Chiswickians Happy To 'Travel' For Coffee

New cafe brightens up mornings for Strand on the Green locals


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The Coffee Traveller, a new coffee shop with attitude, has opened at Strand-on-the Green, in the Thames Road premises formerly occupied by Ken Hammond butchers.

Neil Vanstone has spent fifteen years in the coffee industry, travelling the world and even living on coffee farms watching the process 'from bean to cup'. His quirky Coffee Traveller camper van is a regular at local events, including the recent Super Saturday Of Sport and food festival in Chiswick and he can be seen at Brentford Food Market at weekends.

Chiswickians Happy To 'Travel' For Coffee

The interior of the Coffee Traveller is inspired by Central American coffee-houses which are often based in people's homes and consist of a number of small rooms rather than an open-plan cafe. There are also tables at the back and seating in the garden. The owners hope to attract everyone from parents on the school run, to homeworkers who want a bit of a bolt-hole, to retired people. The furniture and fabrics make good use of 'upcycling'. The owners, Neil, and wife Becks, wanted the cafe to have a "shack" feeling about it.

Their menu runs from morning porridge and pastries, to salt beef, rolls, bacon and red marmalade muffins and sweet treats such as chocolate salted caramel brownies, polenta cake and gluten-free and dairy free banana cake.

Neil first became interested in coffee while working as a business development manager for Whittards of Chelsea and his interest turned into a passion which has taken him around the world, from Kenya to Indonesia, Central America to Italy.

The Coffee Traveller hopes to be more than just a coffee shop, and become a central part of the local community. A running club is starting on Sept 29th at 8.30 a.m. and all levels are welcome. A Knitter and Natter club will also be starting soon in the evenings. Neil also hopes to give coffee masterclasses in future.

They take their coffee very seriously. There is a special 'Brew Bar' where they' manipulate the flavours' of the beans to individual preferences. They have also purchased highly specialist equipment for the brewing process, including a La Marzocca GB5 expresso machine, a Marco Uber boiler (a precision water filter boiler which dispenses precise temperatures and weight) and a German-made Mahlkonig grinder, which grinds with precision.

At present the cafe is open from Monday to friday 8-4.30 pm and Saturdays 9-4 pm but he says he wants it to 'evolve naturally'.

"If the lights are on and someone is passing by outside those opening hours, come on in, we'll be happy to serve you", he says.

September 7, 2015

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