Rosslyn: a fresh place for London
James Hennebry and Mat Russell met whilst working at Caravan Coffee Roasters in London. There is a chance, however, that they met years before in Melbourne. James was working on Rosslyn Street for Five Senses and Mat grew up just a short drive from there. James’s family – and rugby – ultimately pulled him back to the UK but the two are now collaborating on the new, British, coffee shop aptly named Rosslyn. Their space will be opening on Queen Victoria Street, The City, London, in early February – once the bespoke concrete bar top has dried.
Mat moved to the UK two and a half years ago and started working for James at Caravan. There’s no boss now; it’s a collaboration that is rooted in mutual experiences. It’s this partnership that led to long nights of discussion about the possibilities of Rosslyn.
(Mat, left, and James, right).
“At Rosslyn we are not concerned with trends, we’re only concerned with what tastes good and serving it in a warm, friendly environment. We believe that the first thing customers should see when they enter a shop is a smile and a greeting – there is little point in having great coffee without this kind of welcoming service. We have worked hard on assembling an excellent team who will be integral to making Rosslyn, not only a location for exceptional coffee, but an enjoyable place to visit.” James is very clear that he wants the customers to have an amazing experience when they come to Rosslyn.
The coffee has been sourced from a number of speciality roasters and they will split these in to three ranges: Black, White, and Filter. The ‘Black’ range will be roasted by Colonna, which, as Mat says, produce some of the most amazing coffees around. Coffee from their ‘White’ range is from Modern Standard and will give customers coffee with a big body with flavours of chocolate, caramel, and raisin; lots of characteristics that people look for. Finally, their house filter will be supplied by Round Hill Roastery, in Somerset, with guest filters from notable roasteries around the word.
Although the two met in Australia, they are keen to underline that Rosslyn will be a British coffee shop for the city of London; a city they recognise has a thriving coffee scene in a country that has some of the World’s greatest coffee people. They can also see that there is still an appetite for speciality coffee in England’s capital and that the locals are more discerning about their coffee. For both of them, it’s important that Rosslyn showcases industry leaders and they want to bring them together under their roof. This is clear from their social media where they have been promoting those they will be working with.
Though it’s a British coffee shop, James and Mat want to include an attention to detail that they learnt whilst in Australia. “Everything from the teaspoons to the speakers.” It’s clear that everything will have a purpose and that they don’t want to feel that it’s just good enough but the best it can be.
They are both conscious that working in hospitality is hard, so they want to make sure that their team is well looked after and, most importantly, they want to be in it with them. A place where the owners are behind the bar, sharing the experiences. There is no doubt they are passionate about coffee and it’s reassuring they are also passionate about people.
London has a plethora of great places to have coffee. That said, there are many reasons to be excited about Rosslyn’s foray in to the London coffee scene. Fortunately, it’s not too long to wait, and that concrete is drying nicely.