Coffee Date With: Bodil Blain, Cru KafeBy Angelica Malin
As part of BeLOVeD Date Week, we’re going behind-the-scenes with the movers and shakers in London’s food scene. Every day this week, we’ll be having a date with a different influential food lover. Today we meet Bodil Blain, founder of Cru Kafe, the ethical and eco-friendly alternative to Nespresso, which produces Nespresso compatible pods for your coffee-making at home.
Bodil is a former model of Elite Models and a graduate of the London School of Economics. She worked in the modelling industry for over a decade, travelling the world and developing her passion for design, interiors and fashion. Even while she was modelling professionally, Bodil never lost her entrepreneurial spirit and has always been interested in new businesses. Without further adieu, let’s meet the woman behind it all:
What inspired you to start Cru Kafe?
I was in my friends kitchen and saw her emptying out the coffee out of a Nespresso pod and putting in some artisian coffee she had brought from her favourite coffee shop. It got me thinking, I loved the Nespresso coffee machine but didn’t like the taste of their coffee or the after taste of their ethics. It was just aluminium pods, no organic or fair trade coffee – surely its time someone was providing better coffee for the Nespresso machine. Well there wasn’t, so I started my own business doing just that.
Why do you think coffee has become so popular in the UK?
Coffee is so social, it’s a devise we use to connect and share. I’m always finding an excuse to have a coffee so I can catch up with my girl friends – it works as the perfect excuse to get us talking and interacting. And there are a bunch of health benefits from drinking coffee; it actually happens to be the biggest form of anti-oxidants in the western diet. Of course it has got that coffee kick we need to get out and get our to do lists done.
What’s your first memory of coffee?
My mum doing a French Press at home when I was a teenager. We would sit outside and drink it with chocolate cake in the afternoons, those were the days. Norway is a very big drinking coffee country with a huge coffee culture.
Espresso or cappuccino?
Neither, I’m a flat white girl. The flat white is the drink that epitomises for many the new coffee scene that’s out there at the moment. It has a lot less coffee than you get in a cappuccino and allows the flavour of the coffee to shine through. The milk is less frothy and more silky also which just makes it beautiful.
What sweet treat goes best with coffee?
My business partner John is a chef and he does the most amazing raw coffee chocolate brownie. It doesn’t require any cooking and he put the most amazing tofu chocolate frosting on the top. It tastes like it should be bad for you but its actually quite good and has no refined sugar in it.
Best coffee you’ve ever had in the world?
Obviously it would be CRU’s light roast, it has 3 Arabica beans from Ethiopia, Peru and Mexico. All our beans are organic, fair trade and speciality spec, which means they are the best beans from around the world. The blend is not over roasted like a classic Italian espresso blend which allows the sophistication of the Arabica beans to come through. The beans have a caramel appearance and lack that burnt bitter taste which is synonymous with many coffee blends.
London’s best coffee is:
My favourite coffee shop is Workshop in Clerkenwell. The flat white is divine and the coffee roaster is slap bang in the middle of the coffee shop.
London’s best secret coffee shop is:
The Attendant on Foley St is a coffee shop in an old Victorian loo, they coffee is to die for. You can sit outside but I like going downstairs and sitting in the cute little bar. The pastries are great and the brownie is the perfect accompaniment to the coffee.
London’s best iced latte is:
Granger & Co in Notting Hill do it for me with almond milk. Bill (Grainger) is an Aussie and the Aussies know their coffee better than most. It’s a great place to drink coffee.
What’s the secret to a good coffee?
Simple buy the best beans, lovingly roast them and don’t burn them when you brew them.
Talk to us about dates. If you were given a handful of dates what would you do with them?
I would make my business partners home-made almond milk, soak almonds over night, then rinse, add water then drop in 4 dates to give it some sweetness with a little vanilla and blitz. The milk will last in the fridge for up to five days and it tastes delicious.