For those who haven't yet experienced this leading festival feature, let us explain. The True Artisan Café celebrates local, independent coffee communities in a rotating coffee shop concept. It's is designed for you to meet the artisans one-on-one, with different independent cafés taking over La Marzocco’s legendary machines to create a bespoke signature drink. Drinks are always complimentary, but donations to Project Waterfall encouraged.
And those who have visited; you cast your votes to name this year's winners of The True Artisan Café. We talked to the makers of the signature drinks themselves to find out what inspired the winning concoctions. Here they are...
Best Cocktail – Grind and Grey Goose
This drink started off as a twist on the humble Irish coffee. Following a year where some of the best cocktails bars in the world (such as NYC's Dead Rabbit) caught press with twists on this classic, Grind thought it was time they created their own version. After all, coffee and cocktails are their signature move; ask anyone who’s tried their infamous Espresso Martinis. Grind teamed up with French vodka experts Grey Goose to produce the Café Francais; Vodka instead of Whisky, with filter coffee and Grind house-espresso infused cream.
When the time came to do a drink for the La Marzocco True Artisan Café at The London Coffee Festival 2018, the first thing they remembered was just how hot it was in 2017, and decided to make a refreshing drink to cool down the crowds. Working with the concept of the best boozy iced coffee at LCF, they reinvented the Cafe Francais over ice, et voila.
Best Signature Drink – Origin Coffee Roasters and Soho House
Proving that cool frozen drinks are a fan favourite at LCF, this twist on a traditional Pina Colada, was created by Soho House UK Bar Manager, Erden Kayalar. The foundation of the drink being the espresso, roasted by Origin Coffee Roasters.
Origin has been working with Soho House for five years as partners in direct sourcing and bespoke roasting their house coffee. Their house blend of three family run farms in Brazil is sourced and roasted to taste of sweet chocolate, nuts, caramel, and a light fruitiness. Their coffee cocktail was made even more intense by adding in Origin's other bespoke partners, Sandows Cold Brew; a cold brew made using coffee sourced and roasted to capture the incredible work of the small-holder producers in Colombia who produce it. On top of these coffee foundations, other ingredients included Bacardi rum infused with cocoa nibs, Angostura bitters, fresh pineapple juice, Coco Lopez cream of coconut, Coconut water and Coconut milk.
Best Espresso – Extract Coffee Roasters and Daylesford Organic
The seed that grew into Daylesford Organic was sown over forty years ago when Carole Bamford recognised the importance and benefits of organic farming. The family’s estates in Staffordshire and Daylesford in the Cotswolds are organically certified by the Soil Association and are committed to sustainable farming.
Extract Coffee Roasters is a speciality coffee roaster founded in 2007. On the True Artisan Café, the team served Daylesford Organic Espresso; a washed and honey-processed blend from Peru and Honduras that, together, present flavours of dark chocolate, fruit loaf and caramel that soften in milk to create a smooth and balanced staple for quality driven and conscientious customers.
Lee Bolam, Director of Extract Coffee Roasters says, “We are overjoyed to see the Daylesford team recognised for their excellent barista skills, serving up the best espresso in the True Artisan Cafe at London Coffee Festival 2018. We have loved partnering with Daylesford to craft their organic house espresso and are continually overwhelmed by their commitment to sourcing incredible quality organic coffee.”