Calle Barraca 25 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
46011 Valencia Tel: +34960836446
Tallat cafe in Calle Barraca Cabanyal district of Valencia is a personal project that reflects who the owners, Lorenzo and Jessica are.
To quote Lorenzo "Jessica and I are the result of all our different experiences". Lorenzo went on to say that he came to Valencia a few years ago and fell in love with the city; he liked the fact that the city has a good quality of life but the downside is that there are not many job opportunities; so Lorenzo and Jessica, his partner whom he met in Valencia, realised they had to do it themselves and create what they wanted to see. “We had an idea of what we wanted to do and it was much more than a commodity or a business, more a way of life, with no compromise on quality or service. So, Tallat equals great coffee and the ritual of coffee drinking in the true spirit of the region and all Mediterranean cultures.”
Tallat started as takeaway coffee only, or to be more precise as a pop up in a market in the Cabanyal area, the same area that the coffee shop is now in. At the beginning of their venture, Lorenzo said that they were frequently told that they wouldn’t survive as a takeaway only and needed to have tables and chairs on their terrace, for which a licence is required which can be a lengthy process; but Lorenzo and Jessica were adamant that Tallat would not only survive but flourish because the focus was always on the product and luckily, despite the setbacks the pandemic has brought, they have proved the nay-sayers wrong: even with the prolonged closure in 2020, and with cafes being restricted to takeaway service only for the first two months of 2021-the latter, ironically working in their favour as they still hadn’t got the licence at that point.
Lorenzo and Jessica were canny with their budgeting as well and refurbished the shop themselves, doing it exactly as they wanted it, using the time in 2020 when they were shut. "It had to be something very personal to us", Lorenzo explained.They also budgeted carefully for their first year of opening, making sure they had something in reserve for any unforeseen problems, although a pandemic was certainly not included in those eventualities, which rendered so many businesses helpless.
So how did Tallat come into being? This was an interesting point for me to find out when Lorenzo and I sat down for a chat, after a busy Monday morning for him serving great coffee.
Lorenzo, originally from Italy, worked as a sound engineer in TV. Looking to leave his comfort zone and for a place where anything is possible, he chose London. But instead of going straight into similar work he chose hospitality instead, which gave him the freedom to think about what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go. “I wanted to be open-minded about myself, first of all, and to try different things and learn skills that allow you to be flexible. The industry gave me the opportunity to meet a variety of people, people that you can listen to and learn from. I have tried to live every single experience to the full, even if something didn’t work out that particular time, and as a result of that, what I have now represents a life-style with all of my past experiences added to it”.
So why Valencia?
In 2015 Lorenzo made a trip to Barcelona but wasn’t particularly enthralled with the city so decided to try Valencia and really liked it. I asked why, because my first impressions were of a dusty, shabby, down at heel place, and that is what Lorenzo liked, "the unpretentious spirit of the place”. He stayed less than a year before returning to London accompanied by Jessica, and decided to focus on coffee, by learning everything there is to know about it, from choosing the coffee, to roasting, to serving. He entered the UK Brewers Cup regional heats and made it all the way through to the 2018 national finals in Glasgow, finishing, very proudly, in fourth place. He had to choose the coffee, roast it, and prepare three cups for three judges.
Armed with his wins, knowledge and expertise Lorenzo and Jessica returned to Valencia in June 2019. Then in November 2019 they opened Tallat to enable them to have more control over their business than they had with the original pop up shop which they had June-Nov 2019; short-lived autonomy as they had to close completely in March 2020.
At the beginning of that period Lorenzo took the opportunity to set up the roasting, before reopening in May 2020. In October they applied to change the licence from takeaway to outdoor seating, which entailed a few changes, such as putting in a toilet. The licence was granted just in time for the re-opening of cafes at the beginning of March2021. With the outside tables and chairs the clientele increased, with most new customers coming via recommendation rather than people passing by.
So what is the future of Tallat, which is in an area of Valencia, which although run down has a certain charm? Some of the things that Lorenzo has in mind for the cafe are: "focussing time on roasting and possibly selling online but we want to allow the cafe to evolve naturally with our customers, the people that make the business, at the forefront”.
Finally I asked of Lorenzo, “and what about Cabanyal featured recently in a Guardian article of the top ten hip places to live?” He replies thoughtfully, “I hope it continues to improve but not to change fundamentally".