UK Coffee leaders take lessons from Australians

Shelagh Ryan, the founder of London-based Lantana Café, spoke at the Allegra UK Coffee Leaders Summit last month, saying that their operators can learn from Australia’s highly evolved coffee industry, where the third wave independent operator is king.

Shelagh said that like in Australia, in the UK micro-roasteries were seeing new brewing methods, and special blends were gaining popularity. She emphasised that independent operators can take notes from Australians, in differentiating themselves clearly to deliver elusive combinations of the best coffee and best experience.

Formerly from East Brunswick, a Melbourne suburb, Shelagh moved to London around four and half years ago to establish a Melbourne-style café in the UK. She found a suitable site in Charlotte Place and opened Lantana Café, taking the name from the Australian plant. Last year, The Age reported the the café had an estimated annual turnover of between $1.2 and $1.4 million.

The Allegra UK Coffee Leader Summit took place from 30 to 31 March at Millbank Tower in London. The event saw 275 industry leading operates and suppliers from UK branded and independent coffee shops, as well as food-to-go and food-for-now sectors, participate.

The event was sponsored by United Coffee, Dawn Foods, Kellogg Company and Solo Cup Europe.

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