Taylor St Baristas, the venerable London specialty coffee outfit, has just opened its newest location in the city: a three-month pop-up bar in Tower 42, a towering skyscraper at 25 Old Broad Street. Founded in 2006 by three Australian siblings, Taylor St has played an important role in the coffee boom in London, and this pop-up, serving their own Taylor St coffee imprint alongside Koppi coffee from Sweden, marks an astonishing ninth location in London.
We visited this Taylor St pop-up during a recent trip to London alongside TSB co-founder Andrew Tolley, who kindly answered a few questions about the brand's latest venture.
Who built that gorgeous wooden bar?
Our bars and cafe interiors are designed and built in partnership with my sister Laura and Nathan Bell. Nathan is famous for building London's best toilet moulded out of vegetable crates. It is located at our training centre and coffee gallery near Monument.
We like coffees that are light roasted so you can taste the flavours of the origin. We also only use coffees that score above 84 on the SCAA scoresheet because quality is objective and as an industry we need to define what quality is to distinguish speciality cafes from the rest. Taylor St uses multiple roasters in the cafes, rotating each fortnight.
Our seasonal house espresso is roasted & sourced by Union Hand Roasted, and we do the blending ourselves–currently 60% fully-washed Rwanda Maraba bourbon, 25% natural-processed El Salvador Finca Topacio, 15% natural-processed Brazil Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza.
At Tower 42 we're currently serving Koppi's espresso take on the natural-processed Brazil Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza, and their Ethiopia Suke Quto on batch brew.
Each of our bars are designed using the space as inspiration. We like to make them feel natural and be sustainable while also being slick operationally. We put a lot of thought into customer flow and serving customers on different journeys. Our newly refurbed site at 125 Old Broad St, for example, separates take-away customers from dine-in customers so we can deliver really good coffee to take-away customers faster, while dine in customers are able to relax and be served at their table. We have incorporated three espresso machines and a brew bar, to help us meet the demand for coffee.
We are very focused on the customer experience in our design because for speciality cafes to be sustainable we need to get more than just the coffee right. It is making the total customer experience exceptional that will turn first-time visitors into regulars and then friends.
Anything else you want shared about the space?
Tower 42 was an opportunity presented by a friend, Peter Dore-Smith. Peter is a founder of a wonderful cafe called Kaffeine. We're lucky to live and work in a really friendly and collaborative coffee city like London.