To find coffee worth drinking in Cyprus is a rarity.
To find specialty coffee in Larnaca in a street lined with every disgusting corporate chain can think of, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Island (Greek version of Starbucks), Ocean Basket (seafood equivalent of McDonald’s), where an independent coffee shop is made to look like a corporate chain and may as well be when serving LavAzza, to find good coffee, is like finding a pearl on the dirty grey beach, a cause to celebrate, to dance in the street.
And there it was a sign for Nick’s Coffee Bike, with a promise of specialty coffee and beyond the sign a bicycle, strictly speaking a tricycle, with Nick himself chatting to customers when not serving coffee.
On the wall behind the coffee bike flowering plants in pots which is a neat little touch.
The bicycle Nick had imported from Manchester, stripped and rebuilt.
Nick had learnt coffee by working coffee in Manchester the only way to learn.
The coffee he serves is from Has Bean, one of the top coffee roasteries in the UK.
The espresso machine, one I had not encountered before, hand built from Rocket Espresso in Milan.
A pouring jug from Coffee Lab in UK, designed by Dhan Tamang, UK latte art champion for six years and author of Coffee Art.
Nick participated in a coffee throw down at TAKK a coffee shop in Manchester and came first. His prize was the pouring jug and the book.
TAKK is featured in Coffee Shop North.
I ordered a cappuccino. It was excellent.
I had been told Nick was one of the best baristas in Cyprus. I would not beg to differ. Knowledgeable and passionate about coffee. I also noted the professionalism, the attention to detail.
A person of integrity, willing to take the risk to do something he believes in, to follow his dreams.
A risk that appears to be paying off.
A steady steam of customers, many greeted him as old friends even though he had only been there for a couple of months. One customer told me she was from Romania had tried the coffee yesterday and was back today, the first time she had found decent coffee in Cyprus.
The coffee cups in what must be a first for Cyprus are compostable.
Cyprus is an island, it is dependent on the sea. Plastic is killing the sea. Everywhere serves coffee in plastic, in plastic-lined cups.
In addition to coffee, Nick also serves loose leaf tea and lemonade.
Maybe in the future V60 pour over filter coffee with single origin beans, maybe guest coffee, maybe beans on sale if sufficient number of customers sign up for the service.
At first I thought he was not in a good location. But on reflection this is an excellent location, as away from the ghastly chains and in front of Larnaca Marina.
A little way past the coffee bike exercise machines. An excellent idea.