London is a hive of activity at the moment, what with London Fashion Week & the London Design Festival it isn’t hard to find a catwalk show, party or design talk to attend.
It is a great time of year to live in London and working in Clerkenwell we are surrounded by design showrooms who during the week of 20th-25th of September are celebrating design by holding events, installations, talks & debates and last night Fay and I took ourselves off to Galleria illy.
“Coffee and culture have shared an inseparable bond that has lasted for centuries” and after a successful stint in New York, Milan and Istanbul the pop up celebration of all things illy has made its way over to the UK. Hosted by lighting and furnishing designers FLOS & Moroso the space is a celebration of illy, it’s love of art, culture and science and above all it’s passion for the finest coffee.
Last night we attended a coffee training session – it only lasted for an hour, but in that time Marco our tutor for the evening taught us the essential skills needed to make the perfect Cappuccino, Latte & Macchiato. We didn’t use roast and ground beans we used pods something i’ve always thought were a waste of money and bad for the environment, but i’ve since changed my mind and am now putting an illy pod machine on my Christmas list! Such a quick and
efficient way to make a coffee with limited waste and added experience, I felt like a proper barista; of course an hours class isn’t going to make me a pro, but it has made me think about the coffee I drink.
The American inspired chains that are swamping our high streets have quickly turned us from instant coffee lovers to coffee connoisseurs (or so we’d like to think), but they are so focused on selling, charging crazy money for products that aren’t even that great, that they have forgotten about the taste experience. Am I expecting too much from my coffee experience, I don’t think so.
Despite my new found love for the illy pod machine I have started to drink a lot more instant coffee in a bid to save money. I normally just buy whatever is on offer in my local supermarket, but last week I decided to go for something different, Nescafe Gold Blend, and do you know what I was pleasantly surprised. In my honest opinion instant coffee all tastes pretty much the same to me so it doesn’t really matter what I buy, but this time I was pleasantly surprised with my brand switch as there was a notable difference, the smell, it smelt great! It wasn’t until I put the jar back in the cupboard that I noticed a little sticker on the side – ‘new richer aroma’, the brand got me before the marketing did.
Coffee is so sensorial, from the sound of the grinding machine, the water boiling or the fresh seal popping, to the smell of the beans roasting and the coffee brewing; as an instant existing in this category can be challenging, how can you compete with the out of home experience, or the in home pod machines?
There may be lots of competition but there is also lots of opportunity as Nescafe have identified, to tap in to our senses and to offer consumers a greater experience. In doing so Nescafe have reinforced their quality coffee credentials with me and made me want to buy them again!
Someone stick the kettle on.