With 10.4k Instagram followers, David Abrahamovitch is kind of a big deal in the London coffee scene but we’ll forgive you if the name doesn’t instantly ring a bell. CEO and Founder of the Grind coffee shops, David opened the first Grind at Old Street Roundabout with Kaz James back in 2011 and has since proved that a coffee shop can offer a whole lot more than just your morning caffeine fix. There are now 9 Grind’s across London and, thanks to a ridiculously successful crowdfunding campaign (they almost doubled their £750,000 target), this number is only going to increase. We meet the man behind London’s coolest coffee shops to see how he’s done it as he gets set to team up with the London Coffee Festival, taking place from 6th-9th April at Old Truman Brewery.
What has Grind got planned for the London Coffee Festival?
We are going to deliver the ultimate Grind experience. Think coffee, cocktails, music, food, tech, innovation, design and quality. It’s really exciting.
Sum up Grind in 3 words:
Coffee, cocktails, music.
Do you have a favourite Grind or do you think they each have a different appeal?
They are all quite different so I have different favourites and different times of day. London Grind is amazing at the weekends for brunch, and I’ve had a lot of fun in the Club Bar underneath Clerkenwell which is open until 2.30am. I love our new baby, Exmouth Market Grind as it’s on one of my favourite streets in London. I guess if I really had to pick, I’d have to say Shoreditch Grind as it was our first site and will always be very special to me!
Grind now serves alcohol and food – what’s next?
We’ve got some really exciting events and partnerships planned for the rest of this year… the best way to keep up to date is to follow @grind on Instagram.
Tell us about Grind’s house blend, and are you constantly trying new blends or do you think you’ve cracked it?
The Grind House Blend is designed to be strong and punchy and though it changes throughout the year with the seasons, as we buy in coffee from around the world, we try and keep it as consistent as possible. We worked really hard on it when we first started Shoreditch Grind, and we’ve never really changed it too much. We love it and we hope our customers love it!
What’s your go-to coffee order?
Flat white in the morning, piccolo in the afternoon!
You’re bursting for a coffee but there’s only a Starbucks nearby – would you pop in?
Tough question! I had one in Hong Kong airport the other week through desperation! We have to remember that Starbucks created the market we are now in – and without them we’d likely not exist. However being as exposed and immersed in high quality coffee as I now am, It’s pretty hard to go back…
Do you think Melbourne is still leading the way for coffee/brunch or is London catching up?
I think London is catching up but Melbourne still leads the way. We found a lot of inspiration in Melbourne before opening five years ago, and hopefully we are in part responsible for that catching up!
Any new coffee trends we should look out for?
We’re still loving anything Nitro cold brew related and expect to see a big uptick in sales of that this summer.
Biggest fad at the moment e.g. turmeric/matcha lattes? Or do they have their place?
I think they have their place now to be honest. The hype was last summer and people are still ordering loads of both.
Other than Grind, where do you like to stop off in London for your caffeine fix?
I drink a lot of coffee, and if I’m London go to at least one of the Grind’s every day – so I don’t really go elsewhere. I do like to try and pop into the newer sites and those with just one or maybe two locations to see what the new guys are up to!
We love the quotes outside Shoreditch Grind, do you have a favourite?
We recently wrote “MELANIA BLINK FOR HELP” – that was pretty funny!
Do you think Instagram is partially responsible for the rise coffees popularity?
I think it certainly has helped. Instagram has been a massive part of building our brand – we have over 75k followers on @grind – and how photogenic the whole process is, as well as the latte art has definitely helped the rise of high quality coffee.
Biggest coffee faux pas?
We don’t really believe in coffee faux pas at the Grind! We’ve always wanted to be very accessible and not in any way snobby. If you don’t know loads about coffee or don’t know what you want or what you might like, just ask! The guys in our locations love to talk to the customers about what they do, and there is nothing better than that ‘Oh my god this is so much better than that stuff I drink every day’ moment!
Finally; we’re in Grind, what should we order?
Our coffee is, of course, great, and anything on the list will be excellent – the flat white is our bestseller. I’d also say you have to try our espresso martinis – they are regularly voted as the best in London!
Grind will be at the London Coffee Festival from 6th-9th April serving up their much-loved brunch dishes at the restaurant and a 3-course coffee and food pairing menu at a twelve-seat chef’s table