Over Under Stands Above the Restby Michael Cleland
Earls Court has desperately needed someone like Ed Barry to come along for far too long. We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with standard high street cafes, but when the chains are your only homogenous options it’s hard to get excited about such a busy hub. Enter Over Under.
Obviously the coffee is great or we wouldn’t be writing this, but what really makes Over Under stand above the rest is their approach to speed of service through design without ever losing focus of customer interaction with their community. In short Ed says, ‘We serve exceptional coffee efficiently.'
There’s a distinction between selling a product and fulfilling a need, and with competition in coffee universally increasing Over Under are deliberately setting new standards for commuters - particularly in regard to customer service. Ed’s experience of progressive cafe culture in New Zealand, Dublin and New York has definitely given him an advantage here.
‘Too many places that make good coffee take too long to serve you a brew, then don’t smile or strike up conversation!’
As a space itself, Over Under is designed with an ergonomic foresight that would make Rolex blush. This seemingly small shop was put together with both customer and staff in mind to make every step of the transaction as personable yet productive as possible.
We’re particularly excited to see a La Marzocco Linea PB with the new built-in Auto Brew Ratio scales at Over Under. While this might seem like a minor feature, it's a serious weapon when it comes to consistent quality at speed in the hands of Ed’s skilled baristas.
Let’s not forget the food offering. Executive chef Connie Grossman drew inspiration from working for Chez Panisse in California, Two Hands in New York and Ottolenghi in London to deliver a simple yet extremely considered menu to Over Under.
All this said, it’s Ed’s refreshing optimism we find so appealing. ‘I’m a 26 year old who’s trying to give it a craic. I am not reinventing the wheel, I just think I can do this better than what’s on the market - especially in West London.’
At every level, this no-bullshit focus on community and serving commuters with Ed’s calm confidence is really what makes Over Under shine.