TEAS AND COFFEES
Around 40 years ago, already hooked on Tea, Stephen was sauntering in a gay and nonchalant fashion around Covent Garden when he stumbled upon a Tea Emporium that led to a Damascene experience. He entered the ancient wooden portal to find an elderly gentleman with the demeanour and bearing of a butler’s butler dispensing exotic teas from wooden shelves groaning under the weight of a cornucopia of fabulous leaves. Drury Tea & Coffee Company destroyed Stephen’s life - he could no longer bustle down to the local supermarket or even Deli in his home town... Tea was now a commodity to be ordered on the telephone and savoured with friends in ritualistic gatherings. Other tea suppliers came and went but Drury Teas reigned supreme...
So it was to Drury Teas that Stephen turned when he and Margaret entered the chaotic café fray that was to become their lives - and discovered Speciality Coffee!
And the rest is history as they say...
Drury’s Windmill St and then Gunnery Blend became the mainstay of their first venture alongside the commodity grade (but excellent nonetheless) Cuidado and were so popular that they dare sell no other until Stephen was enticed by the prospect of filter coffee and was able to serve not just the Café Margot filter blend designed and roasted in small batches especially for them by the Drury team but could offer selections from other roasters (in this case Colonna).
Stephen’s tea and coffee journey has since gathered pace and with the coming of Café Margot 2 has seen him doing SCA approved Speciality coffee courses from Seattle to Belfast and London and exploring beyond the realm of Drury (I am sorry Marco - but you were the first!).
So the coffees in Café Margot (as opposed to ‘Café Margot... to go’ which remains true to Drury) will showcase offerings from some of the best roasteries in the U.K. Look out for Dear Green, Square Mile, Caravan, Bailies, Artisan, Colonna, Origin and Drury appearing in some form or another on our changing coffee menu.
The tea journey has been almost as exciting with discoveries like Comins Teas of Bath contributing some stunning teas personally selected by Rob and Michelle, and then Roseveare Tea of Edinburgh, Jeeves & Jericho joining the roster alongside Drury on our menu Board.
Our flours come from a number of millers in the U.K. and France but the bulk is from Wessex Mill
Wessex Mill use locally sourced wheat (95% 30 miles from the mill this year) brought directly from the farmer. They work on their relationship with the farmers with the aim to work together with them for generations. (The remaining 5% this year was further from the mill but was of such quality they decided to travel 60 miles for it!).
They can tell us exactly which farms our flours come from and they grist carefully - matching 4 different wheats in different proportions to make a consistent flour. They can do this more accurately than most mills as they don't batch wheats together based on protein but keep them in a bin according to their variety and farm i.e Allen's crusoe is in bin 16, Crowmarsh crusoe in bin 17 and Read's zyatt in 20. Instead of gristing by protein levels we grist by gluten quantity and quality we find this to be far more accurate. And given that Emily the Miller is an organic chemist she knows her onions - when it comes to flour! There are 4 kinds of protein in wheat but only 2 create gluten.
Wessex Mill (fifth generation flour millers) are the smallest commercial roller mill in the country and they mill slowly so as to not heat up the stocks which damages the gluten.
This approach to milling the flour enables me to produce (if I get my ducks in a row) a beautifully textured and flavoured bread, and I chose to use it after sampling flours from a number of the usual suspects.