London is fuelled by a passive-aggressive charge that gets us through the commute, cocktails that get us through the evening and a hopeful optimism that the weekend is in sight from Wednesday. At the top of that though, the saviour of our day is of course coffee. Londoners know good coffee. Since the days of coffee houses where news, business and politics were discussed, coffee has been a vital part of London and with it being Coffee Week (16th -22nd April), we’ve rounded up some of the bests places you have to visit for your caffeine fix:
You knew it was going to be on this list, it has to be. If it wasn’t it’d be like having fish without the chips, you know just wrong. Ask 99% of people for a coffee shop that you must visit in London and it’ll be Monmouth.* Having started off in 1978 on Monmouth Street you’ll now find them in Bermondsey and Borough Market. You’ll have no problem spotting the coffee shop – the giveaway will be the queue snaking around the corner. If queues aren’t your thing then you can buy the beans to take home by giving them a ring too.
*We can’t prove it’s 99% but you get the idea.
Coffee in Brixton
You’re in Brixton and it’s time for brunch, chances are you’ll head to Brixton Village Market, most likely the place you’re going to has a bit of a wait, so whilst you are waiting grab a coffee from Federation Coffee. It’s on the small side but that doesn’t matter because their coffee packs a punch and that’s what you’re there for. The house espresso is a bespoke blend by Campbell & Syme from North London and when it comes to the filter blends they’re always on the lookout for new coffees.
Coffee Houses of Days Gone By
One of the four award-winning Workshop coffee bars, the Fitzrovia offering draws its inspiration from the area’s 19th Century British heritage and the fact that in the past, coffee houses were a place where business was discussed, ideas emerged and gossip took place, rather like nowadays but they had more gumption back then apparently. Be sure to get one of their espressos – you won’t regret it.
Just off from Old Street you’ll find Ozone, there is a big sign saying Coffee with an arrow pointing to the door, but you’ll know you’re there by the sweet, sweet aroma of roasting beans that surrounds it; because whilst this is a coffee shop it’s also a roastery. Inside it’s all communal wooden tables and exposed stone walls; it tends to get packed, but head downstairs for more seats and to see where all the coffee magic happens.
All about the aesthetic
A large part of going for coffee is making sure your drink is as pretty as possible to make sure you have some top quality Instagram material. Farm Girl offers arguably the most attractive coffee in London, taking coffee art to the next level with help rose petals, chocolate powder stencils and rustic plates, each which not only alters the aesthetic but also adds a unique taste to the drinks (apart from the plates, obviously. They’re just for looking at.)
London's original Flat White
Flat whites are everywhere around London, but we’re looking at take you right to the mouth of the delicious, coffee-filled river. Australia is the home of the flat white but the team at Flat White didn’t feel it was right that the Southern Hemisphere got all the fun, so they introduced the drink to London, and we’re internally grateful. So if you’re looking for pedigree and authenticity there’s nowhere better.
Kings Cross Roastery
Caravan are just as proud of their filter coffee as they are their espressos – which today has hints of dark chocolate, nougat and clementine. Whilst you wait for a table for brunch (expect to find people waiting outside the doors before they open, it’s that popular) then grab a coffee at the bar and watch as they roast batches of beans. They also have a coffee subscription so you can get the beans right to your front door.
Not Just Coffee
Grind started in Shoreditch back in 2011 and even though coffee still remains at the heart of what they do, they have branched out into bars which make a mean espresso martini and they have four restaurants, a late -night venue and a recording studio. The humble coffee shop has gone a long way. The coffee is roasted daily at their Shoreditch HQ and is served in their distinctive red mugs (which look great on Instagram).