The Attendant: A stylish new coffee venture

Tell us a bit about you:

The owners Ryan De Oliveira and Bosh McKeown met at University in Bristol in 2008. Bosh began his business career upon graduating in 2009 starting up an event management, bar & nightclub business in Bristol. He ran that successfully for several years before economic conditions saw it become a non-viable venture. Upon graduating in 2011, Ryan pursued a career in finance in the city, working for Bloomberg as a Fixed Income Specialist. After a couple of years Ryan came to the realisation the world of finance wasn’t for him and yearned another challenge. At crossroads in their careers they caught up over coffee in East London last summer. This meeting ultimately led to many more meetings, which then saw the duo team up in this specialty coffee shop venture – the Attendant.

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Describe your café to us:

Situated at the crossroads of Foley Street & Great Titchfiled Street in Fitzrovia lies our former Victorian gents toilet, which has been lovingly transformed into one of Europe’s most unique espresso and food bar spaces. Built around 1890 and mothballed in the 1960’s, the Attendant had been dormant for more than fifty years. After two years of planning and restoration the old Attendant’s office has been turned into a little seating area and the original Doulton & Co urinals have become an inspired seating line with green stools now used for a different kind of pit stop to match the original floor & wall tiles. Featuring an exciting mix of Caravan coffee, Rare Tea, Ivy House Farm milk & Batch Bakery brownies. Our café pumps out amazing breakfast, brunch & lunch from local British farms, which our chefs from Sissi Fabulous Foods make fresh every morning. There is always something to pleasure your palate at the Attendant.

What are your tips for making a great coffee?

Great coffee can be made at home, for home brewing there are a number of techniques you can use. Popular techniques include, chemex, V60 and aeropress. It is always recommended to own a grinder whether it is hand held or mechanic. Freshly ground beans always produce a more flavoursome cup of coffee. If you’re one of those lucky people who possess an Espresso machine at home, then I would recommend an evening barista course to learn how to dial in the grinder, tamp correctly, brewing recipes, weighing the coffee, timing and the basic intricacies of making a good espresso. Once you have mastered espresso then it is time to start frothing the silkiest milk and then perfecting your rosetta or heart.

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What types of coffee are best for which occasions?

For those early mornings we’d recommend a filter coffee, long black/black americano or a flat white. For a lunch time accompaniment or those mid afternoon meetings we’d have to go for a flat white or latte For a late afternoon pick me up we’d recommend a piccolo, macchiato or an espresso. And for those evenings out where you’ve just enjoyed a 3-course meal with wine and need something to perk you up a little before the pending journey to the next waterhole we’d recommend a nice strong espresso.

What glasses should be used for what coffee?

Espresso & macchiato – 3oz cup

Piccolo – 3oz glass

Americano & cappuccino – 6oz cup

Flat White – 5oz cup Latte – 5.5oz glass

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What is your favourite type of coffee?

Ryan – I’m really into filter coffee at the moment as it’s a cleaner cup of coffee.

Bosh – I’m still really into my milky coffees so it has to be a flat white or piccolo for me

Your top 5 places to enjoy a coffee? Caravan Kings Cross, Brickwood Coffee Clapham, Federation Coffee Brixton, Ground Control, Sharps

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Who or what inspires you?

Ryan – Id say that it is very difficult to nail down what inspires me to a specific, many things, moments and experiences that occur on a daily basis inspire and invoke me.

Bosh – Having the freedom to create & build my own destiny. Ever since I started my professional career I have been my own boss. I’ve been through so many life experiences in my business career that one thing has stood out thus far. No matter what risks I took and mistakes I made as long as went at it with a positive can-do attitude I would come out of it a stronger person. This attitude is what will keep me striving towards and achieving my own life goals.

What are you working on at the moment?

We’re both currently working on our expansion plans for the Attendant. We’re hoping to have two new sites up and running by the end of the year. The locations are very hush hush at the moment but we’ll be sure to let everyone know once the final wheels are in motion.

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Complete the sentence ‘We love Habitat because…’

We love Habitat because we love quality and aesthetics.

Tell us about your plans for the Habitat A/W Press Show?

We’ll be running a private coffee pop up bar at the press show for Habitat. We’ll be brewing up great coffee using our Caravan beans and supplying some sweet treats courtesy of Batch Bakery and Sissi Fabulous Foods.

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