Not even the London specialty coffee scene was immune from World Cup fever this summer, so when Climpson & Sons proposed to run a mini tournament of the top specialty coffee roasteries, the idea was immediately a hit. Assuming an irresistible series of photos ops, we sent Sprudge contributor Giulia Mule out to London Fields to document London baristas playing a beer-fueled iteration of the beautiful game.
Finals for the Great London Coffee Roastery Football League happen tonight, Wednesday the 23rd of June, beginning at 6:30pm at London Fields.
This may well be the best British football played all summer.
The Great London Coffee Roastery Football League kicked off at the end of June involving some of the finest roasters in town: Square Mile, Allpress, Caravan, Ozone, Workshop, Pact Coffee, Nude, and Climpson & Sons. Over four weeks the 5-a-side football teams took part in 30-minute games in London Fields, one of East London’s most popular parks and Climpson & Sons’ local.
At the semi-finals last week the competition was fierce, with some cracking goals and equally impressive goalkeeping. The team at Climpson & Sons just nearly missed out on a place in the final after losing 2-3 against Caravan. “I think our semi-final victory against Climpsons was the best game so far” says Simon Lewthwaite of Caravan. “It really was a game of two halves and Miles (Kirby, Caravan’s owner) stole the show with some nimble goalkeeping skills.” It was a huge upset for the home team but a well-deserved victory for Caravan, who will play Allpress for the trophy at the grand finale tonight.
Allpress won the match with an impressive 5-0 score against Nude. And not only did the New Zealand-founded roastery score the highest number of goals in the semi-final games, they also had the largest and loudest group of supporters, led by Allpress barista trainer Dani Reid. Speaking about the tournament, Reid commented, “It’s been great to watch everyone’s skills and the team kits improve as the comp progressed.”
All the teams put an effort to show off their best looks, but in a city known for its fashion sense it was Workshop Coffee who looked the most dashing, sporting customized black and white t-shirts with names and numbers printed on the back.
Four weeks after the start of the tournament, the fitness levels of the players have been tested, their competitive streaks have grown and the kits have improved. “The tournament has been a real treat for the coffee industry,” says Simon Lewthwaite, but of course the league’s meaning is not strictly coffee related, nor is it strictly serious in any sense. There’s something so wonderfully wholesome about a summer sports league; this one just happens to field its competitors from eight of London’s very best coffee roasters.
We may have seen more sideline beer-drinking than goals scored, but that’s part of the spirit and rich pageantry that makes this league so rich. Tonight we’ll find out a winner between Allpress and Caravan; the tabloids are sputtering, the punters lining up. While London Fields will never be mistaken for Stamford Bridge, this may be the most entertaining pitch in all of London tonight.