Second shot coffee, a new specialty coffee shop in Bethnal Green, with not only a great name, but an awesome concept behind it. Julius the owner has created a coffee shop to help homeless people take the first step back into work, without pigeon holing them into a career in coffee, this is a chance for them to experience working life again. Second shot will then support them with whatever career they choose next, opening the door for their future.
That isn’t the only reason you should visit, first and for most, they serve excellent coffee, cakes and pastries. Obviously I couldn’t tell you this unless I sampled them all, and sample them I did (it was a good morning). A few coffee lovers and foodies were invited along to a soft launch to give everything a try and find about more about the shop itself.
The cakes are from Rise, a bakery also employing formerly homeless people.
The pastries are made by Luminary Bakery, supporting vulnerable women.
The bread is made by my new fav East London bakery, Dusty Knuckles, who help disadvantaged young people to get work.
The tea is from The Kettle Shed, who donate directly to homeless shelters.
Even the counter, tables and chairs are made from reclaimed wood with interesting stories behind them.
Whatever you buy, you can feel good about yourself, and if you want to feel even better they have a, ‘pay it forward’ option to add a coffee, cake or a meal to your bill for a homeless person.
At the moment they are serving Cast Iron coffee, a small specialty coffee company roasting some great beans, they will continue to change the blends using different small specialty coffee roasters, so as a customer we can keep trying new beans, which they will also sell in store. I started off with a Long Black, I think one of the more difficult coffees to get right, pulling a longer espresso shot, but keeping the rich flavour so it isn’t watered down.
Absolutely nailed it, I could count the number of good long blacks I have had on one hand this year and this is up there =) I enjoyed this alongside some carrot cake, also delightfully moist yet light.
Next up was a piccolo and trust me it didn’t just look adorable.. it was delicious.
And finally like any meal you obviously need a third course.. we had a Chemex using coffee beans from a roaster in Amsterdam, a really interesting blend that had hints of dried strawberry, which were really notable. I always love an opportunity to try new coffees and it is great to see a barista taking the time and a bit of creativity to choose some lesser known roasters. Second shot also offer further brewing options, using a Aeropress and a V60, funnily enough 3 coffees in I didn’t try these..
Once open they will also serve grilled cheese sandwiches and salads, all locally sourced ingredients. You cannot fault the time and care that Julius has put into bringing together so many local enterprises and communities, what a great addition to East London’s fantastic specialty coffee scene.
The amount of friends that tell me, if you buy 3 coffees a week, do you know how much that is a year etc.. I dread to think actually. Can you put a price on a good coffee? Well, can’t you put a price on supporting people in the very first stages of getting back into work. So why not feel good about yourself when you are enjoying that next flat white at Second Shot Coffee.
Thanks to Julius for inviting me to Second Shot, as usual all opinions are my own.