Why we’re starting to offer guest brews alongside our own Soho House coffee
Sam Tansey is pouring out a guest-brew filter coffee for the floor team at White City House. “Soho House coffee is nutty and chocolatey, how people expect it to taste,” the coffee QC manager says. “Guest brews are offered as a different option. They’re lighter, fruitier roasts that showcase the flavour of the beans.”
Guest brews are part of Soho House embracing the so-called “third wave” of coffee, with people beginning to consider the beans, origins and style of their drink. Already on offer in Shoreditch House and Soho House 40 Greek Street, the brews will be coming soon to the Farmhouse and our New York and Chicago sites, changing every month or so.
The blend that Sam has served up is called Sweet Shop, a blend of Ecuadorean beans that’s been chosen and roasted by Square Mile Coffee in London. “Going lighter opens up a whole world of coffee, where you can taste strawberries, mango and bananas,” he explains, passing around a guest flat white that he describes as being like a cheesecake compared with the chocolate flavour of a House brew.
“Offering guest brews requires more skill and investment, but it gives our members the option to further explore coffee with us. Some people really want to be challenged, the same as they are with wine,” says opening operations director Daniel Thompson, who first pioneered the project.
Guest brews keep things interesting for baristas, too. As well as trying out new varietals, they get the challenge of working with lighter roasts that work well with dairy or oat milk, but may taste odd in almond milk or split in soya if not treated correctly.
In White City, the servers likewise leave their session buzzing with caffeine and inspiration.