Although I live just barely south of the river, travelling up to North London always feels like a bit of a mission. However, the prospect of breakfast and coffee at Weanie Beans' Harringay roastery was more than enough to tempt me 'up north', even on a frigid Saturday morning. Jess, who blogs about food and coffee at Eating East, is now the operations manager for Weanie Beans and very kindly invited a few bloggers to come to the roastery, learn more about the company and, of course, drink lots of coffee. I also got the chance to catch up with the lovely Jamie and Sara of the excellent Bean There at blog and to meet their newest team member.
Weanie Beans started life as a coffee cart, run by founder Adeline, who is now usually found at Heirloom, her café on the Buckinghamshire–Bedfordshire borders. You can also drink Weanie Beans' coffee at a number of other cafés and restaurants, in London and beyond. I hadn't had the coffee before, though, and was really looking forward to trying it.
The roastery itself is tucked away in a small industrial estate and occupies a small-ish but cosy and lovingly decorated room. I particularly liked the pops of turquoise and pink in the décor (Weanie Beans' signature colours and, by happy coincidence, my two favourite colours), the coffee-sack-upholstered office chair and the world map marking out the different places from which they have sourced coffee to date. Add this to Toper roaster and the shelves filled with bags of coffee beans, and you essentially have my dream office.
I first tried a piccolo with Weanie Beans' blend, Scout. I was intrigued by the name, and Adeline explained that, after their Citizen Kane blend, she wanted to feature a female character, seeking inspiration from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The coffee tasted great as a piccolo and I've also been enjoying it at home, both brewed through my Aeropress and my espresso machine (my latte art in the blue Acme cup below isn't up to scratch in the case of the latter; I'll leave it to your imagination whether I was aiming for a 'B', a bow or half a butterfly). I tend to stick to single origins when I'm making filter coffee, but Scout was designed to be enjoyed as an espresso-based drink or a filter coffee, and it tasted pretty nice through my Aeropress.
Later, Jess brewed us a sample of some Ethiopian Guji coffee through the V60 on the awesome home-made copper brew bar, and this was really excellent: a subtle, fruity and very drinkable brew. Des was definitely impressed.
There was a great breakfast spread too, including some yummy Troo granola and coffee yoghurt from The Collective. I was a bit skeptical about the latter because, much as I love coffee, I don't generally like coffee-flavoured foods and was worried this would be too sweet. However, it was creamy and had a great, not at all synthetic coffee taste, and worked very well with the granola.
I also got to take home a bag each of Scout and Flux espresso beans to try at home. The former is probably my favourite, especially for Aeropress-brewing, but I've been enjoying Flux as an espresso and piccolo. Unusually, it combines coffee from Congo, with Costa Rican and Kenyan coffee, and the result is a very well-balanced espresso shot. Isn't the design for the packaging of both of these blends gorgeous (note Scout's mockingbird)? Also in the goody bag was some Weanie Beans hot chocolate, which makes for an excellent treat on a cold winter night, and a few other healthy treats.
Thank you to Jess and Adeline for inviting me for breakfast and for introducing me to the very fine coffees of Weanie Beans.