Bold St Coffee Liverpool – Sam Tawil’s daily grind diary

Posted on 24 August 2011
By Andy Johnson
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We caught up with Bold Street Coffee chief Sam Tawil for a caffeine hit or two at their new brew bar while he told how a day in Liverpool’s best coffee shop unwinds.

Stay tuned for updates on a special Purple Revolver coffee CoLab with Bold Street Coffee as part of our fourth birthday celebrations next month!

Sam, 31, is founder and director of the a specialist coffee shop at the top end of Bold Street opposite Ropewalks, in Liverpool city centre. This is his diary of a work day.

6.15am: Wake up and ride to work. It’s only a short 10 minute sprint, but it gets the blood flowing so I’m wide awake and geared up for the morning stampede. My favourite part of the day is getting the machine ready, we are getting busier and now need two baristas, so we can make
coffee quicker and still maintain perfection in the cup.

6.30am: Make adjustments to the grinders and ensure our coffee tastes its very best. I make coffee for the staff, we are obsessive with the scientific side of coffee, weighing it before and after to get a good brew ratio. We believe this is what sets us apart from the competition
and backs up our claim to brew Liverpool’s best coffee.

7.45am: It is essential to drink a cup of coffee before the customers start to arrive to make sure I am one step ahead. Also some breakfast, usually I try to eat a bowl of fruit yoghurt and honey, or a big bacon butty if I have had a late night. The breakfast rush begins, I have a
long list of admin tasks to do, but I take breaks to chat to customers and friends who come in.

11am: Put out our home made food and clean the machine after the rush.
Cleaning everything in a methodological way is vital. The store’s golden rule is to thoroughly clean our machine three times a day. We’ve developed a brew bar with stools so you can see how we make the coffee. We want people to understand and experience how their coffee
is made.

12pm: Lunch is by far the busiest time of the day for us, because this is when Bold Street really comes alive. The atmosphere in the shop is always electric. The best part of the job is tasting new coffees. I’m often asked how many coffees I drink a day, the answer is lots of little tastes, rarely a full cup.

2.30pm: Clean the machine and make time to push through any orders. I speak to our roasters Has Bean, to see what new coffees they have, we chat about our espresso blend. We work closely with them to select single origin coffees and brew these in many different ways, constantly working on recipes to get the best flavour.

3.00pm: Harpist Stan Ambrose, plays in the shop. He hosts a Radio Merseyside show and has become a popular figure in the shop. Music is a vital part of the shop. We have a vinyl record player and spend some of our tips each week on records from Probe, Hairy records and delving
in charity shops. They create a great atmosphere and tickle customers who haven’t seen one for a while.

3.30pm: I leave to do the school run and pick up my son Herbie, we ride home on our bikes and then I head back to the shop. Things tend to pick up in the shop again.

4pm: Word of mouth has been spreading and we seem to be winning custom from the Big 3 coffee shops on Bold Street. Its always satisfying when new customers ask us why our coffee is so good. It comes down to our passion for coffee knowledge, sourcing our beans from amazing farms
around the world and paying our roasters a good whack for it.

6pm: Close the doors, clean the machine again and get everything ready for the next day. Coffee training is another part of our business, one of our baristas made it to the national finals this year and we mainly do this after we close down the shop.

7.30pm: After work I try to get out on my bike, the Bold Street Bicycle Club rides from the shop, which is a great way to unwind. I try to avoid TV as way to relax from work and enjoy meeting friends.

10pm: If I do watch TV, recently it was the Tour De France, but normally I just enjoy a read and usually go to bed later than I should. There’s not enough hours in the day and I need to rest as it all starts again first thing in the morning.