Spotted: A cafe called Dalston Coffee...in Barcelona
- Credit: Emma Bartholomew
Dalston is an unlikely coffee exporter next to the likes of Italy or Kenya.
But one budding barista was so impressed by the vibrant café culture he discovered in Hackney that he’s named his new business Dalston Coffee – even though it’s in Barcelona.
Borja Rosello, 31, has opened a tiny shop in the narrow backstreets off the main central tourist strip, La Rambla.
He told the Gazette: “I have been in hospitality for 10 years and I was always kind of interested in coffee. But it was in east London where I discovered a new drink, which was good coffee.
“You cannot go back to crap coffee once you have tried a good one.”
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Borja was in London while he worked as a chef at Camino in Blackfriars.
He realised the kind of coffee most people are used to drinking is not up to scratch because “all the coffee beans are too burned and the machinery is not properly clean”.
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Wanting to open his own business, he decided Barcelona was lacking in speciality coffee shops, and he visited all of Dalston’s coffee shops as research.
“It had more of a good vibe around good coffee,” he said. “Here in Barcelona we do have that vibe but around food and around wine – and even beer, lately, with the craft beer – but we didn’t have it around coffee.”
Before he opened his shop six months ago he only knew of 10 shops in the Spanish capital that were serving up speciality coffee. Now there are close to 50.
“I’m not the first in Barcelona to do good coffee but I’m the smallest,” he said. “And maybe one of the best located, centrally speaking.
“Because I discovered nice coffee in east London it made sense to me to put an east London name on the wall.”
“Some people pass by and come in and ask about the name. It’s kind of funny – they say ‘are there any connections between your shop and Dalston in London?’ and I will explain the story about the name. They like it, actually.”
Business is going well, apparently.
“Local people are starting to try,” he said. “It’s a bit of a jump in price. They are used to paying cheaper prices for bad coffee, but they are coming back and spreading the word so I’m really happy.”
• The Gazette spoke to Borja a few hours before the terrorist attack that killed 13 in La Rambla on Thursday. Since then, Dalston Coffee has posted the following message on Instagram: “We condemn the attack and stand in solidarity with those affected.”