Place: Cafe Ashton / Glasgow
Coffee: Talor & Jørgen / Ethiopia / Pixie Dust & Candy
Varietal: Heirloom, Illubabor Forest / Natural
Roaster notes: Floral, lemongrass, ripe mango, hibiscus, guava, candied strawberries.
The coffee scene here in Glasgow is a fragile one isn’t it? There seems to only be a handful of baristas who have the knowledge, ability and interest to achieve truly high level modern coffee. Without them, coffee in Glasgow would just be really average.
So, Cafe Ashton then.
Place: Hazel & Hershey / Central, Hong Kong
Coffee: Hazel & Hershey / Ethiopia / Sidamo / Dimtu
Varietal: Heirloom / Natural
Roaster notes: Apricot, wild berries, green grape, black tea.
Hazel & Hershey is exactly the kind of place I love to drink coffee in. It has all of the enthusiasm for coffee and none of the pretence. The entirety of one of its walls is lined with stuff for sale: coffee books, coffee equipment, coffee magazines, signed coffee mugs and… coffee. It was like a coffee nerd honeypot. The space itself is colourful, homely, and bright without being boringly clinical. It was surprisingly roomy inside but since I was drinking alone, there was only going to be one place for me to sit – the brew bar.
Place: Box Kite / Upper West Side, Manhattan, New York
Coffee: The Barn / Costa Rica / La Bandera
Varietal: Red catuai / White honey
Roaster notes: Macademia, blood orange, alfalfa honey.
Our South African barista was struggling. He hadn’t “worked at this location before” and was frantically searching for something. “If you’re looking for your Kalita Wave, it’s sitting up there”, I pointed out to him. Annoyingly for him, we had asked for two of the most labour-intensive drinks to make on the menu: a pour-over and a 1&1 (espresso, macchiato, seltzer). With customers waiting and no help behind the bar, I could understand.