Morning Coffee: The Oft Overlooked Necessity

Caffee Mobile Highbury Islington

I have a new job, dear-readers. With it has come a new commute, and although I could view this new commute as a new soul-destroying trudge, I prefer to see it as a new trail to blaze within London, with new delights to discover along the way.

One of the most pleasant has been the sight of the two ‘caffe mobiles’ which await me every morning as I exit Highbury & Islington Station. My new commute is much longer, and after exiting the station I have about a 15- to 20-minute walk before arriving at my office. The caffe mobiles, like shining beacons of Italian civilization, serve as a pleasant rest stop and mental refueling station as I make my way towards the start of my day.

I used to work in a Starbucks-like cafe during high school and university, and although I never perfected my espresso grinding (due to weather) or how to ensure my crema was perfectly formed, I did learn and master how to foam milk properly. As I’m sure most of you enlightened beings are aware, I’m not speaking of big bubbles of tasteless styrofoam-like fuzz that adorn some cappuccinos and lattes out there. I’m talking about velvet-smooth, perfectly regular milk foam, the kind that makes you wish you could take a bath in it.

There was a time when I was so consistently disappointed with the quality of milk foam I received at standard mainstream espresso bars in North America and the UK that I stopped going to them altogether. If I couldn’t go round the counter and do it myself, I wanted no part of it.

The beautiful thing about Caffe Mobil for me is that in the three times I’ve bought coffee there on the way to work, the milk has always been foamed perfectly and the espresso divine. The machines are manual — with each espresso made or pitcher of milk foamed, the maker must pull a giant lever releasing the steam or the water into the coffee.

There is an unpretentious air to all of it while still retaining a steadfast commitment to quality. The milk is perfect, and the espresso also flawless, with no time wasted drawing froofy little designs on the top of the drink. Behold my latte: simple, smooth and sophisticated.

Caffe Mobil Latte

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8 Responses to Morning Coffee: The Oft Overlooked Necessity

  1. Joanna says:

    Makes me want to go to Highbury just for the coffee … love that three-wheeler, too!

    Joanna
    joannasfood.blogspot.com

  2. Silverbrow says:

    There’s one outside Kentish Town tube station and 250 Bishopsgate as well. They’re great.

  3. I just saw a photo of an Illy mobile coffeeshop. It turns from a shipping container into a cute coffeestand as the walls of the container go down. Don’t remember where i saw it, but google for it!

  4. Toni-anne says:

    Wow, that looks so good. Love the mobile, is it an Ape?

  5. supercharz says:

    That looks like some gorgeous, silky smooth crema. Like you, I worked in a cafe (so to say, I made coffees at my uni’s student union) so became really picky about my coffees (particularly the cappucinos)!

  6. supercharz says:

    HAHA but obviously I never learned my terms properly – I obviously meant, that is a lovely foam up there.

  7. amberjee says:

    ah, a well made coffee, such a rare thing. i made the mistake of trying a coffee from the ‘other’ coffee cart down upper street near the church, and watched the guy make it. he did the milk in the cup and then literally threw in the shot of coffee at the end. WRONG! horrid stuff. i just have to try to get to the highbury station in time. i don’t know what time these guys pack up but i’m always too late after getting my 9 month old out of the house (major operation).
    if you’re working around highbury, my naughty little secret is the french cafe le peche mignon on ronalds road, close to holloway road. they know how to make coffee! a nata and a coffee… bliss.

  8. Debbi says:

    No such thing exists in Canada (sad for Canadians) but I sure liked to hear about it!

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