By Natalie Whittle
Natalie is editor of The Glasgow Papers, and runs The Outwith Agency in Govanhill
This post was first published as part of my Southside Stories project on Instagram.
Darryl Docherty started drinking coffee in the kitchen at Gandolfi’s, ‘just as a pick me up, a bit of a bad habit.’ The real affair didn’t start until he went to @artisanroastcoffeeroasters in Edinburgh and ordered a Tanzanian coffee. ‘I had it as a filter. It completely changed my perspective on coffee and how complex it could be. It led me down this path of saying “wow, I want to work with this stuff”.’
Artisan Roast hired him as a manager, but a few years later he left Scotland for a coffee odyssey; first at a roaster in New Zealand, ‘getting more and more into sourcing, how it’s traded’, and then Malaysia, and on to Melbourne for a year working in a café ‘learning hospitality – their standards are much higher than ours.’
When Docherty got back to Glasgow, where he grew up on Langside Road, he joined the influential @deargreen team, but ‘it was time’ to open his own place.
Short Long Black puts into practice the unpretentious Oz approach to speciality coffee, with green beans selected by Docherty and roasted to his spec by Thomson’s. ‘We’re all hard wired for sweetness,’ Docherty says. And there are fine hospitality touches. ‘We try to keep the cups (by Darryl’s partner Claire Henry) level so that we can talk to people over them.’
Just before the coronavirus pandemic hit, Darryl opened a second coffee bar called Patricia’s, the name of a favourite Melbourne cafe, but also his mother’s name, ‘as a homage to her, she was a big character in this area and lots of people knew her.’