London's Cultural Guide

Ich Bin: Shaun Young, coffee guru

“My most unappealing habit? I haven’t worn socks for the last four months”

Shaun Young (left)Founder & DirectorNoble Espresso at King's Cross. Photo: John Sturrock
Shaun Young (left)Founder & DirectorNoble Espresso at King’s Cross. Photo: John Sturrock

Shaun Young, 22, is the Cheshire-born founder of artisan bean merchants Noble Espresso. Their stand can be found daily at the bottom of King’s Boulevard serving single origin espresso from some of the UK’s top coffee roasters. They’ve also developed a catering arm at events held by brands such as Nike and London Design Festival.

What got you into working with coffee?
It was living in Melbourne, long regarded as one of the world’s leading coffee cultures. Working in hospitality, I lounged around for hours at good quality cafes, admiring the style of service that exists there.

When were you happiest?
We’ve had a fantastic summer at King’s Cross this year. Nothing beats working outside in warm weather, serving coffee to a whole mix of people that come for the events. Our best seller? Flat white, without a doubt.

Where would you like to live?
Top floor in the Art House building in King’s Cross. Or probably in the gasholder triplet when it’s eventually developed – the apartments sound amazing.


What is your favourite sound?
My colleague Louis Gill’s exceptional at-work chat!

What is your greatest life achievement?
Turning Noble Espresso into a successful business with potential to grow in exciting directions.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I haven’t worn socks for the last four months. But maybe that’s a good thing in the summer.

'' Photo: John Sturrock
Photo: John Sturrock
What’s your guilty pleasure?
The job’s a pretty active one, so it would definitely be something foodie. Kiosk, right by the station, sells sausage and bacon rolls – an absolute dream.

Who or what do you hate and why?
Slow and bad customer service in cafés and restaurants. There’s no excuse.

What’s been your best experience?
Representing the UK at the World Aeropress Championships in Portland, US, back in 2012. And more recently, being involved in events for high-profile, intelligent brands such as Clerkenwell Design Week.

What has your career taught you?
Find your passion and your niche; stick to it and develop it.

What is your favourite dish and why?
Baked alaska, St John restaurant. Game-changing.

What did you do today?
Had one of our busiest days this year in the sunshine, finalised an event proposal for Topshop for this year’s London Fashion Week, hovered up some meatballs from Capish (streetfood stall) for lunch and managed to squeeze in a run.

Finally, how do you take it?
Double espresso. Or a flat white. That’s what I love, the diversity of the product. As long as it’s arabica beans all the way.

Find Noble Espresso daily on King’s Boulevard N1c or follow them on twitter @noble_esp

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