Herb Hoodiny
Moments from my travels around the globe

Coffee Vibes in London

Whenever I get the chance to see a new City, I also love to chase the best coffee it has. This time I experienced some coffee vibes in London. A city with a bustling and distinguished scene of excellent roasteries and cafe´s, it was difficult to choose where to go.
For this reason alone I will consider this piece a part I of my "Coffee Vibes in London".

I had the pleasure to visit 3 very different Shops, while obviously having the same thing in common - the goal to serve excellent coffee. 

39 Steps - Coffee Haus 

Situated in the heart of SoHo this place has everything I look for in a Cafe. 
A great location, cozy interior and excellent brews. But the thing that kind of struck me right away was the feeling of entering a living room and the sense of being welcomed into someones home. Even though you are right in the center of a major city like London.
The warm light and background music sure had something to do with it.
Ferg welcomed me with open arms, talking a little bit about their shop and their own roastery, which is located just outside of London.

On Batch was the fully washed "Gukuyu-ini" out of Kenya. The V60 definitely brought out all the rhubarb in it. Very outstanding for a Batch brew and once it hits the retail shelf I will be sure to capitalise on their worldwide shipping to get it right to my doorstep!

We also tried "La Esmeralda" from El Salvador, Fergs favorite. A natural processed coffee already in the 6th Generation and the cherry sweetness gives it a great after taste.

The one I got to take home with me "El Bosque" is the first of it´s to arrive from Guatemala in the UK and it sure is one of a kind!
A real afternoon delight for me. Especially the floral notes come through, when you brew it as an Espresso.
If you want to find out more about their coffees and subscriptions check out their Website https://39stepscoffeeroasters.com

Plus, if you click the 39 Steps on their website, it takes you through the journey from the bean to your cup. It is a real cool presentation!


Award winning roasts and baristas. What you get, when you enter one of their Cafes is coffee-excellence.
Established in 2004, one of UK´s prime roasters, Origin prides itself in the direct trade with the farmers they visit regularly and they even put out this stunning Video about it you can check out here . 
A fair partnership is a crucial part of Origins over a decade long succes-story. 

We visited their newest cafe in Southwark, opened just in October 2018. In an unremarkable alley just outside of the Tube Station lies coffee perfection.
I was instantly greeted by Umair, the general manager, who was determined to share his knowledge Origin nourishes on a daily Basis.
My favorite thing about visiting different roasteries and cafe´s is to go for the local recommendations and favorites. I know which types of coffees I like but their countless flavors and notes when it comes to coffee.
And where else will I find a better advice then from the experts themselves. And so I tried their two batch Brews, which were the "Karinga AB" from Kenya and Umair´s personal favorite "Liza" a natural Rwandan coffee. 
As I personally love Rwandan coffee myself, I wasn´t disappointed with the orange and caramel notes. 

The pour-over we then went for was Colombians "San Fermin". This one was also the coffee I decided to bring back home with me and Umair then told me that this was actually one of their longest lasting relationships.
Every year they host a producer-competition within the region of Tolima to recognise the outstanding work of the farmers they work with.
I am really glad, they offer international shipping, so I can taste the results of this reocurring competition!

You definitely get the sense of their dedication to coffee when you tour the shop. Walking past the counter, you will find their education facility, as well as the workshop in the back.
The future of coffee looks bright here and it was a truly humbling experience to witness the effort they put into their craft at Origin. 

If you would like to find out more about Origin, their story and subscription-options, check out their site at  https://www.origincoffee.co.uk/

Black Sheep Coffee
This London based franchise is not your everyday coffee place.
I really loved the concept, since it is very refreshing with urban vibes. You feel the art and desire to be different and challenge the mainstream.
The two London friends who founded Black Sheep in 2013 still run the company and visit their farmers on a regular basis, ensuring the quality of their beans and the well-being of their producers.
We visited the Café in the Southbank tower and I got a feeling right away how unique it is.
My daughter loved Black Sheep in particular, due to all the graffiti and Banksy art gracing the walls inside. 

Most recently I am more and more fond of Espresso beans, so I went for their House Espresso called "Robusta Revival".
A full body with hazelnut notes and a strong chocolate aftertaste. It was the perfect kickstart for the afternoon and my flight back to Berlin.

They also offer all kinds of different roasts for purchase as well as pretty cool merch, which I discovered while we were leaving. 
And as you can imagine, the merch pretty much blends in with the store concept and black sheep logo. 
We also got the chance to try their brand new Waffle´s. And honestly, the waffles alone are reason enough to visit Black Sheep Coffee. 
Offering different varieties I went with the classic PB and Jelly stuffed with the mentioned filling. And by stuffed, I literally mean STUFFED in the most positive way.
As we talked to Anne, the store manager, who couldn´t have been sweeter, she recommended their waffles with norwegian cheese. 
They sounded so intriguing and will be my pick the next time around for sure!
But lastly I discovered something about Black Sheep that really touched my heart and I´ve rarely seen around. 
They are dedicated to contribute in their own way to support the homeless of London by their "Free Coffee Board". You can leave your full loyalty card there or purchase a 2 Pound "Suspended Coffee" for those, who really need it during these cold winter days. 
I tip my hat to you guys for that!

Check out my video from the 3 Cafe´s here: