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Stopping to smell the coffee from a London black cab

For some its the most important “meal” of the day. For me a cup of it puts a smile on my face. Legend has it that coffee was discovered by a shepherd in the Ethiopian highlands when he discovered that his goats felt a bit giddy after feeding on coffee berries. He tried it and felt the berries gave him energy. This was apparently in the 11th century. It was not until 1637 that coffee reached the shores of England, more specifically to Oxford, where students and lecturers developed a taste for it. Today London has thousands of coffee shops mostly cocooned in bricks and mortar and some like Starbucks and Costa are now household names  but curiously enough I spotted something else  – coffee from a London black cab

Whilst gallivanting in Brick lane today in East London, a London hipsters hangout, to sample some street food I came across an ingenious and inventive idea. An iconic black cab (taxi) or Hackney carriage as the locals refer to them transformed into a coffee shop with a fully bearded hipster barista at the helm.

As the business man Gary Hamel once stated, “A well-conceived product excels at what it does. It’s close to being functionally flawless – like a Ziploc bag, a radio from Tivoli Audio, a Philips Sonicare toothbrush, a Nespresso coffee maker or Google’s home page.” As I readied myself to capture this on camera, I noticed just about every one who passed by took a long look and smiled. You’d have to be a Londoner to fully appreciate the irony. Countless others did not need an invitation, I guess, to figure out if the coffee was as tasty as the sight. I resisted today but I had to capture the moments for posterity! 

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  1. Photo Essay: Gourmet food trucks in London | MyWeku Tastes

    […] In London, right about the same time, food trucks began to appear in the coolest of places. Bohemian Camden market, Cool Bricklane and Borough market to mention a few. Men, mostly white and in their 20s and 30s began to grow beards, not out of conversion to a religion that obligated them to do so, but just because they could and wanted to and they did. Some tagged them with the name hipsters. Mind you they were not dissimilar to their equally bearded customers. They run some of the coolest food trucks out of which came gourmet burgers, gourmet this and gourmet that. I was so fascinated by this phenomenon that I once stood next to one  – a gourmet food truck, and watched as countless number of people bought coffee from this “truck” which was actually in the form of a London cab. […]


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