Monday, 19 January 2015
Café: Workshop Coffee Co.
Coffee is a psychotropic industrial product and this is the belly of the machine. Familiar and urgent DJ Shadow organ riffs offer a bassy soundtrack, apt: the organic, exquisitely remixed. The maître d does nothing to deflect any possible accusation that Workshop take their beans too seriously. Moody to the point of hysteria, broody ~ many are the stages in the manufacture of mystique. Writ large here is the understanding that coffee is an identity, sworn by and sworn allegiance to. Workshop, most importantly, sells its clientelle an air of connoisseurship and bravery - the adventure of the avant-garde for the early adopters. My aeropressed Kenyan comes to me on a bamboo platter, it is exceptional, multi-dimensioned and lingering. Workshop's harsh filament lights in strung cages cut a crisp edge on everything, and black ducting on a black ceiling hunkers the whole affair into an illicit wallowing - combined, these lights render in chiaroscuro a reverent ambiance suited to the proto-religious devotion and cultic fervour these high priests of coffee trade in.
I would try your patience a little further to explore the spirituality of coffee because at Workshop it is done with such peerless energy and refinement. Coffee is an opiate engendering superhuman lucidity, and it does so in the privacy of your cup, a discrete and personal moment whereby you contract to addle brain chemistry, faithing a surrogate religious experience. To imbibe coffee in your communion is to affect perception and assume a worldview. Understanding coffee religiously offers two further aspects of the cult ~ the attention to origins: single origins, organic origins, this is a cosmology and an ethic - the articulation, through beans, of that crafted and compassionate mode by which we would like the world to have come into being. Out of this genesis we derive a notion that partaking such substances are what make a man clean. That's all I've got for you. Workshop is the purest form of coffee devotional, I recommend them unreservedly. The green living wall at the back is a perfect surprise, exactly the relief to offset all other dark intensity.