The Electric Coffee Bean Experience

The search for kickass coffee

Espresso Joe gets nude

This post first appeared in NZ News UK 13 January, 2011

There are few pleasures like a good cup of coffee. Every barista worth their salt is capable of making a fine espresso. But some are better than others.

For some, hours spent in study and practice help them extract the perfect cup. For other baristas, there just seems to be an innate sense of timing and feel in their espresso making that would be damaged by analysing what they do.

The science of extraction is expanding all the time, as is the methodology for creating finely textured milk for lattes and flat whites. Yet the mechanics of the process are not the whole story. There are home and commercial coffee making machines that purportedly deliver perfect cappuccinos every time. Compare these with a good barista and the love and labour of the craftsperson always wins.

Case in point is nude espresso in Brick Lane and. Roasted in the old Truman Brewery and carried around the corner to the café, nude’s beans are awe inspiring. If owner Richard Reed is on barista duties then you can expect a small cup of molten honey when you order an espresso. In a sense, he replicates the coffee experience you can expect back home in New Zealand. And yet I think even there he’d be a rock star of coffee. That’s how good he is.

Try the flat white. It tastes like coffee enhanced by milk – not like the scalding, milky concoctions offered by lesser institutions. I know at least one Melburnian who travels weekly from West London to get his coffee fix and decent Eggs Benedict here. Yup, an Aussie acknowledging Kiwi superiority. That doesn’t happen every day.

And it’s not just Richard who can wave a milk wand and magic up a perfect latte. The staff at nude all have coffee sprites as parents.

So, there’s a lot to like about nude espresso.

  • Great coffee
  • Well-poached eggs for a real Eggs Benedict
  • Good music that doesn’t detract from your conversations
  • Friendly staff (although I’m not sure about the Swandris that were in vogue last time I went in)
  • Located in the western reaches of East London and a stone’s throw from Liverpool St station.

The café was closed up over new year’s and has since reopened with a new lick of paint. This café is always busy and at its peak there are never enough seats but don’t let that deter you. If you like great coffee then get to nude as soon as you can.

As well as making fine cups of coffee, you can also take home a bag of their ‘East’ espresso beans or pick up a pack of single origin beans – Guatemalan and Ethiopian were on offer – for your French Press. Available from their roastery or cafe.

26 Hanbury St

London E1 6QL


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