Sunday, August 15, 2010

CC: Nude Espresso in Rapha Cycle Club

What's does "CC" mean? Location visited: London, UK
Free WiFi ? : yes
5+ [
see key]

Many people have noted that serious bicyclists tend to be avid coffee drinkers. I don't know if there is a true correlation, but it certainly seems to be more then a small coincidence in my relations, observations at coffeehouses and in the admitted habits of some in the coffee community.

While in London, I stumbled upon a venue that took the biking and coffee marriage up a notch. The Rapha Cycle Club was a temporary open-to-all-club that sold merchandise, organized bicycling-centered events and had its own cafe. Of course, the cafe was what drew me in, especially with the emblazoned name of Nude Espresso on the sign (a popular coffee roaster and purveyor) since visiting their official cafe was a probable no-go on my trip due to time restrictions.

The interior of Rapha was a huge space with a mammoth common table amidst merchandise in the front two-thirds. The cafe portion consisted of a small counter with dual baristas in the back corner. Given the emphasis on espresso alone (no other coffee infusions available), I ordered an espresso which held really bitter chocolate, lemon, heavy cream, nutmeg, a little cherry, oregano and fig. The shot was pulled well and the crema was of a good thickness and color, though the shot was a little too bitter for me. I did not see any tea.

As I mentioned above, Rapha was a temporary institution and hence, does not exist as of the end of July. But, despite of Rapha's end, I felt this information could be useful since this was my only experience with Nude Espresso in London (albeit an unsure one as I am not sure if the baristas were Nude's employees or Rapha's people). Thus, give Nude Espresso a try and keep an eye out for more bicycling-coffee hybrids.

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