Where to Find the Best Coffee in London

Where to Find the Best Coffee in London


Posted 2014-04-06 by Lani Kingstonfollow
I'm a self-confessed coffee snob. I am. I'm from Melbourne, Australia and we are known for having some of the best coffee, well, anywhere. I try not to be snobby about it but I am used to world-class baristas making my morning brew - so I have pretty high standards when I travel elsewhere.

There are a few places around the world that I have managed to find a roaster, barista or coffee chain where the coffee lives up to my high expectations. Generally it's one little place, and one particular barista in a barren coffee wasteland - but there are a few places, like Portland, where the coffee generally meets my standards.

London is one of those places - and that's because they are, according to many, the home of technological innovation in the way of espresso. I chatted with one of the head baristas at one of the finer small coffee spots, tucked away in the same store as a gentlemans barber (hipster anyone? not that I am complaining, I've been called hipster many times myself and I appreciate the artisanal back to basics philosophies that have spurred on this movement in gourmet food production). An old Aussie, he has been in London for a while and watched the coffee movement here burgeon.
'London is at the forefront of the coffee revolution - while in Australia excellent coffee is oversaturated - anywhere you go you are certain to get a world-class cup - Londoners are experimental and keen to try many different coffee technologies, whether it be reviving ancient techniques or inventing their own.'

He is right - it's a bit of a search to find a good brew here in London, but when you find the 'spots' you are set. In Melbourne, the espresso rules - whereas here you would be just as likely to find specialty cold-drip, aeropress or filter.

After living in London for a while, in a non-caffeinated craze I've tried out most coffee places on the 'must-try' lists. Here is a compilation of the top 5, with the stamp of approval of an ex-barista, cafe manager, pastry chef coffee snob from Melbourne. They are in no particular order:

5. Workshop Coffee , Clerkenwell, Holborn & Marylebone

Ok, ok. Some may roll their eyes at me. I can't help it, I know they are Melbourne owned. Workshop is the London venture of St Ali, world-renowned Melbourne coffeehouse. And they are really making waves. With a range of beans with varying origins, they roast right in house at their Clerkenwell spot, with fantastic, greenery-and-brick dominated decor. And the coffee, well it hits the spot.

4. Shoreditch Grind , Shoreditch

Another London coffee house that 'is born out of the Melbourne coffee culture where the roast of a bean is debated, discussed and celebrated in the same way as a good wine vintage.' The decor here is rad, with the front almost presenting like an old-school picture-house.

3. Sharps Coffeebar by Dunne Frankowski, Fitzrovia

Rad, friendly baristas? Check. Strong, well-made coffee? Check. Awesome, hipster decor? Check. Gentlemans barber? Check. Wait, what? The fusion of barber and coffee shop is becoming a fad, and while it sounds odd, it works. The business of the two completely different businesses creates a friendly vibe. While everyone who comes in for a coffee probably won't get a hair cut, at least you can watch the upperclass vintage woollen sweater clad youth get their moustaches trimmed on old-school barbers chairs while you re-caffeinate.

2. Craft Coffee , Shoreditch

Off to the Brick Lane markets or shop in Shoreditch? Pick up a takeaway from this tiny, cute little hole-in-the-wall on your way from the station. They make killer brownies too.

1. No. 67 , Peckham

It's a bit of a hike, but make a morning of it. Attached to the South London Gallery, No. 67 makes AMAZING breakfasts, rustic cakes, and a darn-good coffee. Their picnic benches out the front of the old-brick building are a great way to soak up the sun, or out the back in their courtyard garden

At most of these places, you can pick up a curated London Coffee Map. It is an excellent way to see the top coffee spots wherever you are (and they are really pretty too.)

64507 - 2023-01-20 01:50:30


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