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Having recently met Nick Jessop from this forum I thought it would be good to join. I've had the odd lurk over the years, particularly when researching small espresso machines. I arrived from Melbourne a year or so ago and was looking for an alternative to conventional employment. Coffee has always been a borderline obsession and I had seriously looked at going into coffee roasting back in Australia where I did a lot of research, got qualified as a barista etc. etc. Opening a roastery here looked like a good idea - at least I could be sure of a decent cup of coffee! I have to say it has been a difficult start-up but I couldn't enjoy it more. Our customer base is still small but incredibly enthusiastic. Take a look at my website (www.SydneyRoadCoffee.co.uk) for more bio. We try to brew our coffee in as many ways as possible to see what works well and what needs tweaking. If you are interested in gear, our test espresso machine is a La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi, paired with a Eureka Mignon. We have another heavy-duty Eureka grinder back at the roastery. Both espresso machine and grinder are excellent pieces of kit and give good results. If I had to be picky, I would say the Vivaldi is very sensitive to grind and takes a finer grind than most to perform at its best. This is close to the limit of what my Eureka Mignon can deliver. I look forward to officially becoming a non-lurker and am happy to answer any queries about my coffee, my roastery or anything else relevant to coffee. Chris Strudwick
Had to venture to The Quays shopping centre today, so decided to also go check out Cafe Corretto in Gloucester Docks. Outside is lots of seating looking out over the docks and warehouses. Inside the Cafe was very busy and noisy. It took about 5 minutes from arriving to being served. The staff looked quite rushed. Only one Barista was making the coffee, the other staff were either sorting the food or cleaning. One member of staff was taking the orders and money. The menu is varied, with several options for espresso, plus the usual Latte, cappuccino and flat white. I opted for the interesting looking cortado, sold as a double ristretto with steamed milk. The cafe also sells tea, beer, wines, milkshakes and food ranging from sandwiches to amazing looking cakes. My Cortado was £1.90 I think and my Wifes medio Chai latte about £2.20, so pretty reasonable. I'd like to go back to try the flat white and when its not so busy. Certainly reccomened if you are there. Much better than the Costa or Cafe Nero lso on site. There is also another cafe next door to this one called Cafe Italia. It didnt look anywhere near as busy as the Corretto. One thing both me and my wife noticed was the barista occasionly checking the milk temperature with a thermometer after steaming and sampling the espresso from the machine after a few shots. One of two Faema two group machines, with Mazzer grinders. I presumed one was decaf and one normal, but one of the staff filled both grinders from the same bag of beans, so obviously not. I couldnt see any other grinders, but they do claim to serve decaf if requested. Cafe Corretto by TCR4x4, on Flickr My Cortado served in a handless glass beaker Cafe Corretto by TCR4x4, on Flickr Sitting outside was pleasant despite the cold weather. We had no choice, inside was jammed full. Cafe Corretto by TCR4x4, on Flickr My wife very much enjoyed her Chai Latte, even though it was a medio, the smallest size available, she said it was still too big. Cafe Corretto by TCR4x4, on Flickr
http://www.eacoffee.co.uk/ Just found this online as looking for a local roaster and only 1/2 mile from home (Gloucester), looks a good website. going there Monday when they open, and will report back.