Guide London (Is a Little Bit of All Right)

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We interviewed five such faces: former Aucklanders working in coffee in London. We asked them about life in the capital, their view of New Zealand coffee culture as an export, and just how hipster they really are. These New Zealanders are turning London tea drinkers into coffee fiends.

These New Zealanders are turning London tea drinkers into coffee fiends

Brewing a bean scene In a startling burst of reverse colonialism, Auckland baristas are schooling Londoners in the art of good coffee. I joined six years ago, when we were a lot smaller, before the coffee industry exploded. That commitment to creating quality coffee, and making it a daytime experience, was new to Londoners, who in the past might have gone to pubs for lunch, where our culture is very much going to meet for a coffee.

At the time I joined there were lots of other Kiwi companies emerging too: we all found an opportunity to bring this new concept to the UK. We have a lot more opportunity to buy fresher coffee and more in bulk too, because the UK is a lot closer to source than New Zealand. I think New Zealand is sort of still riding on its coat-tails a little bit when it comes to coffee.

Noël Coward

Then I started doing the opening shifts, then a couple of late shifts. Then I went to restaurants and then went back to bars. Your lifestyle completely changes when you go from working in a bar to coffee.

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I actually first came to London when I was 11 years old. My mum took me out of school for six months and we backpacked around Europe. I had seen London and fell in love with it as a kid, just the way people dressed, how big it was, that there was a Nike Town here — that sort of shit.

I had to take my two-year visa before I was 30, so I took that at the last possible minute. Make me a flat white. You know, Scandinavian furniture: tick. Japanese-style food: tick, New Zealand barista: tick.

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When my wife and I landed here in , one of the first restaurants we ate at was Caravan. By the end of lunch I had a trial shift lined up for Monday.

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When I first started, the London coffee scene was very middle of the road and appreciative to the common coffee drinker. Provenance is important, which I think is a New Zealand philosophy generally.

We go to origin to buy our coffee, directly to the farmer for our pigs. Another roaster, really? Do you sell coffee? So we chuffed up to London on the train and headed for the riverbank. Brady's Restaurant occupies a perfect position by the river and we were served great steaming bowls of Moules Marinieres with lovely crusty French bread, great bowls of chips and chilled Muscadet. And as an added bonus, several friends had been similarly tempted so it turned into a lovely social occasion.

If you don't like mussels the menu has all manner of other fishy choices grilled, battered and fried and comforting puddings like apple crumble and treacle tart. After lunch, a slow journey back to the Station up Kings Road stirred dormant memories of great shopping and dining in Chelsea.

These New Zealanders are turning London tea drinkers into coffee fiends

We know many of our visitors to Kent visit London while they are here and this day was a timely reminder of how easy it is to enjoy a day out in this thrilling city. Next stop: Paris! Return to blog article index.