A lot has been heard on Harris+Hoole so time for us to go and see it.
If it is the design style ( exposed brick/ structural steel/ hand drawn sign and graphics/ eclectic mix of furniture/…) that may made people think it is an independent then perhaps people didn’t consider the scale of the shop, the quality and proportional quantity of equipments (invested in some top quality machines) and the number of staff they have.
Costa Coffee had taken on a similar approach to their new coffee shops in a slight more sleek style and even Starbucks has made changes to some of their branches in UK with similar language independent uses: brick wall, hand written signs, less spot lights but tungsten light bulbs, coffee bags, etc.
Espresso based drinks are all single origin at the moment, from Guatamala and roasted by Union Coffee Roaster in London. Clear hand written signs describing what is on offered and simple straight forward explanations on the differences are very helpful. This applies to tea as well.
Flat white was sweet and milk chocolate like with no sign of dark bitter notes, not to mention the velvety milk not too hot nor luke warm.
Espresso has nice apple like acidity and sweetness, roasted nuts, chocolate and a hint of cacao at the end.
Observing how the bar is run by 3
very skilful, friendly and well coordinated baristas ( sequence of work, tidy work stations and nice drinks) H+H at CrouchEnd Broadway definitely beats other chains that we have been to and pretty much up there with the well reputed independent coffee shops. The rest of the staffs seems to really enjoy the work and serve well.
It is no wonder it is packed on the weekend visit, the spacious interior is a magnet to mother with pushchairs, comfortable furnishing and well balance tactile finishes made it a relax atmosphere for meeting up or simply enjoying a cup of coffee.
When a chain has upped the standard, lets hope it will create a more genuine interest for the general public, so that it will trigger their curiosity to explore other independent coffee shops, to taste and experience something more out of their comfort zone, so development of coffee will have bigger support and independent will also gain from it.