Artigiano Espresso Bar @ Paternoster Square, St Pauls

tea‘というティーハウスが閉店、その場所にArtigianoエスプレッソバーがオープンした。これは紅茶大国のイギリスが、どんどんコーヒーに侵略されつつある兆しか。

ロンドンに2店、Exeterにももうすぐ開店するというArtigianoは、コーヒーの品質にこだわりを持つ、らしい。コーヒー豆は、コーンウォールにある小さな焙煎業者・Origin Coffeeから仕入れ、通常のブレンドに加え、「旬」のブレンド、そしてドリップ式コーヒーを提供。エスプレッソマシンは予想通り、カスタムペイントされたLa Marzocco Linea。手作りの「こだわり」のサンドイッチやパイ、サラダ、ケーキやペイストリー等もある。エスプレッソバーのくせに、何故か地ビールやワインの種類も豊富なのだけれど、それは商売。イギリス人の好物を知っている。

ただでさえ日照時間の短い11月、太陽光の入る1階席に座りたかったのだが生憎満席。平日3時なのにスーツ姿の人が多いが、オフィスにいなくていいのか?仕方なく少し薄暗い地下のテーブルに座ったが、心理的効果が味覚に投影されたのか、Mのゴートチーズとトマトのバゲットサンドとポテトとリーキのスープはは不味くはないが特別美味しくもなく、私のベーコンと卵のサンドイッチはハッキリ言ってハズレ。紅茶とコーヒーもどこがこだわり一杯?という感じ。

tea‘ tea house is gone, and now Artigiano Espresso Bar moved in. Does this symbolize that coffee is taking over tea-drinking nation of Britain?

Independent coffee shop with two venues in London and one coming soon in Exeter, Artigiano says they care about quality of coffee. The coffee is sourced from Origin Coffee roaster from Cornwall. In addition to the regular coffee blend, a seasonal espresso and filter is also on offer. Espresso machine? Custom-painted La Marzocco Linea as you may predict. There serve also ‘artisan’ food  such as sandwiches, soups, pies, salads and some cakes. For some reason, another British’s favorites, craft beers & wines are available. It’s a business!

Ground floor seating is nicer with some precious sunshine in dark November, but was full with people in business suits at 3pm on weekday. They don’t have to be in the office? Downstairs is furnished in the same style, but felt more depressing for some reason. Maybe just psychological. However, this may or may not affect the taste of food and drink. M’s baguette with goat cheese and tomatoes and potato & leek soups were ok but not exciting, and my bacon and egg sandwich and were boring. Their ‘quality’ tea & coffee? Not so impressive…


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