We’ve come a long way since conceiving our first café/deli in 2006, adding our whole-foods kitchens and boutique catering, but at heart we remain a speciality coffee house – we’ve already served over a million cups of ‘black gold’ to our regulars across East and North-East London.
Nearly 15 years ago we headed to Union’s Canning Town roastery and were impressed with their ethical sourcing and direct farmer relationships, and equally impressed by the calibre of the roasting team and the blends they created. Many espressos later we shook hands on a relationship that is still going strong today.
Our house brew is a rich dark roast, balanced through a blend of beans from named terroir in Central America, Rwanda and Indonesia, that score a coffee industry quality grade considerably above what is used in most high street coffee – we won’t say what happens to the beans we reject, but let’s just say they cost a few bucks less.
We also showcase a number of single origin roasts at our all-new filter bar in Wanstead, where the team grind and hand-brew to order, bringing out the sweetness in our rotating list of guest picks. You’ll also see the team having fun making summer favourite nitro-brew and house made cold-brew, and we’re leading a revival for traditional filter coffee.
The beans are only half the story – or one-third to be precise – consistency is key to delivering quality coffee drinks day after day, and for that you need great kit. From our top-of-the-line La Marzocco workhorse machines, with twin boilers to ensure milk-steaming doesn’t divert pressure from the shot making, to the latest Mythos grinders for espresso, which warm or cool the grinding chamber to compensate for atmospheric and heat changes through the day, we cherish our machines! For filter coffee we tracked down a little known Romanian maker of unremarkable looking, but top performing, dedicated filter coffee grinder, so hand-brews can be calibrated quickly roast by roast.
The final and most important element is of course the skill and dedication of our baristas. Trained to make consistent shots, perfectly aeriated milk, and to look after the machines, the Larder’s baristas are led by our group head barista who supports them day by day to keep doing an incredible job.
The Larder cafés are barista-led – each and every manager and assistant manager having come through the ranks of barista then head barista, so our coffee, and your drink, is in great hands.
We recently sat down with Oliver Ritchie from Union Hand-Roasted to discuss why Union’s speciality coffee is just so, well, special. You can read the full interview here.