Of all the new London espresso bars that have turned up even in my brief time here, MacIntyre Coffee may have been the most recently opened at the moment of my visit. They barely had any signage up, and the decor was largely plywood-based, with lots of additional building materials stacked up against the walls. There was no sign outside to indicate the presence of the shop; I’m not even sure they had a proper door! Of course, the rough-around-the-edges look appeals to my aesthetic sense in a way that I have mentioned before (“can’t decorate; too busy pulling shots”).
What caught my eye even more, of course, was the espresso machine itself. They had decided to use the Speedster, an amazingly sexy machine by the same designer who created the Triplette in use at Dunne Frankowski. Even better, they had two of them, side by side. To some extent, the goal is to lend the experience the flavour of visiting a barbershop, where you’d walk up to your favourite barista, who’d pour you a more perfect drink based on the psychic rapport the two of you had developed. More practically, the shop sits in one corner of a large conference centre, and is set up to accommodate a stream of conference traffic visiting one machine during breaks while the other can continue to serve outside clientele.
I had a lovely visit and a delicious espresso. The experienced baristas were happy to talk about coffee (I believe they were serving a roast imported from the US that day) and clearly excited about starting up a long-lasting venture. My time in London is rapidly coming to a close; I should try to pay another visit before it runs out completely, just to see what has changed at MacIntyre in the few months that they’ve been open.