First Published - August 24, 2012 (By Steven – Co-Founder)
Featured customer: G&T London
Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9NQ
This small but perfectly formed stop on the Cambridge Road in East London, is owned by Italian’s Marco and Ilaria. With an organic ethos and Italian background shaping their love of food and drink, this is evident in the selection of goods on offer. Their coffee journey has, perhaps surprisingly, become more interesting and informed since they arrived from Italy, as London’s burgeoning coffee scene has provided inspiration and a variety which was lacking back in Italy.
> > > 1. What do you love most about your job?
The fact that it constantly involves and stimulates fantastic primary senses of taste and smell. It also requires hard work, research and experimentation into something we love, to achieve the best of this sensorial experience.
> > > 2. …And loathe the most?!
Having to explain to the cusomers why we don’t do decaf!
It’s just a personal thing, we don’t see the point in it! But for those who are perhaps caffeine adverse, we do offer other coffee flavoured options.
> > > 3. Time in the industry, and why coffee?
We opened our first business in 2004, in north of Italy, and we have been working in the food industry ever since. Then we moved to London in 2008 and we have been fascinated by the coffee scene how it is here. We think we offer a coffee experience that is a blend of our italian background and what we have met over here.
> > > 4. Favourite coffee?
As espresso lovers we like a blend – and a good one should have perfect flavour balance. Having to indicate a favourite area, it’s probably Africa which we would go for brewing as filter or aeropress.
> > > 5. You’re in a very competitive area, how do you attract customers, and then retain them – with the lure of the high street chains ever present?
With lots of cafes popping up every minute, details make the difference.
We believe we do what we do in a personal way, starting from the resolution of being a completely organic shop, to the decision we made about our equipment – Rancilio Xcelsius is a quite peculiar machine.
We think people come to G&T because they know we choose every single product or ingredient with all the possible care on the quality and the ethical side too. Big chains are still popular but they probably cover a slice of people different from our customers.
> > > 6. Biggest business challenge at the moment?
We love to think about G&T like a self sustainable system one day, being able to follow entirely the production and the development of it’s own products.
> > > 7. Who is your most famous customer? OR who would you most love to serve?
We are in a very creative area and many of our costumers are artists or celebrities, also considering our neightbour Town Hall Hotel. But everybody is equal in front of a cup of coffee!
> > > 8. Filter or espresso? – and why?!
As mentioned we are devoted to espresso. It must be because of our origin?? but there’s that kind of deep, intense and short pleasure in an espresso, and in brewing it, and its appearance, and the crema, and……need we say more?!
> > > 9. Is there a particular coffee which sells better than others?
Although we tried a couple of times to serve single estate coffees, Union’s Organic Natural Spirit blend with the right temperature profile, is always the favourite one among our customers. And we are very pleased by that since we think it reflects our coffee view, which we are well aware departs a bit from the mainstream.
Soya based coffees are much appreciated, and that’s another fact we are very pleased of.
Not to be missed is our great flat white with Bonsoy, it isn’t disappointing.
Our summer signature drink inspired by the traditional “caffe’ in ghiaccio” is a best seller in warm days. We prepare it pouring almond milk on a double shot and agave on ice.