A celebrated British chef and an American mega-chain coffee shop might seem like strange bedfellows but within the squeakily clean retail walls of Selfridges, it could be a match made in shoppers' heaven.
To mark its 40th anniversary, Starbucks has refurbed some of its stores worldwide (such as the Brompton Road shop here), revealed a new logo and introduced a new range of limited edition rare coffees made slow-filtered one cup at a time by specially trained staff. These coffees are only available at ten Starbucks in the UK and Ireland (six of them here in London) and at the Hix Restaurant and Champagne Bar at Selfridges.
Says Mr Hix himself of the decision to pour the brews at his place:
The team at HIX had some initial doubts, but they couldn’t help but be impressed with what Starbucks has achieved here. Coffee cultivated in a volcano crater, five year-old vintage beans and behind each bean, there’s a farmer, a region, a whole unique story to tell. We’re very happy that customers at HIX Selfridges will be among the very few in Britain who’ll get a cup.
Londonist had a chance to slurp that aforementioned coffee cultivated in a volcanic crater: Pacamara Montecarlos Estate from the Montecarlos Estate in El Salvador where two thirds of the estate is planted with coffee and one third is part of a cloud forest inside the crater. Good stuff (juicy!) with a compelling story ... and a flavourful notch up from ye olde Starbucks standard. Slow-filtering's a fine way to prep coffee too – as any fan of London stalwart Monmouth Coffee is aware.
Londonist went coffee tasting at Hix upon invitation of the restaurant and Starbucks.