Federation Coffee

In Quest of the Perfect Espresso – the Story Behind Consistency at London's Federation Coffee

If you head over to Brixton Market in London on a Saturday morning, you are bound to notice the queues snaking around an attractive coffee shop – Federation Coffee. As a small independent coffee shop that has been pushing the boundaries of high-end specialty coffees in South London for over 5 years, Federation Coffee consistently receives high ratings in coffee guides, blogs and food & drink reviews – including Esquire Magazine which rates it as one of "The 10 Best Places to Get a Coffee in London".  
Having this reputation means getting their drinks right - every single time. At Federation Coffee, every  dry dose  of coffee is first weighed and then ground fresh - right before it goes through the espresso machine. Weighing every dose of coffee means that they can adhere to a strict set recipe (within +/- 0.1 of a gram) which cuts down the number of variables that they deal with when making espresso. The result is a high quality espresso that is truly consistent - which in turn delivers a fine coffee drink.

"The most important aspect of specialty coffee is consistently being able to replicate what we do as accurately as possible. This is what makes us stand out from the crowd," says Scott Martin, Head Barista at Federation Coffee. Serving an average of around 400-800 customers a day (with extremely busy weekends when there's a crowd out the door), while ensuring that each and every one of their drinks is consistent takes more than skilled baristas – you need the right equipment as well.
Federation Coffee has invested in OHAUS Navigator scales to ensure
that each  dose of coffee is weighed precisely to one-hundredth of a gram. These scales sit in front of the coffee grinders, where they're easily accessible and handy for the baristas to use. The baristas love the Navigator's infra-red tare setting which allows them to tare the portafilter by simply waving their hand in front of the scale without even touching it. This reduces the wear-and-tear on the scale as well as prevent any messes. The portafilter handles that hold the ground coffee have all been adjusted to be the same weight, so weighing a dose into a handle on an already tared scale speeds up the process exponentially – coupled with the Navigator's ultra-fast response time.  "We can't afford to be waiting around whilst a scale settles on a reading or tares itself," explains Scott. "We need to be able to trust that our scale will be accurate and fast enough to keep up with our high-intensity workflow. The Navigator settles on an accurate reading well within one second and has no trouble keeping up with our fast-paced system. "
All in all, the baristas at Federation Coffee are convinced that all other scales that they have used in the past for weighing espresso have paled in comparison to the Navigator's functionality. And anyone who has tasted the espresso drinks at Federation Coffee can attest to that! 

Learn more about Navigator scales