit outside in Granary Square, so we enjoyed our pizzas at the bar instead, along with a single-origin espresso from Guatemala. I'm not sure that my coffee palate is sophisticated enough yet to discern all the right notes in a single-origin coffee, but it was delicious: very rich and strong.

Pizza and single-origin espresso at Caravan

This morning, I stopped via Maltby Street on the way back from my run. For the past few weeks, I have been trying to buy one of Poppy Smadja's Le Snickers: an unholy alliance of chocolate, salted caramel and peanuts. This week, they even had pretty edible flowers on top, but they came with lemon sauce inside, which was a flavour combo too far for me. I "settled" for a hazelnut panna cotta, which rested upon a nutty, chocolatey ganache and a buttery biscuit base. The perfect pudding after my relatively healthy lunch of freshly baked rye bread from St John, and green olives and cherry tomatoes from Borough Olives.

Lunchtime treats from Maltby Street

I braved the rain to meet some friends at the new Saturday style market that has just opened at Spitalfields, which featured the work of lots of independent fashion and accessory designers. I was tempted by a really cute leather purse, but restrained myself. We then sought shelter from the elements at Nude Espresso. The Hanbury Street location is perfect for hipster-watching and their double macchiato is superb. As some of us hadn't had enough coffee yet, we then headed over to Boxpark to check out the Guardian's pop-up coffee shop, #guardiancoffee. They use Nude coffee and so my double macchiato was fairly similar to the one I had already had. They have iPads for customers to use, although you can only access the Grauniad and the Observer.

#guardiancoffee, Boxpark

This being the Grauniad, there are also plenty of infographics and you can see how many of each beverage have been ordered on a particular day (flat white was the most popular; no one bought any fizzy drinks, natch). It's quite a nice idea, the coffee is good and if I needed a space to get on with some work or writing, I would enjoy hanging out there. It just felt rather surreal, and at 5 pm on an intermittently rainy Saturday, the place was pretty quiet.

Infographic!


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