Interview: Tristan Stephenson


Tristan Stephenson is an award winning bartender and coffee expert. He’s currently working with Carte Noire on their new concept, The Silk Rooms. We caught up with him recently to learn a little more…

You won Bartender of the Year last year. What’s your favourite drink to make?

The next one I get to drink! I like making anything that tastes delicious. The drink itself will vary from time to time and place to place. All drinks have their occasion. At the moment, I’m particularly enjoying the Instinct cocktail I designed for Carte Noire. It’s a mix of Port, Congac, egg, Carte Noire Instinct and sugar and is absolutely delicious!

You’re also an award winning barista, so tell us – what’s the secret to the perfect flat white?

Don’t over-heat the milk. That’s the most common mistake. But coffee is difficult to get right at the best of times, there are a lot of factors that can play a part.

If you were forced to choose between cocktail and coffee, what would it be?

A coffee based cocktail, like Instinct is always a favourite!

What do you love most about mixology?

Being creative and tasting the creations!

What is your absolute favourite drink?

Too hard to pick, but my go-to drink if I can’t decide is a simple gin & tonic.

You wouldn’t know it, but I… come from Cornwall!

The meaning of life is… good food, good drinks and good company

If I could have one wish it would be… to stay healthy (very sensible)

My favourite place is… London!

My earliest foodie memory is… my mum giving me a blind tasting of different varieties of cola.. And me picking out each brand (I was about ten).

The best advice I was ever given is/was… the most important people in a business are the staff (not the customer). Sounds silly, but if you look after your team, the rest comes easily.


Taste immersion expert, Tristan Stephenson, has partnered with new Carte Noire Instinct to launch The Silk Rooms – the world’s first optimised Wholebean Instant coffee tasting experience. To find out more log onto

Tristan Stephenson