When Italians and Austrians talk about Coffee! – 21 Sid Coffee London – Interview #1

Have you ever wondered what´s going on in a barista´s mind who is busy making coffee behind the counter for dozens of people in their morning rush? What must it be like to prepare the seventieth cup of flat white after hours and hours of standing? Same goes for the non-liquid section, running a bakery for instance. Have you ever given it a thought how must it be like when there is to prepare a range of pastries that need to go out for delivery the next morning? – Must be loads going on. And, there is a woman who does it all! An Italian named Laura who´s been living in London for nearly 10 years now. I got to interview her the other day in her brandnew coffeeshop in London Fields. Today, I am delighted to share our coffee talk with you!

Laura is originally from Sicily. Back in April she´s opened her very own coffeeshop called 21 Sid Coffee, nowhere other than in exciting and multicultural London! It´s open 7 days a week and she serves the most delicious brunch, lunch, afternoon treats and doubtlessly incredible coffee. I had a blast there, spent a good four to five hours or so, I am sure you´ll have one too!

Coffee Talk – 21 Sid Coffee, London Fields 2018

C:Laura! You´re my very first interview guest, that´s so exciting!L:Am I? Oh wow! So, there´s pressure now!

C:Indeed 😉 We´re sitting here in your very own coffeeshop which looks just wonderful btw. How´s that feeling like for you?
L: Yeah, it´s just great. It feels so good that everything is nearly finished and I can start doing what I´ve been loving so much ever since. Thanks very much for having me!

C:Thank YOU for your time! I´d love to hear your story. Tell us, how did this all happen, what triggered you to actually do this?
L: Sure, I came to London about ten years ago. Actually the love has brought me there. Ever since so many things have changed. I´ve been working part-time in a coffeeshop in Clerkenwell besides my university studies here. It´s been a good eight years where I pretty much did everything for them in the end. It was such a good and valuable experience, also seeing and experiencing the coffee scene from the independent point of view. I´ve learned a lot and after running my own bakery for two years now, it was about time really to fully start my own project. I am very happy.

C: That´s fantastic. You´re running both a coffeeshop and a bakery here? No wonder I mean, everything smells gorgeous, it´s like a banana bread heaven!
L: Yes. My bakery is called the Biscuit Badger. We bake and deliver on customer´s request. The banana breads are actually for a client at Broadway Market, I´m going to deliver them later today!

C:Are the recipes for the cakes Italian only? And what else in terms of food can people order in your coffeeshop? 
L:Here at 21 Sid Coffee, we do breakfast, lunch and everything in between and after when it comes to sweets and pastries. For instance, bruschetta, omelettes, sandwiches, cakes & cookies. The recipes for the cakes are not necessarily Italian ones. It´s a mixture really and mostly I create cakes and stuff just out of personal reflections. I like to ask my customers what they like and prefer and create individual cakes for them then.

C: I like the way how you decorated the place as well. There are clearly some Italian touches! My fav part is probably the wall behind the barista counter. It´s minimalistic but purely creative, looks nice! Not to mention the green coffee machine.
Thank you. It´s an overall atomic style and we are still in the process of arranging everything nicely together. When you look closer on the tiles on the wall, you can spot the Italian flag. 😉

C: Given the fact that you´ve spent a decade already in London, how would you describe the coffee lifestyle here?
L: In my point of view the community in London gets build around coffeeshops. Apart from the coffee chains, it´s more likely to find coffeeshops representing the Australian / New Zealand kind of vibe. That means, the coffee is very fruity in most cases.
Whereas we Italians do that differently. We often get criticised that we would over-roast the coffee beans, they look way darker and the flavour is more intense. For me, chocolaty coffee tastes like home!

C:I do like fruity coffee, it´s refreshingly smooth. But I have to say, I would choose black coffee over milky one every time.
L:Yes, it´s a different approach. And actually we are getting our coffee beans at the local coffee roaster Terrone which is just a stones throw away.

C:What´s been the best part of your job so far?
L:I think it´s been definitely the people. It´s great to have a place which brings people together who are enjoying themselves. 21 Sid Coffee shall spread all the nice and warm Italian vibes in a multi-cultural city like London. Also, it´s just a supportive neighbourhood round here. This area is increasingly evolving right now and it´s so nice to see and recognise familiar faces in here just yet. I´ve got quite a few regular customers already, mostly English ones, but so many new ones are popping in on a daily basis as well. Not every day is the same, I am constantly learning and am valuing the direct customers´feedback so much. It´s exciting.

C: Sounds wonderful. One last obligatory question, what´s your favourite type of coffee?
L:Espresso. No milk!

Thank you Laura!!
You can find her at 21 Sidworth Street E83SD London Fields.
Enjoy the pictures 🙂 Coffee Kisses, Carmen. X

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